My son was about 3 weeks old when it hit me.
I missed my husband.
I mean, don’t get me wrong, he was available and an amazing hands-on dad, but with the addition of our little man, the sleepless nights that followed his arrival and the constant attention he needed from us, we had very little chance to connect.
And it really got me down.
Since the subsequent addition of the little lass in our lives and having two little ones two years’ apart I realized that there were small changes we could make that would help us connect in the very precious time we do have together.
This is what I’ve come up with, I hope it helps you as much as it’s helping us.
Put down your phone while he’s around.
After a day of busyness as a stay at home mom, it has become so easy to zone out on my phone (social media) when my husband is home to help out with the kids. It’s a small break away from reality, it’s a connection to the outside world and a way to feel like you’ve caught up with someone (namely another ADULT human being) in some small way.
Here’s the thing, my husband is MORE important and connecting with HIM is my priority after his day at work. It’s a sneaky habit to break because it is just so easy to pick up that phone but it is SO worth it. My children need to witness me putting their dad first, above even them, they need to see the importance of marriage and how much mom and dad love each other. The cool thing about this change is it costs you nothing (it may even save you some cash if you pay for phone data).
Try it and encourage your hubby to join you if he also tends to zone out on his phone.
Talk to him about HIM
As important as it is to share your day and all your mommy struggles and victories with your man, don’t forget to talk to him about HIM; his day, his work, his struggles and HIS victories. Showing him that you care about what’s going on in his life will mean so much to him and will probably encourage intimacy between you both as you connect properly, sharing both of your struggles and victories. Sometimes the simple act of giving someone your complete attention can be the greatest investment in any relationship. I know my husband feels loved and respected when I make a conscious effort to give him my time and a listening ear.
If your man doesn’t like to talk about work while he’s at home then don’t nag him to share, but make it clear to him in conversation that he’s important to you, you care about his needs and you’re available to him.
Limit screen time in the evening
Picture it. The kids are asleep and the house is blissfully quiet (it’s also getting dark so you can’t see all the evidence of the cleaning and tidying you didn’t get to do) and finally, after a long day working hard as a homemaker and mommy you get to cuddle up on the couch with your husband in front of your favourite show. Just typing that makes me smile. There are certain shows that we love to watch together and we will continue to do so but the key is moderation. Go to bed early sometimes (schedule it if you need to), save some of your precious energy to spend time in your bedroom, connect. It’s worth it.
Schedule and keep date nights
This one takes a little more work. It often involves needing a sitter or just being super self-disciplined if you’re determined to “date night” at home. Somehow, as best you can, do it! We have found a way to consistently go out on Friday nights and it has been one of the best things we could’ve ever done for us.
Want to know how?
We booked and paid for dancing lessons in advance! You don’t want to miss or bale on something you’ve already paid for. We are having an absolute blast, we giggle like teenagers in love and I come away with cheeks sore from smiling. You are worth some of your own energy. Find a way, make it happen. On a side note; it turns out that all that rocking and swaying you do as a new mom really adds to your rhythm on the dance floor – score!
Hold hands as often as you can.
When he’s playing with the kids, join in!
It can be so tempting to zone out when your man is playing your kids. I do it. Often. Sure, sometimes there are chores that need doing or supper hasn’t been sorted yet and it’s such a relief to be able to get things done in peace but there are times when I simply zone out.
Go play soccer, or monsters or hunt for bugs. My toddler’s face literally beams if mom and dad play together with him. It’s precious and valuable and I’ve never once regretted joining in. I usually get to burn a few extra calories too (dads tend to come up with pretty active games). This is where some very special memories are made and your family learns to be a team.
God blessed you and your man with these beautiful kids, celebrate them together, celebrate your marriage (get creative) and embrace the crazy season we call the little years.