While I was still pregnant, my husband and I came up with an idea on how we could continue to nurture our marriage when the baby came and we would become immersed in parenthood. We heard so many stories about couples who had children and hadn’t been out alone together in months, sometimes years. We were determined to be different, so we made a pact to get out on monthly date nights.
And we did pretty good that first year. Sure, we missed a few here and there, but we had our date nights and it was always something I looked forward to. So, I couldn’t understand why I continued to feel a little distant from him and why I thought we were still struggling as a couple.
Our monthly date nights were fantastic, but it was the other 29 days that felt off. I was staying at home with our daughter and working part-time. By the time he came home from work, dinner was prepped and cleaned up, the baby was put to bed and we’d usually be too tired to do much more than sit on the couch in the evenings and watch TV.
Then a friend told me about a simple thing she and her partner do once a week that has been a game-changer in their marriage and encouraged me to try it out.
We started implementing Wine Time one evening a week at the start of the year. I’m pretty sure Wine Time is important enough to capitalize because it involves us getting to drink alcohol, but my emotional side would say it’s important enough because it’s been working wonders for us.
Every week, I send him a Wine Time calendar reminder for an evening that works best with our schedules and it prepares both of us that it’s happening. It’s important to our marriage and it holds us accountable, so we can’t use the excuse that we’re too tired.
After all, it’s my husband that will be there long after the kids have left home and started families and adventures of their own.
After the baby goes to bed, we pour some glasses of wine (or another drink of choice, but wine always seems to put me in a talking mood), keep the TV off, sit in comfortable chairs facing each other and just talk.
That’s it. We talk.
It’s our time to catch up on stories we didn’t have time to tell each other the other nights, talk about our day or our goals for our careers. Sometimes we even bring out relationship questions from online sites to start a conversation.
Whatever we’re talking about doesn’t matter—it’s the reconnection we get in the day-to-day routine that tides us over while we wait for that coveted date night once a month. Whatever is going on that week, no matter how busy or tired we are the rest of the week, I know we'll have that one night scheduled for just the two of us.
It’s not to say we haven’t moved that night around, or the baby decides to wake up and want to nurse immediately. That’s just part of parenthood. Of course we're flexible and willing to change things around, but we both know how important it is to prioritize being husband and wife before anything else.
After all, it’s my husband that will be there long after the kids have left home and started families and adventures of their own. Our marriage is the one thing I have to fight the hardest for—and if all we can get in this busy season of parenthood is a weekly glass of wine and a couch I can sink in to while chatting with the man whose been there through it all, I'll take it. And enjoy every minute of it.