I have been asking my husband to write a guest post for me for the last few weeks. Little did I know he would surprise me with this amazing tribute to our marriage. I loved reading what our marriage looks like through his eyes. I often say that a our love makes things easy, but he proves in detail just how hard we work at it whether we know it or not. Take a look inside our marriage and see how we avoid falling into the trap of being co-workers and intentionally work at being a couple in this amazing life we have.
In a home with two working parents with two children, our lives are chaotic and hectic, but I feel like we do a pretty fantastic job of running our household ship. I owe most of the credit to my wife, who has all of the patience and organization needed to keep things afloat, but it’s definitely a team effort. Not only do we both work full-time jobs, but we take our almost 5-year-old son to soccer practice and games, wake up at all hours of the night, multiple times a night, with our 18-month-old daughter, throw birthday parties, attend birthday parties, we are active in church, and, somehow, we manage to find time for my wife to run a blog and for myself to co-host a Disney podcast with a fan site and blog. I’d say we’re both seem pretty accomplished, but if I’m honest, there have been times where it might seem like my wife and I are more like co-workers getting through our day than we are husband and wife. Through the years, we’ve found several things we can do, some little and some big, that remind us of why we came together to create this amazing family in the first place.
- Hello, Good-Bye, I Love You
This may not sound like a big deal, but one thing we are both big on is making sure we always tell each other “good morning”, “good night”, “hi”, and “I love you”, and accompany each greeting with a kiss. It is so easy to start your day off by oversleeping, struggling with the kids, and rushing out the door without giving your spouse a proper greeting. Likewise, there have been many nights where my wife and I have fallen asleep in different rooms of the house (I like to watch Pawn Stars on the sofa until I fall asleep) due to physical and mental exhaustion. And then there’s our evening “hit the ground running” approach to getting off of work, picking the kids up from daycare, and getting right to nightly routines. But taking a couple of seconds to pause and say “Hi”, “I love you”, “Good night”, etc. and give your partner a kiss is a small but effective way to remind us that we are more than just cogs in a machine – we are husband and wife.
- Say “Thank You”
There are many things that I appreciate every day about my wife, but I admit, there are days that go by where I fail to tell her how much I appreciate the things she does. If I’m honest, there are even days that go by where I fail to even notice much less acknowledge just how much I appreciate all of the things she does for our family. One fun thing we do is this very simple chalkboard plaque that we hang up in our bathroom. It simply says, “I love you because” blank. Throughout the week we take turns writing something that we love about the other person. It might even be just some kind of character trait that was demonstrated that just reminded us of why we love one another. The best part is, we write our messages to each other while the other isn’t looking. So, as we’re going through our chaotic day, maybe going into the bathroom to grab another load of laundry, it catches our eye, and we pause for a second and smile.
- Date Night and Grown-Ups Weekend
This one is huge for breaking out of the co-worker mentality! We are super fortunate to have family live near by as well as a couple of awesome baby sitters. We also love that our preschool offers Parents Night Out. Sometimes we just want to have a hot meal and good conversation where we aren’t rushed and other times we’ll just enjoy a night out on Friday and sleeping in and lounging around the house on Saturday. Once or twice a year we try to take what we call Grown Ups Weekend and go out of town just the two of us. Places like NYC, Disney World, or a nearby Florida beach are all great options.
Your date nights and getaways don’t have to be expensive, or even cost a penny, though. We’ve done, what we call, “Parents night in”, where we take advantage of the preschools Parents Night Out on a Saturday and just come home and watch a movie or sit outside by the fire and look at stars. Remember, it’s all about breaking out of your daily routine and spending time just focusing on each other.
- Simple Text Messages
One of the things I really love is when I get a simple text message from my wife in the middle of the day just asking, “How’s your day going?”, or saying something like, “I love you”, with a little heart or a kissy-face emoticon by it. This may not seem huge, but it lets me know that, in the course of her amazingly busy day, I’m on her mind.
- Connect with a Touch
My wife often reminds me of why I love her so much simply by reaching out and holding my hand, while we’re in the car driving. It’s usually unexpected, and also a very small, simple thing to do, but it reminds me that we’re on this journey to do something more than just get through the day. We are actually living life, and we’re living it together. What more could we possibly ask for? Maybe it’s just the affect my wife has on me, but I have to say that it never goes unnoticed when she holds my hand in the car or walks up to me at home and gives me a hug for no apparent reason. It might be brief, but it is always one of the best moments of my day.
We certainly appreciate and enjoy the blessing that are children are to us, but it is work to keep our home running and filled with love, especially considering we both have full time careers. It’s also a team effort. I couldn’t do the things my wife does for our family, and although she would probably get by just fine, I like to think that she couldn’t do this without me either. Really, there’s no one else I would rather work with, but our relationship and commitment to our family is so much more than that. We are celebrating 10 years of marriage next month and our oldest son just turned 5 this month. In the course of, what I hope will be, a very long and fantastic life together, 10 years of marriage and 5 years of parenting may not seem like a long time. But, when I realize that I am still madly in love with my wife, maybe even more so now than ever before, and I see that same love and adoration reciprocated, I have to think that we are doing something right.
I really want to encourage you to have a conversation with your spouse about how you are keeping your marriage about love and not all the tasks you have to complete. How do you avoid the co-worker trap and stay a couple?
Bryan is my amazing husband of ten years and pretty much the best dad ever! He also is a 9-5er with a passion for finance and a massive Disney enthusiast! Bryan co-hosts an awesome podcast called All About the Mouse Disney Podcast with a really fun blog. and fan site. Head over to All About the Mouse Central for info on Disney Parks, Movies, and More!