The Art of Appreciation

Taking care of the kids and the daily responsibilities of running a house can strain your connection with your spouse. The busier you get, the easier it is to drift apart. One way to show your spouse that you love them and maintain a great relationship is to show them genuine appreciation for all they do in their role to keep the family running smoothly. Here are some simple ways to show your appreciation that go a long way in keeping your relationship strong.

         Say it

The simplest way to show your spouse you appreciate them is to say “thank you”. It may seem obvious but as we get busy in our daily routines, it is easy to take for granted what your spouse does to contribute to the household. Thank them for working hard to provide financially, for cooking and cleaning, for mowing the lawn, for packing the kids lunches or giving them baths, or for running errands. A simple word of thanks goes a long way to show your spouse that you notice them and all that they do.

         Write a note

In this day and age of email and text, who doesn’t love to receive a handwritten note with a thoughtful thank you included? Consider writing your spouse a thank you card or love letter and leaving it where it will surprise them. It is sure to build them up and make them feel appreciated and loved.

         Give them a break

I feel very appreciated when my husband comes home from work, notices that I am feeling overwhelmed, and tells me to take a break and go somewhere alone for a while. He also encouraged me to join a monthly book club so I have a scheduled night out at least once a month. Pay attention to when your spouse needs a break and send them off to the spa, out with friends, or even alone on an errand so that when they come back they feel rested and recharged.

         Tell others how great they are

“I tell him, especially in front of the children, how much I appreciate him.” says Lenexa mom, Darcy King. “I explain to the kids why I am thankful for him.” Your spouse will feel appreciated if you tell others how much you appreciate them. “One of the ways I show my husband I appreciate him is how I speak about him to others.” says Olathe mom, Holly Searls. “I brag on him and tell others how amazing he is; because he is! I am proud to be married to him and it shows in the stories I tell others.”

         Show it

You can show your spouse how much you appreciate them by acting grateful. Try to reduce criticism and speak words that build up your spouse. Encourage them, thank them, and acknowledge  all they do. When your children hear how much you appreciate your spouse, it will help build family bonds.  Sometimes, the kids also need reminders from you to express their appreciation for your spouse.

         Give a gift

Giving your spouse a gift, big or small, shows them how much you appreciate them and that you think of them when you are away. Have flowers or cookies delivered to work or pick up a treat for them while you are out and about. Spring Hill mom,Kristin Haugsness says “I pick up occasional treats for my husband such as his favorite candy or drink.” When they see that they are in your thoughts, they are renewed to keep working hard for your family.

         Don’t keep score

When it seems like there is a never-ending list of things that need done to keep the house clean and organized, the kids fed and to various activities, the budget balanced, the yard maintained, and still manage to raise healthy happy kids, it is easy to get caught up in who is doing which task and who did not. Try to avoid keeping score or comparing duties with your spouse. Instead try to keep an attitude of everyone working as a team and consider taking on a little extra once in awhile if it lightens your partner’s load. Linwood, KS mom Jane Hammond says “When I start to get frustrated with him and his annoying habits, I try to flip it around and look at my annoying habits, and how patient he is with me.”

         Do their “job”

If your house is anything like mine, we typically have specific jobs we each take care of on a regular basis. To show your appreciation for your spouse, consider doing one of their “jobs” for the week. Throw in a load of laundry, do the kitchen cleanup after dinner, or offer to put the kids to bed while your spouse relaxes. All of these things show them that you notice how hard they work and you appreciate them.

If you are looking to reconnect with your spouse and show them you appreciate them there are plenty of ways to do it. Write a note, have their favorite snacks on hand, schedule a date night or a quiet night in, tell others why they are great, encourage the kids to tell them, give them a hug, be excited to greet them when they come home from work, cook things they love to eat, give them a break, or simply tell them why you love and appreciate all they do. It may feel awkward at first, but once you see how much it encourages them, you will most likely want to do it more often.


Date Night on a Budget

If a date night isn’t in the budget, consider these date ideas that are fun and budget friendly.

  • Swap sitting – If paying a babysitter is too expensive, see if you can trade babysitting with another couple while each enjoys a night out.
  • Pack a picnic – Houston is full of beautiful parks. Pack a picnic and enjoy a quiet dinner date outdoors.
  • Dinner in – Put the kids to bed early and cook a special meal or order takeout. Spend time chatting or watching a movie together.