Starting the Day Off Right at Home

 

One should always be mindful of being loving, helpful, and respectful to his/her partner. Every day and every waking moment is important. We should never take one another for granted or misuse the time that we are blessed to have with our spouse and family. However, there are a few specific times of the day that seem to hold special importance. Our words and actions during these times have significant ramifications. Indeed, how we handle these times can go a long way to either making or breaking our marriage and family life.

One critical time of the day is in the morning before spouses leave for work. Of course, the timing of “morning” events will vary greatly in cases such as when one or both partners work odd hours or have dissimilar work schedules. While the timing may be different, the same principles apply. The start of your day – whenever that may be – is a critical time in which married couples should pay particular attention. There are definitely some “dos and don’ts” when it comes to communicating at these key times of the day.

Mornings are generally a very busy time and often a stressful time as well. Most couples are rushing around during this time trying to bathe, dress, groom themselves, eat breakfast, collect their things for work, and so forth. On top of this, if a couple has children they must help the kids with all of the same things and drive them or send them off to school. Even if only one spouse works outside the home, it can still be a challenging time of day. When both partners are preparing to leave home for a job the complexity is increased even more.

The morning hours are never a good time to try to engage in meaningful discussion. Neither spouse will likely be able to give their full and undivided attention during these hectic moments. Trying to do so usually just proves to be distracting, frustrating, and even annoying. Save the important conversation topics for an occasion and place when you can give it the time and attention it deserves.

This time of day is especially a terrible time to bring up a problem or a negative issue. This is true for several reasons. You and your spouse will likely not see each other again that day for eight to ten hours or more. You should not want the last thing you talked about to be something downbeat or problematic. That will only serve to set a negative tone for the entire day and make you more stressed than needed. Certainly you should resist the temptation to start an argument or to say or do something that is offensive or hurtful. Such interactions are not what you or your partner wants to think about all day long.

The best thing you can do for yourself, your mate, your marriage, and your family is to make the mornings as joyful and peaceful as possible. While courtesy and respect should always be given and expected in a relationship, it is even more important to exemplify such during potentially tense times such as this. For example, partners will do well to give each other a little space to prepare themselves for the day without distracting one another or getting in each other’s way. If getting children ready are involved then there should be an agreed upon system for assisting them – which may vary widely in each family depending on schedules, timing, other responsibilities, and so forth.

Try to get as much as possible ready and organized the night before. For example, you can select and lay out your clothing for yourself and the kids, gather your items for work and school, pack lunches, and so forth. You can also ensure all items for bathing and grooming (wash cloths, towels, hair brushes, etc.) are available and easily accessible. These steps will reduce stress and arguments in the mornings. There is nothing more frustrating and irritating than trying to find a clean towel or pair of socks in the morning – especially if you are already running late. You may even decide to take it a step further and figure out what you and the family are going to eat for breakfast. Perhaps even set the table for breakfast and so forth the night before.

If your family always seems to be extremely rushed in the mornings then it may be appropriate to set the alarm clocks to wake up a bit sooner. Even fifteen minutes can make a huge difference in reducing the stress and tension related to typical morning routines. It may even be in order to try to get to bed a bit earlier so that you are more rested and less irritable when it is time to awake and prepare for the day.

If you and your mate agree that activities such as making beds, completely cleaning breakfast dishes, and so forth are important then it is even more critical that you plan adequate time to complete these tasks. Some couples prefer to do these things later in the day when they have more time or even assign them to the kids for after-school chores. Sometimes a little flexibility in this area can take some of the stress out of the early hours. Whatever the case, the important thing is that you decide together and are both comfortable with the morning routine.

While the mornings are not a good time for meaningful conversations, it is an excellent time for brief, positive communication. Make it a point to set a positive tone for the day with your words and deeds! Complement one another and otherwise speak words of encouragement and affirmation. Always do your very best to part ways for the day on a high note. Pray together – even if for only a brief moment. Say “I love you” and exchange a quick kiss and embrace. These and other loving gestures will make both you and your mate feel great and cause you to look forward to reuniting later in the day.

Kirk VanOoteghem serves as Executive Pastor of River of Life in Muncie, Indiana.  He has many years of experience as a marriage counselor and educator and is the founder of MarriageMoment.org – an online ministry dedicated to protecting and strengthening marriages.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Tags: , , , , , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply