Invite Him Home, Day 5
Today’s post is inspired by The Husband Project by Kathy Lipp.
Today’s 30 Minute Challenge (Nov 5th): Invite Him Home
Focus on your husband’s transitional time – his first thirty minutes after arriving home. Ask yourself: “Would he like to be left alone to rest and rejuvenate, or does he want some undivided attention from you? The point is to let your husband know you value what he does out in the world, and that he has a safe, loving place to come home to and get refreshed at the end of the day” (Lipp, The Husband Project).
What if I don’t time to clean the house from top to bottom?
That isn’t feasible. Don’t overextend yourself trying to make your home flawless. A little clutter here and there makes your home lived in.
While I may want all the dishes to be loaded in the dishwasher before my husband gets home, it’s highly unlikely. Instead, I try to focus on setting a nice dinner table and having all the dishes sitting in or near the sink.
Think about your’s and your husband’s comfort level when it comes to messiness. Some want everything to go back in its place right after use. Others don’t mind a moderate amount of clutter so long as it doesn’t interfere with your ability to relax. If your husband is tripping over toys and laundry baskets in an effort to get to the dinner table, couch, or his office, etc, then those are areas to work on.
My husband and I fall into category two. I can enjoy an evening with him even if I still have dirty dishes in the sink. I can focus on intimacy with him better when our bedroom is straightened, but I don’t stress about the disorganized closet. Give yourself plenty of time to straighten your home to yours and your husband’s liking.
In my case, I tend to be a perfectionist. My idea of clean and organized is different from my husband’s. He’s helping me learn that I don’t need the entire house to look like the set of the Hallmark Home&Family show. I don’t need to be dressed in my best with dinner on the table the second he walks through the door every night. Make a short checklist of do-able things to make the transition easier and your home cleaner and more inviting and leave it at that.
What if I won’t be home when he gets home?
If your husband will be getting home before you do, think about what he likes to do when he gets home (when you’re not there).
I generally like to let my husband know where I left dinner or what he can make himself for dinner. If I know in advance I won’t be home for most of the evening, I also encourage him to spend time with his buddies online playing games (since my husband is a gamer & joint Star Trek Online missions can take awhile).
- Don’t have time to make dinner? Order and pre-pay for a pizza or one of his favorite meals to be delivered around the time he gets home (if financially feasible).
- Does he enjoy watching the news or the sports game? Make sure he can find the remotes easily, and maybe stock the fridge with one of his favorite beverages.
- Does he like to work on projects? Leave him a little love note in the garage or workshop.
- Does he come home to nap? Make sure he has clean sheets to sleep on.
What if we have to go somewhere immediately?
Some nights you might have to go somewhere together (or you need to take your kids somewhere). If that’s the case, take a quick moment to welcome him home with a hug and kiss before rushing out. Take a few extra minutes before he arrives to prepare your home for when you return (i.e. chores for the day completed if possible so you don’t need to do them when you get home, clean sheets to sleep on for the night, or placing a book he might be reading or the Bible on his nightstand).
What if we’re having company?
You can still help your husband transition even if it’s briefer than usual. Here are my general unspoken rules for when company is coming and my husband is getting home:
- Greet your husband.
- Avoid dumping chores or complaints on him (and this is a good general rule too).
- If I must ask him to do something (i.e. getting ice from the deep freezer), wait until he’s settled in for a few minutes.
- Make sure he has a beverage (and appetizer, if we’re having one).
- Let my husband entertain the guests while I finish getting ready.
What if we live with the in-laws?
My husband and I share a home with our in-laws. If you happen to share your home with others, you can’t always control how the rest of the house looks. Focus on your space.
- If you can, arrange to have the house to yourselves for a few hours on occasion. (We have a nice arrangement worked out with my in-laws for this at least once a month and we do the same for them).
- Make your “together” space inviting and comfortable for the two of you (i.e. swap everyday sheets for silk ones, lower the lighting and use candles, grab your husband’s favorite comfy sweater or pajamas or robe and lay it out, etc).
What if he’s going to be away?
- Give him a dollar store or homemade card. Write about how you love him and miss him. For love letter inspiration, click here.
- Give him a framed photograph of yourself (or the two of you together).
- Check in via phone, Skype, or email frequently.
- Send him with a care package – things to remind him of home (i.e. his favorite treats and goodies, pillowcase spritzed with your perfume, etc).
What if he works from home?
Set specific times to take breaks and spend time together. I try to do major errand running and household chores on the days my husband works so when he’s at home, we can focus more on relaxing. I let him know when I need to get work done and roughly how much time I need so he knows how long he needs to occupy himself. We set specific times to take breaks and check in with one another.” Ask your husband what he would like the schedule to be – whether he needs dinner before or after his recharge time.
What if he’s unemployed?
My husband was unemployed for three months. It was rough. Perhaps your husband is too, or he needs to stay at home due to injury or illness. Ask him what he likes from his evenings.
One woman from the book The Husband Project explains how her husband wants to share with her the little things he did so he feels like he’s contributed something to the world.
If you’re the one who works, instead of jumping into your to-do list, changing your clothes, or checking emails immediately, check in with your husband and ask him about his day and what he did. Make him feel important by listening to him.
Make this challenge your own. Be creative. Show you value your husband through your actions, appearance, and atmosphere.
5 Minute Marathon
I love Kathy’s strategy. Walk through the front door of your home and look around. What’s the vibe of your home? What do you see? What do you smell? What do you hear? Do you feel relaxed when you walk through the door? If you were a guest, would you get the impression that this is a home at peace? Chances are if you’re stressed or frustrated by your home, your husband might be stressed or frustrated too.
Take two minutes and pick up a few pieces of clutter. Take a minute to freshen your appearance before your husband arrives home. Then take two minutes to greet him when he arrives home. Even if your home isn’t in the greatest order, you can still make an effort to love him when he arrives by looking pleasing and letting him know he is welcome.
Lord, please make my home a place of peace, rest, and joy. Equip me to best serve my husband when he first arrives home. Give me the patience to listen, the wisdom to encourage, and the willingness to love. Place Your blessings on our evening. Amen.
Take It a Step Further
Plan a nice meal for you and your husband to share (or if you don’t have the time, order in your favorite takeout). Set the table with your best dishes, candles, fresh flowers, and/or whatever else you think will make the evening special. If you have kids, get them to help you out. You can arrange for a babysitter for the evening if you like (or if they’re older, just set up another table for them somewhere else in the house and instruct them to let “Mom” and “Dad” have alone time, unless it’s an emergency. (If neither is feasible, consider waiting til the kids are in bed, and just enjoy dessert).
This post is Day 5 in of the 30 Dates in November Challenge.
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How will you make your home a haven for your husband?