Thursday, December 6, 2012

a very married chistmas

nellie & my mr.

once upon a time, i was married without children. when i reminisce, i find those distant days in my past appear like a foggy mirage. during the holidays, my husband and i cuddled more, spent time together, searched for the perfect gifts to make each other happy. those days feel like a lifetime ago.

the christmas season is swirling around us. i am the first one to admit that christmas without children sounds like a christmas tree without lights. it may look fine, but something would always be missing. christmas with kids, however, has become so pumped up on steroids that it's hard to stay focused. moms these days have to create magic...not just on christmas day, but the whole month through. advent calendars, service projects, elves on shelves, and other christmas activities fill up the entire month of december and once the 26th rolls around, i usually can't wait to pack the whole business up for another 11 months.


when you add a husband to that mix, things can get ugly. there is so much pressure to purchase the right gifts, make everything beautiful, keep children engaged, be service minded, and entertain family that marriages can face some tough holiday waters. somehow the participation and collaboration of a spouse that used to be totally acceptable is just not good enough anymore. the pressure that mothers feel to get everything right becomes the squeeze that gets transferred to their husbands when they don't seem to understand or contribute like they should. i hear more of my friends who are angry with their husbands in december than in any other month of the year. i certainly do not believe that is coincidental.


this year we're doing something drastic. my husband and i are going on a cruise the week before christmas. that's right folks, these milky white, post-thanksgiving thighs are going to be seen poolside for an entire week. the cruisers won't know what hit them. i'm sure some people will think the timing is selfish...how could we not want to spend those days before christmas with our kids? believe me, i've heaped my own pile of mommy guilt on my own head thinking about it. that guilt has only lasted for only a minute before wisdom has kicked in and i realized that christmas is not just about our kids.


christmas should be about family...as a whole...husbands not excluded. i'm sure the kids would rather have happy parents than every other christmas trimming. so often i am so busy with the five kids that my husband and my marriage take a back seat. those days of taking time together and treating each other with even more love and affection during christmastime are long, long gone. don't you think it's time to bring them back?


i get it, a cruise is not in the plans for most couples this christmas...but something else still can be. take some time just to be together. put down the smart phones and the christmas lists and do something fun. here are some ideas:

  • rent a movie and watch it by the fire together. make hot chocolate and popcorn. cuddle. (crazy, right?) 
  • go out to dinner. can't afford much? go out to coffee. if you can't afford a babysitter, swap childcare with a friend. offer them a night out and watch their kids and then have them do the same. 
  • play a board game together. 
  • feed the kids sandwiches one night and order take out for the two of you. wait to eat it until they go to bed and sit and just talk for a while.
it doesn't have to be extravagant...just take time in this crazy time to spend time together. 

okay, so here's my last little tidbit before i sign off. to all you husbands out there who may be reading "the third boob..." 
  • first of all, you rock. any man that goes to a site with the word "boob" in the title just for reading purposes is a good, good man.
  • secondly, if your wife is crazy during december, there is a good reason. do something to make her happy this month. does she like coffee? go get her one. are flowers her thing? pick her up a bunch. 
  • third, if possible, do something extra each day. your wife is working double time this month to make the magic happen. if you don't normally clean the bathrooms, pick up a toilet scrubber. is the dishwasher full? empty that sucker. christmas cards need addressing? offer to address a few. doing something so your spouse doesn't have to means that she is free to spend time with you. when things get done around the house, wives are usually happier people. that saying..."a happy wife means a happy life" is so, so true. my husband steam cleaned the carpets on the stairs the other night. i have never loved him more. 

i really, truly cannot wait to hear your responses to this one. got any other ideas of how to spend time with your spouse? i'm dying to hear them. extra tips for husbands during december? pass them on. christmas is my favorite time of the year, truly. at the end of the month, once all the celebration has ended, i want to come out of the experience merrily married. how about you?