{THE ORDINARY MOMENTS 17} #7 ‘A REBOOT’

As I write this it is Saturday evening. Jon is in the kitchen cooking our usual Saturday night meal of fajitas. I’m sitting on the sofa waiting for him to finish, then I will put the computer away and we will snuggle down to watch ‘This is Us’ which is our new obsession. I’ve lit a couple of candles, one that smells of salted caramel and is filling the room with a lovely subtle aroma, and the flames are flickering away in front of me. It’s pretty much what happens every Saturday night except there is something quite different about tonight.

Firstly there are no little girls upstairs chattering away having their usual weekend sleepover. For the second time in six years we are alone in our house, bar our baby boy but he is asleep upstairs. They are off spending the night at their Auntie Anna’s ready to go on a day out tomorrow- something which they have been looking forward to for absolutely ages. We are also drinking pink champagne, for absolutely no reason other than the fact we bought it with an airport voucher coming back from Schiphol airport in Amsterdam last year and just haven’t really had any special occasion to save it for, so we just thought why not.

I posted on instagram earlier in the weekend that things had been tough here recently. When I say tough, they haven’t really been tough by any stretch of the imagination, perhaps the right word would be ‘testing’. Jon and I do absolutely everything together pretty much. We live together, we raise our children together, we co-parent equally with neither of us being away all that much, we both work from home, and we live in each other’s pockets. I love that, I love that we do it all together, I love having him there with me during the week, there’s nothing more I could possibly want when it comes to this crazy journey of raising young children and I mean that. But like with all marriages, it can’t be perfect all the time. We live in a world online where mostly we share our highlight reel, our best bits, our edited photos of our clean homes, coordinated children, happy smiles and poignant moments. Of course most people are honest, but for the most part you just see a snippet of what goes on in someones life.

While for the most part our life is happy, like anyone sometimes the day to day stresses can get in the way. It’s hard work raising children, some days it’s chaotic and relentless and exhausting, it feels like we never stop. We have three little mouths to feed in the evening, or three little people wanting different things. There’s homework or reading to do with Mads, which is exactly that point in the evening when our baby boy is over tired and grumpy.  Then sometimes we grapple with our workloads, we can bicker at whose deadline is more important, of who needs the time to work. Some days we both sit down on the sofa and it is just easier to sit and stare absentmindedly at our phones than attempt a conversation. Or sometimes I feel like we just co-exist in a house together.

Last weekend we talked for ages and ages. I cried, mainly cause I am over emotional and cry at everything. We talked about what needed to change, about what makes us happy, we talked about life, our babies, the future. It was nothing serious that needed to change, just little things here and there. Silly things, like switching off at least a couple of evenings a week. Previously we said we were switching off, in that we weren’t on our laptops, but we still just played on our phones, therefore not really fully switching off. A couple of years ago we started weekly ‘no technology’ date nights where we would take it in turns to cook a little meal and do a little surprise for the other, so we have decided to bring those back. Also other things like we have introduced a reward chart for the girls. Like any children they can play up from time to time, but it isn’t about that. It’s just about trying to alleviate the things that potentially create stressful situations in our day- like asking Mads to put her uniform on ten times before she actually does it, or tidying up their toys, or sitting nicely at the table. Plus other mini things, like making their beds, brushing their teeth well or wanting to do her homework on time.

There wasn’t lots wrong, but we just needed to stop and spend some time talking. To make time to take a little step back and reevaluate things. As one of my lovely friends Lucy said to me, to have a ‘reboot’. She said that her and her husband do it from time to time. I couldn’t think of a better way to describe it. Life gets in the way sometimes, but it’s so important to remember to make time for each other. To nurture each other. And to nurture ourselves too. Since January I have been trying to work harder on my work/life balance. I can’t seem to get it right. I either over work and never switch off, or I don’t work as much but still just flick absentmindedly through my phone. Either way, I don’t switch off and sometimes I really feel it. I’ve been trying to go to bed earlier, to go up in the evening and have a hot bath and read my book. I’m getting there, but I still would say my work life balance needs some work. Because in order to nurture and take care of my husband and my children, I need to take care of myself too. Something I am not actually too good at.

It’s only been a week or so but our little reboot has done us the world of good. It’s just small changes but they’ve made a big difference so far. I am so lucky to be with my best friend 90% of the time, it’s easy for both of us to take each other for granted. This little reboot has made us remember to think of the other more.

Life certainly isn’t perfect. We forget to communicate sometimes, we co-exist but forget to invest in just the two of us, or some weeks we can bicker non stop. Sleep deprivation the last ten months hasn’t helped- being tired doesn’t make for much enthusiasm the next day. We have little traits that annoy each other. We don’t always agree on things, but we know that. We both know when is the right time to say sorry and we make sure we try harder and in doing so, we are raising our family and growing together.

It’s a journey, it’s not always perfect, it’s not always easy. But the very best things never are.

Some very ‘not so perfect’ photos when we went to Leeds last week. We visited the place Jon and I kissed for the very first time, but our baby boy wasn’t too sure about being in the photo!


17 Comments

  • A ‘reboot’ is exactly the right term. Andy and I had a similar conversation back in January, a chance to let everything out and then put it all back together in a different way, a way that is going to make a difference and work for everyone at that moment in time. We’ve definitely noticed a difference since doing it, we think about the other one more. It’s the strong marriages that take the time to do this, that will survive. x

  • It sounds like the reboot has done you good already and I hope it continues too. It is hard to make time and effort but also so important too x

  • Carie says:

    Oh bless – your wee boy’s face in that last photo! I totally agree about having a little reboot from time to time; for us it’s not so much about being out of each other’s pockets as feeling like we’ve gone through a week without actually having seen each other, usually when I’ve either had to be away for work , or just working so much I might as well have been. Being phone and internet free definitely helps – it’s meant cutting back on my blogging time and commenting time in favour of lazy evenings with a bottle of wine and catching up on cheesy telly but I suspect it’s healthier all round than trying to fit everything in and getting stressed with the lack of time. I hope you had a lovely evening.

  • Kerri-Ann says:

    Aww Katie, such a lovely post and so beautifully written as always. I think it’s so easy to forget to look after yourself, to switch off and to remember to look after the relationship that came first. It sounds like you’ve made some perfect tweaks which will make all the difference. The reward charts sound perfect, we do the same with G. I hope you’re having a lovely weekend x

  • Sounds like a ‘reboot’ was just what you needed. I can’t imagine working and living in the same house as my partner, it sounds perfect in theory, and it was lovely having him off and here with me for three months when he was on ‘gardening leave’ before starting his new job this month, but I think living in each others pockets is probably much harder than not. Love the pics, especially the last one – real life captured right there! x

  • Sherry says:

    I totally get this as it’s happened to us. Every 1/4 we are now going to have a weekend away from our parenthood and household responsibilities to reboot us, the other week it was a simple few hours in Bath. I’m not sure i could spend every day working with mine, as much as I love him dearly and he is my best friend I am a solitary person and just like my own space, but I love that it works for you both xx

  • It seems we live completely opposite lives and my post this week is about being lonely as my husband is away most of the time. This too can lead to bickering and it’s hard to switch off. Time for yourselves as a couple is so important and doesn’t need to be a grand getaway. The kids will grow up and you’ll be back as a couple and it’s important to nurture that relationship as well as being parents xx

  • Anne says:

    I think we all have to have those little conversations sometimes, just to put things into perspective. Your last paragraph sums it up though, lack of sleep can be blamed for so much. It’s hard to function properly if your sleep pattern is disturbed or too short. Once you sort out the sleep then you will find your mood changing too. I know it’s not easy with little ones but it’s something that will happen in time. It does sound like you and John have it sussed though and I’m sure things will get better very soon. I love the photos as usual. For some reason, I love the last one most, it’s so real, when you have two or more kids there is always one that isn’t happy!

  • Do you know, we say all the time that at any one point in time we can be best friends, brother and sister, pr husband and wife. I know on the face of it as I type that it might sound a bit strange but I hope you get what I mean. That when you’ve been together for a long time, you can get to points in your relationship when life takes over and you do exactly that, exist in the same house, doing lovely things, sharing lovely things like we all do online but actually you are sort of on auto pilot. We bicker like siblings, I play the patronising older sister at times, he’s the irritating younger brother and then vice versa. I think the most important thing is that you have that best friendship to fall back on when general life with work and kids gets so busy that there’s little or no time for hearts and flowers. We rely so much on lovely grandparents for our reboots which sometimes need to be more often than usual. They don’t need to be fancy they just need to be a conscious effort to spend real time with each other. Not with one eye on a phone, a tv or laptop or not eating on your lap which we are guilty of. Actually sitting opposite each other at a table gets you talking! I’ve written a little about it but was a bit nervous to publish it. I don’t know why really. Relentless is the word we use at the moment and it’s hard to not sound like you are complaining because we truly aren’t complaining. We’ve made all these choices but we also need to make a choice to say somethings can wait an hour or even 5 minutes. And having time to yourself is good for both of you too. So you come back together and talk. Rich might argue he’d rather do less talking on our reboots 😉 But you get my drift! Intimacy isn’t just romance it’s sharing your fears, your ideas and trusting that other person’s opinion. I am not sure I know of any other couples like you and Jon and Rich and I who spend as much time working together. We are almost a decade in now and it’s hard and wonderful all at the same time! Glad you have published your post, good for so many to read who might feel the same xxx

  • Life as Mum says:

    Totally get this post. a reboot is a perfect way of going about it. Infact, I think my partner and I need to do the same. Lovely photos x

  • Colette says:

    This is so important – as a I read this I’m sat next to Dave on our new armchairs – he’s watching something on his tablet with his headphones in and I’m tapping away on my laptop whilst absent mindedly watching the tv. A fairly standard evening view.
    Moving to supply fixed up my work life balance no end but blogging has tipped it again – being self employed makes it so hard to switch off doesn’t it.
    Just talking and doing something different to shake things up and “reboot” as you say – is the most positive thing you could be doing x

  • Jenny says:

    I love the idea of a reboot. While I can’t relate to doing it all together I can relate to getting frazzled getting too comfortable where we both just coexist. Both of u working our on our business separately but feeling like we do everything ourselves and in our case the other doesn’t understand the others business. Me – his nor he -mine. It can get bickering in our house over who works harder, more and who’s turn to do what is. But ultimately it’s the solid love and friendship beneath that allows us to share our feelings what we should work on and sit down with each other to solve it together. Love how you call it a reboot so true so fitting. I hope it’s working those little things out and moving things around so it feels and fits better with you both. I think you guys are so amazing how much you do together and how passion you are about it all together. It’s inspiring and amazing. Also great that you recognize when things need shifting and when things are blissful like fajita nights!!! Beautiful words here hunny so many of us can relate is various ways. You are not alone in that.

  • A reboot sounds like a great idea. It really is so important to make time for each other and for ourselves x x

  • It definitely sounds like a great idea! We’re both guilty of being on our phones and being rearly disconnected from each other. We sometimes used to do black out nights but they’ve faded somewhat!

  • Donna says:

    This really resonated with me. I always take time to reboot – I have a massage each month and see friends regularly, for a day or overnight just to have time away and a little bit of me time but I also make time at home for Hubby – date nights or going out for a meal. It’s just so important to refocus at times x

  • Gemma says:

    I totally get this – we have been together for 12 years now and could definitely do with a reboot. I’m going to try and make sure we make more effort to have us time – its so important xx

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