Sunday, May 1, 2016

Staying Connected with My Husband


"There just isn't time to talk." "We are living two different schedules." "I love my husband but I am so busy with my job, children, and home there isn't a way to stay connected." 
Ever felt this way? I shouldn't even ask that because odds are you do or will at some point.

  In the midst of parenting 6 children, teaching homeschool, doing housework, leading in ministry (especially with much traveling), staying connected with my husband isn't the easiest thing to do. In fact, there was a season a few years ago that Scotty was the last person on my mind. Things just weren't alive and flourishing between us like it should have been. But, by the grace of God, we made some changes.

    One of the main things we do to stay connected is that we have a strategy. Because of life and all its responsibilities, time together just doesn't happen. Here are a few strategies we do to have time together. 

Daily: Call or text throughout the day to touch base on what we are doing, how things are going, or even just to say "love you".

After we pray over the dinner food, the children make their plates then listen to Scotty and I talk about our day. We take about 5 minutes or so on the front end before the children share about their day. It is hard for the little ones to be quiet but they are learning.

Daily: Children are in bed by 8:30 (ish) so we have chat time. If you have children, you know this can be challenging but teach them to respect your time and to respect their bodies for sleep. 

Weekly: Go over the calendar and schedule. We snag a window of time by occupying the children with house work, school, or playing while we discuss the upcoming week. This makes sure we are together on details of events and what is needed. This is a MUST!

Monthly: Date night at least once a month. I know other people may say to have one every week but that hasn't been realistic for us. So, plan for one night a month. Sometimes we go out but usually we go upstairs to Scotty's office, eat, chat, watch a movie, or take a nap. Ha!

The babysitter does the same routine with them every week so it is easy. Dinner, clean kitchen, take baths/showers, brush teeth, watch a movie and put the baby in bed at 8:00. Switch out with a friend for childcare, ask grandparents or adopted grandparents, or ask a mature student that you are mentoring to volunteer her time.

Every 6 months: Something we started this past year also is to pull away for two nights to be together alone. This is not for ministry trips or anything that requires working but simply to stay close in our marriage. We go to nearby fun spot (hooray for Branson!) and we pay a trusted friend of the family to keep the home-front going. 

It takes a special person to help you while you are away but God will provide for you. I typically go crazy-busy making sure the house, car, food, and schedule is laid out before I go but its worth being able to have 48 hours away.

     These basic strategies in my marriage have helped us tremendously. I used to view Scotty as another child to care for in life. However, I realized that is not God's plan. Staying connected is crucial and can make things so much less stressful for everyone!

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