Anyone who is with a long term partner and has children knows that connecting amid parenting is hard. This coming month my husband and I will have been married 8 years, although we've been together much longer than that.
There is not another person in the world I would rather share this journey with. We met as teenagers, grew with each other for several years, and in our mid-twenties eagerly took on the challenges of creating a home and family together. We both acknowledge that marriage is a journey that requires commitment and flexibility. With all the requirements in life; (Kids, jobs, household needs, volunteer commitments, etc.) it can be easy to prioritize something else and let our partners take the back burner.
Traditionally the eighth year anniversary gift is pottery or bronze, but this month I'm hoping we can give each other a little extra time.
Of course our daily and weekly commitments won't just go away, and in what tends to be one of our busier months this will actually be one of the hardest goals to meet yet. With that in mind, I've been trying to think of ways we can meet this goal within our regular routines.
Here are our goals for this month:
• Have one non-kid/non-house/non-bill/non-work related conversation each day.
It feels like most nights our conversations revolve on the daily need to know/how did the day go type conversations. At least once a day I'd like to challenge us to think of something else to talk about - and for longer than one sentence too!
• Turn "TV streaming" off one night a week.
Most nights we both do computer work after the boys go to bed, and then stream one of our many favorite shows. One night a week I'm going to challenge us to not turn on the TV and to do something else - play a card game (we love cards), read something together, work on a project, etc.
• Have one "dinner date" at home this month.
Although I've read about other couples trying this, we've never tried it ourselves. The idea is after the kids go to bed the grown-ups have an in-house date. We're hoping to try it just once this month and see if it's something we'd like to continue to try monthly.
• Have one "real" date this month too.
I had to really think about the last time we went on a real date, just the two of us, and realized that we have not been out on a date alone since September . . . almost 11 months ago. While we're great at making sure we each have time out of the house with friends and family on our own, it's not often we get out together just the two of us. Even on our wedding anniversary we tend to spend it with the kids. This month, especially before the busy end of the month, I'm hoping we can get out for dinner once this month.
• Appreciate each other's actions daily.
It can be easy to forget to do something as simple as say "thank you" each day to your partner. I think my husband and I are pretty good at remembering to do this, but it's always a good reminder to keep it up.
Of course, the ultimate goal is these little steps will become part of our routines too, and not just something we do one month when we focus on it.
If you've been with your partner for a while, I'd love to hear what small routines or traditions you have that keep you connected. Please comment below! And don't forget to check out the other monthly goals from these other fantastic bloggers.