It was Sunday morning, too early to have eyes open, but for whatever reason we woke up together, slowly, dreamily, our bodies close enough that I could feel his morning hard-on.
“Mmm,” I moaned, pushing my butt a little harder into his soft and hard spots.
“Mmm,” he moaned back, as his hands made their way from my hips to my breasts and body parts were being aligned.
And then, a cry.
I shot up out of bed.
“Where are you going?”
“I’m going to check on the baby.”
“He’s fine. Come back to bed, and let me check on a few of your things …”
By the time I came back, nobody was coming
— the magic moment was gone.
Several years later, and Rob and I divorced.
Well, there were a few other issues— a lot, actually — besides a series of child-related coitus interruptus “incidents” that led us to split. But I clearly remember those exhausting, stressful Married With Baby days. As T ponders in her post this week, it makes you wonder if
parenting with small kids leads to divorce.
I don’t think so.
If anything, unrealistic expectations, marrying for the wrong reasons and our own emotional baggage from the past probably lead to more divorces than raising a kid does. And we get so disappointed and frustrated with our partners so easily, over little
crap, too, like laundry and loading dishwashers. I mean, c’mon! But, having children impacts a couple in ways you can’t possibly anticipate,
no matter how many stories you hear, books you read or experts you follow.
Until you’re in the trenches, you really have no idea what having kids is all about. And at that point, well, your options are pretty limited, and so like most good soldiers, you just keep trudging along, hoping your “battle” strategy works.
That’s if you even have a strategy. But since 47 percent of parents say pregnancy “just happened,” it seems that there are a lot of new parents who don’t have a game plan. “Just happened” isn’t a strategy that’s going to hold up in the heat of marital-parenting battle. especially since almost every couple feels stressed, conflicted and unhappy the first year or two after a baby is born.
Can that be avoided?
Yeah — if you’re a choice mother.
Not that I’m suggesting you become one.
I can understand the incredible sadness a woman might feel if she hasn’t met The One before her biological clock goes on the fritz. Still, I just can’t even imagine having a baby on my own when it’s so hard when there are two of you!
But it does have an upside.
Many choice moms love not having a partner around — they can do things their way and not have to deal with anyone else’s issues other than their own and their kid’s. You can always send your kid to his room and take away his Xbox when he misbehaves; can’t do that if you’re pissed at your hubby.
So maybe it makes sense to have a baby on your own; you avoid experiencing that post-baby stress and unhappiness with your partner and you can do the laundry and load the dishwasher whatever damn way you want! Have the baby first, and just have a guy show up later — when you’re happier, healthier and ready to have sex again.
Well, that’s what Lori “Marry Him” Gottlieb did — you can ask her how well it’s going …
Not every man wants to raise someone else’s kids.
Plus, men develop a Daddy Brain, kicked in by a pregnant woman’s hormones. By keeping dads out of the equation, we moms might be messing up a man’s capacity to fully love his kids — or someone else’s. And dads and kids both end up losers.
Am I happy now? Yep.
Do I love having a kid? Yep.
Was being Married With Baby hard? Yep.
Would I rather have stayed as an intact couple if we could have worked out our crap? Yep — parenting solo is harder.
What about you?
Photo © Delli-Pizzi- Fotolia.com
I was strolling the supermarket doing my usual food shopping this weekend when I came to my favorite aisle: the candy aisle. The eye candy aisle.
Honestly, it is purely coincidental that I’m often buying groceries at the same time that the local firemen are shopping, too. But I not only stock up on all the food I need; I also get a few fantasies. Can your supermarket do that?
“Why do women love firemen?” I asked Sara as we hung at the dog park later, watching our dogs chase each other around.
“Let me guess — you’ve been to the grocery store again. Honestly, Kat!”
“Oh-kay. I think it’s the whole fantasy thing, you know — being rescued and everything.”
I have plenty of fantasies, but not about being rescued. Still, if I needed to be, pretty much any one of them would absolutely do. Our local firemen are hot.
Women love to fantasize about macho men — firemen, construction workers, pirates (the Johnny Depp type, obviously) cops, cowboys. Men who are so manly, they’ll make us feel like real women.
And guys? Uh, well, just take your cues from Jesse James and Tiger Woods — porn stars, strippers, nurses, flight attendants, nannies and baby-sitters, cheerleaders, maids, their best friend’s hot wife, teachers, librarians and other “proper” types they want to defile (although I’m not too sure how many men fantasized about Camilla except Prince Charles), 19-year-olds … OK, pretty much any woman, but especially trashy chicks and subservient ones.
I’m guessing we gals want someone to take charge of us in our fantasies, and guys mostly want to be in charge (except for the dominatrix fantasies … or the ones in which two blond hotties at the bar insist that they take him home and have their way with him or something like that).
It’s not surprising that men have more fantasies that we gals do — why do they have all the fun? — and they tend to be more aggressive than ours, which still tend to have a lot of romance and passion in them.
But even though we can we can be having flying-off-the-chandelier kinky sex with a hot nurse or a fireman or anyone else in our head, evidently most of our fantasies are just plain ol’ vanilla sex with a past lover or our present one.
How boring is that?
- How rich is your fantasy life?
- Who do you fantasize about?
- Who’s doing what to whom?
- Have you acted on a fantasy?
- If so, did that ruin it?
A young couple, hand-in-hand and dewy-faced in love, stood in line at Peet’s before Sara and me the other morning.
“You know, that’s one of the things that sucks about divorce,” she said, gesturing with her head to them.
“I’m not sure what you mean. Divorcees still hold hands.”
“No, I mean love.”
“Divorcees still love! I do, anyway.”
“I mean that kind of love, that can’t-keep-your-hands-off-each-other, love-stuck, obsessive, eye-gazing, falling head-over-heels kind of love, like when we were younger.”
“We still fall in love like that. Plus, I absolutely cannot keep my hands off of Sean,” I sniffed.
“No we don’t.”
“How can you say that?”
“Well, yeah, but we still fall head-over-heels in love.”
“Have you, now?”
Hmm, well, I had to think about that. I’ve fallen head-over-heels in lust — no question about that. Lots of times. But love? Not really.
Is Sara right?
We all learn from breakups, and most of us
have a fair share of them before we get married. But a divorce is the Big B, Breakup with a capital B. No way you can go through a divorce and not have it shape the way you feel about men, love, the idea of “happily-ever-after,” life itself and ourselves. It’s easy to turn bitter and that flavors every new relationships; or we get bitter — and frustrated — after we start dating again, and if you’ve been married a long time, dating again at midlife is always a shocker.
It’s like waking up on an alien planet without a Transporter to beam you back home.
Sometimes, we can’t keep the past out of the present; we compare whomever we’re with who our ex, either fearing ways in which they’re similar or looking for ways in which they don’t quite measure up.
And let’s not forget fear — we’re afraid we’ll get hurt again and have to go through all that all over again, when we’re older and exhausted just by the idea of trying to meet someone! So we keep a little of ourselves back, tucked safe behind a slightly hardened heart; each time we “fail” at a new relationship (it feels like failure, even if we shouldn’t think of it that way), a little more gets hardened and a little more gets hidden.
Divorcees don’t delve head first and fall fully madly, wonderfully foolishly into love.
Especially if we have kids. They add all sorts of complications into the mix, the major one being that we don’t want to drag them through another breakup. So we are really, really, really cautious — and we should be.
Anyone we fall in love with has to not only be someone we love and who loves us back, but someone who’ll be nice to our kids, even if they don’t love each other (but we’d do anything we can to make that happen!)
So, is Sara right — can we ever fall in love like we did when we were younger if we’ve gone through a divorce?
Photo © david brown – Fotolia.com