There’s a magical time of day when my world of diapers, tantrums and playdates collides with my husband’s day of meetings with adults who don’t throw food on the floor because it was not in the blue bowl when they specifically asked for the BLUE BOWL!
This 10 minutes when the worlds meet must be handled with care. The tone of this world-meets-world window sets the tone for the rest of the night. Just 10 minutes decides if we will have a night of fun or frustration.
For example, a poor start to the night is when my husband comes in the door and immediately launches into his incredible successes at work without asking about my day or even noticing that I have clearly not showered and the toddler is still in pajamas. Or, a bad welcome home for my husband is when his foot barely crosses the threshold on the door and I shove that toddler in his face and rattle off the 10 things I need done right now.
I don’t think any husband or wife means to have these less-than-ideal meetings at the end of a long day, but they happen – more often than I would like.
A friend of mine recently wrote about her solution to making transition from workday to night at home a little smoother. First, she recommends spending the first 15 minutes on “the goods” of the day rather than the frustrations.
I love this. So often I can’t wait for my husband to get home so I can vent about all of the dumb stuff other people did that day. And while that feels oh so good sometimes, it would be much more uplifting to discuss our high points and victories (of course while also reading the room to see if someone else’s day has clearly been a disaster).
Next, my friend has a list of seven things that should not start the conversation at the end of the day. Poop tops the list. I admit: I have fallen victim to the my-baby’s-poop-is-so-fascinating-that-everyone-on-earth-wants-to-know-its-color-and-consistency trap. But really, a lengthy description of your child’s bowl movements (no matter how interesting they are) is no way to greet a spouse at the end of the day. (Read more of her list here).
Her list got me thinking about what I should or shouldn’t talk about with my husband when he walks through the door. And what I realized is that the happiest collisions of our worlds are when we don’t do much talking at all during those first 10 minutes.
For example, one day my daughters and I loaded up a bunch of water guns and left him one by the front door with a sign reading “Arm yourself.” After our water war throughout the house, the rest of the night was full of laughter and fun.
Those are the memories I cherish. I want both of us to look forward all day to those 10 minutes when our worlds melt back together.
How do you set the night off on the right foot with your spouse? Any conversation topics that are off-limits for the first 10 minutes?