The other day, my husband came up behind me while I was chopping vegetables for dinner. He wrapped his arms around me and snuggled into my neck. I said, “Aw, hi babe. You ok?” He said, “Ya, I just don’t do this enough.”
But it occurred to me that one of our biggest challenges as parents isn’t just taking care of the kids, but taking care of our relationship too. Staying in touch, for Niagara Daddy and I, is an imperative part of our daily lives.
The daily routine that is our life together can get so repetitive, so mundane that we’re just too numb at the end of the day to take care of our marriage. We get up, go through the morning routine, go to work, then he picks up Niagara Girl and I pick up Baby G from daycare. We all meet at home for dinner, curl up for a couple of cartoons and snuggles then put the kids to bed. After that, I’ll work out or do some blogging and he’ll watch his favourite shows or read.
We’ve been together so long that we take each other for granted and are quite happy just doing our own thing each night. It seems almost impossible to think about each other when, by the end of the day, we’re exhausted.
Saying “I love you” seems arbitrary, sex is great if you’re not too tired, and even a kiss goodbye every morning can lose its luster after five years of diapers and tantrums. You’re just spent.
So how do you stay in touch with your spouse after having kids?
Date nights are a great way to stay in touch, but most times, on our date nights, we end up mostly talking about the kids.
The one thing thought that does keep us in touch with each other is touching. Don’t worry, I’m not trying to gross you out here. What I’m talking about is, well, a spousal sign language, is the best way to put it, I guess. All the little things that we did when we first got together, before we created the munchkins of mayhem.
A snuggle to the neck, a back scratch, a hand on the waist, fingers through the hair, a tug on a bra strap to make ‘the girls’ dance, whatever! It’s these little things that have become a way of communicating for Niagara Daddy and I. They’re our way of saying, “Hey, babe. We’re still doin’ it and I’m still in it all the way.”
It’s a language that he and I alone understand, and it transcends the busyness, the numbness, the endless din that comes with parenting.
Louder than a five year-old’s outside voice, but quieter than a baby’s snore, it’s the most subtle, simple thing, but it’s what makes the hard days easier and the easy days blissful.
How do you stay in touch now that you’re parents? Are date nights part of your weekly or monthly routine, or do you stay connected in other ways? I’d love to hear about what works for you and your spouse. Rock those comments below.
Subscribe to Niagara Mommy for more on staying connected with yourself and your spouse and you’ll see me hangin’ around your inbox:) Thanks for reading.