So here, to add to the litany of other lists you may have read, (I definitely have read...thank you Pinterest) are a few of the ways I have found to stay connected with my man and "keep my garden watered".
- Greet him at the door when he gets home from work. Make a BIG DEAL out of the fact that he is home. (I do this not only so my daughter can get excited to see him, but also so he knows that I am happy to see him as well.)
- Be goofy with him. Do unexpectedly silly things that will make him roll his eyes at you. (Thanks to my mom I have a whole soundtrack in my head of made-up songs she sings to my dad just to be quirky.) He probably likes to tease and you probably like to make him laugh. This is a great opportunity for both to occur. (Side note: sometimes my husband thinks I've gone a bit nuts...but I guarantee he'd rather have the goofy me than the super-serious-and-slightly-cranky me.)
- Praise his efforts. I must admit, I am not always the best at this one. But it is a constant goal of mine. I try (and often get so caught up in the day I forget) to thank him daily for something he has done. Whether its working hard to provide for his family, being present with his kids in the evening, or even something as small as eating the meal you cooked (or ordered out) without complaining, he notices when you appreciate him out loud...and he notices (sometimes even louder) when you don't.
- Flirt with him. For me, this sometimes goes hand-in-hand with being goofy. I try to be a sultry flirt and...lets face it...that's just not me. It will never be me. I blush at PG-13 movies, I will never be able to be R-rated with my husband. That doesn't mean I can't step out of my comfort zone a bit, it just means that my flirting tends to be of the innocent or innuendoed kind. Whatever works for both you and your spouse, do that. You can be spicy or mild, but you'll probably be better at it if you make sure to be yourself.
- Spend time being interested in what he is interested in. Okay, so my husband is into some games on his phone that I find *yawn* BO-RING! But I've found that when I engage with him in those games, asking questions about them or even just watching him play over his shoulder for a few minutes, not only do I find some (limited) interest in what he is doing, but I also make him feel good by showing interest in what he is interested in.
- Parent Together. It's not always possible, but we try to make it a point to spend time with our little one together. Sometimes we play with her on the floor, other times my husband plays the guitar while I dance her around but I have found that this family time helps me appreciate my husband in a new way. And for whatever reason, it also helps me feel connected with him.
- Make time for the two of you. When our daughter's bedtime comes and we tuck her in at the end of a long day, our brains are often so checked-out that nothing sounds better than a mindless movie to unwind. I don't see anything wrong with that, but once or twice a week we try to switch it up. Sometimes we'll go to bed early and play "would you rather" games (great app for this is Gloo which you can download to your smartphone or i-pad for free!) or use our extra energy from getting in bed early to be intimate with each other and actually be somewhat awake during the process (novel concept, I know). Other things we might do instead of watching a movie might be reading together (or separately in the same room), playing a card game, or just talking about life.
Always admit he's right.So I just came back from a typing-break and found this lovely addition to my list...my husband thinks he is soooo funny. However, it made me start to think that letting him know when he is right about something, or gives helpful advice, is something most husbands would greatly appreciate. I know my husband wishes (as evidenced by this addition) I would be a better listener and maybe even take some of his advice. I am working on it! :)
- Make time to talk. It doesn't have to be an hour, just ten minutes of talking (note: I said talking, not arguing, venting, or working out a disagreement....all important but not allowed in this ten minutes) can help you remember why you are still in love with this man. It can be about what happened during your day, a dream you share, or any number of other topics. The point is to just do what you did when you were dating...listen and get to know one another. If you are unsure how to start a conversation, there are 50 great questions to get you started here and I will hook you up with more questions to jump-start a conversation on an upcoming post!
- Go to bed at the same time. Some people might not agree with this one, and I'm sure there are many valid reasons it wouldn't be possible. My husband and I have made it a point, however, to go to bed at the same time when it is possible. This has led to some great late-night conversations, fun moments (like when I put my ice-cold feet on him with no warning...good times), and intimacy that may not have happened otherwise. I look forward to knowing that at the end of the day, even if we haven't seen much of each other, I will be able to cuddle up against him (as he whines about his lack of personal space...which oddly makes it that much more fun for me) and fall asleep in his arms.