Sunday, November 7, 2010

Marriage Challenge - #5

Make a list of 5 things you currently do and ask him to prioritize them for you of what is important to him. For example - a clean home, home cooked dinner, coupon clipping, service at church, having friends over for dinner, watching/doing sports with him, etc.

I happened to be in a restaurant when I remembered that I needed to ask Jon this question. I knew if I didn't ask right then I'd forget again. So I quickly wrote five things down on a piece of paper and had him prioritize them. I might have come up with a better list had I been at home and read the instructions or had more time to think. But he surprised me with the order he put them.

This is the list I gave him - 

Clean house and laundry

Home cooked meals

Family appearance (nice clothes, neat appearance, etc)

Saving money

Playing/teaching the kids (Mommy time)

This is the order that he put them in - 

1. Playing/teaching the kids
2. Clean house and laundry
3. Family appearance
4. Home cooked meals
5. Saving money

I guess I figured that saving money and home cooked meals wouldn't be so low on the list. 
And I wonder where time with him would fall in this if it had been on the list. =)

This was so helpful. When I read the challenge I wondered what good it would do. I know the things that Jon likes when he comes home. He enjoys a happy family and a clean home. So I should have known that these two would be the highest. But I guess it still surprised me. And it helped me prioritize my day. If the kids want to play and the house is messy we make a game of cleaning up. I've learned some really creative ways to pull them into the cleaning. Dominic's favorite is when we set the timer and pretend the house is on fire and we have to get everything picked up before the timer goes off. Not sure what the fire has to do with it, but he loves it and willingly helps pick up whenever I suggest it.
Caitlin likes singing while we clean. So I'll sing while I vacuum or scrub the bathroom. I've cringed when I wonder that the neighbors are thinking (the windows are often open). But the kids love to make games of things and this helps. Also they know that when the house is tidy we can go outside and play or I'll read to them. 
So this may be the real reason they help after all. =)

It's also helped when I'm stressing about cutting coupons or thinking about running to 5 different stores to compare prices. Jon would rather I spend the time on my family and the house and that takes the pressure off. I'm still careful with the money that I spend, but I don't have to stress about it or take time away from what he would rather I be doing.

Poor Jon! He knows where my priorities lie. He can't come out of the library until it's finished. We'll talk about the rest later. =)

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