Compromise– if there is ONE thing I learned, its that compromise is the number one thing that I attribute to staying married 12 years. There is just no way to live a healthy marriage that is lopsided, and all-about one partner. It’s a give and take, you
Cheer-leading– I love encouraging my hubby to do something out of his comfort zone, and watching him achieve it. Jesse dropped out of high school and got his GED. He was always a little self-conscious about that. When we lived in NY, he was a brick/stone mason, but always said he wanted to save people’s lives for a living. He started volunteering for a fire department in NY, and when we moved to Florida, I encouraged him to go to school and get his EMT license. Once in that program, he fell in love with medicine and went on to become a paramedic. He realized his true potential, and was at the top of his class. Being that cheerleader for one another builds a bond that lasts.
A king-sized bed– do I really have to elaborate this one to you? This was all the more important once the kids came around. But having our own space at night is so important. Get a king-sized bed.
A family calendar– we have tried several different ways to keep our schedules in sync. Inevitable though there will be an appointment that one of us forgot to tell the other one, blah blah. It wasn’t until I bought a dry erase calendar that we really got on board. It’s up to us to keep our appointments up to date on their, and add them to our phones. We tried syncing phones but I have so many work meetings on mine that he didn’t want to see, we stopped doing it. I will never forget when “I” forgot to send hisfather a birthday card, and for some reason it was MY fault!
Alternating sleep– now this is an obvious one while the kids were infants, but now that the kids are older, we alternate who has to wake up early with the kids on the weekends. The kids are pretty self-sufficient, but left alone in the morning, they will eat cookies and garbage till they puke. But we realized that we don’t both have to be up, so we allow one another to get that precious weekend sleep.
Making him a cup of coffee– I am guilty of not always doing nice things for my husband. I can tell this by the expression on his face when I do something as simple as make him a cup of coffee. I was much better at it before we had kids, and I hate that, but it is what it is. Doing sweet things, small things, lets him know I still love him.
24-hour shifts– for almost 7 years, Jesse worked 24 hours shifts as a paramedic with a 911 service. There was something magical about being able to count on that night to decompress, and truly have my alone time. After kids this was even MORE important, because I feel like I am never, ever, EVER freakin’ alone! He left that job, (sigh), and man do I miss those days! How ever you can swing it, spend time with yourself, regularly.
7-Year wait– Jesse and I waited seven years before having kids. My only regret is that we didn’t take more advantage of this time without kids, and travel more. We spent those 7 years building the best foundation for our family: we finished our schooling to have reliable jobs, we bought two new cars, we bought a house, moved 4 times or so, and went to a lot of concerts. This time allowed us to be able to learn how to live with one another, how to fight, how to make-up, how to communicate. It was a lot of fun playing house, but since we’ve had kids, it’s made us appreciate any downtime that we have.