11/29/2012 07:56 EST | Updated 01/29/2013 05:12 EST

Don't Forget About Your Spouse When You Have Kids

Portrait of happy family at home. Baby boy ( 1 year old ) and young parents father and mother sitting on floor and playing together at children's room, smiling.

It's easy to forget everything when your babies are little. You forget minor things like where you put your iPhone or keys, you forget medium things like birthdays, showers and friends. Sometimes you forget big things, like you are married. Well, maybe not that you are married (because the chain attached to your leg rattles so much) but more like you forget that you love your spouse. You forget that they are special. When your kids are little there doesn't seem to be enough time or energy left to do the things you used to take for granted. That's why they call them the lost years.

My husband and I had two children 18 months apart. A raucous evening with a few drinks resulted in an early addition to our mini-van stick figures. We were barrelling full speed ahead into the zone of perpetual, tongue-dragging fatigue and gapping memory voids. We were in the lost years; the days, months, years stretching between the birth of our first child and ending the day our youngest turned three. If you have your kids close together like we did, the "lost zone" can stretch up to five years -- in a row. That's a long time to be living together but doing different things.

And this is what happens when you are married and have kids. You divide and conquer. You exercise and then he exercises. You eat and then he eats. You go out with your friends and then he goes out with his friends...again. It's a simple equation. Two parents and two small babies means no one is doing anything together.

Staying together after the lost years means remembering to spend time together during the fog. Simple time; a drive, a coffee, a drop in on friends. Time. Time that doesn't involve using the dreaded three-word combinations, "Why didn't you...?" "I wish you...?" or "Can we talk...?"

Remembering to be married means remembering to be together on a basic level, kissing, touching, nice words, helping each other. Because once those lost years are past and you remember where you put your head, you are still left with each other. The person you started this journey with, the person that you thought would make your life better. The person that seemed exactly right -- so much so, you created more people together.

It's easy to forget in the lost years -- but you must make it worth remembering to love each other before they turn into the long, lonely years.

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