I just finished a group Zoom with some of my fabulous Moms of adolescents. They’re heading into December swamped and exhausted. One of them just laughed as she told me, “I still have skeletons from Halloween hanging on my front door!” The notion of kids being home for longer than two weeks is completely overwhelming to them. The lack of structure, the endless meal prep, the nagging about kids not helping put their dishes in the dishwasher, the sibling squabbles. They’re drowning in chaos and when I suggested they set aside time for a date night with their partner, they laughed in my face.
Amidst all the holiday fatigue, we often forget about nurturing our relationship with our partner. We unconsciously say to ourselves: “If there’s one thing I can put on the back burner, it’s certainly that.” I’d like to argue that it’s actually the one thing to focus on as you move into the holidays. Remember something with me……The two of you fell in love and decided to start a family together. You enjoyed this person, you admired this person, and you saw qualities in this person that made you think you would like them by your side for the rest of your life. Sound familiar?
Believe it or not, this chapter of child-rearing comes in like a hurricane and then it goes. Your partnership is constant or at least it’s meant to be……Once the kids are taller than you, driving, going off to college, working in the adult world, and even thinking about their own marriages, guess who you are still brushing your teeth next to every night??
NURTURE YOUR MARRIAGE. Put each other first. Here’s what I dared to say to my group on Zoom this morning: Dare to love your partner more than your children. Can you believe I said that aloud? It’s not a very popular thing to utter, but I think it’s important. The two of you are meant to still be standing once the kids head out into the world. How will you possibly still like each other, let alone love each other if you ignore your relationship during the child-rearing phase?
Make the decision this December to prioritize your partnership–even just for one morning or afternoon. It doesn’t have to be a date night. It can be a date walk, a date breakfast, a date cup of coffee. Just give yourself permission to choose each other–even for thirty minutes if you can’t swing an hour. You will return to your family, your job, and yourself refreshed, anchored, and energized. Choose your partnership over your kids once in a while because I think you are in it for the long haul, right?