Turning on Yourself: February focus

Hello Readers!  Happy February!  Today marks the first day of the month, and this is a great time to talk about February’s focus for us: your love affairs.

I know it sounds crazy, but even if you’re married you should still have an affair.  I don’t mean one outside of your marriage.  I mean with your partner.  It’s so important to your family and marriage that you and your spouse or significant other still have a love affair with one another.  After all, you have promised to love each other to the end.  The only way to keep that promise is to keep your love affair going until the end.

As much as we like to focus all of our attention on our kids and on our family, it’s important to remember how that family began and who the key people are.  While your children are important, your relationship with your spouse is the most important one of all.  After all, how can you be a family without the initial love affair that started it all?  So, we really need to take time to focus on that love affair and foster a healthy relationship with our spouse or significant other.

This may seem easy for me, but even for me it can be difficult.  With my husband Ryan working a full time plus job in a new career field at this time and our son Sean toddling around and getting into everything, I can assure you that even my focus strays from my love affair.  I’m often tired, cranky, sore from workouts, and the only thing I typically want when Sean goes to bed is a moment’s peace.  Even as I write this I have my attention split between Sean and my post, especially since he’s learned to climb and has become my little daredevil.

It’s not easy.  It’s hard.  It’s especially hard to juggle everything we have in our days: work, family, appointments, cooking, cleaning, and then there’s our workouts, social lives, marriage, and personal time.  It’s a lot to take in, even for a SAHM like me!  While my work is all about my household, I still have to find time to post every day, and I’m constantly researching and brainstorming ideas for my projects and posts.  I often feel like when I sit down to do my posts or research, Sean decides that’s when he’s going to act up the most.  And I often have to stop writing to remedy the situation with him, roll over the laundry, refill my infuser bottle with water, and take care of whatever else is there.  And then I have to remember what I was doing only to be interrupted again by Sean or the phone.  So I know what it’s like to feel overwhelmed with everything every day.

Still, my relationship with my husband-my “love affair”- needs to be an important part of my day and of my life.  And even I need a reminder of why I’m in my relationship, especially on the hard days of fights or arguments.  Yes, even I experience them.  So, this is really a month to focus more energy on why you’re together and on restoring your love affair.  I highly recommend taking a night off, completely, from being parents and be a couple again.  If possible, let your kids stay with a relative that lives nearby.  We’re lucky enough to have my sister, my in-laws, and various other relatives in our area, some of whom are willing–if not eager–to take our son Sean for a night.  In fact, we had my in-laws watch him overnight this weekend while we celebrated our anniversary.

If you don’t have family nearby, perhaps you can still find other means.  Maybe you can get an experienced babysitter or close friend to watch your kids overnight while you and your partner stay at a hotel one night.  Or you can see if your kids can stay overnight with friends if they are old enough for sleepovers.  Always make sure your kids are safe and that they are with an adult, but give them the opportunity to be away for a night.  And give yourself the time and space you need to focus on your relationship.  It can do wonders,  not only for your love affair but also for your parenting skills.

Another tip is to read a book together, especially one that focuses on marriage and relationships.  Years ago before we got married, Ryan and I started reading The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman.  While we stopped due to our busy schedules, I have it on our list of nightly duties to read this book together once again this month.  Best of all, this is a shorter book with a few chapters and should be easy for any couple to read together.  Taking a half hour each night to read and talk will improve your communication and your relationship.

My last bit of advice for this month is to focus on the positive aspects of your relationship and your partner.  This is the toughest part.  We all have our own way of doing things, and it can sometimes be difficult to live with someone who does things differently or who thinks differently that you do.  Sometimes you can get so caught up in your thoughts and ideas or your plans that you forget that your partner can’t read your mind.  I know because I’ve sometimes exploded when I had a list of “Honey Do’s” and Ryan wasn’t reading my mind for the list.  We are, each of us, unique.  And our partners are unique from us.  Instead of getting mad over this, celebrate it and compliment them for what you like about them.  Maybe they’re great with your kids.  Maybe they do a great job at work.  Maybe they help out around the house.  Maybe they know how to make you laugh.  Try each day to compliment them and focus on their positive aspects instead of nagging them or seeing the negative.  You may find that all of the problems become obsolete, and your great love affair will be once more.

Above all, maintain the love that you have and celebrate it this month.

Until next time

-BBM

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