After what feels like having 100 kids, and becoming this well-oiled machine with my husband, I constantly mental note how far we’ve come since the days it was just the two of us. I reflect quite a bit, take in all the growing moments in our marriage and in our children.
I understand my story in parenthood, how I perceived what our lives are like, however I didn’t know what was my husband’s narrative. What did he think when this crazy new life in parenthood started taking place, when it was just the two of us for so long? I realized as his partner that I changed drastically, and I never invested in his story of what that was like for him.
So one Sunday evening I pulled out my laptop after the kids went to bed, and decided that I would interview my husband.
Kristine (me): Prior to kids, what was your favorite thing about our relationship?
Michael Rohwer (my husband): My absolute favorite thing was how spontaneous we were. We loved going out and discovering things and have no timeline. Our time we spent doing whatever we felt like. We went to a lot more concerts, tried new restaurants, spend a weekend at a friends’ cabin.
Sometimes we’d take the long way home and hit every little town. Remember when we found that hole-in-the-wall bar in Wahoo, and that little old lady who was guest bartending never made a margarita before? We read her the instructions off an old recipe card she found in a dusty recipe box. Still the worst margaritas I’ve ever had, but it was so much fun!
K: Ha, yes I do remember that, she was so proud when she was done, too! So even though we had all this fun together and all that freedom, what changed for you that made you decide to have kids?
M: I love kids, and I knew that we would be excellent parents and that you’d be a fantastic mother and I’d be a great father. I felt we’d bring great children in this world. There’s more to life than spending every day working, and that more to life part is your kids. That’s the whole point. And I knew that we would be great raising kids together.
K: At that point, I stopped being just your wife. I started to be a mom, too. Did you feel a shift or feel left out?
M: I was OK with the shift, I didn’t feel that left out. My focused changed. Maybe my focus was more on you (when you were pregnant) while your focus was more on the baby. But we were even partners on that, it felt fine, it felt good.
One of the biggest changes is you are a lot more comfortable with poop and snot than you ever were before you had kids! Now you sling it off your hand and don't think twice about it. Before, even the thought of someone blowing their nose would gross you out! Your ability to handle grossness has improved dramatically.
K: After kids, what’s your favorite thing about our relationship?
M: Even though we don’t do it enough, I love when we get the babysitter and have our own date night. I feel like we appreciate the dinners that much more. When you can’t do it all the time, you know how special it is.
What is really great now is weekend mornings. When we’re both having coffee and just hanging out with our kids. We had that before, but that’s something that changed when we had kids. Everyone’s in a good mood, we’re talking and trying to figure out what to do that day. Hanging out in our pajamas.
K: Would you change anything?
M: That’s such a difficult question…no? I don’t really think in that way. I love the way things are.
K: More kids?
M: God no.
Kristine Rohwer resides in Omaha, Nebraska, with her husband, step-son, daughter, son and two neurotic dogs.