“Remember when we used to be spontaneous?” my husband asked one night.
"No," was my answer right before falling asleep. That night, I had strange dreams of my husband spontaneously combusting while hang-gliding over Mars. I’m guessing that’s not what he meant. Really, though, he should have known better. We haven’t been spontaneous since August of 2012—the month I became pregnant. This is why we plan our spontaneity. We plan our sex.
Having a baby has brought a great many changes. I’ve acquired wondrous new skills, like learning how to eat leftover baby food, being able to sleep anywhere and peeing standing up (it saves time). These talents have served me well, but my greatest gift has been successfully operating our calendar. Without our schedule, I’d be lost (or asleep). Our calendar holds all of our life’s events, including private time with my husband. If we didn't schedule it, it might never happen.
When we tried to wait until our kid was asleep, I was too. I never outgrew the baby phase of sleeping when the baby sleeps. But the main reason for our lack of impulsiveness is this: We got caught.
One morning, my husband and I were upstairs, enjoying a quick, unplanned "moment" when we heard a tiny voice ask, “What are you and my dad doing?” Like a Vegas magician, our then toddler had eluded the video monitor, escaped his Pak 'n Play and wandered to the bottom of the stairs. Our son had escaped his inescapable play-place only to stop our play time. After signing him up for magic classes, I knew I couldn’t go through that stress again—and probable therapy bills for my son—so now we plan!
We’ve tried to avoid feeling too planned and stagnant by being unbidden in our windows of time and making the most of it.
Clearly, the hubby and I have entered a very responsible and scheduled phase of our marriage, but there’s a certain amount of romance that inherently goes out the window when you plan your romance. We’ve come a long way from the days when we could pause "Lost" and sneak off to get lost in each other. There are definite pitfalls to planning, and I certainly don’t want us sacrificing our romantic connection for only a physical one.
We’ve tried to avoid feeling too planned and stagnant by being unbidden in our windows of time and making the most of it. I know that when the babysitter is taking our son for a long walk, I won’t have to split my focus. I can be totally present with my husband. That helps us immensely. I’ve discovered more freedom in this method than trying to sneak around the house and worrying about getting caught. (Plus, I'm awake, which is a bonus.)
Planning also ensures we always make time for each other. Otherwise, time races by and the "us" part slips through the cracks. I’d rather make sure we are maintaining our connection as best we can, versus not at all. I don’t want for us to lose our bond.
A day will come when our son will be at school all day and we will have even more windows of time to follow our impetuous natures. I feel confident that between finally catching up on shows like "Stranger Things," "Breaking Bad" and "Cheers," my husband and I will rediscover how the pause button works while we rediscover our true spontaneity as a couple. Although, that was the time I’d planed on finally catching up on my sleep.
GALLERY: 4 Ways Your Marriage Changes Right After Having a Baby