So God Made a Teacher Collection (Sale!) ➔

Love in this stage of parenting littles looks different than it used to.

It’s not the same as it once was, and sometimes, it’s hard to even find it at all if I’m being perfectly honest. There are no firecrackers to announce it is there; this is the season of love that tiptoes ever so gently that it can almost go by unnoticed.

Raising babies is hard. Little hands and little feet and little tooshes and BIG emotions, all around. Sometimes, in the sheer exhaustion of it all, love for our spouse finds itself well down the priority list. That’s not how it should be, but sometimes it just is.

Love in this stage of parenting is all about the little things. There are no romantic trips away or fancy dinners at swanky restaurants or expensive dresses or overseas vacations. Those big things may come one day, but they are not a part of our reality right now.

No, love doesn’t look all that fancy in this stage. 

Love in this stage of parenting looks like waking up to the smell of fresh coffee, knowing he has a mug waiting for you. It looks like letting the other spouse sleep in for a few extra winks (because who are we kidding, nobody gets a proper sleep in when there are LOUD littles in the house). It looks like offering the last piece of toast because neither of you remembered to get a fresh loaf and there simply isn’t enough to go around. Love in this season is you going without so the other one can be happy. 

Love in this stage looks like tag-teaming. Coming to the rescue when you see your spouse flailing in parenting. It looks like taking on the extra load yourself to ease theirs, even when your hands are already full, too. It looks like biting your tongue instead of entering into an argument, even when you know you would be right. It’s choosing to be on the same team. It’s cheering the other one on. It’s a gentle hand on the shoulder with an encouraging word. 

Love looks like filling up the car with gas when you know your spouse has a big drive ahead. It’s cleaning up the dinner mess and wiping dirty benches even when you’re exhausted, just so the other person can relax. It looks like putting fresh sheets on the bed even when you weren’t the one who took the old ones off. 

Love in this stage looks like collapsing on the couch once the kids are in bed, both of you utterly spent for the day yet happy to spend a few more hours just sitting. Sometimes on your phone, sometimes watching a movie, sometimes on the same couch, sometimes on separate couches—whatever the arrangement, it’s always together.

Love in this stage of parenting looks like glancing in each other’s eyes and knowing, without a word, what the other is thinking. It is knowing someone so closely and intimately, which is comforting and infuriating, all at the same time. It’s knowing this is the person you have trusted with your entire life and you wouldn’t have it any other way but you still get so annoyed that he can’t put his clothes in the laundry basket. Or change the empty toilet roll. Or put his dishes in the dishwasher. But, whatever. 

Love in this season is not so much about showy, over-the-top romance. It’s not proclaiming your undying affection for each other from the rooftops. It’s more like being out in the deep together, both being swayed by the turbulent current, yet still throwing out a lifeline for each other. In this season, love doesn’t come bounding in noisily, but rather tiptoes in gently. It’s passing each other in the hallway, each of you on a mission to tend to pressing needs, but knowing that you’re in this together. It’s remembering that you’re on the same team, even though at times it doesn’t feel that way.

Love in this season looks little sometimes. But it’s only because it’s found in the little things. This parenting gig is rough—it’s exhausting with an exhaustion that seeps deep into your bones. But the quiet love found in this season is not a small thing at all, it’s what helps us get through. And as parents, we understand that little things can be the most important things of all. Just like Winnie the Pooh says: “Sometimes,” said Pooh, “the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.”

You may also like:

Here We Are, My Love, In the Season of Parenting Little Ones

We’re In a Season of Life Right Now Where Our Marriage isn’t About Romance, it’s About Remembering Us

To My Husband—I Don’t Say It Enough: Thank You For Being Our Everything

Sina Steele

Sina is a wife, mom and creative from New Zealand. Along with raising her daughters, she enjoys working from home in social media, design and writing. She serves alongside her husband at a Christian missions-training college in New Zealand. She loves encouraging women to step out in faith, and you can find her writing ministry over at Her Mustard Faith.

Dear Husband, I Love This Stage of Life With You

In: Marriage
Happy family of four

Dear husband, It’s no secret our love story has been long and bumpy. We have grown apart and back again many times throughout the years. But now we are entering a different time in our lives. Our children are no longer babies—they wouldn’t even be considered toddlers. I am loving this time with you. A time where we have more freedom to be silly, to play, to travel, and just sit with each other. The days before this were long. They were rocky. They were so stressful. RELATED: Dear Husband, There is a Table Waiting For Us There was never...

Keep Reading

Dear Husband, I’m Sorry for Trying to Change You

In: Marriage
Man and woman hug

Dear husband, I don’t know why it has taken me this long to put words to paper and compose this letter to you. Was it ignorance? Or, was it pride? You’d say the latter, but I know it was the former. If truth be told, I can only claim partial ignorance. I knew for a long time what I was doing but I thought it was acceptable, harmless, no big deal. It was something all wives did after marriage—I wasn’t the only one.  I didn’t need to feel guilty about it. In fact, I felt justified in my actions. I...

Keep Reading

Trying To Conceive Almost Ruined Our Marriage

In: Baby, Marriage, Motherhood
Man and woman back to back on bed

“I know it’s not true, but I feel like you don’t love me anymore.” My husband’s words caused me to freeze in my tracks. I had been on my way out the door, but as soon as those words were uttered, I knew I wasn’t going anywhere. The words hung in the air, and I held my breath, mind racing. What could I possibly say to that? I slowly turned around, silently waiting for my husband to continue. Which he did. “I feel like you don’t want to have sex with me anymore.” I cringed internally. Clearly, I wasn’t the...

Keep Reading

50 Years Down, So Much More Love to Go

In: Marriage
couple on anniversary smiling

Our kids haven’t always listened to us—that’s the way it is with kids. I was worried they wouldn’t listen this time either, whether from a feeling they “owed” us a 50th anniversary celebration, or just a certainty that we would really like a big, splashy earth-shattering remembrance of the date and we were just pretending to be the two people we are and John wouldn’t actually walk out of a celebration he had asked them repeatedly not to force on us. RELATED: Our Anniversary Doesn’t Matter—Our Marriage Does We asked that they use the money they would have spent to...

Keep Reading

So You’re Not the Fun Parent…So What?

In: Kids, Marriage, Motherhood
Woman reading book while two play in background

I’m not the fun parent in our household. Of course, this comes as no surprise to me but it still stung when my 8-year-old said to me rather bluntly the other night, “Daddy’s way more fun than you.” And while the rational part of my brain knows better than to take this kind of comment to heart, my super-sensitive, highly emotional primitive brain did the exact opposite and ran with it.  Daddy is the more fun parent. I’m the stricter, more rigid, and more uptight parent. I’m not the type of parent who, in the spur of the moment, will...

Keep Reading

We’re Learning to Be Just the Two of Us (And It’s Fun!)

In: Grown Children, Marriage, Motherhood
Couple cooking in kitchen

My husband and I have been married for 23 years and we have never spontaneously gone four hours away to anything, much less a concert.  When we got married, we both brought daughters into the marriage, and three years later, we had a son. We were a family of five. In our 23 years of marriage, it had never been just the two of us. There were always ballgames, concerts, school awards, etc that kept us busy and split between two places if not three. After the girls both left the house for college, we still had our son. While...

Keep Reading

In This Stage of Marriage, it Feels Like We’re Roommates Who Share the Same Kids

In: Faith, Marriage
Distant couple on phones in bed

How do you get it back? How do you get back the love you once had? Everyone told me marriage was hard and having kids was hard, but I had no idea it would be this hard. I thought everyone was lying because our relationship was solid before marriage. We were best friends. Some days I feel like we’re roommates who share the same kids. It disgusts me even to say that, but it’s the truth. Marriage is hard and has ugly sides to it that everyone seems afraid to talk about. RELATED: Keep Showing Up Even When Marriage is...

Keep Reading

Oops, We Forgot to Have Sex This Summer

In: Marriage, Motherhood
Couple asleep on couch

It’s summer! The season of bikinis and pool parties and cocktails on the back deck. It’s time to wear your cute outfits and stay up late and take romantic spur-of-the-moment trips. . . unless you’re a mom like me. For me, summer is a time of zero privacy because my kids are home all the time. It’s a time of total exhaustion as kids are staying up later than ever because the sun is still up at 10 p.m. “Date nights” are sharing a snow cone while watching a kid’s softball game or falling asleep on the couch while the...

Keep Reading

Couples Therapy Saved Our Marriage

In: Marriage
Couple sitting on couch

My husband and I have been married for 13 years, but we almost didn’t make it past eight.   Flashback to 2017.  I was a (somewhat) young mother of three, working from home and spending 100% of my time with our kids when they weren’t in school while my husband worked full time. We were busy, and we didn’t always have a lot of time for each other, but I just assumed that’s how it is when you have young kids. RELATED: Here We Are, My Love, In the Season of Parenting Little Ones On a random Tuesday in September, I...

Keep Reading

Remember What It Was like When It Was Just the Two of Us?

In: Marriage
Young couple walking down street at night

It was 11 p.m. at night and the weekend trip was still a month and a half away, but I was already envisioning myself walking down the picturesque streets, caramel macchiato in hand, strolling along at a leisurely pace when it hit me . . .  Guilt. The feeling caused by a harmless little comment—a harmless little question rather—but it was enough to snap me out of my reverie. “Wouldn’t you miss the kids?” “Of course, I would,” I said it out loud, annunciating each word as I contemplated if I would actually miss my kids or not. They’ll be fine!...

Keep Reading

Get our FREE phone wallpaper to encourage you as the new school year begins

It's bittersweet for a mother to watch her child grow—but you both are ready to soar.