We were having one of those mornings. You know . . . the kind of morning where we overslept so everyone is grumpy and rushed. One kid spilled his orange juice, one kid can’t find his keys, one kid is crying in full sassy-drama mode. The cat puked on the carpet and the dogs are barking to go out. Stress levels are high and my husband and I are snappy and blaming each other for sleeping through the alarm. It was an ugly morning at our house – full of chaos, anger and frustration.
Suddenly, my husband comes over to me, grabs me by the shoulders and looks me in the eyes and says, “I need a day.” I sigh loudly and nod my head, agreeing with him.
“I need a day” has become our code phrase. It means we need a day together. Alone. Just the two of us. It means that we have let life and kids and work and schedules take over and we have lost sight of each other. It means we need a day to reconnect.
24 hours . . . that’s all. We take this day seriously and will do everything we can to make it happen . . . cancel appointments, take a day off work, hire a babysitter or drop the kids off at Grandma’s house. It’s not always easy, but we find the time for each other.
24 hours . . . It doesn’t really matter what we do. Sometimes we just stay home and have an all-day Netflix binge party with popcorn and candy. Sometimes we splurge for a night away in a hotel with room service. Sometimes we spend the day at the beach or go to the movies. Sometimes we literally sleep all day. The important thing is that it is just us. No kids, no pets, no work, no schedules, no interruptions.
Everywhere you look, people are talking about “self-care,” and that’s important . . . go to that yoga class, get a manicure and have a girl’s night out. But I also think that “relationship care” is important, too. You need time to focus on the “we”, the “us”, the two of you, your marriage.
24 hours . . . That’s all it takes for us to find each other again. To talk about our worries and the kids. To encourage each other. To cry and share our frustrations. To talk without being interrupted and listen without distractions. To pray with each other. To laugh and have fun and remember why we fell in love in the first place.
24 hours . . . to escape the stresses of life. To shut off the outside world and just focus on each other. We drink coffee in bed and sleep till noon. We eat dessert for breakfast and stay in our pajamas all day. We walk around the mall, take a hike or go to our favorite restaurant. It is all we need . . . 24 hours to hang the “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door.
Those 24 hours . . . they are precious to us. They are sacred. If one of us needs a day, then the other one makes it happen because our marriage is important to us.
We want to be that couple that still likes each other when our nest is empty and our mornings are quiet. We want to be that couple that grows old together and still dances in the kitchen. We want to be that couple that holds hands in the supermarket and always kisses each other good night. We want to be that couple that falls in love over and over again . . .
We don’t ever want to lose our spark, our passion or our love for one another. But marriage takes work and commitment. It is a choice every day to put each other first, to appreciate each other, to show each other that you care. Some days it is hard and the stresses of life consume us. But some days . . . all it takes is 24 hours.