They need so much attention, so much of us around the clock.
And I’d be lying if I said it hasn’t been a struggle, and that our relationship hasn’t been treated like my morning coffee: eagerly anticipated, much desired, but left for cold time and time again because other things keep screaming for my undivided focus.
But it started to get to me. I mean, who genuinely enjoys cold, forgotten coffee? No one. And what do you do when your coffee gets cold? You stick it in the microwave to warm it back up.
Lean in now, because I’ve got a secret for all you parents of littles. The microwave trick works for your relationship too.
But I get it. Sounds great in theory, but how do you really focus on your marriage when you’re running ragged around little bitties at home?
I’m not saying it can’t be done. You can squeeze in quality moments almost anywhere if you want it badly enough. A little intention goes a long way. A simple google search of at home date nights will send you down a rabbit hole of ideas, box subscriptions and printables designed for people like us — people in the trenches of parenthood.
And while they can be fantastic and life-giving, those moments are often brief and cut short by someone crying or the desperate desire to get to bed before someone starts crying.
So, for us, the secret to defeating a cold coffee relationship — to building a thriving marriage in the thick of raising little kids — is getting away from them.
Seriously. Getting out of the house regularly, and getting out of town occasionally, without our kids in tow.
A weekly, out-of-the-house date night isn’t realistic for us right now. But we do try to go at least once or twice a month. And now that we don’t have a newborn, we shoot for at least one, preferably two, adult-only overnight getaways a year.
And you guys, it’s been a total game changer.
Having something on the calendar to look forward to is a huge help in breaking through the monotony. It gives us a chance to be man and wife again, not just mom and dad. It allows us to have conversations that aren’t about our kids or interrupted by our kids. It lets us eat a full meal in peace, and occasionally, sleep in.
It refreshes our souls and allows us to slip back as man and wife — even temporarily — into easier days when things were simple and our relationship was fresh and always on the front burner.
It’s hot coffee.
So, if you’ve been drinking it cold for some time now, I feel ya. But please, for the love of Starbucks, put that stuff in the microwave, sister.
Save up for a babysitter, call in a favor from grandma, trade childcare with friends. Get out of town, or go down the block for a quick dinner. It doesn’t have to be extravagant, but I promise you, once you start making your relationship a priority again, consistently, you’ll be amazed at the difference it makes.
And if you’re in the deep, deep trenches, like the brand-new baby that you can’t possibly imagine leaving for a second trenches, hang on, girlfriend. Your day is coming.
So, here’s to hot coffee and hotter marriages as man and wife. Because life’s too short to let either one go cold.