MckMama's post last week started me thinking about a marriage post of my own.
Marriages don't like stress. Our little triplet, quad, and quint community can attest to the extremely high rate of divorce among the world of multiples. If you thought 50% was high, it's *much* higher after you bring multiples into the world. Some stats point to as high as 80%. It's staggering.
Why? The entire first year, especially if you do it alone, is literally nothing more than diaper changes, bottles, eating, sleeping, and making sure the older kids are properly cared for. We had no time for each other. There were not enough hours in the day to get done the bare minimums let alone anything else.
Now that I look back, I am sure there are things we could have done in different ways....but we made it. Once the bottles stop, and they are sleeping through the night things lighten up a LOT. We don't change 45 diapers a day anymore, it's more like 24. We have other challenges, like Joel's tantrums, keeping Addison from leaping off the couch, and making sure Delaney does not melt us with her powers of sweetness.... I digress.
I want to talk about what I, as a woman, can do to make my husband feel love. I grew up in a home where it was all about my mom. If she was not happy NO ONE WAS HAPPY (within a 100 mile radius). I don't want Josh to be afraid of my feelings, I don't want him to feel that he has to make me happy....or else. I would hope the sentiment goes both ways.
These are my personal rules of marriage, which I break on a consistant basis. I get better every day....so that's what matters.
1. Josh has the final word on household decisions. He is the head. Weather he listens or not, I always state my opinion on a subject....then I leave it up to Josh. This may seem stifling to some women, but it's actually very freeing.
This has been a hard thing for me to conquer, growing up feminist (not knowing I was a feminist)....
2. Even though I run the finances, we mutually decided to get each others approval for any purchase over $50.00.
3. Even when Josh resists or feels guilty, I MAKE him take time away from the house and the family. He needs to spend time with other men, and it makes him a better husband and father....even if I really would rather have him to myself (selfishly).
4. I tell him that I love him. I tell him he's a good father. I tell him he's a good provider. Positive reinforcement means a lot to everyone, even your husband. ::wink:: I also have the kids tell daddy that they are happy to see him, and "Thank you" for working so hard today.
5. Josh is quirky, and he likes things that most men don't care about....so every day when he comes home I make sure that I have a nice scented candle burning, the bed made, and all of the sinks cleaned. It makes him feel much less stress. Is there something that makes your husband feel less stress when he walks in the door???
6. Some people like to leave work at the office, but that's not Josh's style. I am his BFF, and he NEEDS to talk about it with me. I make sure that I give him the time every day so that he can talk about all of the office going's on.
7. When I go to the grocery store I try to get him snacks that I think he would like. Josh loves food. He knows I was thinking of him when I bring home a giant jar of pickles, or a bag of sourdough pretzels.
8. We spend time reading and praying together, the most important rule of all.
What rules of marriage do you apply? What works for you?
Reagan is in 1st grade, she loves school and has never had trouble making friends. She's the most smiley and friendly child I have ever met. Reagan loves cats, horses, and most every furry animal in the world. She loves music and is taking piano lessons. Reagan was diagnosed with Epilepsy in July (2010), and is on a regiment of medication to help lessen the amount of seizures that she has. Reagan is a great kid, and we are so proud of her!
My Jedi knight....Ethan is very sensitive. Out of all the kids, Ethan's personality most matches my own. He is very sweet, and shy...but he opens up and is the class clown once he's comfortable with his surroundings. Ethan is very smart, and he loves to play with his Star Wars toys. He's our only true "blondie", and during the summer his hair is almost white. Ethan is extremely loyal, and is a very very good brother...very protective. ;)
Triplet "A", leader of the pack. Laney sees the world in black and white...it's either right or wrong, yes or no...and she has no trouble proclaiming to the world what she thinks is "right". She's the most like daddy in personality. Bossy, (in a good way!). Sweet, Sassy, and LOUD. Laney loves dresses, church, Reagan, red meat, and going to the zoo. She hates green vegetables, and is a big wimp! :)
Addie is our girly girl. She is our only curly headed child, and wasTriplet "B"...pickle in the middle. She's very sassy. She has "Addie-tude". Addie is vertically challenged, even compared to our small kids. She's double jointed, and we plan on starting gymnastics soon. Addie is the most verbal of any of our kids. She LOVES vegetables, and hates meat of any kind. She's afraid of most animals, and has a hoarding issue (she loves collecting things...and keeping them!) She's very smart, very sensitive, and a big mama's girl!
Joel is my strong and silent type. He's the biggest child I've had, length and weight. Joel is non-verbal, and we are waiting an official diagnoses, which will come sometime after he turns 3. Joel is sweet, so so so sweet. He melts my heart every day. He love trains, cars, and really anything with wheels. He likes riding his scooter, and his big wheels trike. He loves to swim, and is a huge fan of ANY food. He will eat more than a grown man. It's amazing.
Josh and I were married in May of 2002, but we started dating in 1996. He is an insurance salesman, and is the best daddy! He loves to play with the kids outside, and has no problem pitching in with the housework. He's manly enough to admit that he likes watching Glee with me. He volunteers at church with the elementary after school program.
Then there was me... I enjoy being a mom, being a part of our MOPS steering team, photography (I make no claims at being GOOD at it!), writing, and organizing. I love being a housewife, and I am contemplating what will happen when my last child(ren) goes to school. I want to be the "room mom" and do all the mom stuff, but a seperate part of me really misses work. I am a cloth diapering, and breastfeeding advocate. I am a child of God. My favorite book of the Bible is 1Peter. I love cats and horses. I love to read, and I am in love with "The Hunger Games" right now. That's about it. :)