Thursday, April 10, 2008

A tidbit from my reading this week ...

My sister introduced me to the book Mom's Needs, Dad's Needs awhile back, but I could never remember to borrow it from her when we were visiting (which only occurs a few times a year). So when I found it at Ollie's last week, I decided $4 wasn't a bad investment in our marriage.

I'm still reading it in little bites (as I get time and as the kids let me), but I can tell you it's worth its weight in gold. The author discusses how many times romance dies after children come along because we don't take time to be together - alone. We are guilty as charged.

Don't get me wrong - our marriage is not on the rocks and I would never leave my husband. I'm just as confident that he would never leave me. But I can tell you that, up to this point, we haven't spent even a fraction of the 15 hours of alone time (per week) that he suggests as a minimum. Just this week, we've started making time to be alone together, even if it is just to talk. Even if we can't get out of the house. Even if we don't spend any money at a restaurant ... And even if it's not 15 hours yet. (You get the idea, don't you?)

If you aren't spending a minimum of 15 hours alone with your spouse in a week's time, I challenge you to try it for a week! (Aim for 1-2 hours together each day rather than one marathon Saturday date; the author claims it's more effective that way.)

Another good point he made is that our favorite activities sometimes pull us in different directions after marriage. I took a good look at what common favorite activities my husband and I share, and the list was pitifully short. We need to work on developing a longer list!

The author encourages us to let go of many of the "just me" favorite activities in order to make time for the "both of us" favorite activities. While I won't be giving up my crafting anytime soon (my husband is quite proud of my skills in that area), I can certainly curb the time I do spend on those activities and consciously choose to spend more of that time with him.

That's as far as I've gotten in the book, but if the rest of it is this good, I'll be recommending it to every set of new (and not-so-new) parents I know.