These days, it seems screen time is an issue for everyone. From us, to our kids, to our partners, everyone could probably afford to cut back a little. As a Mom, I know how infuriating it can be to unload the dishwasher or handle the kids alone while your partner is zoned out on the phone. But, as I’m sure you know, nagging doesn’t work well. Luckily, we found something that DOES!
Next time your husband puts his feet up and stares at his phone, try this little trick!
When Jaymi and I were first exploring the idea of starting a blog, we did our research. Not about the “important stuff” like Pinterest strategies and Search Engine Optimization, but stuff like what colors we liked, what topics we could cover and what vibe we wanted. During this phase I came across a cautionary tale about a woman that blamed her divorce on her devotion to her blog. I paused, re-read it, and sent it to Jaymi. We decided then and there that priorities included staying friends, maintaining a strong marriage, and enjoying this gig.
Even with all our new goals and dreams, I never once imagined that the blog could make me a better friend, a better Mother, and help me build an even stronger marriage.
From the moment you have a baby, people will start giving you advice. One of those helpful tips is to make date night a priority. Everyone tells you that you need to not just be “Mommy and Daddy” but need to find a way to remain husband and wife, or to some degree, boyfriend and girlfriend. When this happened to us, we’d smile and nod and agree in theory. And then every Friday and Saturday night, we’d be on our couch, in sweatpants, watching some crap on TV before sloughing off to bed. Now, I’m not going to lie. That’s borderline my perfect night. But at some point it got to be so routine and so impersonal. It was then that we started to understand why date night is so important.
It was one thing to make date night a priority in theory, but it was time to make it a priority in practice. Here are 5 ways you can.
As a stay at home Mom, I’m a little set in my ways. I have a routine down with my kids and somewhere along the line I started to think that the only way things could be done was my way. I became increasingly frustrated with the way my husband was doing things, because frankly, I thought he was doing them wrong. He was getting annoyed and volunteering to do things less. He wasn’t as hands on as he had been in the past and I grew to resent that.
Eventually, I found myself asking, “Am I too hard on my husband?”
The answer was totally yes.
If you think you might be too hard on your partner, here are 5 ways that I lightened up.
Confession: Our third child was a big, fat, whoops.
Let me back up a minute. We wanted three kids. Heck, we are still planning to go for four. Five? Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. In a very much planned event, our first two kids are 18 months apart. In retrospect, getting pregnant when my first was nine months old – still SUCH a baby himself – was a little, uh, crazy. So, immediately after our daughter was born, I put the kibosh on all baby conversation. I’d only taken a nine month break the first time, but this time I was going to go BIG. I adamantly proclaimed to anyone that would listen that we were taking a WHOLE YEAR OFF this time. For a year we wouldn’t even TALK about that next baby.
During the year, we made our master game plan.
We’d enjoy our first two children. We’d get the swing of things. We’d find our groove. And then, when the kids were older, maybe in school, we’d decide that the time was right. We’d tuck in our kids – maybe 5 and 6 by now – and look at each other, both thinking about how we missed the sweet smell of a little baby, the weight of them in our arms. We’d go for #3 and then quickly after #4. We’d have two sets of two, our perfectly planned family.
But you know what they say about plans. I think I can still hear the heavens chuckling…..
Every once in a while, my husband gets it in his mind that we can’t possibly go one day longer without getting rid of some stuff. A lot of stuff. All the stuff. We go to Costco and come home with bins and bins and shelving to hold the bins and off we go. I mentally prepare, grab trash bags for what we’ll toss, the bins for what we’ll keep, and have dollar signs in my eyes for the stuff I’m going to sell.
I start in the kids rooms and secretly clear out some old toys, because Lord knows they won’t miss them. Then I retire the clothes that they’ve grown out of. Planning to have more kids, I get to keep all their clothes without much argument. Chad is great about getting rid of clothes. He sometimes goes TOO far in my mind, deciding that he only needs five t-shirts, one sweater, two casual polo shirts and one suit. Then I remind him about all the other times he might want to be dressed and we find a happy medium.
Then there’s me. And my bureau. And my walk in closet. And my bins of extras. In truth, I wear about one tenth of what’s easily accessible. And, walking Mom cliché that I am, it’s lots of leggings and casual shirts. My closet features lots of things with names you may recognize like Irma and Randy….but the rest hangs unworn, though not unloved. What transpires next is always like an episode of hoarders.Continue reading “What I Learned About Myself During Spring Cleaning”→
I am a smart girl. That’s just a fact. My school counselor once called the six year old version of me, “severely gifted,” which if I’m being honest, I thought was a little rude. Over the years, the rest of my class caught up with me, and I’m sure I’m mildly gifted at best these days- but I’m just saying, I’m not dumb. But when I’m talking about work with my husband? Daaaang, but it can sure make me FEEL dumb.
My husband is a Chemical Engineer, and specializes in Process Development. I barely know what that means, let alone when he actually tries to describe one of the processes he’s developing (is that even the right way to say it? I have no idea). But after years of looking at him sitting silent across the table at dinner parties, and watching him look at me with just a touch of envy while I regale our guests with stories of rambunctious first graders, I realized that he needs an outlet, too. He needs to deconstruct his day, and muddle through his work-related issues, and to have a sounding board for the problems he faces in the eight eleven hours a day that he’s not with me.
So I decided to take on the daunting task- to learn how to actually talk to my husband about what he does. (Shudders.) Here’s my tips for how to talk about work with your spouse- even when their job is not the kind of career you understand the ins and outs of.
2. You may have heard that we won free Chick Fil A for a year, but we ALSO won a free Valentine’s Day Meal. Seriously y’all, we are SWIMMING in free chicken. You may not be willing to sleep in a parking lot for free chicken (because…well…REASONS), but PLEASE tell us you have the Chick Fil A One app installed on your phone. All you have to do is scan when you order, and you’ll get points that add up to free items. And if you’re anything like us, those orders- and those points!- add up fast.
3. Have you done one of those kid interviews that’s been floating around Facebook recently? We did them with our kids, and the answers were equal parts hilarious (Q: What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up? A: A grown up. So I can make the rules) and so sticky sweet we could die (Q: What Makes You Happy? A: Hugging You). Our friend at All in A Dad’s Work asks his kids questions like these on the regular, and their answers are super insightful, and also sometimes super funny. We particularly liked this week’s questions. Go check them out!
5. We busted out our Marbled Shaving Cream Art at a playdate this week and it was a HIT. Each kid made five or six hearts a piece, and it totally stopped them from fighting was a great way to get some art in. And can I say, I kind of felt like super mom handing it off to their Mamas when they got picked up. We recommend busting out the green paint and some shamrock-shaped cardstock to bring it into the new season.
6. Our cruuuuiissseee is coming uuuuuuup! Look for some themed posts that will be going up this week, and get your rainbow tumblers ready. We’ve got a fun DIY headed your way so you can either A.) Cruise with your momsquad in style or B.) Have a virtual drink with The Salty Mamas.
This week, our Facebook and Instagram feeds were flooded with grand gestures of love. Long stem roses, chocolate covered strawberries, sparkly gifts, prix fix dinners out on the town, or homemade dinners for two. Meanwhile, Jaymi and I shared a romantic evening of chicken and chocolate chip cookies in heart shaped containers because the Daddy’s were working late. Once upon a time, we may have grumbled about the apparent lack of affection and romance on our Valentine’s Day, but this is what our life is these days. And the truth is, we don’t mind a bit.
Yes, we still LOVE our husbands, and sometimes we even gush about them, but romance looks very different these days. The key to making it work is embracing all the little ways our partners are romantic, and not taking those for granted. So here’s our thank you, for all these little things our fellas do year round to show us how much they love and appreciate us.
A few weeks ago, we had the honor of attending an absolutely gorgeous wedding. The couple was so in love, the setting was truly beautiful, and the food was on point. The bartender totally hit on me, and they even had hand-churned nitrogen ice cream for dessert. It was a truly beautiful day.
And it was also the first day I felt old in a good way.