Ahhh the bane of so many a good mom – Day 20 Nurturing Your Marriage After Children reminds me that in this family, it’s not just me and my children. There is a husband who needs my love and attention just as much and sometimes more than my 2 kids.
Can you even remember what it was like before children – the relationship you had with your husband? Depending on how old your kids are, it may seem like yesterday or like decades!
My oldest is 6 but even I have a hard time recalling exactly the life my husband and I lived prior to Hannah’s birth.
But this much I do remember – it was all about him and me. We commuted to and from work together. We met for lunch. We went to the gym together. On the weekends, I mowed the yard, while he did the weed eating. We bought groceries together. We went to church together. We visited friends and family together.
Virtually everything was together.
And now? Now some days, when Bryan gets home and it’s been just me and the girls for the past 11 hours… And I have dried snot on my butt because that is the perfect height for my 3 year old to wipe her nose. And I’ve been pulled and tugged and touched more than what I can only imagine average people get in a year. And there’s been homework to do, and bottoms to wipe and mouths to feed and clothes to wash and arguments to mediate and hurt feelings to mend…
So sometimes the last thing I want is to do anything together with another human for a looooonnnggg time…at least another 8 hours. If I’m not careful, I can barely muster a “Hey honey, how was your day?’
And therein lies the problem…If I’m not willing to nurture the very relationship that helped create my two beautiful children, then something needs to change. Because I can tell you it’s MY problem, not my husband’s. He is always quick to give me a hug, tell me I’m beautiful (even on my crappiest days) and offer to help around the house.
So let me be clear here that I am not saying you have to have a husband to be a good mom – but if you are lucky enough to have a good husband, then yes, I am saying that being good to that person is a prerequisite for being a better mom.
And I don’t mean “good” husband AFTER you’ve qualified it – he leaves hair all over the sink when he shaves, I find his dirty clothes strewn in piles, I have to ask him the same thing over and over, sometimes he doesn’t seem to know what I need him to say…
because this is virtually every man…mine included. Those don’t negate the fact that he is a wonderful husband, dad and man.
So what to do?
What practical things can I do to nurture the very relationship that gave me the chance to be a mom in the first place?
The good news is it isn’t anything big or major. Whew! Because who really has one more thing they want to add to the never-ending to-do list?
Here’s a few things we do, and a few we are working on!
- Keep a “Why I Love You” jar...read more about this here to see my special twist on this idea. It’s not what you think! But it really does work!
- Do simple acts of love that really mean something to the other person. In our house, I make my husband breakfast and hot chocolate every morning and pack his lunch.
- Text your hubby in the middle of the day just to say I love you.
- Thank your husband…for whatever – for taking out the trash, playing with the kids when you were exhausted or making dinner. Everyone likes to feel appreciated.
- Schedule a date – it can be dinner or it can be going to the gym together…just something together without kids that you enjoy!
- Watch your favorite tv show together – I never have time to watch tv until the kids are in bed so one of my favorite things to do with Bryan is to snuggle up and watch BlackList or The Voice!
- Be a little goofy – not only does this remind your husband of what you were like back in the day before all this stress…but it reminds you that that part of you still exists! And it’s a good part of you!
I’m sure there are many, many more things I could add – but the point is this: If you are lucky enough to be married to the person who is your best friend, let your husband AND your children see that. Sometimes being a better mom simply starts with being a better wife.
If you have missed any in the series 31 Days & 31 Ways To Be A Better Mom, catch up here:
INTRO TO SERIES:
DAY 1: OUR BEFORE SCHOOL RULE
DAY 2: UNPLUG AND PLUG IN
DAY 3: STEP AWAY FROM YOUR CHILD
DAY 4: EMBRACE YOUR CRAZY
DAY 5: BE A REBEL
DAY 6: DO AS I SAY
DAY 7: FIND YOUR VILLAGE
DAY 8: DIVIDE & CONQUER
DAY 9: ONE SMART COOKIE
DAY 11: STOP COMPARING YOUR CHILD
DAY 12: TAKE CARE OF #1
DAY 13: DATE YOUR CHILD
DAY 17: PUT YOURSELF IN THEIR SHOES
DAY 18: QUIT BEATING YOURSELF UP
DAY 22: FAMILY DINNER SHMINNER
DAY 23: REBELLION IS A CRAZY THING
DAY 24: TELL THEM IT WILL GET BETTER
DAY 26: IT’S OKAY TO WISH TODAY WAS OVER
DAY 27: BE A GOOD DAUGHTER
DAY 28: QUIT TRYING TO BE THAT OTHER MOM
DAY 29: YOU CAN’T BUY THEIR HAPPINESS
DAY 30: TELL YOUR KIDS YOU ARE A FAILURE
DAY 31: LEARNING TO LET GO