Scene: Wife is scraping dried pasta off the stove top from 3 days ago. The dog needs to go outside and ends up peeing on the kitchen floor. One kid in a high chair flings peas at the dog. Another kid in the living room spills something red from a sippy cup on the carpet. Husband comes in and says, “Whatcha’ been doing today?” Now, most of us girls would say, “Are you freakin’ kidding me? Can’t you see what I’m doing?” Neither communication is the most loving or observant. But at the moment it may be the best communication you can muster.
Am I RIGHT?
Fortunately, or unfortunately, however you want to look at it, your hubby’s probably had as hard a day as you have. He may have had time for a shower today, but there are different kinds of pressure and chaos. Being a person who’s had several career paths, I’ve seen a lot of different kinds of crazy.
So here’s my proposition: Develop a 30-second ritual that you both agree on whenever either one of you comes home, and the other is already at home. It doesn’t have to be extravagant or dramatic, just something you can both count on. Some communication when you arrive home so you can reconnect.
Here’s what Mike and I do. I’m usually home on weeknights before Mike since he sees clients late most evenings. I’ve been home after work, feeding the dog, cooking a meal (or something like that), other chores around the house and usually have sat down to watch a little TV or read. When Mike comes in, I put the TV on pause (it will record, you don’t have to watch it right that minute) and I get up and walk to him. We kiss, have a hug, smile at each other and I say, “Glad you’re home.” We talk for 15-30 seconds about our days, and then he goes to his office to put away files, I start the TV again, and we go about our evening.
Not Rocket Science Just a Ritual:
Not rocket science, not anything earth shattering – just a ritual. A ritual that says, I’m glad you’re home, and I love you. Simple, Right? And for Mike, this ritual means that HE is more important to me than the TV show I have been watching. So, if you put it in the context of the scene I presented in the opening of this blog, it may not be so simple. I dare say I might not be so loving and sweet if I were the woman scrapping pasta off the stove.
But guess what, it can still work. Your ritual doesn’t’ have to be like ours. It just needs to be something you can agree on and something that is consistent. For instance, maybe in this scene the man could leave his briefcase in the car and walk in with dinner in a bag. Kiss his wife, tell her he loves her (while handing her the bag) and then whisks one child off to a bath.
Stages of life change, and Mike and I probably aren’t in the same place you are. You’re going to have to make up your ritual that works best for you – but do it.
By developing these small seemingly insignificant rituals, you validate each other as loved, special and wanted, at least a few times each day. It feels GOOD to have someone be glad you’re home and want to kiss you hello.
OK – What about when you leave the house? Does your communication go like this? Shouting from the utility room as you’re walking out the door, already late for work, “See ya,” cue the door slam! This is NOT a good way to say goodbye.
Mike and don’t have a huge ritual around this either, but we do it 90% of the time. Whoever is leaving the house first will go and find our spouse, kiss them and tell them goodbye. There are no stringed instruments playing in the background or anything, just an honest appreciation of the other person and the fact that you’ll miss them while you’re apart. OK, well then we usually do also yell from the utility room door, “See ya,” but that’s just for good measure. For us, we always tell each other we love them!
Think about it. How long does it really take? To stop and have a short hug and kiss takes about 5 seconds. We all can make that much time in our lives, especially since the rewards can be great for the long term.
SHARING QUALITY TIME RITUAL:
I LOVE MIKE FOR DOING THIS WITH ME. You see, quality time or present communication is my love language, and if you don’t know what that means or what your spouse’s love language is, CLICK THE LINK BELOW and take the short survey. This is relationship secret sauce folks! Learn your Love Language for Free.
Anyway, because we spend a lot of time apart due to jobs and other obligations, I value the time Mike and I have together. I just enjoy being with my husband. So, every morning whether he has early clients or doesn’t need to be up until later, he gets up anyway, and we have some quality time together. We drink coffee and tea and read our Bibles together. Then we discuss our plans for the day and what appointments we have. CONNECTION AND COMMUNICATION! It’s a time for us to feel like we know where the other one is going and sort of what their day will be like. It makes my day so much better, and Mike likes it too. There aren’t many days we miss our morning coffee/tea time ritual.
Let me encourage you to find some simple rituals that will work in your life. If you do, you’ll feel more connected and in tune with the one you love most!
In the box below tell us about something simple you already do often to connect when leaving or coming back home.