Y’all, nothing shows the health of a marriage like sickness in the home. I don’t have scientific studies to back this up; no data or statistics. Just intuition and experience.
Flu & Strep, Flu, Flu, Flu…
It’s almost like a charming childhood ditty when you write it out like that, but the truth is that my house (and sometimes my office) has been like a Petri dish since Thanksgiving. Seriously. And it hasn’t been charming.
Little Miss with flu and strep. Superman with flu. Little Miss with the other kind of flu. Little Miss with strep and flu. Little Miss with a sinus infection. Then strep. And then flu. Me with anemia. Little Miss back strong with strep. Me with flu-like symptoms.
Add to this a juxtaposed battle of insomnia and exhaustion, anxiety and frequent dizzy spells from the anemia, and now a slightly elevated blood pressure in this preggo lady.
And that’s not counting schedules.
Scheduling & Sickness
School projects, tutoring, moms group, clubs, Bible study, church, extracurricular activities, Faith Formation, trainings, work, blogging, unpacking, cooking, cleaning.
The world doesn’t stop because we’re sick. Dang it. My house doesn’t stop creating dust and needing to be unpacked because we’re sick. Crap.
The onslaught of illness combined with the weight of our schedules has created a stressed-out, exhausted, pretty impatient (and slightly grumpy) Kristi, with only five weeks to go until Belle’s expected arrival.
On top of the normal household tasks in marriage, sickness adds layers of being homebound (which is suuuuuper frustrating), using all of your patience on the needy, sick child, and opting to cuddle instead of moving the load of laundry from the washer to the dryer.
This results in a tired husband coming home to take over, but the laundry still doesn’t get done, so you end up washing it two more times before remembering to move it to the dryer. By now, you’re extra stressed and exhausted, so you cry. A lot. And you somehow want to blame your husband for it.
Your Knight in Shining Pajama Pants
He goes grocery shopping and picks up ice cream for you, even after you protest saying, “No, honey, I don’t really need ice cream.”
He buys roast and makes it for you in the pressure cooker to up your iron intake to help you fight anemia. And then brings you said roast in bed. And he only eats one serving, despite the fact that it’s his favorite food after pizza, because you need iron.
He kisses your forehead, smoothes back your hair, makes the coffee, and lets you sleep longer.
When you ask for the umpteenth massage in one day, he does so (ignoring his cramping hands) without a word.
But the best? He does the laundry. Completely through, from gathering to putting away. And you melt, just a little.
Sickness Reveals Health
This, my friends, is marriage. This is dying of self to serve your sick kiddo; your anemic wife.
I’ve said it before and here it is again: in stress, it’s easy to listen to the world and play the comparison game.
Don’t go there, girlfriend. I know it can be easy to be sucked down the rabbit hole. Don’t.
My husband and I are doing just fine in this vocation and, actually, I’m super grateful that sickness revealed that to me.
Today we chat about married life with advice from some past posts.
If you’re looking for widely guidance as we approach Lent, this book review offers a pretty great look at this book which we highly recommend.
This post is meant to offer you assurance that you are not doing it wrong.
Here’s a brief look at marriage from a newlywed perspective. We’re sharing it again to remember what that looked like.
Another post about focusing on your marriage when life is busy.
Marriage takes effort. We all know that. But the line gets blurred when your schedules aren’t synced and you have limited time. We’ve been working on this in our home lately, as our color-coded calendar is our sole organizer these days. As a blog, we also host a #WinningWifeWednesday in the Hangout. From that wisdom, here are a few tips on showering your husband with love when you just aren’t seeing that much of each other (we’ve organized them by Gary Chapman’s five love languages and spiritually).
Showering with Words of Affirmation
1. Write him a love note…in a random place.
This is one of my favorites because it’s got room for creativity. I’ve written love notes in the shower with shaving cream, on a piece of paper taped to his steering wheel, and even on a create-your-own-puzzle one time. It takes him by surprise and also affirms him and his actions as my husband.
2. Thank him.
Proably one of the easiest, tell your husband you’re grateful for him. Cite an example for him, too.
3. Support him.
Be his cheerleader. Ask about his day at work and support his efforts with verbal reinforcement.
Showering with Acts of Service
1. Make his favorite dinner/dessert.
Didn’t Momma say the way to a man’s heart is his stomach? Whether that’s true or not, I know Superman sure does like to come home to a surprise favorite meal. Text him something along the lines of this: “Hey, babe. What do you say we throw out tonight’s meal plan? What do you really want for dinner?”
2. Take over one of his chores.
Take out the trash before he can, wash the dishes/do the laundry…whatever is on your husband’s “Honey Do” list, pick one and cross it off for him.
3. Pack his lunch.
Little Miss likes when I send a banana in her lunch because if you etch something into the peel, a note appears. Doing the same thing, pack lunch for your hubby. Your note could be tame, silly, cute, flirty, or…a bit more. It’s up to you!
Showering by Giving Gifts
1. Put some chocolate on his pillow.
Act like you’re in a hotel and leave a chocolate on his pillow in the shape of a heart.
2. Give him the gift of effort.
This seems very 1950s housewife, I know, but sprucing up your appearance with a quick reswipe of mascara and a reapplication of lipstick (and maybe a quick spritz of dry shampoo) in your driveway before walking in the door to look fresh for your husband is sure to be noticed.
3. Give him a pizza your heart. 🍕❤
Sorry, with all the cheesy Valentine’s Day things I’ve seen recently, it just popped out! Pizza is Superman’s favorite food. I’m pretty sure he could eat it every day. So when he’s stressed at work and we’re not seeing a whole lot of each other, I might order pizza for him for lunch and have it delivered to his school.
Showering Him with Quality Time
1. Make a date to volunteer together.
We’re both catechists, but in separate classrooms. During Lent, he and I volunteer to run the children’s program during Stations of the Cross for the adults. This could also be volunteering at a soup kitchen together or any other charity that speaks to you. This one is probably the most difficult one on this whole list, because it does require advanced planning.
2. Put the phone away and listen.
When you are together, go dark on tech. No emails, no texts, no social media. Focus on the man in front of you and ask him to share about his day. Here’s an article with some deeper questions for deeper communication.
3. Pretend you’re an at-home celebrity chef duo.
Dinner has to be cooked anyway, so on the days you’re both home to prep it, cook together. Be silly and talk through your steps or pretend that he’s the camera man and vice-versa.
Showering Him with Physical Touch
This one may get a little…racy. The fact is, we want to talk about sex in marriage, but we’re uncomfortable doing it. Not all physical touch is sexual, but…it does bear mentioning in this section. Massage is another go-to that’s off mentioned in these lists, so we’re going to skip it (but it’s still a good idea!).
1. Initiate the action.
You’re in bed. The lights are either dimmed or off. Begin by telling your husband something you love about him and one of the things that attracts you to him. Follow that with a kiss, and then another kiss, and then…well, you know. 😉
2. Hold his hand.
While driving, sharing the couch to watch TV, or walking around, grab your husband’s hand and don’t let go. Every once in awhile, kiss it. This is a throwback to the early days of dating, and it can still get the heart fluttering.
3. Sneak in Extra Kisses
This is one of my favorite things. We kiss one another in the morning, when we leave for work, at night…but I also steal kisses while he’s reading on his phone, doing a kitchen task, or even just sitting there. Aim to steal 3-5 kisses in a day.
Showering Him Spiritually
1. Pray for him.
It may sound like it’s a little thing, but this one thing can make a huge difference. Pray he travels safely to and from work, that he has a productive day, that his work efforts will be noticed by supervisors, and that he will remember he is a child of God. It’s so easy for our “Mr. Fixer” husbands to become overwhelmed and stressed. This silent offering of us, the wife, makes more of an impact that we realize.
2. Pray with him.
This one is a tough one. It’s one thing to pray alone and get one-on-one with God and it’s one thing to pray in Mass as a congregation. Quite awkward and uncomfortable, however, can it be to pray with your husband. It’s a very real, very unique brand of intimacy. Our advice is to start small. “Hey, honey? I’m having a rough time with (insert something here). Could you pray with me?” It won’t be long before he offers his own intentions, it lessens in awkwardness, and it becomes routine. Bonus? It also ups the communication and non-physical intimacy in your marriage.
3. Try Sara’s Prayer
Y’all. This post from our friend Sara last week about the prayer that changed her sex life isn’t click-baity. It’s one small thing they’ve added to their marital embrace and it’s upped their connection. We recently tried this. You should, too.
Have no idea what your (or your spouse’s) love language is? You can take the quiz online and…it’s definitely a great place to start. Click here for the quiz.
Happy First Friday! Today we wrap our Homemaking Series with a podcast geared at shifting your thinking from merely cleaning. Why do you need a mind-shift?
Yes, cleaning is part of it.
Yes, cleaning is probably the worst part of being an adult.
But homemaking? It’s so much more, and it’s for all of us, from stay-at-homers to working ladies.
So join our conversation on making the mind-shift in your home. We’d love to have you discuss your thoughts about it with us!
Let us know what you think in the comments!
Kristi & Rachel
Launch day is here!!!
You can now download Hail Marry Blog’s Guide to a No-Spend Lent (c) 2018 by Kristi Denoy and Rachel Washington and join the No-Spend Lent Facebook Challenge Course here!
Missed last week’s podcast explaining it? You can find that here.
We can’t wait to see you on Facebook and go through this experience with you this Lenten season! Thanks for joining us on this awesome adventure!
Kristi & Rachel
P.S. Grab your sharing “buttons” for social media here and share them with your friends using the hashtag #NoSpendLent! They’ll also be made available to you in the challenge group.