So often I hear women talk about the fact that their husbands do not help around the house and are oblivious to what they do. Today I would like to submit to you that although I do not live with Mr. Perfect, I do recognize his positive traits and it makes a difference. Far from trying to bash my ladies, (because I am one!), I feel that it is important to take the time to acknowledge what you do for each other. I have found that to look for ways to ease each other’s lives throughout the day and to recognize those good deeds is a way to invest into a much sweeter life together.
Ladies, think about this for a minute, do you remember the last time you had to leave early with the kids and lunches were already done, ready for departure time? How about when the clothes ended up in the dryer from the washer “miraculously”? Perhaps you received a phone call from him in the middle of a crazy day that gave you something to look forward to in the evening, or that take-out was already at home after a rough one and you did not have to prepare dinner. Our men need acknowledgment and kudos for that, and no matter how “well” it is all done, it is still an act of kindness, love, and concern. They are trying to please us. Showing them gratitude goes a very long way!
Men, here are some things you may forget about. Do you stop and think about the fact that for the most part you are fed, your clothes are washed and pressed, kids are cared for all around while you work the long hours, the bed is made, the house is together, and you are able to make the bills as a family because of her income? Women also need some acknowledgment for their contributions. We need support and security, and lots of loving and tenderness for the things we do. That encourages us to keep going: this can be our fuel and that also goes a very long way.
Here are some quick tips for both to enjoy on a regular basis:
1. Check on each other daily to know each other’s needs. That will set the “coming home at the end of the day” mood. Think about it, if you know someone cares about you and checks on you daily to find out about how you are managing your day, whether it is going well or not, it makes for great support that you need and can use to get you through.
2. Leave the house with having done something for or said something special to each other. In our case, even if we had a disagreement, we still kiss before leaving the house in the morning. After all, not to be morbid, we do not know what awaits us later in the day. Having the kiss as the last thing that happened before parting is soothing to the irritation of the argument and you are able to be calmer about the whole ordeal as you process it all. You can also access solutions more easily. If there were no arguments, then it is a prelude to a great evening!
3. Help her with some of the chores. As an example, too often there is emphasis on how men need to be on time at work, and how they usually are not the ones taking off (or coming in later) due to surprise-events. It goes both ways, mothers do not always get special treatment from their employers… If you take a turn doing the dishes tonight, she can go take a relaxing shower and be re-energized for the rest of the evening. You get the picture, right?
4. Read his mood when he comes home. Is he in a state where he could not wait to be home with you (in which case he will tear right into being present with you and the family and start contributing to the evening routine), or does he need a bit of time to decompress (in which case he will find the first “alone” location in the house and hide). From the reaction you get, you can know how to act accordingly. Give him space when he needs it, he will appreciate it; or greet him with open arms and immerse him in the happenings around the home.
5. A few nights a week, try to connect. This is the tough one. Sometimes, for the ones who have families, it is very hard to do because by the time you are in bed, you are too tired to even see straight even with glasses on… Do your best to talk about things other than the children. Talk about a joke you heard today, take the time to smell her subtle perfume as she slips next to you in bed and let her know that you like it, ask about the chapter he just finished reading, reminisce on something really good that happened in the weekend. Anything positive goes. Not only does that help have a good night’s sleep, but it also brings intimacy (who does not want a little of that, tired or not!)
Life can be a difficult beast to tame. Sometimes I am not so sure we are able to get it to settle for long. But would it not be better to work at it with someone we trust and love and who returns it all the same? That beast we just mentioned sometimes stops raging long enough to offer a sumptuous ride for two in the breeze through an enchanted forest. Yes, just like in the fairy tales…. Enjoy it together!