Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Take the Kids Out

One of the hardest things for a mom, especially one who has small kids, is having time to herself. Kids demand attention and they often make their demands known at the most inconvenient times. You think it’s bad when they interrupt you trying to give her a kiss; well, that’s nothing compared to having them interrupt you when you’re trying to go to the bathroom.

Thank God for women. I really don’t think most of the men that I know could put up with taking care of small kids all day. But God has put something in the mothering nature that gives them patience for all those interruptions, skinned knees, sticky hands, dirty diapers and all that rest that goes with little kids.

I know it may not seem to you like your wife has the patience of a saint, but believe me, she does. You see her after she’s put up with that all day long. What you don’t see is how well she deals with it when you’re not there. No wonder she’s pretty much at the end of her rope when you get home from work. Who wouldn’t be?

Okay, so here’s the cure for your wife’s nerves; give her some time to herself. Sounds simple, right? Everybody needs time that they can just spend on themselves, with no interruptions, no sticky hands, no fighting kids and no tripping over toys. So give her that. Take the kids out somewhere, so that your wife can have some time alone.

Better yet, stop and get her some bubble bath, give it to her, and then take the kids out. Women love to pamper themselves and love to be pampered. So, give her a hint by buying the bubble bath. Before you leave, tell her that your purpose in taking the kids out is so that she can have some time for herself, not so she can clean the house, and then give her the bubble bath. I’m sure she’ll get the hint.

You don’t have to go anywhere fancy with the kids and spend a lot of money. Take them to the park; that’s enough of an outing for them. Have some quality time with them, pushing them on the swing, catching them coming off the slide and helping them climb the monkey bars. Who knows, maybe you can get on their with them.

While this may not seem all that romantic to you, it’s really three romantic things, wrapped up in one. First of all, you’re showing your wife that’s she’s special, by giving her some time for herself. On top of that, you’re giving her a romantic gift. I’m not exactly sure why bubble bath is considered a romantic gift, but take my word for it, it is. Finally, you’re showing your wife that you’re committed to being a good daddy; that’s important to her as well. So, you’re getting a three-fer by doing this one.

Monday, August 27, 2012

A Ribbon of Love

While pretty much all of the ideas which I write on this blog are my own (yes, I have a very active imagination), every once in a while I get one from somebody else. In this case, I’m taking an idea that my daughter, Jenni did to her boyfriend.

I’m always looking for new ways to express my love towards my wife. Not only do I like to keep things fresh, so it doesn’t become just routine, but I want to keep her love tank full. Love begets love, so the best way that I can make sure that she loves me is to make sure that she feels loved.

My wife’s love language is words of affirmation. She needs to hear that I love her. Not only does she need to hear that I love her, but she needs to hear that I think highly of her. Now, you might think that the two are more or less the same, but in really aren’t. There are people who I think highly of, but I don’t love them. Likewise, there can be people that we love, but don’t think highly of.

Women are belittled a lot in today’s society. More than anything, it’s Madison Avenue that’s telling them that they’re not good enough. They are constantly bombarded with advertising that tells them that they’re not pretty enough, not sexy enough, not good enough mothers, not good enough lovers and just plain no t good enough. No wonder women have such insecurities about themselves. So, not only does my wife need to hear that I love her, but that I think highly of her in every way possible.

Okay, so here’s a way to bombard her with words of love and words of affirmation, both at the same time. Sit down at your computer and make a bulleted list of all the things that you love and appreciate about your wife. Everything that you think is good about her should be on that list. You want at least 50 things, but the more the merrier; if you can come up with 200, you’ll really be building her up.

Don’t try and do that whole list in one sitting. You’re going to be more successful if you write up the list of what you can think of at the moment, then come back to it a few times more. Each time, as you read over what you’ve got, you’ll be able to come up with some new ones to add.

Once your list is done, you’ll need to format it a bit. Set the spacing between each line at about 24 pt. so that you’ll have some extra paper to work with. If you know how to change the bullets, make them hearts or something cute like that. Then print it. If you have colored paper to print it on, so much the better. Make a bunch of lines that just say things like “I Love You” as well.

Cut your list into strips, just like you were going to make a paper chain for the Christmas Tree. Except, we’re not going to make a chain out of it, we’re going to make a ribbon out of it. Glue the strips end to end, making one long ribbon out of it. If you have some real ribbon that’s the same width as your strips, you could intersperse some of that in between your printed items, just to make the ribbon longer. My daughter cut up music sheets and used them in between her items (they’re both choir directors).

Now, you need a place to put your ribbon. Sometime when your wife isn’t home, find a spot to run the ribbon back and forth, covering a doorway, the mirror on her vanity or even back and forth across your bedroom, if your ribbon is long enough. You could even slip into her office (if she has one) and leave it as a surprise there.

My daughter had to mail hers, so she cut a heart out of cardboard, and wrapped the ribbon around it. Before wrapping, she wrote “I Love You” on the heart. It’s the same idea, just portable.

Now, sit back and wait for your wife to find it. She probably won’t scream or jump up and down, because she’ll be too busy reading it. That’s okay, once she reads it, the fireworks can begin.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Give Her Your Best

I was recently in a situation where I had somewhat of a marriage counseling marathon, with a number of appointments back-to-back. Putting up with a number of couples who appeared to want to argue in front of me, justifying themselves to me, while stabbing their partner in the back wasn’t my idea of a good time.

One thing stood out in all that time, that was that it seemed that all those couples had forgotten one important thing… their wedding vows. Do you remember them? You know, all that stuff about loving and protecting in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, in wealth or poverty. Those were some pretty powerful words back then; whatever happened to them?

It seems to me that there’s something implicit in the wedding vows about always being there for the other person; always giving them your best. It clearly says something about always loving them, so that should imply giving them your best, all by itself.

Those people had forgotten how to give each other their best. They were giving their best to their jobs, their children, or their friends. What they were giving to their spouses was nothing more than the leftovers. I think I can safely say that they were all breaking their wedding vows; if in no other way, than their promise to love through whatever life might bring their way.

When we come home from work crabby, because we’ve had a bad day, then we definitely aren’t loving our wives. When we yell at them, because of something the kids have done, it’s the same. When we take out our frustration about having trouble paying the bills, we’re forgotten to love her as well.

It seems that we always end up giving out wives the worst of us, rather than the best of us. Everything that goes wrong in our lives somehow ends up being taken out on her, whether we intend to or not. Even when we keep quiet, we end up taking it out on her; because we’re not engaged with her, communicating love and being together.

Our wives deserve better than that; they deserve our best. So, how do we give them that, instead of giving them what’s left over, after dealing with everything else? I’ve got a few ideas.
  • As men, we have an innate ability to “put things on the shelf” in our minds, when we can’t solve them at the moment. Why not use that ability when we’re around our wives, shelving the problem until a better time.
  • As much as possible, deal with the problem before you get home from work. That way, you’re not bringing it home to her.
  • Remember who the problem is and that it isn’t her. Don’t let her become the recipient of anger and frustration which belong to another.
  • Keep reminding yourself that you love her; that will help you prevent giving her the worst instead of remembering to give her the best.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

A Gift While You’re Away

I don’t know if you have to travel occasionally for your work, but I find myself having to leave my wife and kids behind every once in a while to travel. While the trips are generally worthwhile, I still don’t like having to leave my wife behind. It’s not like I married her so that we couldn’t spend time together; I married her so that we could.

Nevertheless, I find myself out on the road or above it in the friendly skies every once in a while. It’s even worse when I go out of the country, especially to places where I don’t have good Internet access. I mean, how can I tell my wife I love her, when I can’t even send her an e-mail?

Thanks to the miracles of old-fashioned communications, it’s still possible to let your wife know you love her, even when you’re away and communication is spotty. I say old-fashioned communications because it’s necessary to use something that has more than milliseconds worth of delay built into it; like a few days. That’s right, the slow pace of snail mail really does have a valuable purpose.

All it takes is to send a gift to your wife the day you leave. That’s it. Depending on where you send it from, it will take anywhere from a day to five days to get to her. That will make it arrive while you’re gone, giving the impression that you did it while away. More importantly, it will tell your wife that you love her, even though you’re away for the moment.

Another option is to have something delivered to her while you’re away. Many florists have delivery services that will deliver on whatever day you want. Another way is to buy a gift for her through the Internet, timing your purchase so that it will be delivered while you are gone.

It really doesn’t matter how you do it, or really how big the gift is. The important thing is that you’ve thought of her and done something to show your love, even though you are away.

Many women are plagued with thoughts about the possibility of their husband’s possible infidelity. Those thoughts attack them even more while their husbands are away on a trip. The possibility that they are with another women while on their “business trip” can be a real problem for many wives. Besides the obvious struggle with maintaining faith in him, she can also feel unloved, just because of those thoughts.

Well, receiving a love gift right in the middle of all that is a surefire way to dispel those thoughts and the negative feelings that they bring. A reminder of your love while you are away will help her tremendously and help make sure that she greets you with a hug and a kiss when you get home.