Nothing sparks mom guilt like a little voice saying, “Mom, can you play with me?” It breaks my heart every time I have to tell my son or daughter that I can’t. If I had my way, I would tell them “yes” every time. We would play, snuggle and make messes together all day.
But it’s in the fine print of parenthood that my answer can’t always be yes. I have grown-up responsibilities like work, cooking, laundry (always so much laundry) and cleaning those messes that I never get to make but always get stuck cleaning up.
Parenthood can be stressful when we don’t make time for the best parts (that playing, snuggling and mess-making I mentioned). Sometimes all my kids need is 10 minutes with me to play a board game or read a story, and then they are on to the next thing. In the grand scheme of things, 10 minutes doesn’t derail my to-do list, but it does perk up my day. I’ve never once regretted it.
There’s another guy in the house who deserves some attention, too. My husband doesn’t always see me at my best as we race by each other, cranking through our daily routines. He’s the person who has to listen to how stressful my day was, despite his own daily skirmishes. He sees me cranky, sleep-deprived and with food in my teeth. He gets scolded for leaving laundry on the floor and dishes in the sink, but he doesn’t always get to hear what I really think of him.
The truth is, he’s pretty incredible. When the vein is popping out of my forehead because he left without taking the trash out again, I’m not thinking, “Gosh, he’s the best.” When I’m driving all over town juggling kids and errands while he’s at work, I’m not thinking about how hard he works. I am thinking it other times, but for one reason or another, I don’t always say it.
Good news – there’s a fix for that. Use Love Every Day to get 21 days of prompts and questions to tell your spouse or significant other what he or she means to you and the best news is, your partner will do the same. Who wouldn’t love to hear that once a day? Oh, and you both get to see your responses at the same time. And if that’s not enough, there are daily ideas on how to do something special for your partner for the day.
This year, I’m going to say yes to my kids a little more. I’m going to make the time that we’re together quality time. Because as much as I want to be the mom who works hard, I also want to be the mom who makes blanket forts and has the best knock-knock jokes. I’m also going to make sure my husband knows how much I appreciate him and love him by telling him so (at least as much as I give him grief).
Join me in making a little more time for the most important people in our lives this year. Five minutes and a few encouraging words might be all it takes to make daily memories good ones. Sign up and start using Love Every Day!