Life with kids is busy, right? You barely feel like you have enough time to get the necessities done (feed and clean kids, take care of house, work, appointments, etc.). For many people, the two areas of our life which have the greatest impact on our overall happiness and satisfaction fall to the very, very, VERY bottom of the Life List: Time to nurture your self and time to nurture your love relationship.
Let's talk about the relationship piece here.
Of course, over time and with more responsibilities added to the mix (i.e., kids), there is going to be less focus on "couple time." However, when we choose to let everything else in life trump nurturing our love relationship, we are asking for trouble.
Parents wonder why the spark has burnt out or why, in a few short years, they have gone from being connected and in love to not even knowing whom they are married to anymore.
It's called a lack of nurturing.
Take a plant for example. A really strong, hearty plant may be able to survive for a while with no water, attention, or nurturing. But that's really all it's doing -- it's surviving. And, over time, it becomes weaker and weaker and less able to handle the tough times (extreme weather, a move, being trampled, etc.). Give a plant with good roots even just a little water, attention, and nurturing and that can be the difference between surviving versus thriving. A less-sturdy plant, however, may not last long at all without these essential elements.
So it is for a relationship. A relationship with strong roots (foundation) can usually survive without the needs of both people being met continuously, without active love, attention, and nurturing. But you are simply surviving, not thriving -- and then what happens during the touger times?
A relationship that doesn't have strong roots or is already weak may not be able to survive at all.
A little, consistent nurturing can go a long way to help deepen the roots of any relationship.
What are you doing to nurture your love relationship? You don't have to spend a lot of time to nurture it, but you do need to give it some heart. This is one of those areas where the idea of "quality over quantity" is really true. Your nurturing acts or moments do not need to take long.
It's the small things like little notes to simply remind your spouse that you are thinking of him/her. It's the conversations beyond "What's going on with the kids?" and "What's the schedule for next week?" It's the few minutes of snuggling before you fall asleep.
It's taking a few brief moments to actually look in your partners eyes when they walk in the door and greet them with warmth.