Category: Marriage

The Nothing Box

As I briefly mentioned, last weekend Josh, Lochlyn, and I packed up a million baby things and headed to Calgary. We dropped Lochlyn off at my parent’s house late Friday afternoon and then met up with our friends Sean and Leah for dinner. I unfortunately didn’t take pictures last weekend, but we went to Brewsters and it was pretty good!

After dinner, we headed to a marriage course that we had signed up for a while ago. Sean and Leah had been before and invited us to go with them this time. The course was called “Laugh your Way to a Better Marriage” and I highly recommend it.

It was super entertaining, funny, and I feel like I learned a ton from it. Josh and I actually watched the DVDs from the course when we were engaged, but it is sure different taking the course after you have been married for five years!

wedding frame

One of my favourite things that I learned from the course was…

Men and women think completely differently.

Okay, I realize this is kind of obvious, but the way the course explained it made so much sense to me. The speaker, Mark Gungor, explained that men compartmentalize all of their thoughts into little “boxes”. For example, they have a box for finances, a box for work, a box for the kids, and a box for their significant other, etc. When they think or talk about something they metaphorically go in, take a box off of the shelf, open it, think/talk about it, and when they are done they put it back. They don’t think, or talk about two subjects at once. Each subject has it’s own box. They don’t ever touch. This means men don’t make connections between the different subjects, or jump back and forth between them.

boxes on shelf

 

Source

Something that was very interesting to me is that men also have a box for nothing. They literally have the ability to think about nothing when they want to. There are actually scientific studies to prove that men have this capability (women don’t). This is especially useful for them when they want to de-stress, or relax. They just pull out their “nothing box” and literally think about nothing. When you see your man staring at the TV/cupboard/wall with a blank look on his face, he is literally thinking about absolutely nothing. Must be nice.

Women think much differently than men (duh!). Our minds can be compared to a mass of jumbled wires. Everything connects to everything. Nothing is separate from anything else. We are constantly thinking non-stop all the time and we definitely don’t have the ability to think about nothing. Our minds are constantly on-the-go, jumping from one subject to the next, and then back again.

tangled wires

Source

When women get stressed out, our minds kick into overdrive, and we need to get those thoughts verbalized in order to relax. Talking helps us figure out what is going on inside our heads. We don’t need a solution, we just need an ear (or a pen and paper!) to hear our thoughts.

Men often mistake our venting as asking for help and they try to offer advice. The only help women really need is someone to listen. Mark Gungor explained that guys never go to other guys with a problem unless they are asking for help. This is why when you go to your guy wanting to talk, he tries to solve your issues for you. So annoying – Am I right ladies?!

I always find it frustrating when I know something is upsetting Josh, but he just sits there and doesn’t say a word. When I ask him what is going on in his head, he tells me nothing. I always think he is lying and that he doesn’t want to talk about it. I also feel like he is shutting me out and I tend to take it personally. I assume that he is upset with me, even if the problem has nothing to do with me. This course recommends just letting men sit there in their nothing box and de-stress. They are actually dealing with their problems!

I guess this explains a lot of communication problems in relationships. When a woman sees that something is bothering her significant other, she immediately starts prying to try to get him to talk. Really, the man just wants to be left alone to “do nothing” until he gets over it. When a man sees that a woman is upset, he gives her space, and tells her to “relax”. Really, this is the last thing that she needs! I guess this explains why guys need other guys friends and girls need other girl friends.

The course encouraged women to give men space and let them be. It also encouraged men to listen to women when they need to talk, without offering solutions to their problems. If Josh and I can get even this one small point from the course, we will be much better off!

wedding kiss

This is only one of many concepts that was discussed at the marriage course we attended. I think that I gained something from each of the six sessions we went to. I was actually planning to talk about some of the other sessions, and what we did for the rest of the weekend, but this post is already getting long.

I would highly recommend the course that we went to. If it is something that you may be interested in, feel free to ask me more questions. You can also check out the website here. If there aren’t any sessions offered in your area, DVD’s of the course are available. Also, this course is super appealing to men. It is hilarious, pokes fun at both genders, and doesn’t condemn at all. Josh loved it!

 

Have you ever taken a marriage/relationship course? Would you?

Do you agree with the differences to how men and women think?

 

 

 

 

Let’s Talk Traditions

This was one busy weekend for us. It was filled with rushing around getting all the last minute details ready for Christmas, and getting our house ready for guests.

I was going to post a weekend recap, but there wasn’t very much interesting that happened, so instead I am going to talk about what our Christmas is looking like.

Christmas is different this year. Actually the last few years it has really changed. My brother moved overseas to the UK and he hasn’t come home for Christmas in a couple years. He won’t be coming home this year either. My brother, David is a musician, and Christmas is his busy season, so he stays home to work. I miss him a lot, but he is visiting in February!

david playing guitar

My cousins are getting older (not that old – I am still the oldest!). They have girlfriends and boyfriends, and other families to visit. They can’t always make it family gatherings. My grandparents are also getting older and it is getting harder for them to come to family gatherings, or to stay very long.

grandparents and lochlyn

I also have to consider Josh’s family during the holidays. They live in Manitoba, which is a VERY long and boring drive away. We fly there when we go and visit them, especially during the holidays. Spending holidays with Josh’s family was actually something that was very difficult for me to adjust to, and I have to admit that I am still adjusting. I only see my extended family during the holidays and Christmas has always been a huge family time for me. Before getting married I had never spent a Christmas away from home.

When we got married, Josh wasn’t very big into Christmas. He didn’t always go home, and it wasn’t that important to him. Since then, he is getting closer to his family, and it is getting more important to him to spend time with them. I am really happy about this, but it is still a big adjustment for me. I love seeing my in-laws, but I don’t love making the trip during Christmas and being away from my family. I am thankful that this year, we are in Calgary, but it means that next year we will likely travel to Brandon, and I am already getting sad about it.

grandma grandpa thanksgiving

Obviously, another big change that we have this year is Lochlyn. Of course she is a good change, but still a change that is going to affect our Christmas. I am so excited to watch her experience the holiday. I know that each year will get even more fun as she starts getting excited for the big day. It also means that Christmas is more busy. Everything takes longer when you have a little one to think about! It also means that our extended family really wants to see her. They don’t get a chance to see Lochlyn that often (a few times a year).

Dealing with changes around the holidays is difficult. I loved all of our old family traditions and I wish they could stay the same. At the same time, I am excited that Josh and I have a family of our own now, and we will get to create our own traditions together.

lochlyn and eeyore playing under tree

This year I am learning the importance of setting boundaries with family and friends, and making sure that Josh, Lochlyn and I get time together too. We are pretty much maxed out this holiday, meaning we can’t fit one more thing, or person in. We have had to say no to seeing people. This is really hard, especially when it is family. I felt really guilty about it because my favorite part about Christmas is all of the family time. I think that if we tried to see everyone and do everything, we wouldn’t get a chance to spend time with each other, which is really important to me. It also would be really busy and not fair to Lochlyn. I want her to have a good Christmas.

This year we are spending Christmas Eve and Christmas morning at our house. Josh has Christmas Eve off work, and we have plans to exchange gifts with each other, and then go skating with some friends. My parents are coming up in the afternoon and spending the night with us. We will be ordering in sushi and spending the evening with my parents.

Christmas morning is going to be a bit rushed. We will celebrate it here, before we drive out to Calgary to have Christmas dinner at my Aunt’s house. We are staying a few nights at my parent’s house in Cochrane, which is a town outside of Calgary. On boxing day, we have plans to visit with my Dad’s side of the family. On the 27th we will see my grandpa, and then in the evening I have my high school reunion. On the 28th, we will drive back to Sylvan Lake and get ready for Josh’s parents to come stay with us. That means groceries, meal planning, and cleaning. They get here on the 30th.

That is about as busy as I want to be this Christmas. I would like a chance to spend some time with Lochlyn and Josh, and it is going to be hard to squeeze that in. I am excited for this new way of celebrating Christmas, but I do miss the way we used to celebrate it.

lochlyn's first christmas present

Another thing that has made Christmas really different, is not having my grandma with us anymore. My dad’s mom passed away about 7 years ago, and my family still really feels the change. Christmas was her birthday, and it was always a special time for her. I miss her a lot at Christmas, and it always seems like the perfect day to spend remembering her, even as we celebrate.

I didn’t get a chance to post my meal plan for the week on Saturday, so I thought I would share a couple recipes that I am planning to make during the next couple days with you guys. I will also let you in on Lochlyn’s new foods! I’m not cooking too much this week, too many other things to do!

Recipes for the week

Lochlyn’s New Foods

  • Beef (we actually tried this last night, she loved it!)
  • Lentils
  • Chick peas

Food Prep

  • Prep breakfast food for Lochlyn for while we are out of town
  • Cut up cheese, sausage, and veggies for easy Christmas day lunch

 

Do you have a hard time with changing traditions?

What are you having for breakfast Christmas morning?

 

Winter Goals

The official first day of winter this year is December 21st. This is crazy. In Sylvan Lake, it has been winter since Halloween. By now it is freezing cold, and my life is covered in snow. I was going to wait to post my winter goals until the official season change, but I decided against it. Winter is here, and it is time to review my old goals and set up some new ones.

If you read my fall goals, you would know that I have a hard time with goals. I am such a perfectionist, to me, the goal wasn’t accomplished unless I was perfect at it. I am starting to see that this is not very realistic, and maybe even impossible. Life isn’t about absolutes, there is a lot of grey areas. If I can improve on the grey areas, that is a success! I think most of my goals weren’t 100% achieved, but the grey area was improved. I will take it!

How I did on my Fall goals

1. Start reading my Bible daily

I improved in this area quite a bit. I started doing the devotional She Reads Truth before bed most nights and really enjoyed it (thank you Ashley for sharing about this on your blog!). I still don’t read my Bible every night. Often on weekends I stay up and hang out with Josh instead, and that is okay with me. I would say goal accomplished.

she reads truth flower

2. Set time aside weekly to spend together as a family

This is another area that I think I did well on. We have gone on lots of coffee dates, a few walks, and Josh and I have spent more time hanging out together. I would like to continue to grow in this area, and make family time a priority on Sundays. Still I would say that throughout the fall, we have spent time together every Sunday, even if it is just a trip to the grocery store together. Accomplished.

christmas market walk

3. Get back into running

This has been going great too. It was a little hard to start running in the beginning because my baby girl was sick for so long. She has been getting better and I have been easing my way back into running with three short runs a week. I am following Hal Higdon’s 5k novice training plan, and have upped my miles from 1.5 to 2.5. In a few more weeks I will be at 5K! I plan to start a revised version of the half marathon novice 1 plan in January. Excited! Accomplished.

4. Unplug from technology

I definitely saw an improvement in this area, but I am still not quite where I want to be. I am on my phone a lot less while I am spending time with Lochlyn, but overall I still spend a lot of time on my phone, or on the computer. I am sure that all of the online shopping last weekend didn’t help this out. Area improved.

5. Pay more attention to my body’s hunger and fullness cues

After my Intuitive Tuesday post about honoring your hunger, I feel like I am paying more attention to my body and eating while I am hungry. I haven’t been focusing as much on my fullness cues at the moment, but I have been trying. I do notice a big change in this area, but intuitive eating takes time you guys! At least for me it does. I have to constantly remind myself that it is a process, not a diet or set of rules, and that I am slowly learning to listen to my body. Also I think back to where my relationship with food used to be and realize I have come such a long way. This month, and particularly the last couple of weeks I would say that I have been better at listening to my body’s hunger cues, and eating when I need to. Improved.

Honorable mentions

I didn’t do very well at there. I guess that is why I chose them for honorable mentions and not my main goals.

– Get the majority of my Christmas shopping done. This wasn’t too bad. I am getting close to being done, hopefully by the end of the weekend I will only have a couple more things to pick up.

Figure out what I am going to do for an income in January when my maternity leave payments are done. Hey I did this too! I went to talk to my old employer and have been working out what hours I will be available. Looks like I am going back to my old job. This is good, but I would really love to find something that I can do from home.

-Get our old car towed from the back yard. Nope, still there! Oops!

-Set up an RESP account for Lochlyn. Still need to do this one too.

 

winter goals

Here are my new goals for this season! There are a few repeats of ares that I still want to work on!

1. Unplug from technology.

This area still needs work. I would like to set designated times to be on the internet, whether it is on my phone or computer, and not be on it all day. I have been watching Netflix a lot lately, and that means I am on the Internet even more. It can waste so much time and take me away from being in the present moment. It also takes time away from my house (which is messy) and my family.

I would like to keep the time spend on my phone to while I am nursing Lochlyn. I am pretty good about only blogging in the mornings, and I plan to keep that up. I would like to save the Netflix habit for while I am stretching after working out, and for the evenings after Lochlyn is asleep, and the weekends. I keep finding myself folding laundry in front of it, and then it gets so hard to tear myself away.

2. Pay more attention to my body’s hunger and fullness cues

This goal is back on my list too. I think that it will be a goal for quite awhile. Like I said, this is a process, and something that I am working to get better at. This season, I want to really work on not eating while I am distracted. This is hard for a mom to do! I think the main thing for me is to not eat and multi-task. I am great at eating while blogging, while watching movies, and while checking my phone. I find that I eat quite a bit more if I do it while I am doing other things. If I sit down to eat a meal without doing anything else, I tend to stop early because I notice when I start to get full.

Along these same lines I also want to set a good example for Lochlyn. I try to eat a couple of meals a day with her, and I want to make sure that I am not doing other things while we are eating together. Little ones pick up so much, and I don’t want her to develop my bad habits!

cute eater

3. Keep my house tidier

This place keeps getting so messy. On top of that, we just have way too much stuff! I need to organize my life, and get rid of what we don’t need. This will be more challenging when I start working in January, and i want to make the most of my time. During Lochlyn’s first nap of the day, I want to work on cleaning up and organizing the house. This way I don’t miss out on time with her, and I can still get some things done.

messy kitchen

 

At least my dishes are done (thank you Josh!)

4. Reconnect with Josh

Okay, so we haven’t really unconnected, we have connected great as a mom and dad. I want to reconnect as husband and wife. I feel like now that we have really settled in to having a little one, it is time to up the romance factor in our relationship. We are best friends, but I don’t want us to just be friends, if you know what I mean.

This will be a tough one for me. I get really busy and have a hard time making time for people. I want to take advantage of the evening time that we have after Lochlyn goes down for the night and spend time together. I also want to pay more attention to what Josh likes doing, and do it with him. I have a feeling this may involve me watching a lot of hockey, but I guess if I am willing to do this for the sake of our relationship, maybe he will be willing to compromise a bit too! I have a confession to make. Last weekend Josh sat at our computer watching hockey, and I sat in the family room and watched a movie. I know it’s not that big of a deal, but don’t want our relationship to be like this!

wedding reception carry

Honorable Mentions

-Set up an RESP account for Lochlyn. Yup, still need to do this…

-Take Eeyore to the vet. She needs some shots and is WAY overdue for her annual checkup. We have decided this will be her Christmas present this year. Poor cat.

-Baking and cooking. I want to experiment a little bit more in the kitchen. I also want to get some Christmas baking done early, and I am starting to run out of time for that!

-Sign up for a half marathon. I am planning to run a 10K on April 11th in Calgary, and a half marathon on May 17th in Red Deer. Registration for the half starts December 15th. I am nervous to sign up, but I just need to do it!

 

Any goals for the winter season?

Can you share some tips for how to keep my house tidier? I need all the help I can get!

The Importance of Being Accountable

I am late in getting a post up this morning. I have had a cold for over a week now, and it is getting ridiculous. I was up a lot of the night coughing, so my husband decided to take a sick day today and hang out with Lochlyn so I could get some rest. I slept in really late, which was awesome after not getting any sleep the night before. Now I am sitting at my computer with a warm mug of coffee in my P.J.’s while I type this post. I am really hoping that a relaxing day will be just what the doctor ordered.

coffee computer

I have a bit more serious of a post for you guys today. I want to talk about the subject of accountability, and especially how it can help you to overcome struggles in your life. As many of you may know from reading My Story, I have struggled with disordered eating in the past, and am working on healing this issue in my life. One area in particular that I struggled with and kept a secret was obsessive dieting. This eventually led to some serious binge eating, which I also made sure to keep a secret.

When I finally came clean and told my husband that I was dealing with these issues a huge load was lifted off my shoulders. It was really hard for me to tell Josh, because I knew that if I told him, I would have to work on fixing this problem. If I told Josh that I was eating everything in sight whenever he went out for the night, he would start keeping me accountable and checking in with me. Telling Josh was me making a choice to get this problem out of my life. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t healed overnight. Telling someone didn’t make the problem go away, but it was me making a conscious effort to deal with it. To recognize that it wasn’t okay, and that there was actually something wrong.

Josh and I still talk about my eating issues fairly regularly. I have been telling him about the book Intuitive Eating that I have been reading, and how I have been doing lately. If I have a particularly bad day when it comes to food, whether it be with dieting or overeating, I make sure to tell him. After I had Lochlyn I started getting back into the dieting mindset because I wanted to lose some extra baby weight. I didn’t tell Josh at first, and kept it a secret, until it got a little out of hand, and I was finding myself overeating again. One sign that you are doing something that isn’t good for you, is keeping it a secret from people that love and care about you.

quote 2

It is important to tell someone that cares about you and wants the best for you when you are struggling with something. They will recognize that whatever destructive behaviour you are participating in, is not good for you. They will help you to deal with this issue in your life and continually look for signs that show how you are doing.

I was recently talking about this subject with someone that I am close to that has struggled with, and overcame bullimia. She kept her eating disorder a secret for years and years before finally coming clean to her husband. It took even longer for her to tell other people about it. She told me that now when she shares her story, she feels like it not only helps others, but helps her too, because sharing it makes sure that she never falls back into the same destructive behaviour again.

I can relate to this with drinking. People that are close to me know that I struggled with abusing alcohol in the past. I have quit drinking for about 7 years now, but it is still something that i am very careful about. Whenever I tell someone that I used to have a drinking problem, it means that if that person cares about me, they will keep me accountable around alcohol.

Another great example of this happened when I wrote my Fall goals. My husband read that post without telling me, and then confronted me on something that I discussed in that post. I mentioned that I wasn’t reading my Bible lately and that it was something that I wanted to do more of. Reading the Bible is something that both Josh and I take pretty seriously and consider to be an important part of our lives. I don’t read the Bible because I feel like I have to, but because I want to, and I recognize that I am a better, happier, and more grounded person when I do. Josh asked me about this and we talked together about my plan on how I was going to start reading again. Being open and honest about areas of our life that we aren’t happy about provides a way to make them better! Josh didn’t accuse me of anything, but asked me about the issue because he loves me and only wants what is best for me.

It is human nature to hide our struggles and imperfections. I have a hard time with being open and honest with other people. I am much better at sweeping my problems under the rug and forgetting about them, but then they never seem to go away. Getting them out in the open and dealing with them, with the help of others, is so much better!

This is also a good reminder to not be judgemental of others if they confide in you. I think the best and most healing thing you can do is to love on other people, especially when they are struggling with areas of their life.

funny wedding kiss

 

 

Has being accountable to people helped you deal with any personal struggles?

Are there areas in your life that you have kept hidden from other people?

 

Halloween/Time Change Weekend

Happy happy Monday! I hope you all had a great Halloween/time change weekend!

Our weekend started off a little rocky. One of the tires popped on our little car on Josh’s drive to work (on the highway). The tire wouldn’t come off and Josh ended up having to call someone to come pry it off with a crowbar – we will be driving around with a crowbar in our vehicles from now one.

We have the worst luck with vehicles ever! Our Nissan Xterra, and little Kia hatchback suck up our finances better than anything! If we only have to spend $3000 a year maintaining them, that is a very good year. On average I would say our vehicles cost us $5000-$6000. That is a lot of money for someone on maternity leave! I am very thankful that the only thing the car needs at this moment is a new tire. It could have been a lot worse. Our truck is currently waiting on over $2000 worth of repairs!

Alright, I am done venting now. Thank’s for listening! On a more positive note, check out these pretty flowers Josh brought home for the me other day:

lilies from Josh

The rest of weekend ended up being pretty great. On Friday night we dressed up our little one and handed out Halloween candy. By 7:00 we only ended up getting about 12 kids, so we decided to head out and stop by a couple friends houses to show off this cute kitten.

halloween kitten

I apologize for the dark and blurry photo!

Not very many of our friends were home. We ended up visiting a few people before it was time to head home and put Lochlyn to bed. The rest of the evening was spent relaxing and reading before I decided to head to bed too. It was an early night because I am still fighting a cold.

Saturday was a productive day. We stayed home and got a lot of cleaning done around the house. I also made these muffins. They tasted great, but they were a little dry and reminded me more of scones than muffins. Next time I would add in some applesauce or oil, ,and maybe use a less dense flour, like spelt.

apricot oatmeal muffins

I think I found a new favorite peanut chicken stir fry recipe, and the best part – my husband loved it! This recipe was a hit! I especially liked the addition of chicken broth to the sauce. There was so much sauce to go around, and it gave the stir fry a lot of flavor. I would definitely recommend this recipe! We used real peanut butter instead of the diet one in the recipe and cut down on the Sriracha (Josh doesn’t love spicy). The only thing I would change would be to add more veggies next time. I like a lot of veggies in my stir fry.

peanut stir fry

Sunday was time change day! I hope you all remembered! I have been planning for this day for over a month now. I was worried that Lochlyn would start waking up super early when we changed the clocks back. For all of October, I have been working on slowly pushing her bedtime back from 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm. This has helped her to start sleeping in later and later. She used to wake up around 8:30 am, but with the later bedtime she has been sleeping until 9:00 am or even the odd 10:00 am. Now that the clocks have been set back, she is waking up at her usual time again. Sometimes I feel like such a genius :)

Speaking of Sunday, check out all the snow my parents got in Calgary! They live about an hour and a half drive south of us. It is crazy because we didn’t get any snow. Winter is coming!

unnamed-21

On Sunday we went for a family walk and checked out the Christmas market that is in town. I was so excited to check it out, but it was a little bit disappointing. There wasn’t a lot there that I was interested in looking at. It was nice to get out of the house though!

christmas market

The rest of our walk was beautiful. It was such a nice fall day, and Josh and I had such good conversation. I love going for walks with the family, I am not sure what we are going to do when it starts getting really cold here.

unnamed-16christmas market walk

I am not sure if you noticed, but I was even wearing real clothes! Not workout clothes, or sweats and a hoodie! I wore one of the many outfits that my parents got me for my birthday. Thank you Mom and Dad! Check out this dress (and ignore my awkward photos) I love it!

dress model poseamerican eagle dress

Now, I want to take a moment to talk about this guy.

josh and lochlyn on couch

No, it’s not our anniversary, and it’s not his birthday, but he is so great I want to talk about him anyways. Josh is the best father and husband I could ask for. He is so good to his family and does everything he can for us.

Josh and Lochlyn

He goes to work everyday and works as hard as he can to support and provide for us. I know there are many days where he would way rather be doing something else. He comes home and spends time with Lochlyn. He washes the millions of dishes I use, every night, without complaining. He spends time with me and makes me laugh. He always tells me what a great mom and wife I am. He supports me in my goals and dreams, including writing this blog, and being a stay-at-home mom. He always is telling me to take a break, relax, and take some time for myself. He also is always telling me how beautiful, and perfect I am. He makes me feel attractive and special, even when I am still working at accepting my new post-baby body. Josh never hesitates when I ask him to watch Lochlyn so that I can have some alone time. On the weekend he helps out with her in every way he can think of. He is so good at loving her, and he is so good at loving me. I appreciate and love this man so much and I don’t feel like I tell him that enough.

monkey face engagement pic

Thank you Josh, you are the best!

 

Did you do anything exciting this weekend?

When do you usually get your first snowfall (if you get snow)? I think we have snow in the forecast for later in the week!

How to Stay Close to Your Partner With a New Baby

I am writing this post not because I am an expert in this area, but because it is something that I want to work on. I have a great husband. He has been such a good Dad, and he is so good to me. He helps me so much around the house. He does the dishes every night. Plays with Lochlyn every day when he comes home from work. He always wants to spend time with me and cares how I am doing. He really is the best and I am very blessed to be married to him.

dad and baby playing on floor

While I was pregnant, Josh and I had a lot of time together. It seemed like we had more time than usual, and we didn’t even know what to do with ourselves sometimes. When Lochlyn came it was a different story. With a newborn I was so crazy busy and Josh was constantly trying to help. A newborn takes up so much time! I didn’t get a chance to do anything but feed Lochlyn, shower, eat, and if I was lucky, sleep. I hardly had a free minute to spend time with Josh. When I did have a free minute, I didn’t want to be giving, but wanted to be selfish with my time.

sleeping newborn baby

Josh and I both felt it. we didn’t feel as close to each other as we were before Lochlyn. It was crazy sharing the experience of giving birth with Josh. He was the only one I wanted in the delivery room besides doctors and nurses. I felt so close to him in that moment, but once Lochlyn came home, we slowly started drifting apart.

Once Josh and I realized what was going on, we made a point of working on our marriage. Relationships are something that you have to work on forever. They are never a finsihed project but something that you should always be improving. I want to be a better wife to Josh, and I want to work on our marriage to make it stronger. Not only does Josh deserve this, but so does our baby girl.

picture kiss wedding picture

 

 

Here are a few of my ideas for how to stay close to your partner, especially after having a baby. Some of them are things that have already worked for us, and some are areas that I still need to work on:

  • Tell your partner how you are feeling. What helped us realize that we needed to spend more time working on our marriage was just coming out and saying it. You don’t need to do this in an accusatory way, but be honest and open with each other. Something along the lines of “I don’t feel close to you right now” works for us.
  •  Make time for each other. This seems like an obvious one, but it is particularly hard for me. It is difficult to set aside time to do something little, like go for a coffee, when you have a mountain of a to-do list and no time. A happy marriage is more important than the laundry, or making dinner. I want to work on scheduling time into my day to make sure I spend time with Josh, even if it is only ten minutes at the end of the day.
  • Learn what makes your partner feel loved, and make sure you are loving on them regularly. There are tons of ways to show/tell your partner that you care about them. Different ways speak louder than others to different people.  A really good resource to learn more about this if you are interested is this book. It has really helped me understand what my husband needs from me and why I don’t always feel loved myself.
  • Try to stay on the same schedule as much as possible (I realize with a newborn this is sometimes not possible!). This is another one that I need to work on. Josh gets up at 5:00 am to go to work. He goes to bed early. I have been staying up late to work on this blog and then sleeping in. We don’t see much of each other. I am really missing that time cuddling and reading together in bed at the end of the day. I plan to start going to bed earlier and setting an alarm so I can blog in the morning before Lochlyn wakes up.
  • Ask for help when you need it. I was getting really frustrated on the weekends with Josh. I felt like I was spending the whole day nursing Lochlyn, feeding her solids, and changing her diaper. When I wasn’t doing this I was trying to make dinner, or tidy up the house. I had no time to myself and yet I saw Josh have time to sit and have a coffee, or watch Netflix. I kept this inside and didn’t say anything for way too long. When I finally confronted him I was angry and frustrated. I told him how I was feeling, and he had no idea. He was making a huge effort to clean the house and do yard work and he didn’t realize that I needed help with Lochlyn. He told me that it seemed like I had everything figured out and he didn’t want to intrude. He has helped with Lochlyn so much more since I told him how I was feeling. I should have asked him for the help I needed help so much sooner!
  • Don’t stop doing the things you enjoy together. This also seems like an obvious one, but when you have a baby, everything else gets put on the backburner. Josh and I love getting out and going to the mountains and hiking together. Now we do this with Lochlyn, in a hiking backpack. We have to do way shorter and easier hikes, and sometimes we have to settle for going for a walk around the neighborhood instead. Getting out and enjoying the outdoors is something we both love and brings us so much closer together!
  • Be willing to make sacrifices. This is hard for new moms. It ties into making time for your partner. You spend your whole day as one big sacrifice, tending to your baby. Don’t forget you have someone else that also needs your attention. (Sometimes) be willing to set aside your own agenda and needs for Dad’s. Guaranteed, when you put in the effort, he will do the same for you. This is what loving is all about!

wedding husband funny face

 

 

Wow, this post was a lot longer than I intended, and there is still so much more I could have said!

What are some tips that you have for staying close to your significant other?