the secret to giving gifts to women, part II

As stated in the title, this isn’t my first post trying to help a fella out. To summarize my last post : “Women want to feel special, loved, and appreciated. If you put thought and effort into a gift, you are communicating that she is worth your time and effort. And that’s all we really want.”

To add to my last post, I’d like to talk directly to the men who have women with kids in their lives.

Here are some ideas:

Note: For all of the following ideas: you book the babysitter. Don’t give your woman a gift that requires work on her end. Besides, she’ll just end up not using the gift certificate for a long time since she’ll feel guilty leaving you with the kids, spending money on a sitter, or a million other excuses not to do something for herself.

1. Surprise her with a night out. This night out can be with you or with her best girlfriends.
2. Surprise her with a weekend away.
3. Surprise her with a full weekend day and night sans kids at home. Or a cabin. Or hotel. She chooses the way you spend the day.
4. Buy tickets to a concert, show, or event you know she’ll like. There are so many fun things to do in Atlanta: cirque, the fox, fall festivals, concerts…Surprise her.
5. Give her a gift certificate for a massage, facial, pedicure or money…but schedule a time with the sitter for her to use it and/or invite a girlfriend. For example: “Sally will be here in 1 hour. Get dressed and have fun. Here’s some money.”
6. Listen, and give her something she’s mentioned. Leave cards, notes, small gifts in unexpected places.
7. Make a video or book in which you, the kids, you, and others if you like, saying what they love and appreciate about her.

Ladies, men want to feel loved and appreciated, too! They are just usually easier to please!

Everyone, this is important. Being a mom or dad can be an often thankless job. The details of all you do and worry about are usually unseen. Do not let being a wife or husband be a thankless job as well. Don’t get into the rut of expecting your spouse to do all he or she does and forget how hard it can be.
“Honey, thank you for working so hard every day to provide for our family. Thanks for giving baths, making our kids laugh, and helping so much at home. I couldn’t do what I do if not for you!”
“Thanks for making sure the kids have clothes, food, childcare, doctor’s appointments…thanks for reading the books about discipline, sex, etc. You take amazing care of our kids, they are so blessed to have a mom who works so hard to make sure they are healthy.”

You get the idea…pay attention! and say or do something to show your gratitude and love!

Happy Gifting!

date night rut

Let me tell you about the date night rut; you know what I’m talking about, right? You spend all the money on babysitters and FINALLY get time away from the chaos of daily life. Time alone. Together. No kids. All this anticipation of it being THE THING that makes all the other hard, chaotic things better. You build it up. You tell your friends, “I’m finally going on a date with my husband!” Legs are shaven. Makeup is applied. Once at the restaurant, you tag yourself and your hubs at said restaurant with the caption: “Date Night with Hubby! No kids! Woohooooo!” Then, you put your phone down and look at him, unsure of what to talk about outside of the kids, the schedule, the work. Yes, I’m talking about that rut.

It’s amazingly easy to forget how to connect with those you love the most.
To stop the chaos and busy long enough to look them in the eyes.
To ask deeper questions and listen to the answers.
To give and receive love.
To continue growing and learning together.

I cannot tell you enough how important it is to do these things. A study in California revealed the most common reason folks were in the courthouse getting divorced was not feeling loved by their partner.

Here are a few tips to getting out of the date night rut:
1. Find or make space in your weekly/daily lives to be alone.
2. Be lovers. Kiss, touch, hug, snuggle. Have sex regularly*.
3. Date regularly*. Make it happen, no excuses.
4. Ask open-ended questions. Here are some examples:
Talk about your childhood, hopes for the future, traditions you want to start, what you are
looking forward to, the things you love about each other, your first kiss, your first impressions
of each other, your most embarrassing moment, your favorite memory together, your favorite
vacation, gift, etc. How you knew you wanted to marry him/her. How do you feel loved by me?
How can I make you feel more loved?
5. Put down your phone. Look into each other’s eyes. Seek to really understand the person sitting
across from you.

* “Regularly” is defined by you and your spouse. Discuss what you each would like and compromise if necessary, but talk about it and be intentional about what you decide.

Happy Dating!
– Lauren