My focus for My Happiness Project in April is Marriage. I was inspired by a chapter in Erin Flynn Jay’s book Mastering the Mommy Track that talked about the necessity of making time for romance. One of Jay’s subtitles in that chapter was “Focus on the marriage trunk of the family tree.” That image really stuck with me. I think I focus more on being a mom than being a wife, which I would guess is common when you have young children. But I don’t know if I could be a good mom without a strong marriage foundation. So it’s about time I went about watering the marriage trunk of my family tree!
Have a weekly meeting. My husband is big on “managing expectations,” as he calls it. I usually have my week’s all planned out in my head, but neglect to include him in the plans. So I may think I have Saturday all scheduled with grocery shopping, errands, and a book I want to finish reading. Then Saturday comes and I find out that he has plans of his own. I think a weekly meeting to discuss what we both want out of the week/weekend would be very helpful and would certainly help me manage my expectations of how my time is actually going to be spent.
State my needs and wants. I tend to beat around the bush, rather than just saying what I want. For example, I will offer up two choices for where we should go out to eat. I will say that I don’t care which one we go to. Then (of course) my husband will choose Option B, when I really want Option A. I will be secretly pissed that we are not going where I want to go. It’s not fair that I do this. I think I am being nice by giving my husband the choice, but it’s not a fair choice when I’m going to be mad if he doesn’t pick right. If I say what I want, my husband is always happy to accommodate me…I just need to realize it!
Have a date night once a week. Lately we have fallen into the rut of doing our own thing at night. I might be reading a book while my husband watches TV, or he’s playing a game on his phone while I obsessively marathon The Walking Dead to catch up to where he is. Technically, we are in the same room together, but it’s not really “quality time.” I think we can do better. I’ve already enlisted my sister to babysit Friday night so we can go out to dinner. I’d like to do some fun date nights that don’t involve going out. Maybe we’ll actually take out the board games that have been collecting dust in our cabinets for two years…
Stop keeping score. This is going to be the hardest for me. I feel like I’m nice and I do favors for my husband, however…I keep track of those favors or nice things and then throw them in his face later. Example: he usually offers to let me sleep in on the weekends because I get up with our daughter on the weekdays, and some days that is EARLY! If I end up waking up early on Saturday anyway, I will just get up with our daughter and let him sleep in. But then I will bring it up either later that day or the next day, to remind him that he now “owes me.” I also do something similar where I feel like my husband should take over with parenting the second he walks in the door, because “I’ve had her all day already.” I have to remember that we both worked hard all day and that we are a team. We both have an equally important role in our household and should support each other, not play “Who works harder for our family?” We both do.
Take the yoga pants off once in awhile! My excuses are all legit- I’m pregnant, I stay home with my daughter all day, etc, etc. That is what I use to justify staying in comfy (ugly) clothes most days. Now my husband has never come out and said that it would be nice if I got dressed occasionally, but I’m sure he’s thinking it. I have to imagine that I’d have a problem with him staying in sweats everyday. My goal here is to take the time to blow-dry my hair a few times a week, put on some (minimal) makeup, and ditch the yoga pants at least every other day. This one’s going to be rough, too…
Wish me luck! What goals are you working on currently?