When I first got married I had lots of time to think about creative ways to tell my husband that I loved him. We also had a lot more time to do romantic things and just spend time together talking and focusing on our thoughts and feelings for each other. Then twins happened. Time became something I had to budget every minute of. Or that’s what it felt like anyway.
Suddenly all my focus was on two adorable little babies and on being the best mom I could be. Or just surviving each day..but either way, not a lot of time for hubby. When I did have a few precious moments to myself, it was things like eating, showering and doing laundry that occupied my time. Or just sitting and staring at the wall..which is something a lot of first time moms do apparently.
It wasn’t that I wanted it to be that way. I really wanted time to just talk and snuggle and do the things we used to do. It was just that I didn’t have much energy or brain space (and neither did he for that matter) to go all out like I used to. Adjusting to being a parent is a big deal no matter how many babies you start off with ( I can’t imagine having triplets the first time!), and it takes time to learn how to function in the new family dynamic you just created.
For us it took awhile (about a year), to finally feel like we were in the groove of being parents of twins and to have the mental capacity to start focusing on things in our lives other than babies, such as house projects, social life, and of course, each other.
We did try to make time for date nights and such early on (with the help of grandparents who were close by to babysit) but they were definitely the kind of dates people joke about on movies and stuff where you just sit there in the restaurant totally exhausted saying “we’re doing this because we need to get out, even though we’d rather be sleeping”.
Since we had the girls on a fairly consistent schedule from the beginning, it did give us a bit of time each evening to ourselves, which we probably wouldn’t have survived without. Yes, we spent it zoning out watching tv for the first 6 months at least, but we were honestly too tired to get off the couch most nights. However, it was good to have this time since we could talk if we needed to and just snuggling was sometimes all we wanted to do anyway.
Now that the girls are older and we are less tired, we can actually do stuff in the evenings and enjoy our time to ourselves. Having this recharge time is really important for us and it makes us better parents and a better couple. Also, during the day when Chris is working and the girls are napping, I’m able to again have some time to think of ways to tell my husband I love him, thanks to keeping the girls on the same nap routine (most of the time).
So here are 3 things that say “I love you” to my husband.
“I respect you”
This one is the first because it is super important to every guy and they need to hear it like us women need to hear “I love you”. I highly recommend the book “Love and Respect”, which outlines why men need respect and women need love. When you ask men what is more important for them to hear from their wife, most will say respect over love. Hard for us women to understand, I know, but apparently it’s true. My husband agrees.
We want to hear our husband’s say “I love you” every day, and they want to hear “I respect you” every day. Think of the things you respect about your husband and tell him ‘I respect you because..”. We like to hear why our husbands love us, and they in turn like to hear why we respect them.
So make a list and every now and then try do something special like send your husband an email or text when he’s at work with a few of the things on the list. Or write a little note for his lunch box if he packs a lunch. As situations come up in life, take note of things you respect about how your husband handled something and keep adding to your list.
Or try this note jar idea if you’re feeling especially busy but still want him to know that you are thinking of him.
“I need you”
Everyone needs to be needed, and guys like to hear in what ways they are needed by their wife. Now there is a difference between telling your husband that you need something from him, and telling your husband how you need him in a loving way that builds him up. So telling him “babe I need you to empty the trash” or “I need you to pick up milk on your way home”, is different than saying, “I can’t live life without you, I need you every day by my side. You are my partner, friend and lover, and you complete me.”
When you are trying to deal with kids every day it can get easy to fall into the habit of only saying what we need our husbands to do to help out. This is important of course, for dads to know that they are needed in the family and to feel that they are a valued member of the team, especially when babies are newborn and mom is the main caregiver. There are lots of ways to let dads be involved with newborn care.
Just remember that he needs to know that you need him too, emotionally, physically, and spiritually, and that he’s your man!
“You’re my hero”
Men want to be the hero. YOUR hero. And being a dad gives guys lots of opportunities to be their wife’s hero. Change the really nasty diaper, wash some dishes, bring home supper, clean up the barf off the rug… All superhero acts that deserve some recognition.
Yes, as a mom you might do all of these things yourself most of the time, but when your hubby does rescue you from a particularly nasty chore or cleanup, let him know that he’s your hero and how much you appreciate him saving you from that task.
My husband knows I hate washing dishes and when we first had the girls it was always the last thing on my to-do list. The times he did help me wash dishes I was really thankful and it just made my day. So make sure you let him know, it only takes a few seconds to say and a little appreciation can go a long way!
What are some creative ways that you let your husband know you respect, need and appreciate him? I’d love to hear from you!