Earlier this week I had fun browsing through old Valentines and marriage posts (it’s always a good time reading what wisdom my 22 year old self thought she could impart about love and relationships).
It is interesting to think about how our relationship has changed over the last seven years (SEVEN years!). In some ways we were just babies during those early newlywed years…but I also think we had some things right. I could learn a bit from this OLD post on how to balance school and a husband, for example.
In the business of the last year (two toddlers, a move, a summer of travel + fun + being unsettled, a semester of business school + recruiting + new friends + new city), the sheer amount of time Ben and I have spent together 1 on 1 has decreased dramatically. What used to be evenings in the same house have turned into late night studying at the library, girls night’s outs, campus events, and group dates with new friends. And it has been SO much fun.
But somehow, if I’m being really honest, we forgot about the need to spend time together, present, just the two of us.
This business school life has been a crash course on co-parenting and balancing and working really hard at being great co-captains of this team.
And in the middle of the balancing I’d forget that being a wife was more than being a good mom and a good roommate.
So this Valentine’s, instead of gushing about how proud I am of how hard Ben works or how handsome he is (which I am and he is), I’m sharing a few marriage goals I’m setting for the two of us for the next three months (a full year of goals sounds daunting but three months seems manageable).
4 MARRIAGE GOALS TO WORK ON
Buy an alarm clock.
I’m convinced that cell phones are ruining relationships everywhere and I’m committing to having them out of our bedroom completely. I’ve been plugging mine in at night in the office in 2018 and trying to stay off of it for the 30 minutes before I go to bed and after I wake up. I LOVE this change. But Ben uses his as an alarm clock and I’ve been waking up for early morning HIIT classes and the phone has started to creep back in. If you have a favorite alarm clock, let me know!
Kiss goodbye every morning and hello every evening.
It’s little and we do it sometimes, but I think the way we leave and greet each other is important.
Schedule a 30 minute at- home date night at least once during the week.
A lot of the time we feel like ships passing in the night between activities or we’ll both worth on something at home, dwindling in productivity because there’s no end time and we quit just when we’re too tired to stay awake. Sometimes just having something on the schedule makes it easier to push through work or assignments and take a small break. Maybe it’s a short episode or a bowl of ice cream and talking about our week, but some time (without phones or computers) during the week is on my list.
Start our gratitude practice again.
Before we moved to Boston we had spent a few months sharing three things we were each grateful for every evening (or three things that made us happy that day). I could tell a difference in our positivity and I liked getting a new perspective on Ben as he shared things from work I might not have heard about otherwise. For us, this looked like 45 seconds after we’re in bed. Now that we’re rarely going to bed at the same time, I’m contemplating setting a phone alert for the same time each evening as a reminder to check-in (pray, read scriptures, talk about our day) before one of us inevitably goes back to work for a few hours.
We had a full weekend without kids earlier this month, we have a spring break trip coming up that I’m so excited about, and then I’ll get to visit Ben abroad after a school trip in late spring, all without kids. If we didn’t have those on the calendar I’d be adding in a getaway to my list.
And if you want to walk down memory lane with me, here are a few old posts on marriage goals + valentines:
- 6 Ways to Balance School and a Husband (from when we were newly weds in college)
- 18 things about Ben (in honor of Ben on Valentines)
- Love is a choice (some things are luck, and some things are not)
- 5 Things you should chance about your husband (I remember feeling so clever about this post three years ago :P)
- A love letter (to Benjamin)
- A 2 year anniversary post
- Strengthening your marriage after kids (I should take all of this advice)
- My Cincinnati Valentine (our last kid-free Valentine’s day)
- The last romantic Valentine’s (two years ago)
photos via the talented Lauren Dobish here in Boston