Mom Happiness Makeover Day 4: Get Happier About Your Relationship
Relationships are not easy. Even the best ones take some amount of work to keep the spark alive and the happiness happening. You told us what YOU wanted to change about YOUR relationships, so here are our ideas for improving your relationships -- and finding an SO if you're looking.
Communication is key: How do you improve communication in your relationship? You can start by trying some -- or all! -- of the activities in our 30 Day Communication Challenge.
Have fun: Make each other laugh. Do things you enjoy doing, together. Watch funny movies. Make silly faces at each other. Share dessert. Have breakfast together. Leave notes for each other in unexpected places (in the fog on the bathroom mirror after a shower, in his briefcase, in the freezer on the ice cream container, etc.). Sharing things that lighten the mood and bring you closer will strengthen your bond.
Date: Plan a night out at a fancy restaurant, a local dive bar, or even your own backyard! If you can't get out, have a picnic on your patio or rent a movie and pop some popcorn after the kids go to bed. A true date night where you can be alone together with no distractions is really important to your relationship. (Don't have an SO? Read this expert's advice on finding someone.)
Spice it up: Let's be real, sex can get stale like a forgotten loaf of bread -- but it doesn't take much to spice things up! Try these tips or these! And check out these groups for advice and inspiration in the love department: Love & Marriage and In the Bedroom.
Listen: It’s easy to tune out our loved ones when life gets busy, but it's important to listen to what your partner has to say. Here are some tips for improving your listening skills:
- Stop what you’re doing (unless you’re driving, of course!) and put aside whatever else is on your mind to focus on the conversation.
- Look your SO in the eyes while he's speaking.
- Think and take a deep breath before you react or respond and try not to interrupt.
- Nod, smile, ask questions -- show you’re interested and happy to listen and to keep the conversation going!
Live by the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
Forgive and forget: Once you forgive, it's time to move on. Don't dredge up the past and don't "try to make things the way they used to be" if you can't. Live for today and the days ahead and find new ways of making your life together the way you want it to be.
Don't sweat the small stuff: You'll find there are some things that are just not worth arguing about. So don't.
De-stress: Moms don't have a lot of time, but try your best to de-stress and get a little alone time WITHOUT your SO. Unwind, meditate, exercise -- anything you can do to relax and clear your mind will help you be a better partner -- and a better mom.
Take care of YOU: It's never easy when you have LO's to care for, but taking the best care of yourself will help you to feel (and look!) your best. Feeling your best makes you better able to take care of your kids' and your SO's needs. You'll also be setting a great example for your kids. So go out for that run while the kids hang out with their grandparents (or take a well-deserved nap!), and don't forget to eat your veggies!
Get on the same page: Talk about how you want to raise your kids so you're both clear, implement the strategy, and most importantly, stick to it. It'll make life easier for everyone. (Get on the same page about money as well. See our saving tips here.)
Compromise: You can't always get what you want. Be fair to your partner -- and make sure he knows you expect the same.
Split the work: You share a house and you share a family, which means you're both equally responsible for taking care of these things.
Enjoy each other: Remember why you got together in the first place. What did you love about him? What do you love even more about him now? Tell him why you love and appreciate him and ask him to tell you. Then go out and enjoy being together!
What will you do today to improve your relationship? If you're totally happy, do you have any tips for other moms?
*This challenge is sponsored by CafeMom and is not associated with Dr. Aymee Coget of happinessmakeover.com.