Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tuesday Tip: Be Nice to your Husband

Sometimes I struggle to come up with a meaningful tip to share.  Sometimes I feel out of tips and like I could use a few myself.  Sometimes I'm so tired or so overwhelmed with work that I'm not tuned in to the tots around me to take in the daily observations that turn into weekly tips.  This is one of those times.  As I sat here wondering what to write, I turned to my husband and said "Hey hon, help!  I need a tip!" And he responded in jest "Always be nice to your husband."  He meant it as a joke but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that this is perhaps one of the best tips of all.

Be nice to your husband.  It sounds so simple and yet it's not always easy to do.  Don't get me wrong, it's not that I'm routinely or deliberately not nice to my husband but, I'll be the first to admit that I could be a whole lot nicer.  I don't think I'm alone in confessing that when the going gets tough, the fella to whom I said "I do" can sometimes be made to feel like a great big "I don't."  Not in a I don't love you type of a way but, in a I don't have time for you, I don't have energy for you, I can hardly even muster up a smile for you and I at would rather fall into bed (by myself!) than talk to you. Now that's not good, is it?!  This is not at all what we envision when we stand at the end of the aisle waiting for our fairy tale to begin.

The reality, as we all know, is that a good marriage takes work.  And, raising kids is hard work.  And, with two working parents... well, it can lead to all work and no play. So a part of this week's tip is to make time to play -- not just with your kids but with your husband too.  An official playdate.  What the hell, make it an official date.  And try to do it frequently.  Like many couples, we have an ebb and flow, a feast or famine approach to finding time for each other; when we sense that famine approaching, we're quick to make amends and find some quality time together that isn't focused on paying bills, yard work, scheduling or meal planning.  And yes, my guy helps with all of that stuff, which is yet another reason why I should always be nice to him!

It sounds corny (and ok, I guess it IS corny), but knowing how hard (and expensive!) it can be to find a sitter and how precious our time together is, we've been known to squeeze in some quality time and a good laugh in the most unexpected ways -- for instance, there was the mid-day, mid-week trip to Costco, where simply tackling this dreaded chore together and sans kids made it more fun.  There are the nights we tuck the tots in early and try out a new recipe together -- something that was routine when we were dating and reminds us of those carefree days.  Once in a while, we pull out our old photo albums and a bottle of wine... just looking back at the fun we had and adventures we shared is a great way to ease the tension of the daily pressures we have today.

I suppose being nice is about much more than date nights and quality time though.  It's about thoughtfulness and caring.  I hate to admit it but in our house, my husband often comes last.  When I come home from work in a tizzy and get tackled by five crazy kids (and one 90 pound dog!), I sometimes forget the guy who made them and the amazing life we lead all possible.  The guy who is my rock.  Who reminds me not to sweat the small stuff.  Who makes me laugh.  Who makes me dinner!  This is a guy who deserves the best of me, not the leftovers.  So, with this in mind, I hope to live into this week's tip for many weeks, months and years to come.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wonderful advice! The lives we lead are too hectic sometimes, and yes, we do have to be reminded to stop and smell the roses (and aftershave) sometimes.
Regards from Spain!