It’s that time of year again, Valentine’s day, where people go to extravagant means to profess their love (or feel bad if they don’t receive this over the top show). While I have no problem with Valentine’s Day, as busy parents sometimes we forget that there are small things that we can do each day to connect with our significant other and show our love. Recently my husband made a comment that he felt like our busy lives had taken over and we hadn’t connected recently. This got me thinking about the small ways in our day that we can connect with our loved ones, these ways do not take a lot of time or money and doing them will not only make your spouse feel loved, but also fill your own heart. Continue reading for my five suggestions on ways that you can connect with your spouse today.
Hug it Out
In the list of displays of affectionate, the hug is highly underrated, but completely effective. Nothing starts my day off right quite like a hug. I am not talking about the one arm hug you give your friends or the quick hug of someone leaving or the silly bear hug you give your kids, I’m talking about the loving embrace your give someone to let them know you care. I love that my husband and I don’t reserve hugs just for when we are having a hard time, but that we love to start the day with a good hug. This is a great way to make a quick connection that doesn’t even require any words.
Take a Walk
There is something about talking and walking that really works for me. When things get hectic around our house on the weekends we love to load the girls into the stroller, leash up our dog and take a walk. I don’t know if it’s the endorphins released from the exercise or the fact that you aren’t necessarily making eye contact, but I find that sometimes its easier to connect on more difficult subjects when you are walking. We are also easily distracted at the house (e.g. thinking of that load of laundry that needs to go into the drier while my husband is discussing the budget) so getting outside and talking while walking works well.
I know many people don’t find cooking relaxing or have to concentrate while cooking or have a spouse that isn’t interested in cooking, but cooking a meal together is another great way to connect. There is something about working towards a shared goal, sharing a small space together and getting to enjoy the fruit of your labor that is enjoyable to share with your spouse. Unlike the walking, we normally don’t have deep conversations while cooking, but we do get to enjoy each others company and have some small moments together (e.g. tasting sauces, or checking if the green beans are done).
Eat Dinner without Interruption
I whole heartedly believe in the benefits of family dinners, but with small children (I currently have two girls, two years and under) these dinners can be very hectic. Someone is feeding the baby, someone else is keeping the toddler from feeding the dog and if we had a third parent they would be busy, too. This does not make for a dinner where two adults can connect. On top of that, even if we do eat dinner separate from our kids, we frequently fall into the trap of eating in front of the TV. A few weeks ago, we decided that when we sat down instead of finding a show to watch we would just enjoy a nice dinner together. It was so nice just talking about our day, or commenting on what we had made for dinner that we are going to commit to doing this periodically so that we can connect over a nice meal and just enjoy each other’s company.
End the Day Right – Snuggling
As exhausted parents, we frequently just fall into bed at night and are asleep as soon as our head hits the pillow. When we were younger we would go to bed early and just lay in bed and talk or silently snuggle. The evenings get busy, but if you can just spare 10 extra minutes at the end of the day, the reward will be worth it. I am one that likes my personal space while sleeping, but it is nice sometimes to just lay together for a few minutes before rolling over and falling asleep.
These are my five suggestions for connecting with your spouse that are easy, free and can be done daily. How do you like to connect with your loved ones?