Having more than one child makes everything busier. As the kids get older there is homework, sports, music lessons, play-dates, birthday parties, field trips, parent teacher conferences… times 3 for me! I have been trying to find time to have special time with each child. I am working on finding something that each one of my kids and I can do together that we both find enjoyable. #2 and #3 are still on the younger side – so our special time is more like going for ice cream, reading a book, going for a walk. #1 and I have found that we love to paint pottery together. Today the stars aligned and we had a couple of hours for just the two of us. We spent a really wonderful hour at the pottery place. We thoughtfully picked out our pieces to paint, we concentrated on the primer, we consulted on our color choices, and gave constructive feedback on the finishing touches. I loved spending an hour where I wasn’t nagging him to do his homework or to take a shower. I loved that he wasn’t begging for a snack or for some iPad time. I hope these are the times that our relationship deepens and grows. I hope he remembers these times when he is a moody teenager.
Feeling connected to your spouse is a problem whether you have been together for one year or 65 years. Six years into my marriage we had a three year old boy and a 6 month old boy. We were tired, stressed, frustrated, not communicating or connecting. And we didn’t even realize it! One night a good friend came over for dinner. We thought we were being fine and normal. She called later to see if we were having problems. She could see we weren’t connected. Shortly after we started our Love Letter Notebook. Here is how it works…
Love Letter Notebook
Pick any blank notebook. Decide which person is going to start first and how often. We decided to do once a week in the beginning and to give the book to the other person on Friday night after the kids were sleeping. We would read it together and discuss. We wrote three paragraphs.
Paragraph 1 – Where we are right now.. Just to update on what is going on with our lives, how we are feeling. “Right now we are getting ready to go out to dinner to celebrate our anniversary. I can’t believe it has been ten years! I am excited to go out by ourselves.”
Paragraph 2 – I love you because….pick anything. Just mean it! And describe it. “I love you because you helped me out so much this week with the boys back at school. I know you are busy at work – but I appreciate how much you helped me.”
Paragraph 3 – Question… ask anything you want. It could be something series or frivolous. “Should we have another baby? What is your favorite movie? What do you want to eat for dinner this week.”
This really worked for us. We were taking time for each other. We took time for ourselves to put our feelings on paper about how we were doing at that moment. We expressed love and appreciation for each other. We then started a conversation. We were pretty sporadic with it at times, but whenever we need to go back – we always has the notebook.