Hours blend into days, days into weeks and before you know it, you are turning the page in your calendar.

Mr. Bueller was right, life does move pretty fast.

I find myself living in the fast lane these days and I don’t always pump the breaks to stop and look around. Between play dates, appointments and nap schedules, my weeks run themselves and I go into autopilot mode, moving from one event to the next.

Raising two tiny humans is exhausting.

However, while I am pouring every ounce I have into making sure they have everything they need, I am neglecting another very important relationship — the one with their dad. Everyone warned us it would happen. We believed them, but never really understood the full effect until we experienced it for ourselves.

He goes to work while they are still asleep and he often comes home way past their bedtime. By the time he gets home, we are like ships passing in the storm. I finally get to go take a shower and he goes into the kitchen to reheat dinner.

Once the weekend rolls around, he wants to decompress from a long work week and the kids and I just want to spend quality family time together. That’s when the dreaded work cell rings.

This season of his life is about his career and mine is centered around raising the children. But there has to be a balance, some kind of ebb and flow, because work is stressful and teething twins is a special kind of stressful.

I was binge-watching a new reality show — I really should have been asleep — about the perils of motherhood, when one of the women said something that resonated with me. She said something to the affect that you need be partners first and parents second and if you don’t take the time to nurture your relationship with your spouse, your relationship with your kids will suffer.

I had never really thought about one relationship affecting the other, but it obviously makes total sense.

Living so far away from family, aka free babysitters, the concept of being able to have a date night hasn’t really been on the forefront of my mind until a friend of mine asked me when was the last time I had a kid-free night out with my husband.

Honestly, I couldn’t remember. After wracking my sleep-deprived brain, I could come up with only three occasions in the past 15 months that it was just me and the man.

Oy vey!

Our relationship has been transformed by leaps and bounds by these little balls of joy and responsibility. We are often so busy trying to keep the twin’s and our own basic needs met, that it’s easy to neglect each other.

No wonder why things are different between us. We haven’t made the time to get to know one another again.

Having kids changes things, but they can’t be the scapegoat for everything. Most things can benefit from routine maintenance and a tune up. A marriage is no different.

We are both present and very involved in parenting, but neither of us has really taken the time to care for the other. In short, we are putting so much time and energy into nurturing our little ones that we have nothing left to nurture our marriage.

It’s time to make date nights a part of our routine, because babysitters are way cheaper than a divorce attorney.

Vanessa Lynch is a former metro editor at the Killeen Daily Herald. An Army spouse, she and her husband live in Harker Heights with their two children.

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