Sunday, May 30, 2010

Relationship math- a baffling equation

    Tim and I put the kids to bed a little early the other night and had the rare opportunity to talk, just the two of us.  It is so rare that we get this chance that our conversation ended up being about our lack of communication.  We talked about how much we used to enjoy spending time together, how we used to talk and laugh and have fun doing nothing, how we used to discuss everything and really feel connected to each other.   Unfortunately our conversation was cut short because Tim had to log onto the computer for his 2nd job and so I was left alone to ponder things for a few minutes before I headed off to bed.
    My thoughts turned to all the things that seem to take precedence over our time together.  I thought about my life of home schooling, taking care of the house, changing diapers, shuttling kids to appointments, activities, occasional play dates, etc…  I thought about Tim and his two jobs, his responsibilities around the house, the ministry he works so hard on.  Now, the kids and I are done with school for the summer but as I thought about the busy lives Tim and I lead, and the effect it has on our marriage, I found myself thinking about math.   Our dilemma sounds a little like the word problems my children’s math books are full of:  “Between five kids and two jobs and endless distractions Kari just doesn’t seem to have the chance to connect with the one person she vowed to share her life with.”   Mathematically it looks a little like this:  5k+2j+1000000...x= -1 
    You know what?   I’ve never really liked math.  I, especially, disliked word problems.  I could never figure out exactly how to solve those confusing story problems and I am pretty sure this one does not add up right, no matter how you approach it.  In fact, I am feeling a lot like I am back in school again, sitting in front of an equation that continues to baffle me no matter how I try to solve it.  We don’t want to subtract the 5 kids, of course.  We cannot subtract the 2 jobs, at least not if we want to pay our bills and eat, which we do.  It would be great if we could divide up some of distractions but well, if we knew how to do that we wouldn’t have so many to begin with.  Maybe I should multiply myself and then there would be time for everything.    If only that would work….for now, Tim and I have decided to change the equation around a little.  We were thinking that if we could have 1 night when the 5 kids went to bed two hours earlier (we would let them read in their beds for a little while before going to sleep) then maybe we could have a little time for each other each week.  That equation would look a little like this:  (5-2)-1=2.  5 kids in bed, 2 hours early, 1 night a week= two happy parents.  Now, that is an equation I can understand, and I hope and pray that it does add up right because, unlike some of those silly word problems in my children's math books, this is a math problem that really does matter.

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