A lot of stay-at-home moms will tell you that at the end of the day they’re all touched out. When I was working full time, I’d come home every day, take care of dinner and getting house stuff done and crash for the night. No matter what your situation is in life, it can be easy to let life, your daily tasks and stress in your life drain you and when it comes to the end of the day, not feel like you have any energy left to be a spouse.
I try my hardest to do at least one thing every day to make my marriage a priority. Sometimes that’s texts throughout the day letting my husband know I love him, other days that’s packing his lunch and surprising him with a drink or a treat during a crazy work day, but I like the most to spend quality time with him at the end of the day. If I’ve spent my entire day teaching or used up all my energy deep cleaning our house, or even given my all to our two toddlers, I have none of myself left to give to my husband. On those days when I’ve overdone it, the kids go to bed and my brain goes off duty. I fall asleep the minute my head hits the pillow, I don’t have the brainpower left to connect and my husband is left feeling like the lowest priority on my to do list.
There’s a reason we love day dates so much, because it gives us the opportunity to connect when we’re both awake and energized and prepared to focus on each other. But what if I told you that you could have that same sort of feeling and time for your marriage at the end of any day? I hope that these tips below will help you to refocus your priorities and spend more time connecting with your spouse each day.
Five Ways to Save Energy for Your Spouse Each Day
Don’t over schedule yourself
This is something that I work on every single day because I’m an tend to overestimate how much I can do each day. I have a to do list in my planner each day with a limited number of spaces on it to help me avoid that over scheduling trap that I fall into. I know how much time I can handle spending outside the house and still get my daily routine done. I know how many house cleaning tasks I can do without feeling totally exhausted. And I know how many kiddo activities I can plan before I feel completely overwhelmed. Know your limits and try to schedule yourself well below them, not only to save your strength but to save space for the unexpected.
Give yourself time to rest
Joe will tell you that I don’t know how to rest. I ALWAYS have to be doing something, even when I’m sitting in front of the TV. I’ve learned that I have to give myself time to sit and do nothing, literally nothing, if I want to have energy left at the end of the day. Some days I lay in my bed for half an hour at the end of the kids’ nap time. Other days I cuddle up on the couch with them after naps and we enjoy snacks while we watch a show together. Sometimes I plan an easy dinner and sit on the floor while the kids play around me and dinner cooks in the oven or the slow cooker. Take some time every day to relax. You deserve some R&R and you need that time if you don’t want to end your day running on fumes.
Take one or two things off of your to do list
I used to hate moving tasks from my to do list to another day. Now I embrace it and love those days when I am honest with myself about my abilities and shift things to a more realistic time. At the end of the day, anything that’s left on the list gets moved to another day as well, I don’t try to cram it all in before I go to bed like I used to. Don’t let your spouse feel like the last thing on your to do list, make sure that time with them is at the top of your list and your highest priority.
Have a “time’s up” alarm for the end of the day
My husband used to comment on how I got a little crazy at the end of the day. I would run through the house like a mad woman, trying to get everything done before bedtime. He would be in bed watching our house for an hour or more before I joined him and was ready to connect. I would like to hope that I’ve changed. Like those cooking competition shows, I have an end time, and when that “timer” goes off, it’s hands up and no more work. Focus on those things that are truly a priority for your day and that HAVE to be done before the next day. When the day is over, set everything else aside and focus on your marriage and connecting with your spouse, knowing that everything else will get done another day.
Know what each other needs each day
I know a lot of couples who ask each other what they need each day to feel loved and to feel that connection with each other. There might be some days when your spouse needs some time alone, and that’s perfectly ok! We love taking a night to go to opposite areas of the house and do our own thing, it’s rejuvenating and we need that time for self care. Maybe what your spouse needs one day is some real one-on-one time and more undivided attention that usual. Some nights might be for Netflix and snacks, some nights might be for games and play, and other nights might provide the perfect opportunity for good conversation and connecting. Whatever you do, try to make sure that you and your spouse are aware of each other’s needs and doing what you need to fulfill those each day.
At the end of the day, exhaustion and stress can keep you from truly connecting with your spouse. What can you do today to save energy and time for each other each day. Give your spouse your best, not just the leftovers that you haven’t given to everything and everyone else throughout the day.
Challenge: Sit down together sometime this week and talk about what you each can do or eliminate from your day that will help you save time and energy to make your marriage and your spouse a priority at the end of the day. To start out, you may need to look at your schedule or your to do list before each day starts (the night before or first thing when you wake up) and make that decision. As you make this more of a habit, you will find it easier to shift things in favor of your marriage and you will find yourself leaving more time in your life for spontaneity and connection with your spouse.
Photography by Sadie Banks Photography