It’s easy for life to get in the way and lose some of the connection with your spouse, but you don’t have to plan a big romantic gesture everyday when you come home to maintain a connection. Sometimes, you just need to say hi.
We all know that life can get super crazy, and it’s easy to get so caught up in everyday tasks that you can kind of forget about each other.
Here’s one way the day could go: the alarm rings (or in our case the baby cries) at 5 o’clock. You feed the baby while he gets ready to go. Coffee gets made which makes for more dishes. The baby starts fussing just as it’s time for him to leave, and you get the baby as he runs out the door. Fast forward 8 hours. The baby hasn’t slept since noon and you’re exhausted trying to keep him calm, do laundry, and make supper. The trash is full and the pets need to be fed. He’s been on his feet all day looking forward to getting home and hoping for a break. You’ve been waiting all day for him to get home so you can get a break. As soon as he walks in you direct him towards the overflowing trash can and the pets alert him that they are starving. Once the pets and baby are fed, it’s time for you both to eat and since neither one has sat down all day, so you sit down on the couch and settle for the first show that come on and watch tv while you eat or until the baby starts to fuss. The rest of the evening passes, a blur of diapers and feedings. You get the baby ready for bed, and you collapse in bed and fall asleep before he makes it out of the shower. When you look back on the day you realize that you barely knew he was there and he could probably say the same about you. What happens when this goes on not for day but for years? It can happen so easily and gradually that one day you wake up and realized that you don’t really know the person who comes home every night anymore.
Now, for the solution: Just say hi.
In the midst of the chaos of everyday life, take a second to pause and acknowledge the person with whom you are sharing a life. Imagine how different the day could be if you wake up, look each other in the eyes, and say hi. Take a second to connect with your team mate. It makes a world of difference to share a moment and know that you’re not in this alone.
Days are still going to get crazy, you’re still going to be exhausted and so is he, but taking that moment to be on the same team can change the tone of the whole day.
If you feel disconnected to your spouse, this is a good exercise to start to move back towards each other, especially since it doesn’t require a discussion or any huge change in the way you’re doing things now. Tomorrow morning when you wake up (or the first moment you get a chance) stop and look at him and say hi. If you want to get really crazy, tell him to have a good day or that you love him as he walks out the door.
Before having our son and again now that things have slowed down a little, my husband and I have made it a practice to eat breakfast together and then take a second to say goodbye to each other every morning. On the rare days where we don’t get to have breakfast we still say a proper goodbye. For us it’s a kiss and “I love you” but it can look different for everyone. When we get home it’s usually a kiss and “I’m glad you’re home”. That acknowledgement makes a huge difference.
I wrote this when our son was a few months old. Slowing down and saying hi helped us get through this chaotic time and the even more chaotic and emotionally draining time of me transitioning back to work and my husband becoming a stay-at-home dad. We’re going to make sure that this is a priority as we welcome our second child this spring, and we go through another crazy adjustment period.