Hi Moms! It’s Monday!
I’ve got a lot on my heart and mind this week that I’ll share soon, but today, I want to talk about something that comes up in my conversations with moms over and over again. Can you guess what it is?
I’ve been talking about the subject of marriage for many years and I want to touch on in today again for just a few minutes. I met a mom recently who was really struggling with her marriage relationship. It seemed that “too much water” had gone under the bridge—and she worried that she couldn’t find “That Girl” again. I get it.
Are you tired like this mom? I could so relate to her! I have gone through periods in my life that have absolutely defied my ability to catch up with my sleep, and it’s not just because I’m a busy homeschool mom! It’s motherhood in general! I don’t know about you, but having seven children turned me into a night owl for several years of my life. The children are only just beginning to sleep through the night (haha!) and it’s been twenty-two years!
My seventh child is now almost three years old and we’re just starting to come out of that but for a long time, nights were the only time when the house was quiet. It’s funny, as the kids get older they’ve switched a little bit! The teenagers want to stay up late and the little ones want to get up early (because they go to bed early) and what mom finds out is that there is no time for her on EITHER end of the day! Right?
I’ve ended up getting up earlier to get ahead of the children—but if my husband or teens need my attention at night, well, you see where I’m going. I haven’t had a good night’s sleep in 24 years! For a long time, nights were the time when I looked forward to unwinding and regrouping for the next day. I blamed it on the kids.
I wrote the first book that I published and have done much of my writing in the early hours of the day (as in midnight), and in fact, I wrote about this very thing in my first book, “The Busy Homeschool Mom’s Guide to Romance.” This book, by the way, is not just for homeschoolers. It’s for every mom who’s trying to balance the many demands on her time in a way that builds her family up.
Here’s an excerpt from that book on the importance of nurturing your marriage through seasons of extreme tiredness. See if you can relate. Keep in mind, I wrote this before I had a houseful of teens and middle schoolers and a toddler.
“At our house, nighttime is the only time of day when our house is quiet and I feel like I can think straight. I like to blame it on the kids. In fact, it’s late as I write this. The strangest things happen to me when the house is quiet. I can start to feel like my old self again. It’s the time I like to prepare for the next day, write a proverbial “to do” list or maybe read a book. (Or, get on Facebook. Just trying to keep it real.)
However, there have been many times in the evening when I have just sat down to relax and I hear the familiar sound of footsteps coming down the hall. ”Are you coming to bed?” The question made me bristle. I have to admit, I have occasionally thought to myself, “Sure I am! After you’re asleep!”
In fact, when all our children were babies this was a real struggle for me. Marriage can be very stressful when babies are little. If you’re a nursing mom and your baby is four months old or younger, you have my unwavering understanding. But don’t take your eyes off of what’s most important. One of satan’s most effective weapons against marriage is simple: to create a separateness between a husband and wife—and He’ll do it however he can.
Sex and intimacy in marriage is one area in which he can create a chasm between a husband and wife, whether it’s poor scheduling or poor prioritizing, anytime I notice that we are at odds with each other, if I step back and look at the big picture of our life, I will usually find that we are not spending enough time with each other. If you’re too tired for sex, it’s time to make some changes. Affection and intimacy seem to come more easily (as I’ve told many busy moms before) when I have priorities in line and I save the best part of me for my husband. As a matter of fact, I usually say, “Why don’t we do this more often?”
That’s just how forgetful I can be.
Don’t let your lack of energy or sleep come between you and your husband for long stretches of time. Engage in conversation. Let him know how you feel—and find out how he’s feeling too. Communicate. Prefer one another. It’s worth it.