3 Chaos-Free Ways to Greet Your Man at Day’s End

 

chaospinit

I don’t want to give my man scraps, but after a long day of caring for the kiddos, my brain is fuzzed out. It can be tough to give it that ol’ Susie Homemaker try. At six o’clock in the evening, the kids have caught a second wind of energy, and I’m simply trying to hot dog it till we put them to bed.

Like I said in last week’s post, I am not a Stepford wife.

But I am a wife on a mission: a mission to keep my marriage intact during these tenuous small children years. So while my husband won’t see me donned in a perfectly pressed A-line dress and heels at five o’clock in the evening, I want to be showered and dressed when the sun sets.

Okay, I’ll set my goals a little higher (just a little). Here are 3 chaos free ways to meet your man at the end of the day:

Number one: Take a shower and get dressed in normal clothes.

I have to mention this again because it really has to be done before the end of the day. Moms who work outside the home have it made in this department. Their employer requires they don’t show up at the office in their jammies or sweats. The rest of us wandering SAHMs have to remember to do this. There have been times when I haven’t gotten dressed  until well into the afternoon (or evening!) On those days, I felt slightly off and disoriented. So do yourself (and your mailman) a favor and clean yourself up before Noon please. (Thanks!)

Number two: Shove all the toy clutter blocking the entrance in a closet.

Notice, I didn’t say put the toys in perfectly labeled Ikea bins. Just make sure the entryway is clear of all the kid junk. A clear entryway will be like rolling out the red carpet for him. (Not really, but close enough.) First impressions are everything. As for the rest of the house well…don’t worry about that.

Number three: Burn a scented candle (especially if you haven’t had time to make dinner).

I do this all the time. I have had a lot of dinner fails recently. Buy one of those lovely scented Glade candles from Walmart or Target and light it up, baby! The simulated scent of Pumpkin Pie or Vanilla or whatever will make him believe (albeit, briefly) that you actually baked something from scratch.

What about you? How do you prepare for your man’s arrival at the end of the day?

Subscribe for Posts In Your Inbox:

Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz

The Child Centered Marriage

I can’t remember the last time my husband and I have been on a date night. We talk for an hour or two after the children are in bed. I call him on the phone during the regular workday (or a lot if I’m having a very hard day at home). But we haven’t had the time to actully say, we’re leaving the children at home and going off on a date. And during this date we are going to stick to the follwowing three rules:

1)       Don’t talk about children.

2)       Don’t talk about children.

3)       Don’t talk about children.

Child centered marriage. It’s an easy pit to fall in.

We’ve fell in it. Big time.

I hear all these stories about how parents spend time solely focused on their children: shuffling them off to various activities, being too permissive for fear they’ll psychologically damage their children, etc. And when the children are up and gone, there’s nothing left to give to the one to whom you said “I do” at the altar decades ago.

I don’t want to be that person.

I want to celebrate my sixtieth anniversary and say: “It was good. Hard sometimes. But good. I’m glad I did this with you, this life. We did good together.”

To accomplish, I have to make the time, to listen, to talk. To hope with him. Together.

Hope is the engine.

Hope is the fuel.

Hope puts together the messy parts, the hidden parts, the scary parts (and the child centered parts!) of marriage and molds them with the beautiful. Makes them fit.

I know of a woman who lost hope. She lost hope after years and years of being in a physically abusive marriage. After the marriage ended on paper, the divorce settled, fear still haunted her. Kept her from loving again. She lost hope.

I know of another woman who lost hope too. She lost hope in her dream of being a singer after she said “I do.” Not because her husband didn’t want her to be a singer, but because she had a false persception of what a “good wife” should be. And so she lived out her marriage carrying the burden of a false hope. And her relationship with her husband grew strained as the years went on.

Thinking about these women, having a child centered marriage doesn’t sound so bad.

Or does it?

I may not have experienced the same level of stresses that these brave women endured, but I do know the importance of ensuring healthy, loving interactions with the wonderful man I share a one-flesh destiny with.

Hope.

I want to make room for hope, true hope, in marriage. And so I resolve to do something small to keep the marriage part of the family going. Something like a compliment a day.

Then, we can take a baby step towards a date night. {RedBox movie, anyone?}

But hope can be lived out simply. Day by day.

On Real Love

marriage

Next year, 2013, my husband and I will celebrate our ten year marriage anniversary.

Ten years is a long time, especially when two flawed, Jesus loving people commit to building a life together…till death do them part.

Almost a decade ago, I didn’t even want to get married to my husband. In fact, I wanted to call it quits a week before our wedding. I was so adamant about backing out of the whole thing that I called our pastor and told him I wanted to cancel the wedding. He gathered us both together for a meeting and I gave the pastor my list of reasons why I didn’t want to marry my husband:

1) HE did ….

2) HE is so….

3) HE doesn’t understand that I ….

And on, and on, and on.

Our wise pastor considered all my railing accusations against my husband and said this:

“You have faults too, yet Jesus still chose to die for you. Don’t you think it’s wonderful that you’ll be able to walk down the aisle next week, knowing all of your fiance’s faults, look him in the eye and still say “Yes, I choose to love you. I choose to share my life with you. Preslaysa, that’s Christlikeness.”

The truth of his statement burned me up inside. I couldn’t justify my argument after that. Deep within, I knew that if I backed out now, I would miss out on God’s opportunity to mold me into a Real Lover.

Prior to that meeting, I had my own notions of what being a Real Lover was all about. We all do, and I can’t say that I have all the answers almost a decade later, but I do know that:

  • Real Lovers commit.
  • Real Lovers forgive.
  • Real Lovers see their loved one’s flaws, and love anyway.
  • Real Lovers don’t accuse their loved one.
  • Real Lovers are transparent. They can stand naked before their loved one…and not be ashamed.

In the dailyness of life, especially at this stage where we are raising little ones, it’s easy for me to harp on my husband’s faults. The stresses of caring for young children can try my mind, will and emotions. I have to consciously choose to be a Real Lover in these situations. To not complain. To praise. To not nag. To honor. To not tear down. To build up.Hopefully, after many more decades of marriage to my husband, I’ll finally get it right.But even if I don’t perfect love, I know that:

    Real Lovers forgive seventy times seven. And so I can choose mercy over justice.
    Real Lovers love grace. And so I can choose to be grace-full in the hard moments of life.
    Real Lovers commit. And so I can choose to re-commit each and every morning when I awaken with him at my side.
    Real Lovers seek the best for their loved one. And so I can choose to lay aside my human need to be validated…and be selfless. Be Christlike.
    That’s what makes Real Marriages last.

Teamwork

Family involves a lot of teamwork. No one person can do everything alone. I’m learning this more and more as my responsibilities at home increase. I naturally tend to want to do everything myself, but this approach can be counterproductive. Thankfully, The Man helps out immensely in getting things done.

All too often, mothers can find themselves mired in ‘mommy guilt’ which leads to doing too much. In the end, we are exhausted and tired. I did this recently when I awakened with hubby at 1am. He typically feeds the baby at that time. I woke up with him so I could wash dishes. Hubby took one look at me and said: “Go to sleep!” I didn’t listen and in the morning, I paid for it by being extra tired. Now, I’m forcing myself to take a short nap in the middle of the day.

Let’s Chat: When you think of family, do you envision a team?

 

A New Year, A New Resolution for Marriage

I hope everyone enjoyed ringing in the New Year. If you have small children, one of the advantages of New Year’s even is you can put the kiddos to bed early and then have a “date night” with your spouse. My New Year’s eve date night consisted of watching two movies with Hero (that’s my new name for hubby), but then I fell asleep just before midnight :-) The next morning we all went to church.

Having a regular date night with The Man has been a challenge. It’s easy to get caught up in the rigors of daily life and forget to nurture the most important human relationship. This year, I’ve set a goal to have two date nights a month with Hero and three family mini-vacations somewhere close to home.

With a new baby arriving in March, that may be a tough goal to meet, but I am committed to making it happen.

What do you do to have a regular date night with your spouse? Comment with your idea. I need some tips :-)

JANUARY CONTEST: Blog commenters will be entered in a drawing to receive 4 different Love Inspired contemporary titles from 2011. The more you comment, the more entries you receive! Winner announced on Feb. 1st.