I consider my relationship with my partner undoubtedly solid. We aren’t spared from the typical, nit-picky disputes, but we’re pros at navigating even the most difficult of conflicts. But even on our best days, we are busy trying to parent two very young children. Children who take a lot of our time, energy, and patience – leaving very few moments for each other.
Maybe “saved” is too strong a word for what actually happened, but it DID make a significant impact on my relationship.
So gather round boys and girls, and let Mother White Claw tell you a tale:
It all started when I stumbled upon an intriguing Facebook marketplace listing. Someone was giving away a hot tub. *Note: a real one. The seller clearly stated that this was a ‘first come, first serve’ situation, and given the average price of a hot tub, it was picked up almost immediately.
With no chance at snagging a free hot tub, I was left with only my minute-old dream of owning one.
Instead of wallowing in despair, I did what any impulse shopper would do: I immediately took to the internet. My search for ‘inexpensive hot tubs’ landed me into a magical world I never knew existed.
INFLATABLE. HOT. TUBS.
It seemed too good to be true! As I pitched the idea to my husband and catching him up on my heart’s latest burning desire, I could see his face saying, “Oh boy… Here we go.” This is the typical reaction I get when I suggest some type of outrageous purchase or idea. In our bank account’s defense, my outlandish desires tend to leave almost as quickly as they appear.
*Follow me for more budgeting tips and tricks! Just kidding; definitely don’t do that.
A quick google search showed that my local Walmart sold them, but only had three left in stock. THREE! My impulsivity convinced me that surely this limited inventory would not last long. I pleaded my case and was just as shocked as any when my partner agreed to the idea.
“Add to cart.”
We laughed and laughed each time a friend or family member would respond with, “you bought WHAT?” I had a hard time convincing my Mother-in-law that this new structure would tie in perfectly with our pottery barn chairs and cushions. We were both so amused by the ridiculousness of our purchase and couldn’t wait to get home and all set everything up. I’ll admit I didn’t have the highest expectations for our new gadget. I expected this to be, essentially, an oversized inflatable kid’s pool.
But it turned out to be everything and more. So much more.
This bad boy was the real deal! It had full-blown jets, two filters, and the ever so necessary (ever so classy) underwater LED lights. Originally, the plan was to only inflate and fill it as needed, but we quickly realized there were very few nights that it wasn’t needed. It wasn’t long before we were all in on our new lifestyle. We bought cupholders, Thermacell mosquito traps, and even string lights to hang that created a lovely ambiance.
And so, an inflatable hot tub became a permanent structure amongst our patio decor…
For the first couple of months, we spent almost every night soaking under the night sky. It was something we both genuinely looked forward to. Something for just us. Something that didn’t involve any noise from the outside world. There were very few opportunities for life’s typical distractions. We left the to-do list of household tasks inside, and the water provided a cell-phone free zone that we so desperately needed. Spending time in such close parameters, with nothing but each other’s company, really helped us feel grounded and present in the current moment.
The first few nights felt like a first date. We had been so busy tag-teaming diapers that we were basically in survival mode. Finding time to connect with your partner after a long day of parenting is no easy feat. This air-filled oasis provided a buffer, of sorts, between us and the rest of the world.
“It was in that stillness that we were able to reignite our relationship with each other.”
As time went on, the conversations started to flow much easier. There were some nights we’d simply talk about our day or other minuscule topics, but we had so many special nights of truly meaningful, in-depth conversations.
Some of our favorite nights were when a storm would roll in. Sitting back, listening to the rain and thunder, feeling the cool autumn breeze; time felt like it was standing still. It was in that stillness that we were able to reignite our relationship with each other.
I’m not suggesting that purchasing an inflatable hot tub is the key to strengthening a marriage, but in our case, it provided a sanctuary for us to connect and focus on each other. Still today, it is a place we retreat to when life starts throwing us out of sync.
I hope you have discovered what your sanctuary is; someplace that lets you escape from the noise and just reconnect and recharge.
If not, might I suggest an inflatable hot tub?