Finally, you say. The post you’ve been waiting for. (Thanks, Valentine’s Day.) Do tell: How to keep love alive?!? Well…. let me tell you: It all begins with a store called Victoria’s Secret… Now now, you asked. I’m kidding. (Although I have been known to do panty raids. I’m not ashamed.)
But, I like to keep things PG here on The Fab Mom. (And as soon as my 4 year old learns to really read, I’m gonna have to clean things up more and more, you know?) So for now, I thought it’d be fun to share my personal top 5 ways that I keep love alive at my house on a daily basis… family style. Like, for everyone in my house. For husband, for LadyP, for LilMiss… and also for me. Because if the mom doesn’t maintain the magic, happiness and all of those fabulous parts of life alive at home, who will? (Crickets.) Again, I ask you: WHO WILL? (Not the person who opts out of loading and unloading the dishwasher on a daily basis… I’ll tell ya that much.)
So here’s what happens pretty much every day at our house… all for the purpose of keeping love alive. Let’s just say that I made and enforce these rules like a real bada$$ boss:
1) A QUICK KISS GOODBYE BETWEEN SPOUSES, IN THE MORNING, IS REQUIRED. I remember that, sometime last year, my husband didn’t give me a goodbye kiss before he left for work. I can’t remember if it was because I was still asleep (I usually am asleep when he does this anyways) or if we had an argument the night before and he was still peeved at me or if he just forgot because of the morning rush. But I do remember – and missed – not getting that ‘have a good day’ goodbye kiss before starting our separate days. I woke up worried. Unsettled. I felt nervous. I texted him (like a real insecure weirdo) “How come you didn’t kiss me goodbye?” that morning. I’m a big believer in little silly habits – like kisses – to keep you connected.
2) I ENCOURAGE MY GIRLS TO *TALK* TO EACH OTHER. Tell your sister “Good Morning!” Tell your sister “Have a fun day at school!” Tell your sister that you “don’t feel like wearing the Sofia the First costume right now” so that she learns to listen to your feelings and back off. The more talking, the better. Pleasant and nice talking (like “good morning”) is always preferred, but even the most conflicting conversations (or, fights and/or tantrums involving who gets to wear which crown when) contribute to communicating. And, communication is what keeps love alive in the long run.
3) I DITCH MOM DUTIES. (Ok, this doesn’t happen daily… more like once a month or every 6 weeks…) As we all know, we all require a free pass from parenting every so often so that we can recharge our thoughts without someone screaming that they want ‘bigger’ graham crackers… preferably *before* we hit a breaking point and completely flip-out altogether. (Last year was a flip-out record for me.) Maintaining a great love requires attention, nurturing and consistent effort over time… and there’s no greater love than the relationship you have with yourself. (Wait, didn’t I learn that from watching Sex and the City?) But seriously: You can’t fully love anyone else until you love yourself.
4) I APOLOGIZE… TO MY KIDS. The fact that I: 1) am admitting this, 2) actually do this and 3) am suggesting that you try this (in writing!) proves that motherhood can change anybody in any way. Before babies, I’d roll my eyes at parents who claimed that they apologize to their kids for yelling. What idiots! I’d think. (Well if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.) Of course absolutely yes in fact I DO yell at my kids (you’re lying if you say you never raise your voice… or you’re drunk all the time). When I do yell it’s mostly because someone’s not listening while doing something extremely dangerous that can either hurt themselves or someone else very badly. So: I yell, get angry, enforce discipline/punishment… while my 4 year old LadyP screams “You’re not being very nice to me!” After the dust settles, we move on: “I’m sorry I yelled at you and I’m sorry that made you feel sad…” I say. “But the reason I yelled was because you were shoving your sister away from the puzzle that you were both playing with, did not listen to me when I kept telling you to stop, and she came this close to hitting her head on the corner of the table. And that would’ve been very sad for everybody. Do you forgive me for yelling? (The answer is usually yes.) Are you going to be nice to LilMiss now? (The answer is usually yes.)” And then it’s over. We hug. They hug. Done. Love restored for everyone.
5) I SAY “I LOVE YOU” FOR NO REASON. How cheesy. It is. But I make an effort to do it anyways… about once a day (or a few times if the mood strikes me). Because kids can’t hear it enough. (Husbands kinda like to hear it too.)
And if you wanna get REALLY wild with all the family love, try doing what celebrity mom Ali Landry does (as dished to Kids in the House). Fabulous, fun and something for everyone to feel big love. Somebody grab me some paper.
So yeah. Love is WORK. And even though I make the effort every day, every day is NOT rainbows and unicorns with hearts stamped on their butts. Keeping love alive is HARD work. But she who works the hardest WINS.
HOW DO YOU KEEP LOVE ALIVE AT YOUR HOUSE?