By Melody Kraemer-Stillwell
I looked at my husband sitting on the couch and wondered to myself, who is that man? He almost felt like a stranger living in our house. Then it dawned on me, when was the last time we had a meal together that didn’t involve picky eaters, feeding a child, cutting up meals, and more? When was the last time we had a conversation that didn’t include a million interruptions? When was the last time it was just him and I? It had been so long, I couldn’t remember when it was just us. I started to feel the distance between my husband and me, and I realized we were co-parenting in the house and that was it. What happened to us? Kids and life!
Having an autistic child who is almost nine but is still, mentally, around the age of four can be challenging and exhausting.
We as parents need each other. It’s vital we stay connected. We can go out for a date night, but it’s not that easy. Having two autistic children, we can’t just hire a babysitter and head out the door. We came up with some ways we stay connected that what works for us:
- Say I love you daily to each other
- Smile at each other
- Text each other (and yes sometimes it is when we are in the house together)
- When we pass each other, in the house, make it a point to reach out and touch the other one.
- Random hugs
- Make it a point to get up early with your spouse and spend a few quiet moments together before they leave for work.
- Complement each other.
- Say thank you to each other (Thank you, honey, for doing the dishes..)
- Try and stay humble and never assume you know what the other is thinking (ok this is a hard one)
- Discuss things and try not to argue, and be honest with each other.
Though life can be challenging and daily living will get in the way, we have to stay connected as a couple and not just as co-parents. There will be times you may still feel distant from your spouse then look over to them and smile they will smile back all is right in our world.
Melody is the publisher of Macaroni Kid in Eastvale and Riverside. Check out her online newsletter for fun family things to do at: http://www.jurupavalley.macaronikid.com