You know the Hallmark movies where the guy swoops in and surprises the woman at work with flowers for no reason and takes her in his arms for a romantic kiss? Or when the man makes her coffee and brings it to her bedside? Or the one where he buys her a dress and leaves a note on the bed that says “be ready by 6pm my queen.” Or how about when she comes home after a long exhausting day to a clean house and a warm meal with her man standing there dangling her slippers in one hand and a poured glass of wine in the other?
Fairytales I tell you. This does not happen in real life.
Most days the only thing surprising me at work is how slow the clock is ticking. The only coffee I get is a rushed cup of Nespresso as I’m scrambling to grab all my bags and load the car. The only notes I see around the house are from my kindergartner learning to write and draw. I find crumbled up pieces of paper in every nook and cranny of my house that aren’t love letters. It’s no wonder I have no printer paper to print off his school work. And when I finally come home after a long day, my family is staring at me like a bunch of heathens with the house turned upside down and all dinner options still frozen in my freezer.
This is real life, which can be a smack in the face after watching all those Hallmark films.
A New Love Language
It’s exhausting. My husband and I are often like two ships sailing in the night as we are constantly managing the household chores and raising tiny humans. When one of us walks in the door, the white flag goes up and a sigh of relief comes over us.
We aren’t the stars of a Hallmark film and romance rarely makes such a grand gesture as Hollywood seems to think it should. But, we are better together.
Those times where I’m tapped out and he tags in to change a diaper or bathe the kids is way sexier than flowers. Literally any help he gives is better than anything our money can buy.
Helping each other get through this crazy time in our lives is like our love language. To take notice that one is struggling or needs help around the house and with the kids and then step in to help is what romance looks like to us. When my husband steps in to clean up after dinner or make sure the kids are getting ready for bed is messy and isn’t the Hollywood definition of romance but it means a lot.
We don’t need to announce these grand gestures of marital and parental un-romance, say, on Facebook, to be proud of each other and say it for the world to hear. We are just living our lives like a married couple should, in this together. Social media has created such a stigma and a fake expectation of what marriage should look like. If you need 100+ likes and praises for things we all do day in and day out humbly then what are you really living for?
Being Intentional and Thankful
We need to be more intentional. Intentional in simply asking our spouses for help because sometimes you think it’s obvious but sometimes they need a reminder or a subtle hint. We need to be more intentional in love and more intentional in being grateful for the little things they do because those little things matter! Marriage is two-sided and something we vow to hold steadfast for a lifetime.
Sure, those fancy things and love notes would be nice. However, I’ll take a husband who helps me out and fixes everything around the house over a husband who barely lifts a fingers and thinks money buys happiness. This is not the olden days. Women aren’t supposed to be expected to manage the entire household alone.
So if you’re like me with an un-romantic husband, give him some extra love and thanks tonight. It’s not a bad trait when they make up for it in a million other ways.
Besides, flowers sit and die on my counter and I always make him pour out the stinky vase when I’m done picking up dried petals on my counter top.