Recently, my husband and I hit a little bump in the road. We spent a few days tiptoeing and talking around one another until he finally asked me if I was ever going to talk to him again. As words were exchanged and feelings revealed, it was brought to my attention that I hadn’t been acknowledging him for a while, always asking about or saying hi to the kids. It was hard to hear, but as I reflected on things, I saw that he was right. I had let caring for our kids become priority over caring for our family as a whole, as well as investing in my marital relationship too.
This revelation has made me stop and reflect on our relationship so far and how I’ve acted in it.
How do I greet him in the morning or when he returns home? How do I say goodbye when we part? Have I told him often enough that I love him or am thankful for everything he does for our family? What little things have I done to show him I care? Have I had a real conversation with him lately? What I’ve come to realize is that I just assume he knows and that’s enough. We all need verbal acknowledgment and affirmation and that’s exactly where I’ve been failing.
When we got married, we said we were going to try and take at least one trip a year just the two of us once we started having kids. Why? Because when the kids are gone it’ll just be us again and we don’t want to wake up one day and see a stranger. We want to invest in us. So far we’ve been able to do this except for the Covid year. We go on dates, but not as many as we’d like because of life and the need for babysitters. At the end of the day, we get one hour together before we head to bed and we’re usually so exhausted, we just watch a show which isn’t bad, but it can be if we let it get in the way of us. I’ve been reevaluating how we spend time together and how we can make the time we get more meaningful. Dates and trips are great, but I can’t wait for those moments to show and share everything inside me. What am I doing in the in-between times?
I’ve found a few ideas online for things we could do at home when we can’t go out for a date. I’ll share them below for anyone looking for fun ideas.
Crate Joy: Do you hate coming up with gifts or at-home date ideas? Do you want someone to put it all together for you in a nice little box? This company is for you. Crate Joy has subscription boxes for all areas of life: self-care, the foodie, book clubs, crafting, cocktails, tweens, date night, etc. You name it, they probably have it.
The Adventure Challenge: The Adventure Challenge is a book with 50 mystery date challenges. Each date has a scratch-off box, a place for your notes about the experience and a photo from your adventure. Without scratching off the mystery box, it also tells you the cost, time of day, and estimated duration of the challenge, so you can choose one that might work best. They have a book for families, couples, in the bedroom, friends, and singles, as well as blind date cards for new relationships and a subscription box to go along with the couples book.
The Skin Deep: Want to have a more meaningful connection in the relationships in your life? The Skin Deep offers relationship-specific decks of cards filled 199 questions per set. You can pull these out when you need help to go a little deeper.
All this to say, I’m trying to change one small thing at a time, starting with how I wake up and how I go to sleep. It won’t all be smooth sailing from here on out, but one step at a time.