Thursday, August 16, 2012

Simple Ways to Stay Connected

This week, I'm joining the Hearts at Home blog hop again. On the third Thursday of every month, all of the Hearts bloggers share their thoughts on the same topic. With the start of the new school year upon us, the topic this month is: staying connected during the busy seasons of life.

I may not have kids in school yet, but as the wife of a high school administrator I am all too familiar with the back-to-school routine - shopping for new clothes, stocking up on lunch snacks, filling the calendar with the dates of every football game, tailgate, and parent-teacher night. After enjoying two amazing months of freedom, Matt is back at work and our quality time together has already taken a nose dive.

In this phase of our lives, finding time to connect with our toddler doesn't seem to be a problem. She is pretty good at making herself seen and heard. We spend our evenings sorting plastic shapes, playing with Little People animals, and reading about hungry caterpillars. Add in my daily routine of household chores and Matt's full workday, and we are both zapped of patience and energy by bedtime (hers, not ours). At my house, the back-to-school challenge isn't as much about nurturing our family bonds as much as it is about nurturing our marital ones. These are just a few of the practices we've adopted to help us stay connected through the busy times...

1. Take technology breaks. Now that we both have smart phones, I'm amazed at how easy it is to ignore each other when we're both checking sports stats and reading blog updates (guess who does which). We keep our attention on each other by turning the TV off and leaving phones out of reach during certain activities - eating our meals, drinking our morning coffee, and playing with Reese.

2. Go to bed together. We almost always go to bed at the same time. When one of us is ready for bed, the other follows suit. And if the other person isn't quite tired yet, well, let's just say this tip is also on my list for finding time for intimacy.

3. Share about your day. Every day when Matt gets home, I stop what I'm doing and we grab some cold drinks and sit on the patio or in the living room and share the details of our separate days. It makes us feel like we're still together even when we're apart.

4. Notice Mini-moments. Our quality time doesn't just come in the form of an occasional kidless date night or after bedtime hours. It comes instead in simple subtle moments - stopping everything to dance when our wedding song comes on the radio, stealing kisses while we take turns pushing Reese in her swing, holding hands in the car.

5. Take Sunday back. We rarely do anything on Sunday that isn't fun or relaxing. Weeds don't get pulled. Yards don't get mowed. Blogs don't get written. We also don't talk about issues that can wait until Monday. For one day every week, we are reunited with the blissful quiet of summer and the peace of a restful day.

Read more tips for staying connected by the other Hearts bloggers.


  1. I think it requires intentionality to take Sundays back but I'm with you. Thanks for your thoughts.

  2. Thanks for joining in with some great tips! :o)