I don’t recall any of us kids trying to horn in on that time, though my siblings were out being teenagers by then, but I knew that was sacred ground, and I stayed off it.
They didn’t have a program they were following. There was no prescribed “daily devotion”. They just fixed a cocktail, sat down on the couch or the patio furniture, and enjoyed each others company for a little while. Soon, they would be fixing dinner and taking care of other evening chores, but cocktail hour stood firm. They told stories about their day apart – one a dentist, the other a teacher – sometimes serious topics, sometimes comedy. I think this is one of many reasons why my parents are such a great example of partnership. They know each other, and seek each other out. Though their careers were in different fields, they were aware of each others challenges. They knew and understood each other (and still do!).
Cocktail hour became an important concept for us when we started having kids, because it get’s a lot harder to carve out that time – especially uninterrupted time. All I can say is, TRY. Even if you can only pull off 10 minutes while the kid watches t.v.! Focus on one another. Put down the smart phones and look each other in the eye. Ask questions that show you are paying attention and that you care.
And, if you don’t like alcohol, have a glass of water or something!