yesterday i mentioned that i'm often pretty grouchy in the afternoon and ready to skin a cat by the time jay walks in the door from work. not really fun to come home to! i decided that probably needed to change. occasionally i have the selfish attitude, "i've had a hard day! why do i have to try to make everything pleasant for him?!" well, i don't know. maybe cause i want my marriage to survive. maybe because i don't want my husband to think i'm a you-know-what when he comes home. maybe because this is his home too and should be a slightly pleasant one. those all seem like pretty good reasons to work on my attitude!
once upon a time i read this book called the total woman by marabel morgan. though my good memory has faded over the years, i still vividly remember that book. at the time, i didn't have children, and the ideas in it seemed a little too "perfect housewife" for me. although i agreed with a lot of what marabel had to say and tried to spice up our childless marriage at the time. anyway, this book is definitely NOT part of the feminist movement! but it did make an impact and has resurfaced in my memory as i think about these things.
fast forward a decade and two toddlers later. one day recently it hit me how unpleasant i am. jay even made mention of it. you know it's bad when they actually say something! at least that's the case with my guy! so i started analyzing myself and trying to see things from an outsider's perspective. the scene was not pretty.
enter my moms' group that meets at my house weekly. MOYCs (mothers of young children) has been an awesome time to meet with other moms and vent our frustrations about raising kids and marriage. recently i asked them how i could stay interesting to my husband. being at home with little ones all day, i don't have much to talk about when he gets home except the frustrations of the day. again... miserable!
so we had a really great discussion about this, and after everyone left i came up with some ideas to help improve my mood and the atmosphere of the home when jay walks in the door and also throughout the evening. here's my "grand ideas" list!
1. have a brief vent session late in the afternoon with a close friend or family member so you don't need to unload on hubby at dinner.
2. keep a notepad handy throughout the day to write down cute, sweet, funny things the kids do to share with hubby at dinner. (this also helps me focus on the good things throughout the day instead of the negative stuff.)
3. send husband a text and/or email at least once a day saying something sweet and thoughtful.
4. pick up the house before hubby comes home. have the kids help.
5. make sure the tv is off when dad walks in the door.
6. involve kids in dinner discussion. use questions from a game like this if necessary.
7. don't be in pjs when hubby comes home.
8. after kids go to bed, convene for 15-20 minutes to reconnect before watching tv, etc.
and that's it! i tried to think of practical tips to help us out. i've started working on a few of these, but haven't implemented them all yet. and of course every day is different. but at least i have some guidelines to help me stay focused on the goal: be in a better mood in the evenings so my husband likes me!