Dinner isn’t the only thing that needs to stay hot around the holidays.
You can be married for all of ten seconds and fully grasp how hellish the holidays can be on your relationship. Your time, your energy, and your resources are going to everyone and everything other than your spouse. It can be downright brutal.
As a mom, I’m all about making sure our kids feel loved and special. I want the holidays to be something they look back on and cherish. I want my kids to value traditions and enjoy doing the same things with their families one day.
Around our house, we do Thanksgiving, and we do it big. Last year we had more than 80 people gathered around our table(s) and more than 30 stayed in our house for a week. Needless to say, we went through a lot of eggs, a ton of milk, and it was never quiet. Ever.
I love hosting Thanksgiving, I do. Christmas is great too, but if I’m honest it consumes the entire month of December and so much of my time. It is filled with parties, shopping, and more hustle and bustle then any of us cares to participate in.
In the midst of all the festivities, it’s so easy to allow everything and everyone to take precedence over our spouse.
We don’t intend for it to happen, but we certainly aren’t planning and anticipating it either.
Around this time of year, my marriage always seems to suffer. It’s so easy to feel disconnected and frustrated with the person I’ve chosen to spend my life with.
A couple of years ago I asked my husband what I could do to love him during the madness.
After a long conversation and a few gut-wrenching reality checks, I realized that I wasn’t great at prioritizing us over everything else.
After all, our dinner isn’t the thing we should really care about getting cold.
I must be intentional with my time and words. When my to-do list is long, I need to intentionally plan on loving the person I’ve chosen to spend my life with.
Here are a few suggestions for keeping your marriage hot during the holidays:
1. Sex. (Don’t just scroll past)
Do it and do it often. I get it. I do. You have a million other things on your list, why does this always have to be one of them? I also understand the other factors that ‘put you in the mood’ and how much prep work goes into you being ready. You were created that way and it’s so amazing. But this is a mommy blog, and I’m not addressing what he needs to do. I’m talking to you.
And by the way, have you seen you?! Well, I guarantee he has and you are sexy as hell. He’s seeing you whip up those mashed potatoes and is noticing your messy bun hair… again… HOT AS HELL! He wants you, and dare I say he even needs you. Connecting intimately isn’t about checking a box off a list. It is about intentionally connecting in the most intimate way possible. He will handle family, tasks, and difficult things so much better if he has you.
Oh, my gosh, your words. You know? Those off-the-cuff things you say when you are frustrated, stressed, and overwhelmed. Yes, those. Don’t say those words. Put a lid on it. Instead, try other words: look for opportunities to thank him, love on him, and be present mentally when he’s talking.
- Shoot him a look.
Connect with him in ways that aren’t just physical but leave little doubt you’re being intentional. Intentionally catch his eye and give him a smile that reassures him that you are his. You know the look I’m talking about. It’s a look that can be given even when you are busy changing a baby and another one is climbing on your back. Again, he sees you. He may not say it… but he does.
Our culture has given men a pretty bad rap when it comes to communication, but I believe it’s unfair and very misguided. It’s not just sex he wants. He thinks you are pretty-dang amazing. Your mind is super-hot to him. He thinks you are smart and funny. He wants to hear about your day with crazy Aunt Rosy and wants you to listen to him talk about chatty Uncle Bob. You’re his person that he processes life with and vice versa. Don’t forget to take five minutes to connect and check-in.
And here’s a life hack for those “box checkers”: If you have a ton of family at your house or you’re staying with someone else, do this one in the shower. You can check several items off your list.
With these suggestions above in mind, consider this: The best family tradition you can give your spouse is a happy, healthy marriage. Prioritize it. Plan for it.
You can give your kids hundreds of family traditions, the most ornate decorations, and the best meals, but I guarantee they’ll only remember a fraction of what you are doing. Your kids will remember the relationships you poured yourself into. Your husband needs to stay at the top of that list. The health of your marriage trickles over into every area of your life. You are a better momma when your marriage is thriving. Your husband and you are an incredible team, and your future self will thank you for being intentional now.
This holiday season, intentionally prioritize your marriage and keep things hot.