The thing about babies is they take up all the time. And the snuggles, and the emotional energy and the sleeping hours and the patience and more or less everything else that you had to offer your spouse before becoming three.
Staying connected to your fellow babymaker gets tricky once the babe (or two or three) steps into the spotlight. After the craziness of the immediate post-birth season, a more legitimate rhythm is possible, and time and energy should open up a bit. But we mommas can be super honest-- until your babies are able to dress and feed themselves, being intentional about time with your spouse can feel about as realistic as walking on the moon.
For those of us balancing all the things, we need some kind of connection, a solution of sorts, to keep this marriage thing afloat until we can come up for air.
Enter speed dating.
What is speed dating? And what does it require?
Ten minutes. That’s it. Nothing fancy, nothing more. Ten minutes to transform and refresh your marriage.
1. No distractions. Turn OFF that phone, no other people needing you at that second, no TV. Just the two of you.
2. Look at each other. Directly, face to face. Look into each others eyes. If you've been parenting a while, you’ll be surprised to realize how long it’s been since you’ve done this.
3. Touch. Hold hands, stroke hair, scratch arms. Some sort of loving contact.
4. No stress. These ten minutes are not the time to bring up the things your spouse needs to change, or discuss the bills and other items on the “to-do” list. Keep annoyance and frustration out of this sacred space. Last thing? Don’t talk about the kids.
5. Talk. Learn about each other. Talk about what you’re grateful for, what you need, what you dream of, what you admire about each other. Talk about the great things you see in the other persons parenting. Play 20 questions. Get to know each other again.
HOW TO: Put the timer on. Do the above for ten minutes.
Do this daily, forever- or at least until you have more than ten minutes again.
Want to spice it up?
- Make coffee (or other favorite beverage) for you to share during your speed date.
- If you won’t see your spouse that day, take those ten minutes to write a love note. Better yet, write a series of small notes- and put them in places where he/she will find them.
- Sit somewhere fun. The roof, the porch, a blanket on the grass… figure out a fun and quick location.
- Sometimes do other things: A ten-minute board game, exchange back rubs, read romantic poems to each other, whatever. The point is connection without distractions.
- If you speed date daily, once in a while get sexy with it. Ten minutes is plenty of time nowadays. :)
How can this save a marraige?
These ten minutes a day add up, good reader. Marriage through baby-raising and all the life that goes with it is about quality over quantity. Without quality time, drift can happen silently and almost invisibly, until you're miles apart. These ten minutes, done faithfully every day- can transform your relationship and keep you afloat through some otherwise incredibly tough years.
What do you do for your speed-dates?