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Full Time, All the Time

with Britt Reints

Forget the 9 to 5; the demands of a working mom aren’t limited by a time clock. Full Time, All the Time is a blog about balancing the many roles of a modern woman - and maintaining your wellbeing while doing it. I am a writer, mother, wife, sister, daughter, friend and sometimes volunteer living in Pittsburgh. Oh, and I think you look pretty today.

You can also find Britt on Twitter and at

When do you talk to your spouse?

Categories: balance, relationships


The summer break is over, our children are home from vacation, and the family is officially back into the routine of a dual income household with two school aged children.

Like most families, we do what we have to do to get everything done.  My husband and I rely on organizational systems that make sense for us, make compromises about what hast to get done and what can wait for another day, and practice a whole lot of cooperation in order to keep everything spinning.

You know what we don’t do?


I mean, sure, we exchange words.  Half sentences.  We have conversations at the dinner table about how everyone’s day was.  We begin discussions as one of us is coming or just before the other has to get going.  But sit down, detailed, decision making talks?

It seems that those disappeared the minute both kids stepped back into the house.  If it hadn’t been for their extended vacation at their grandparents’ houses, I may not have even noticed the difference between adult conversation and this communication dance that we normally do.  I’m kind of impressed that we’ve been able to make life changing decisions over the last 10 years this way!

But I also miss talking.

i seem to recall a time in our marriage when we talked in our bed, just before falling asleep.  I’ve heard other couples say that this is when and where most of their adult conversations occur.  However, recently I’ve found that two people who work full time are most interested in one thing when they finally climb into bed at night: sleep.  There are many nights that one of us will start talking, only to have the other (yes, ok, usually me) drift off mid-sentence.

We also used to do a lot of chatting in the car.  But now we have a ten year old who is keenly interested in listening and participating in every discussion that occurs within ear shot of him.  And while that is great for interacting with our child, it’s also one less opportunity for us to talk as spouses instead of parents.  I never realized how much I got out of those long naps in the car!

While we haven’t adjusted (yet) to this year’s new schedule, I do know that we must.  Finding time to talk to one another strengthens our relationship, makes us happier individuals, improves our parenting, and helps us each succeed in our careers.  And, you know, it’s nice to just be able to talk to my husband once in a while.

Do you and your significant other, if you have one, find time to talk?  Really talk?  And if so… when?  And if not… do you miss it?

Photo by Britt Reints.

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6 comments so far...

  • Good question. We talk on date night. We talk during the day. We text. But we could talk more. And we have the same problem with our son - he hears EVERYTHING.

    Finn  |  August 18th, 2010 at 9:25 am

  • We often talk at night before bed as well as throughout the day. We also talk at dinner, as long as its not a secret or surprise from the kids. We also talk during car trips, usually the kids are listening to a movie.

    elz  |  August 18th, 2010 at 1:24 pm

  • Phone… dont laught just yet. Serioously the phone.
    My daughter and then our evenings keeps us busy from just sitting down and chatting. So while he drives in the morning to work, and I am commuting to work, we talk.
    When he drives back home and my daughter is tucked away in bed… we talk. We make key decisions on the phone. We make plans on the phone.

    Adn if we cant talk.. we email!

    Garima  |  August 18th, 2010 at 1:56 pm

  • I don’t think my husband and I have talked since we got married a year ago…now we have been living together for 6 years….and last year I became a Mommy again after 15 years….so while the older ones have their life going on…the ten month old is our new life….most of the time…if one or the other tries to start a conversation…we just wind up in a heated discussion….so we just don’t talk….not a good thing to be confessing…but it is what it is at this time…..we talked often before last year…did we talk enough? I would say…No….as we were still working full time jobs then…and I was still raising two teenagers….which one graduates this year….so I’ll only have one in diapers and one in school…HA HA….pretty crazy sounding when you put it that way….anyways….just chiming in…thanks

    Wronda  |  August 19th, 2010 at 11:07 am

  • We don’t do date night yet, but we swear we’ll work one out when the younger one turns 1. I think.

    We talk over dinner, we call each other on the way home, and we do sometimes chat in bed. That’s a last resort, as there are at least two other activities we’d rather engage in in that location, but for the most part, we do manage to communicate a lot. Texting and cell phones in general help a lot, as does google chat.

    Meg  |  August 20th, 2010 at 2:21 pm

  • My husband and I spend little time talking about things that will enrich our lives and marriage. Most of our conversations center around business or the kids. We both recognize this and would love to create more time to chat about anything other than bills and kids. We recently had date night and promised not to talk about the kids. I can’t tell you how many times we slipped! Any suggestions for creating time and topics?

    Kim  |  August 22nd, 2010 at 9:13 pm

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