I don’t know what last night was like for you. If you have kids, then my guess is… you might not have spent the entire evening/night alone with your husband in your bed. You probably didn’t go to sleep at a reasonable hour and wake up rested after experiencing zero disruptions. (And if you did, write down all of your magic tricks and email me.)
My guess is… you were either up feeding a baby, or soothing a teething toddler, or staying for “just five more minutes” with that little one who couldn’t fall asleep. You might have started the night with someone in bed with you. You might have had someone crawl into the middle of the bed with you. You might have even had multiple someones in bed with you. Night time looks so different once we are parents.
It often looks… crowded.
And the night is really just an extension of the day. Do you know what I mean? So much of the time that we spend with our spouse during the day there are still kids in the middle. For example, I’m reading a book with my first grader, while my husband is changing the baby’s diaper. I’m cooking dinner, and my husband is finishing giving our kids an early bath. We are together… but not… together.
I fully recognize that this might not be true in every home. But for us, in this stage of life, alone time is uncommon.
And so when those rare moments come, and we are finally alone with each other, being alone together sometimes feels… awkward. When we haven’t connected during the day, it seems harder to connect at night. I don’t think I have to spell it out here, but physical intimacy doesn’t seem to come as naturally when we haven’t had a chance to experience emotional intimacy during the day. I don’t think this only applies to couples with children, but parenthood seems to magnify this truth.
Marriage after children requires intentional attention. It requires us to make time and put in purposeful effort to stay connected.
And that is why touching my husband throughout the day whenever I think of it (by simply putting my hand on his, or putting my arm around his waist, or giving him a kiss just because) has made a huge difference in our marriage. It’s a physical connection that says more than “I want to touch you.”
“I still see you, and you still have my attention.”
“I want to be together in the middle of everything else.”
“I am here with you, and I love you.”
It isn’t an intimate touch, but it allows us to emotionally invest so that if the opportunity for intimacy comes later, it isn’t awkward. It is natural. It is propelled by the love we have experienced throughout the day.
Look, I know that finding the balance between marriage and motherhood seems like an overwhelming task some days. Giving our husbands the attention they deserve when we have babies who demand it, or children who require it isn’t always possible. The reality is… there is only so much of us to go around.
But looking for the opportunities to let our husbands know that we see them in the middle of the day is a great place to invest our time. And it might be just as simple as holding our husbands’ hands.
What about you? Is this true at your house too?
I would love to introduce you to my newest book that will release this January. Love Unending: Rediscovering Your Marriage in the Midst of Motherhood. You can preorder today to make sure and reserve your copy! Here’s the info from the back cover.
Since becoming a mom, do you ever feel like your marriage no longer receives the attention it needs to thrive? Do you ever struggle to balance your roles of being both a momma and a wife? Do you ever wonder how you’re supposed to re-center your heart on your husband when you are so busy with everything else?
Those feelings we experienced in the first days of love and marriage often become buried beneath hurried life, active children, and mountains of bills and laundry. We wonder where the romance went when kids became a part of our love story. Maybe you’ve questioned and perhaps even worried if you’ll ever again experience love as you did in the beginning—that newness of what it meant to be fully caught up in one another. But what if you could rekindle that fresh sort of love? What if there was a secret to love unending?
For the next twenty-one days, journey with Becky Thompson to remember what life was like when you first fell in love with your husband. Each daily challenge, reflection, and prayer will refocus your attention, re-center your heart, reignite the romance, and help you rediscover your marriage in the midst of motherhood.
Let Love Unending guide you step by step as you realize that sometimes the best way forward is to go back to the beginning.