So God Made a Mother is Here! 🎉

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

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

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.

Your Marriage Can’t Sit in a Laundry Basket without Getting a Few Wrinkles

In: Faith, Marriage
Couple doing laundry in front of washing machine

Bring on the bottled scent of fresh mountain breeze and seaside lavender. I’ll happily perform the swivel dance of transferring clothes from washer to dryer. I’ll hang those darlings with delicate personalities to gently air dry. I don’t mind the doing part. I’ll do laundry ’til the cows come home. It’s the folding part that I tend to put off. The cows have come home and gone to pasture several times, and that basket of clothes is most likely still sitting there developing more wrinkles than a baby bulldog.  And don’t even get me started on ironing. Let’s just say...

Keep Reading

To the Woman Who Stole My Husband

In: Living, Marriage
Woman looking off into distance, viewed from behind in a field

A letter to the woman who took my husband of 19 years, It’s been a little over two years now since you came in and like a thief in the night, took what I held dearest to me. My husband. Rather, that’s how I saw it.  I’ll never forget finding out about you, and you would be just another one he’d found. I was bound and determined to tell you to go away, and you would listen.  But you didn’t.  And he chose you over our newborn baby girl and four other children I had with him during the 20...

Keep Reading

His Affair and Our Divorce Still Make Me Cry

In: Living, Marriage
Sad woman sitting on floor by window

It’s a random Thursday. I’ve been crying all day. I can hear the students at my daughter’s elementary school up the block squealing, they must be outside for recess. It’s February and while the morning was gray and cold, it’s now almost 60 and sunny. Not normal for February in New Jersey. But to be honest, for over a year now my entire life has been anything but normal.  You see, 13 months ago my then-husband decided to come clean about the affair I had suspected he was having. He slowly walked down the stairs as our only daughter was...

Keep Reading

A Daddy Is Loved and Needed

In: Living, Marriage
Dad helping daughter push lawnmower, color photo

My daughter has severe anxiety when my husband has business trips out of town. When bedtime hits, she just cries and cries. She doesn’t quite understand why she’s scared or why she’s sad or why she feels like it’s scarier without Daddy, but I understand. As I comforted her tonight I got to thinking about how much daddies do for their children without even realizing it.  My daughter knows Daddy and Mommy are her protectors, but when Daddy is gone she can sense the tension I have from having all of the nighttime protector duties on my shoulders. Even though...

Keep Reading

This Second Love Is Worth It All

In: Marriage
Man and woman smiling, color photo

Your second love . . . the one that came after your first love ended in divorce after 22 years. That love is completely different from the first.  I married my high school sweetheart. Back 20-something years ago, I thought he hung the moon and everything in between. But the red flags I turned my head to then—they could have all decorated a carnival very nicely.  When my marriage ended after baby number five was born, I didn’t know how life would ever go on again for me. I sat there crying in disbelief—I could never love again. He was...

Keep Reading

I’m Happy for You But I’m Still Grieving: Remarriage after Loss

In: Grief, Grown Children, Loss, Marriage
Coupe holding hands at wedding, close up black and white image

“I take you for my lawful wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health, until death does us part.” Remarriage is beautiful and redemptive. Remarriage proves that second chances are possible and that love doesn’t come in one specific shape or size. Remarriage is the embrace of hope as much as it is of love. Remarriage shows that love is still possible through heartbreak. But let’s face it, when you aren’t the one remarrying, remarriage can be a little awkward. Add in that you are the progeny...

Keep Reading

They Rarely Ask, but Dads Need Breaks Too

In: Marriage, Motherhood
Daddy pulling wagon with kids over bridge, color photo

As a stay-at-home mom of two under five, there is one text I often look forward to during the week from my husband: Hey, babe. I’m headed home. I muttered, “Oh, thank goodness,” when his text popped up on my phone. It was a wait by the window to watch him pull in so I can get a head start on my alone time kind of day. He pulled into the driveway but didn’t immediately come in. After several minutes, he walked through the door and was met by an exasperated wife and two screaming children. I gave him a...

Keep Reading

You’re the One I Want to Raise My Babies with

In: Baby, Marriage
Mom and dad holding young daughter kiss

We didn’t realize the far-reaching effects of having our first child. We dreamed, planned, and imagined what our future life would be like with our daughter. What we couldn’t begin to understand is how much time would be taken away from us as a team. Our love of hiking still exists. Our love of travel still exists. Our love of quietly watching a movie still exists. But our priorities have shifted to spending as much time with our baby as possible. RELATED: Having a Baby Changes Everything in Marriage Parenting can be all-consuming. It takes every spare breath, every bit...

Keep Reading

I Married My Best Friend So I’ll Never Walk Alone

In: Marriage
Man and woman touch foreheads

I called and told you she wasn’t doing well. I had to go to see her and that meant I wouldn’t be available for daycare pick-up and probably wouldn’t make it home for dinner. You said okay. I went to her, saw my family, and sat for a while. Meanwhile, you left work. You planned dinner, picked up the kids, talked to the teacher. After driving home, you cooked dinner, as you always do. Eventually, you sent me a text to ask how she was doing, how I was doing. As I stopped for a quick dinner with my sister,...

Keep Reading

I Wish Someone Would Have Told Me It’s Okay to Go to Bed Angry

In: Marriage
Couple with backs to each other in bed looking at phones

When my husband and I got married at the very young age of 22, I remember receiving a lot of advice from family members. One of the most common pieces of advice we received was, “Don’t go to bed angry.” As a marriage and family therapist—and someone who has been married for over a decade—I can say: It is okay to go to bed angry with your partner. Actually, in some instances it is ideal.  Disagreements are part of healthy relationships, and disagreements in marriages can be wonderful opportunities for growth. Early in our marriage my husband and I cycled...

Keep Reading