Anniversaries: Should We Include The Kids?

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Today is my anniversary. Yay for me! Oh, and yay for my husband too. I guess he’s kind of involved.

Normally, its just two people involved in a marriage. But every step along the way, my husband and I have had another partner in this relationship. Our beautiful daughter Brenna is our official third wheel. And we’ve always been a tricycle.

Our relationship became “serious” when my husband met my daughter. She helped him to propose to me during a game of hide-and-seek. When we moved in together, hers was the first room we painted together. And she was the flower girl in our wedding. Really, our little girl has been a huge part of our romance.

Because I was a single mother, our wedding didn’t just create a married couple, it created a family. We’ve always seen it that way. So I feel a little guilty sending our daughter off to my parents to celebrate our anniversary. After all, it just as much hers as it is mine.

Now don’t get me wrong, I know that parents need alone time. I realize that we need to put energy into being good partners, just like we put energy into being good mothers. My husband and I have date nights. We have interests that we don’t always include our child in. Parents must have a life outside of their kids, for the sake of everyone’s sanity.

I’m just not sure that our anniversary needs to be a private engagement. Maybe it should be more of a family celebration.

So this year, instead of dinner and a movie and paying a high schooler to sit around and eat pizza with our daughter, maybe we’ll try one of these instead.

  • A trip to the zoo. Our first family outing was the zoo. It was how my daughter and my husband met each other. It’s still her favorite trip.
  • A family camping trip. What can I say? We’re an outdoorsy bunch. But you get a hold lot of bonding time when you all share a tent.
  • Cuddle time! In my personal opinion, there is nothing cozier than my husband, my daughter, a Disney movie and our couch. Maybe we’ll even let the dogs cuddle up. But add a pepperoni pizza and some ice cream to that equation and it becomes the most relaxing evening I could ever imagine.
  • Family date night.As long as we keep the movie PG, there’s really nothing so exciting about our normal date nights that we couldn’t bring the little one along. She’s past that awful-restaurant-screaming phase.

I know that a marriage is about two people making a commitment to each other. But I also know that every marriage is different. Ours has always included our little girl, every step of the way. It’s the only way that it worked for me, as a single mother. So I guess I feel like our anniversary is a celebration for all of us. We’re pretty fortunate that it worked out so wonderfully.

(Photo: Thinkstock)