This year, I will celebrate 16 years of marriage. It’s not always been rainbows and unicorns, sometimes it’s been more like diapers and piles of laundry! Truth is, marriage is hard, then you add little people into the mix and things can sometimes fall apart. Add to that stressful jobs, aging parents, and zero “free time” and that’s just a recipe for trouble. Keeping things fresh can often be difficult especially when you’re pulled in so many different directions and needed in a million different ways by all the people in your house, not to mention the dog is out of food & needs to be walked! By the end of the day, I usually crash into bed & fall asleep before my head hits the pillow.
Here’s what I’ve found works in my marriage:
1. Get out of your mom uniform every once in a while
I do, occasionally, get out of my mom uniform of sweat pants or leggings and put on actual clothes. I wash my hair, put on a little makeup and make sure my breath doesn’t smell like the spoon full of peanut butter I just finished eating before he walks in the door! Even adding a little lip gloss before I head home helps me fill refreshed after a long day.
2. No complaining for at least an hour.
We have made it a point not to complain as soon as the other has walked through the door. I HATE hearing about everything that has gone wrong as soon as I walk in the door, and I’m positive he feels the same way, so we wait a bit. By waiting and just having that time to chat, most of the time our complaint doesn’t seem to matter as much any more.
3. Find time to reconnect
The husband and I don’t always have the opportunity to go out as often as I would like, but we do find time at night to reconnect with one another. Talking over our day, sometimes discussing the kids, but usually not. I want to hear about him. I want to know his highs and lows of the day. He always humors me and listens to my daily stories as well! Thankfully, both of our kids are in school all day, so when things feel particularly crazy, we’ll meet for lunch or breakfast.
4. We find time in the mornings to talk about the schedule for the day
Mornings are my favorite because the day hasn’t hit either of us yet. I still look tired from the previous day but he overlooks my exhaustion, just like I overlook the fact that he brings his own syrup! We find time, even if for a few minutes, to talk about our schedules and the kids for the day. Then we’re off to conquer the day with a kiss and I love you.
5. Make time for alone time
On the rare occasion grandparents do offer to keep our little ones, we go to dinner and then we’re home catching up on episodes of Jack Ryan we’ve missed! Sometimes it isn’t about where we go at all, but simply being together. Maybe it’s just putting the kids to bed and having a moment on the back porch with our favorite wine. Whatever it is, make it a priority. We are all guilty of being so busy we often don’t make time for the other person.
Sometimes in the quiet moments of life, I am reminded of why I married him in the first place. He’s been my person for a long time, nearly 20 years if I’m being honest, and he still gives me butterflies.