If I were to mock up a list of household priorities in a pandemic, honestly, it would go something like this: kids, work, food, sleep, marriage. But it goes without saying, pandemic or not, putting your relationship last never (ever) goes well. Still, what do you do when the two of you are time-strapped to a point that you’re lucky if you can spare 30 minutes together to strategize about potty training, let alone carve out mutual availability to catch up on Mare of Easttown? (Guilty.)
But here’s the rub: A lack of communication that persists—or communication that pertains only to managing life’s logistics (cue that potty training chat)—does not a happy marriage make. That said, there’s still laundry (and taxes, ugh) to do, toddler meals to prep and work that, unfortunately, trickles into the evening hours due to unreliable childcare during this time.
So, I asked my therapist: How could my husband and I find a way to fake a leisurely attitude and come together to say, ‘hi! how are you?!’ once a day when we’re both up against a persistent time deficit? He suggested what’s turned out to be a marriage-saving idea. Enter the half glass of wine.
It stemmed from a conversation about the post-workday rush. Under normal circumstances, the time after the kids go to bed is precious—a moment to come together, catch up and decompress. Right now, it feels more like our chance to recalibrate on the backlog of tasks (work, texts, general life organization) that fell through the cracks during the day.