Good Morning! I hope y’all had a wonderful weekend. Some of my sisters were in town with their little ones, that are growing up way too fast. It was so nice to play with them and catch up. I always feel like I never see them often enough, but I know I’m just spoiled. We’re lucky that we at least live on the same coast, and I probably see them at least once a month. For those of you who are newer readers, I’ve got five younger sisters and no brothers. My mom had all of us in 9 1/2 years. I don’t know if it was just good parenting, or that the Lord blessed us with our great relationships, but we’re a pretty close-knit bunch. It’s probably an equal amount of both. Now I’m not saying we get along all day, everyday, but even when we have our disagreements, we seem to resolve them pretty quickly. My hope and prayer is that my children are the same, now and even as they grow older.
How I Do It: Commitment
One thing my parents instilled in us at an early age is staying committed. Committed to our faith. Committed in sports. Committed in relationships. Effort, trust and love all rolled into one. I know it may seem simple to stay committed to some things over others, but some can be challenging. When we lose that effort or perseverance, we aren’t being completely committed. Think of sports. If you practice often, you most likely get better. When you stop practicing, you notice pretty quickly how much harder it is to play at your best level. Commitment in a relationship, whether it be with a friend, significant other, spouse, etc., requires some work. Yes, it can be easy to verbally say you’re committed, but are you really? How much effort, trust and love are you putting into your relationship? I know it’s hard, especially with children, but putting forth that extra effort makes a world of a difference. Just allowing your children to see the bond you have with each other, means so much more than you’ll ever know. Seriously. Watch them. You’ll see them relay that kind of love and commitment into all parts of their lives too. Lanier and I are definitely not the model couple here. But it’s that effort, that attempt to stay connected, that makes the biggest difference.
So How Can You Stay Connected?
Simple activities can be fun. Lanier and I watch Jeopardy every night (and keep score). I’ve watched Jeopardy with my family ever since I was very little, so having that sense of nostalgia with Lanier makes me so happy. I know it’s the competitiveness in us that we like too. We love games: Scrabble, Bananagrams, cards, you name it. While watching tv together isn’t exactly the best way to stay connected, it’s a start. At least you’re doing something together. Playing games is a great way to have fun and it gives you a chance to talk. Sharing your feelings, thoughts, life in general is necessary in every relationship. How else do you know what the other is feeling? Sometimes you can assume, but we all know how that usually turns out.
Spend time together, outside of the house. If you have kiddos, schedule a date night. I’m not saying you have to do it that often, but do it. It’s good for every relationship. And while a sporting event, bowling, the movies, are all really fun, especially with other couples, I think going out to dinner or even a long walk is better. It allows you to strengthen your intimate relationship. The one-on-one time forces conversation more, and conversation is the key to staying connected in your relationship.
The ‘S’ word. If you’re in a serious relationship, I’m going to be as vague as I can about this, but you know the one true way to stay connected. It’s healthy. The ultimate way to show love. I realize to some people it’s difficult to incorporate this into your lives for as busy as we are, but as I’ve stated before, to stay committed requires effort. Sidenote: I realize everyone has their views on waiting until marriage, and I completely respect that. I have no idea what will happen when my children are older, but I’m choosing not to think about that until they get there. Honestly, right now I’m just thinking about what I’ll be fixing them for lunch. Ha!
Alright, that was a pretty intense How I Do It post for a Monday. If anything, I hope it makes you think. It sure makes me think.
3 thoughts on “How I Do It: Commitment & Staying Connected”
Absolutely LOVE this post! Such helpful ideas, as I have one in the midst of his "terrible two's" (and I've heard 3's may not be much better?!) and a one year old who is just beginning to understand the word "no". I find myself constantly questioning the line between setting boundaries through discipline and simply teaching – and then wondering if my 2 y/o even understands WHY he is in time out or WHAT I am trying to explain to him. I hope when you do your post on incentives/rewards, you'll share what has worked for you with all of the different ages of your little ones!
This was such a nice post! I have twin toddlers and a two-month-old, so I'm definitely dealing with trying to stay connected to my husband, and disciplining the twins. One thing that has helped us stay connected is the "no phone" rule. After seven pm, phones go away. I tend to get wrapped up in social media at night after the kids go to bed, but that is time much better spent with my husband.
Great post Ashley and it all is so true! Help me discipline Sterling, he is a struggle these days with a mouth like a 15 year old!! Your kids are presh.
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