I am not an expert on other families but I am an expert on my family. Here are a few things that I believe make ours a happy one (most of the time).
- Start each morning with a sunny disposition. I wouldn’t say that I am a morning person but I am not a grump either. When you smile you feel better, so start your day with a smile on your face. When I go into Diego’s room each morning I greet him with a smile and a buenos dias. His day is starting off, too, and I want it to start off on a happy note. As soon as I set him down he runs into our bedroom in search of his Daddy. This little morning routine feels powerful because we start our day together. This has changed a little in the last couple of weeks as Diego has been sleeping later and so he doesn’t always wake up in time to see my husband off.
- Show affection. I have noticed that Diego loves to see my husband and I hug and kiss. It just makes his little face light up. It makes me feel good, too. It’s so easy to shower your child with affection. Everyday I am cuddling and kissing Diego and it melts my heart when he hugs or kisses me back. It’s equally important to be affectionate towards your significant other.
- Be grateful. Each night before going to bed I go into Diego’s room to check on him. A soft hand on his back to feel the reassuring rise and fall as he breathes and a readjustment of his blanket always puts me in a contemplative mood. This quiet moment always makes me feel a deep sense of gratitude. It’s not enough to be grateful, it’s also important to express it. Little things like having my husband thank me for doing the laundry, making dinner, or vacuuming the floor makes a big difference. He does this often and it makes me feel so good. Likewise I make sure to thank him for everything that he does for us. It’s nice to hear that we are appreciated.
- Little gestures. Any relationship can benefit from little gestures that show our love. This past week my husband hid little post it notes around the kitchen for me to find. That was such a fun little treat. It’s not an everyday thing but it’s so meaningful when he does this. I sometimes sneak notes in his pocket, car, or coffee mug. What we do everyday is check in with a quick text and in the rare occasion a video call.
- Communicate about everything. Finances, vacations, the latest gossip- all of these topics are things that should be talked about, just to name a few. I think it brings us closer to talk about the minutia of our lives. For more than eight hours a day my husband and I are not together. When he gets home he always wants to know what Diego and I got up to. I tell him with the aid of pictures and video. We then move on to work, what needs to be done around the house, and what is on the DVR.
I’ll be sure to come back to this post when I’m having a bad day. These five things are ones that I strive for every day but sometimes I fall short. On the days that I do, I dust myself off, apologize if I need to, and try again the next day.