Every now and again I write about time on this thing. How I have it. Or don't have it. Or how I want or need more of it. Whether we've been together to not, a lot of the time my time posts are in relation to Alex. How co-parenting gives (gave) me more time. How I'd like more of it with him. How we don't have enough together--- as a family or as a couple. I mean, time is a pretty big thing, yes? It's something we all seem to want more or never have enough of. Time is short. When Alex and I got back together (the first time around) it didn't work.... I mean, you guys know that... unless you're newer here and have no idea what I'm talking about... but you guys know: our relationship sucked a little bit. I tried, he tried, but well, the timing was off. What I thought our time would be together was off, really off. The idea of living with Alex and raising Marlowe with someone full time and sharing responsibility.... it seemed... so ideal? Easy? Helpful? I don't know a million amazing things.... or at least a whole lot better than what I was going through. Alex moved down to Florida, we attempted to start our family, and the reality of my (our) situation was that my life was still hard and not at all less depressing. Any hopeful thoughts and fantasies I had floating in my head came to a halt. The help I wanted wasn't there, money wasn't easier, my home wasn't more filling, and our time-- family time, well it nonexistent.
I've hated almost everything about Alex's job for the past two years. (Okay, I'll be honest, everything about it, except for the bread.) In the times we were together and even in the times we weren't together, I hated it. He was overworked, underpaid, and completely absent in our home. Each hopeful promise, we waited... for nothing. Nothing ever came through, life continued as it was, with no guarantee that we could one day really function as a family. It was shitty to think that our relationship would continue side by side, but never together. The second time we got back together (this past and last time), I didn't grow depressed as he came back into our home. I was hopeful for a better future, but I knew the reality of what our relationship would be like: out the door not long after waking up and home lonngggg after Marlowe was in bed. No meals together, unless they were forced and squeezed in, every moment he would be here would be set for sleep, dates would be non existent, and so on. But despite our lack-of-time-reality, I was in, doing this relationship, again. We made adjustments where needed and cut out areas in our lives that could cause problems such as battling schedules and/or fighting for power. And even though things (obviously) worked better for us this time around, we still haven't been completely happy with our quality of life. Alex without a break and living to work, Marlowe without time with her dad, and me... well, I just wanted us all to be together and to be a happy family. I'm not sure if it's noticeable but things have been slowly getting better around here.
I've mentioned it recently, but Alex started a new job not too long ago. I think we were all a little bit nervous with the approaching change and all the what ifs' and whatabout's... but now, here we are and there's no looking back. He's still in the restaurant industry, it will always be a bit of a challenge, but you know what? it's working for us, because each day we're realizing this change, it just keeps getting better. Really, it's been better than we could have expected. I'm so happy for so many reasons. I'm happy for Marlowe, to finally, after three years of her life, be able to spend quality time with her dad and both parents together. I'm happy for Alex, who really deserved/deserves a good job with good people who treat him the way a hard-working man should be treated. I'm happy for me and for us, for our overall quality of life and how it has vastly improved. We still have small concerns here, there, now and (maybe) later, but overall, the thing (the most important thing, if you ask me) we've been wanting and needing for so long is here, time. We still and probably forever, will never be a nine to five family. Dinners together, well they won't be happening anytime soon (again probably never), I'll still be the only one putting Marlowe to bed each and every night, and alone until midnight each night. But you know what? We're good with it. This somewhat backwards, flip-floppy, slightly unconventional life, it's finally working out for us. We just adjust when and where needed and make things work in the best way for us. Big lunches or small lunches take the place of our family dinners, early morning beach sessions take the place of evening walks and late night story time, and so on.
It's been a bit of an adjustment period the past few weeks, for all of us. Even with the simplest things, like finding ways to cook lunch time meals that can fit the three of us and our different dietary needs and wants, have proved unnecessarily challenging. Marlowe took a few days to really warm up and adjust to the idea of spending time with Alex each and every day. And I'm figuring out where everything fits with spending less one on one time with a little one, more time entertaining us as a real family of three, and now steadily having an extra hour to myself each night. Each day, this (better) adjustment has been getting easier.... I mean, it is for the better after all. Our days with more time don't feel forced or rushed to do everything all at once, to squeeze out every second of everyday, with fear of it feeling like a waste. We now can pack in as little or as much as we'd like. We can have our boring (read: carefree) days OR our fun event-after-event days. We can do as much or as little as we like and not lose anything from it. It's a new feeling that had me starting at anxious and moving to airy. I can sit on dirty back steps, sipping leftover sangria, wearing some ridiculous outfit, and senselessly repeat in my head "stay cool, monday", cause you know what? Monday's and life in general is pretty cool now.
*Blogger is being completely spastic on me. Ignore how wonky this may or may not look.
**Marlowe's dress is c/o of mason and the tambourine.
***Please note she changed her shoes THREE times in this one afternoon, possibly four.
****Also note, I'm day drinking... and I was listening to reggae. As Alex says, I've finally settled into Florida life. Oh well, it's part of getting old, maybe ;)