Have you ever noticed that days go by quickly? Sure, when you’re in the thick of them they can take forever, but really once you make it to bedtime it seems like the day blurred past. You know that most likely you’ll wake up early and do it all over again the next day. You look at the clock and wonder, how is it already time to start over? Your weary mind and tired body may totally be ready to hit the hay, but a large part of you will feel like you didn’t complete half of the things you intended. Commonly I say that there simply isn’t enough hours in the day.
As a mother, whether you work outside the home, or within, you’ll feel like you’re pulled in a hundred different directions, like your energies must be divided, and like your focus must be directed towards the priorities. So what are your priorities?
The kids, right?
Last night after a long day of homeschooling, housework, appointments, painting my daughter’s bedroom, and let’s not forget, simply keeping little people alive, I felt ready for bed by the time it rolled around. I had to get up early to go to work as a nurse in the morning, and I gathered up my youngest to rock her to sleep before I crashed. She kissed her daddy goodnight, and I did too, knowing he’d be up for a while yet. He stopped what he was doing in the face of my kiss, wrapped his arms around me, and held me tightly against him.
“We need to make room for some alone time tomorrow night,” he whispered in my ear, and I couldn’t agree more.
I knew that one day I wouldn’t be bone tired from picking up the same messes over and over. One day I wouldn’t be woken several times through the night by a baby. Eventually my days wouldn’t be full with baths, multiple mealtimes, and training them up the way they should go. In fact, before I knew it we’d be standing at the airport or a college dorm hallway with tearful goodbyes, and as we drove home together, just the two of us, we’d need to have something to talk about. We’d need to have that same comfortable conversation that comes when you’re in love. We’d require that playful banter, no matter our age, and we would need the strength of one another to transverse an empty nest just like we needed it now to make it through teething, tantrums, and tap lessons.
As a mother so much of my energy could be expended on my children that it would be easy to have none left for my spouse. I could easily get so wrapped up in this wonderful and exhausting life of a mother that I forgot that my main job was actually that of a wife. When I entered the marriage covenant with my husband I had made a commitment to him, we had started our family with just us two, and when the children were grown and on their own it would be just us again. I would hope I had spent the years wisely not only investing my time in my daughters, but also investing it in the helpmate God had given me to enjoy the journey of life with.
We don’t always get date night. I mean, some things are really challenging. But we do manage to take time for each other every day. Whether it’s a small love note I leave before I head out the door first, or it’s the sweet text messages he sends throughout the day to tell me he misses me, we use simple gestures to make the other feel loved and special. We stay up late talking, even when we’re beat, and if I’m especially tired I’ll just lay my head on his lap to be near him. We hug deeply, make eye contact often, listen to what the other has to say, but also to the things that go unsaid. We put the other first, remain slow to anger, and apologize quickly. We love the children deeply, but we don’t forget that we loved one another first.
And we make the alone time together happen!