I’d always heard older and wiser mothers talk about the stress of the season and discuss ways to pare it down, relax more, and really enjoy the holiday moments, but I never really knew what they were talking about until this year.
It took my kids getting a bit older (they’re 6, 4, 2, and 4 months) and having more work obligations before I experienced my first truly stressful holiday season. With the crazy expenses of Christmas presents, the decision-making at every turn (Elf or no Elf? Santa as a magical figure or the stuff of nightmares? Diet after New Years or now?), and trying to stop my children from turning into spoiled little brats, I haven’t felt super jolly this month.
And intermixed somewhere in all that holiday cheer and mistletoe is something else that’s crying out for attention — my marriage.
Four days after Christmas, my husband and I will celebrate our anniversary and I fully admit that these past seven years have been a challenge. And because I haven’t even got around to getting my husband a Christmas gift, let alone an anniversary gift, maybe I’ll just rely on an old Christmas classic for help on what my marriage really needs this season — hold the partridge and the pear tree, please.
12 minutes and a locked door.
I’ll leave the rest up to your imagination.
11 personal training sessions.
Not because we need the hot bods of our youth, but because focusing on our health together helps us avoid those late-night temptations from the candy cupboard. Plus, when I’m feeling more confident about my body, we all benefit, let’s be honest.
I went with 10 here only because I don’t want to sound too greedy. But come on, I deserve it!
9 bottles of milking.
I have a slight problem pumping enough milk for my daughter. If I could just store up a few spares, we might all be able to actually get out of the house for a date night once in a while.
8 hours with no one fighting.
This one is more for me, because after a full day spent at home with squabbling siblings, I’m fresh out of patience and a welcoming smile. I can only imagine the “Good Wife” image I’d be able to conjure up after a blissful, peace day at home. I may even bust out my pearls — if I owned any.
7 pm dinner reservations.
Because come any later and you know I will be counting the hours of sleep I will get once I am finally able to crawl into bed. Ok, if we get home at 10, and I feed the baby at 11, maybe I’ll get a solid five hours in…
6 sick days.
Winter is just starting, my friends, which means the season of sickness is upon us. And while my husband may be able to cash in a few sick day chips when the inevitable bug hits him, I cannot. So into my stocking this year, I’ll take six sick days for myself, thank you very much. With a side of Gilmore Girls on Netflix. My marriage will be much better off if the mother is able to actually get better when she’s sick.
Cooked and cleaned up by someone else, of course.
4 days of playing hooky.
The only times my husband has ever skipped school was at my urging — we played hooky and spent the days sipping coffee at a local diner in the rain and taking cheesy pictures in a photo booth like a bunch of love-struck adolescents. I still look back on those times with longing — so how nice it would be to just call in sick to work, parenting, and life just a few times next year and do absolutely nothing?
3 household staff.
Just a few extra hands on deck would be nice these days — we’ll keep things simple with a live-in cook, cleaner, and nanny. That’s not too much to ask for, right?
2 gold rings.
My husband’s gold wedding ring looks like it’s been through the wringer — probably because it has been. It’s so warped, misshapen, and dented that one might almost see some symbolism in that. And as for mine? One of the prongs that holds my precious .723 carat diamond in place has completely filed away, making my ring but a shell of what it used to be and at constant risk for literally losing its sparkle. Hmm ….
1 extra day.
Is it just us or are weekends not what they used to be? Saturdays seem to be spent flying around in different directions for our totally polar-opposite careers, cleaning, and trying to keep the kids occupied. (Curse you, Pinterest). Sundays are spent trying to catch up from Saturday, grocery shopping, and eying our couch wistfully while I fold mountains of laundry. I’m dreaming of that one extra day that could actually be spent relaxing and recharging — together.
What’s on your marriage wish list this Christmas?