How to Argue Around Kids

As a mom of two young girls, it is challenging to say the least to have an adult discussion. To get to an argumentative state is all too easy. I worry about not saying cross words in front of them. When my husband and I finally meet after a long workday for me (at home) and him at his job, we are tired. We rarely have dates outside of the house due to lack of free childcare. Pressure builds that is clouded with the absence of quality couple time.
Considering we had been a couple for a long time before we became parents, our friendship runs deep. Having said that, we have had many ugly arguments and angry whispers in the moonlight hours when the kids finally go to bed.
Slowly we found other ways to argue. I can feel the anger in a text message from my cell phone in my pocket, especially when he is across the room. I turn my shoulder and type with a passionate vengeance.
When my husband has his fill of not being heard, he cleans house, putting out garbage and other minor tasks to either clear his head or keep busy. It is rare, but it does make the house look good.
After the kids go down, it is just us. We have our date nights on the couch with the baby monitor near. When the girls move out, it will be just the two of us again. We will have lots to still talk about. Although I am not in a hurry to see our miracle daughters go yet.
AS the heat from our anger dissipates, we realize that it is a waste to sweat the small stuff. Now when we argue, we know when to walk away and breathe. Chances are that the anger is never about the situation but by our day.

No surprises or….

T’was the night before Christmas of my 36th one on this planet. Not a cat was stirring, not even a child. I stare at the ceiling of my darkened bedroom. My husband snoring away in his slumber. In my heart, I feel no excitement. I am looking forward to seeing our young daughters enjoy their Santa surprises.

I can’t remember the last Christmas I yearned for. Maybe, I am too old to look forward to Christmas surprises, or even birthday surprises. For years I have either picked out my own gift, or let my husband take over the domestic duties. Rarely do I open a surprise on the special occasions.

My eyes grow heavy and I drift off. I am awakened my anxious three year old wanting to go down a floor. We ramble down the stairs, the four of us, holding back the kiddos until we can feed the cat and start the Christmas morning coffee ( bonus for me!).

The kids tear into what Santa left. Over the course of an excited hour the squeals and delights are still echoing off the walls by the time I open my presents. A book I asked for, accompanied with a favorite wine, make me smile. I did feel a prediction, but it’s still nice I got what I wanted.

When we believe all the gifts are opened, my husband spies another one. It’s an envelope addressed to me. The kids run off playing with their new delights. I open the envelope and find a large gift card to my favorite spa.

I smile at the thought of an afternoon alone getting pampered. Then, the real first surprise of a long time drops. My dear hubby tells me it’s for an appointment he booked me in 3 days!!!! He will still be home for the holidays during that time.

Tears spring to my eyes at the spontaneous surprise. After 16 years of marriage it is not about flowers on Valentine’s Day, it is about taking care of one another when you least expect it.