Husbands – want to know the nicest thing you can do for your wife?

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No groom stands before the glowing vision that is his bride walking down the aisle and eagerly plots all the ways he can disappoint her in the years to come. He has every intention, rather, of loving and caring for her and making her happy. Happy wife – happy life.

And no bride sets out to be a miserable nag. She wants to remain alluring, inviting and feminine to her husband. She wants him to boast about how lucky he is to his friends. And though she understands it may look different in the changing seasons, she wants the romance between them to stay alive.

But the relentless busyness of modern adult life can take its toll on our marriages. Where once we were motivated by a beautiful selflessness towards our spouse, we can become de-sensitised to their needs. If we get home at the end of a long day exhausted and spent, we have so little left to give that it’s hard to put our own needs aside to see to someone else’s. The result is that we can settle for independent, self-sufficient living and lose touch with each other.

Husbands, if you want to make sure your wife continues to adore and respect you like she did the day you said your vows, there is one key thing you can do:

Any gesture – big or small –  that says ‘I see you’, ‘I understand how you feel right now’ and ‘I care about you enough to do something about it’.

And the critical success factor?

You need to do this without being asked!

Does this put you into a cold sweat because you fear your inability to read your wife’s mind and respond accordingly? Help is at hand.

I asked 67 married friends to answer the question, “What is the nicest thing your husband could do for you?”. (Take a look here if you’d like to read all their responses. I have to say, there are some really considerate, helpful, loving husbands out there – good job!)

Their replies could pretty much be categorised into six main areas. If you want some practical ideas on nice things you can do, read on:

1. Pampering

Do something to indulge your wife: send her to a spa; run her a bubble bath accompanied by a glass of wine; bring her tea in bed; give her a massage or foot rub – spoil her! It doesn’t have to break the budget and will go a long way towards making her feel appreciated.

2. Emotional support

Spend some time listening to your wife. Show an interest in what she’s interested in. Try to understand how she feels (and I don’t need to tell you not to try fix her, right? You know this) Give her recognition for what she achieves in any given day. Be empathetic when there’s a lot of change happening in her life and she’s feeling needy or unsettled.

3. Chores

Chores are dreadfully dull. 365 days a year, they keep on coming. They are endless. They are soul destroying. And any help you can give your wife on this front will score you plenty of points. Do the grocery shopping; cook dinner; play with the kids; get them ready for school in the morning; fold laundry etc

4. Fix things

Yes, times have changed but there are still some ‘manly’ things that most of us wives need your help with: wheel alignments; shelving; clearing out the garage; washing cars; mowing the lawn… You’re our heroes of d.i.y and home maintenance!

5. ‘Me time’

For those couples who have children, this is a biggie. The best thing you could do here is offer to take the kids off your wife’s hands for a good few hours (minimum of 4 as a guideline) so that your wife can get some things done. Sometimes she may just need that time to get some chores done at home (have you ever tried to vacuum the house with a toddler holding onto your ankles? I have) Or she may want to lie on the couch and read a book. Whatever she chooses to do with the time, she will be so grateful for a decent chunk of time all to herself. This is a rare treat that does a lot to restore a weary soul.

6. Time together

This may come as a surprise to you, but your wife chose to spend the rest of her life with you because she enjoys spending time with you. She really enjoys spending time with you! Think back to all those hundreds of hours the two of you spent exclusively together during your dating days. She misses that. Put the phone down. Pack the iPad away. Give her your full, undivided attention. Cuddle her (if that’s what she likes) without expecting sex. Simply hang out together and savour the intimacy it brings.

Did you notice that not once did I mention, ‘Buy her flowers?’

There is nothing wrong with receiving flowers. I personally love getting them unexpectedly. But choose your timing wisely. They have the potential to be viewed as a second-rate, generic gesture if there are many other pressing needs your wife feels you could be addressing.

My challenge to husbands is to pay a bit of extra attention to your wife this week. Do something nice that meets a need she has. If it doesn’t seem to get the response you were hoping for, keep working your way through the six categories I’ve given you and see which gestures get the best reaction from her. If all else fails, go ahead and ask her what nice thing you can do for her. I think that in itself will get a great response!

Now, I am fully aware that we wives need some guidance in this area too. Is there perhaps a male blogger out there who could help us out with a (mature and tasteful) list of suggestions as to how we can be nice to our husbands?

By Jen Groom

photo credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/clickflashphotos/3440590766/”>ClickFlashPhotos / Nicki Varkevisser</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>cc</a&gt; photo credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/clickflashphotos/3440590766/”>ClickFlashPhotos / Nicki Varkevisser</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;

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67 Wives Answer the Question: What is the nicest thing your husband could do for you?

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  1. Send me to the spa for a day!
  2. The nicest thing my husband could do for me would be to support and be there for me through hard times.
  3. Just recently my husband took over my role as mom and carer by organising and looking after our three young kids while I was in hospital for an emergency procedure and during recovery. I felt totally loved and adored by his total care and concern.
  4. I work full time and he works a much less demanding job from home. The nicest thing he does for me is keeping our house together – he washes the dishes and the clothes, he vacuums and cleans and shops and cooks – so that at the end of the day I don’t have to think about those things. And sometimes he drives to the beach with my running gear and our dog (because I take the bus) and waits patiently for me while I run. That’s pretty nice too.
  5. To clean up the kitchen after he messed it up, when he was sweet enough to cook supper when I was sick.
  6. I think surprising me with a day drive somewhere. A spontaneous day of quality time…simply because he wants to have me all to himself. I’m studying at the moment and haven’t had a proper break in so long… a simple “surprise outing” that somehow included a picnic would be wonderful!
  7. A massage and taking my car to have the wheel alignment checked.
  8. He could take a day (or half day) off work so I can get some dental work done. If it was a general need at this stage of my life I’d go with, ‘being home on time every day to put the kids to bed and to just talk to me about the day, our kids and his work.’ It gets lonely when he works long hours. After thought, just a simple thing to do… Rub my back.
  9. The nicest thing my husband can do for me right now is what he is doing and just being there for me and giving me the love, support, help and understanding I need to help me cope as some days can be hard and at least he knows that raising kiddies is demanding and exhausting (more so since my baby became ill) so when he comes home and nothing is done he helps me with whatever needs doing.
  10. 1)Look after the kids (by that I mean feed them and entertain them) for a decent chunk of time so I can get on with some thorough cleaning, tidying out a cupboard, filing, sorting through clothes etc…yes really ! 2)Don’t ask me what I’ve done or who I’ve spoken to today when you know full well it is the summer holidays and I’m only just managing to keep my head above water! 3)Notice all the cleaning, tidying etc that I constantly do!
  11. To sit with me for half an hour a day. Just holding my hand, looking deep into my eyes and telling me that he still thinks I am the best thing in his life….
  12. Run me a nice hot bubble bath to soak in as soon as our baby is asleep in the evening… And then organise dinner while I soak in the bath!
  13. Be on time!
  14. The nicest thing he could do for me is surprise me by doing a few of my ‘to-do’ items off my list, especially house errands. My best is coming home to clean dishes and a clean kitchen.
  15. The one thing my husband could do is take an interest in things that interest me or at least support me in my hobbies.
  16. I would love to arrive home from a long day at work to find a meal planned for, shopped for and cooked by my husband. (Unasked)
  17. The nicest thing my hubby could do would be to acknowledge how I am struggling being the best mother, see that I am failing miserably, and support me more than just providing bread for the table.
  18. Clear out our cluttered garage so I can use it to park my car in!
  19. Cuddle me before going to sleep and not expect/demand/guilt me into sex!! Take the kids downstairs one morning and keep them quiet while I sleep and not feel bad about it!
  20. I can think of a few things my husband could do for me but the answer is a fairly simple one…let me rest! With a lively 2 year old son and at 36 weeks pregnant I value my rest very much.
  21. Coffee in bed while he takes care of the kids in the morning!
  22. The best thing today would be for him to get our daughter ready for play school this morning.
  23. He can start to fill the role of daddy as I’ve just found out I’m pregnant! So I need him to be my knight in shining armour to protect and love me and our little bean inside me.
  24. First thing I thought of is to buy me flowers! Absolutely love it when he does this!
  25. I think any small gesture which says ‘I see you’ really makes me feel loved. Things have been quite busy for us with my husband having a new job with a long commute, our baby and moving into a new house – so there hasn’t been an abundance of time. Two nights ago, he came home and said he wanted to make us pancakes – this small gesture meant so much, cause he put some time in for us, even though we had to book flights while eating the pancakes! I am hoping a massage is the next inspiration somewhere in the near future!
  26. He could offer (unprompted) to give me a break from the kids to have some “me” time without me having to ask for it…Basically to take the initiative with the kids and take control of a situation that gives me some time off…
  27. Wash the dishes!
  28. It would be absolutely wonderful if he could help me set up a homeschool classroom with loads of shelving/ cupboard space….as that is my daily job and it would help me as I love being organized and neat. That’s my season and my need. Or else it is always nice if I could have “me” time. So dad could take kids etc
  29. The nicest thing he could do would be to prep a nice supper (even a simple easy one) wash up after and sort our baby out for the night. Basically the evening routine I normally do on my own. And then we can just sit and chat or watch something nice.
  30. The best thing my husband could do today is support me with the day to day chores…like the washing up!
  31. Some of the nicest things my husband could do for me… give me a lie-in, take the kids out for an afternoon so I can be alone at home for a few hours in my own, uninterrupted company, carry in the food shopping bags and pack them away in the kitchen, get take-aways. Another way he really blesses my heart is by being kind to the kids and being a very fun daddy.
  32. He could take a day (or half day) off work so I can get some dental work done. If it was a general need at this stage of my life I’d go with, ‘being home on time every day to put the kids to bed and to just talk to me about the day, our kids and his work. Another simple thing to do: rub my back.
  33. I really enjoy it when my husband gives me attention – as in will put something he is busy with down, look at me and engage. I HATE it when he will prioritise a sports match so strongly that he won’t help me with anything until it’s over (incl post match breakdown……..) Sport is a huge dread for me.
  34. I think the best thing my husband can do for me is surprise me by doing the things that are usually my responsibility to lessen my load.
  35. I would love him to take me to a lovely park or woodland area, where we could walk and talk, hand in hand, away from life’s distractions. We have so little time together.
  36. The nicest thing my husband can do for me is understand my need for my family and country now we have our own little family.
  37. Take the kids off my hands for about 4hrs. ..it gives me space and time to get my jobs done around the house without interruptions! Probably the second thing is help me fold clothes, do dishes etc without being asked!
  38. Send the girls to granny and take me out so we can re-connect preferably over some yummy sushi followed by a walk on the beach! Oh and not at night because then I’m just exhausted. Some days I miss my handsome husband even though he is right next to me!
  39. Helping me with making supper and playing with my children after a long day.Sounds trite, but it really is such a nice help. I got home last week after not sleeping well etc, to find that he had made supper, even though he was writing a huge exam the next day. Little gestures like that make all the difference in the world.
  40. My husband is just amazing. He does the nicest things for me all the time. When I am on a hectic work schedule – he cooks, cleans, washes the clothes and makes me endless cups of coffee…sometimes for months and months on end! He tickles my back. He buys me chocolate. He tells me I look 10 years younger than I am. He doesn’t try to change me. He always encourages me. He makes me laugh and he always listens to me! He believes in me! The nicest thing my husband could ever do for me is just be himself! How blessed am I?!!!
  41. The nicest thing he could give me is his TIME, and his time he needs to be 100% committed to listening and understanding. Just him and me (no kids). Absolutely love TIME with just him.
  42. The nicest thing he could do for me is surprise me with a night (or 2) away at a hotel or spa. Doesn’t have to be far away, but just to have a night or 2 of uninterrupted sleep would be heaven right now.
  43. Wait up for me and help me with the evening feed to burp our baby. AND wash my car on a Sunday afternoon when he’d rather be watching sport.
  44. The nicest thing is probably a foot or back rub (pregnancy has a downside) The nicest thing he does is just listen to me moan and lately cry about everything (even his family) without getting upset or annoyed.
  45. My husband is usually so sweet and thoughtful so there is not much I could think of. Maybe a surprise holiday overseas — I have never travelled abroad (don’t even own a passport)
  46. Stand up for me when family or friends misunderstand me.
  47. Tea in bed!
  48. I think the nicest thing my husband could do for me is to organise a babysitter and take me out for dinner. Just time together – that’s all I want! He is very good about it, but that’s probably my best! Amidst work, baby and life, time is precious and I just want that 1-on-1 time to connect with him.
  49. Wash the dishes or hang the washing for me.
  50. Organise a very reliable babysitter/s and book us into a hotel for 2 nights in summer to laze by the pool and eat at all the good restaurants!
  51. I think quality time,one on one, is the most important thing he can do for me. Touch without leading to sex is also important.
  52. At the moment in my pregnancy, my husband comes home early makes me dinner, cleans up and rubs my back with lots of sympathy and affection. I honestly cannot think of anything else I need from him at the moment.
  53. Send me away for a night or two to a spa retreat far away in the countryside.
  54. Offer some practical help in an area of life he knows I am stressed/anxious/overwhelmed with. For me this demonstrates a sense of care and thoughtfulness, that he’s thought about how I’m doing and what is currently going on in my life, and is demonstrating his love by offering his help in that area. Here’s a real example that would bless me right now… if he came home and said something like, ‘I don’t want you to have to worry about anything else for the rest of the day, I’ve done some grocery shopping and have planned something for dinner. Let me sort it out and you just take some time off. AND I’ll clean up afterwards!’
  55. When he takes our baby out on Saturday mornings to give me a couple hours break. That is probably the nicest thing as I really need that time!
  56. Offer to take our daughter to school more often so I can lie in! He did this morning so I was very grateful.
  57. Offer to take care of our girls and give me a morning or afternoon to myself.
  58. At the moment the nicest thing my husband could do for me is to do something helpful around the house or with our son … especially without me asking him to. I have reflected on this before, and realised that since we have become parents my love languages/primary needs have changed a little … I would probably have said something like a surprise dinner or flowers or quality time if I’d been asked this question a few years ago, but since having our baby acts of service are definitely top of my list! I’m sure it will change again too as we move through different seasons.
  59. The kindest thing my husband could do for me, right now, within our budget, is to take the boys in the early morning and let me sleep. With an unlimited budget, I might say the kindest thing he could do for me would be to send me to a spa for a day and a good night’s sleep. But really the kindest thing he has ever done (and repeatedly does) is forgive me when I’m grumpy and tired and haven’t been an excellent mom; I’ve shouted and huffed and wanted to murder these precious boys… a little while ago, after such an episode of excelling at being the worst version of myself, he responded to my apology with: “it’s OK, this is a safe space for you, too”. It was the kindest thing anyone has ever done for me – to let me know that I belong, even when I feel I shouldn’t, even when I am at my worst. I am loved.
  60. That my husband loves the Lord our God with all that he has, and that he encourages me to do the same, by example and what he says.
  61. I would like him to make dinner more often. Sounds silly but we both have busy jobs and I would love to come home to dinner made maybe just once a week. It would be bliss!
  62. My answer applies to today specifically: look after the kids and give me some me-time. I’m working full days and when I get home it’s super busy. He lets me wind down: I can have a shower while he cooks and when I’m done we all sit together and have dinner. He’s amazing!
  63. The nicest thing my husband could do for me is love our son.
  64. The nicest thing my husband could do for me is make time to talk only about us! This sounds weird because we are married and of course we talk all the time and even when we are not with each other we chat on the phone and text. However with having two little ones, being in ministry and a lot of people commitments, we often end up being consumed with sharing our hearts for others. When we have just us time and I get a just me moment with him, it goes a long long way. The nicest thing my husband could do is check in with and ask how I am doing and what I am thinking about. Because it’s not always kids kids kids house cleaning, cooking etc. up here in my head and also in my heart.
  65. The nicest thing my hubby could do for me is offer to give me a night off, wash the dishes and clean the kitchen after dinner. Well, that would be a small nice thing. A big nice thing would be if he could plan a romantic weekend away for us, something where I would enjoy all the details and activities, but didn’t have to tell him or do any of the planning myself. I wouldn’t mind if he held open the door for me too every now and then (my guy is very egalitarian!)
  66. At the moment there are two things that my husband does that I just think are so sweet and lovely and that if he didn’t do them I’d wish that he did: in the morning he gets up and makes us bacon and eggs for breakfast and brings me breakfast in bed, complete with orange juice and then a bit later a cup of tea. I’m terrible in the mornings and need about 30 minutes to remember what day it is, so I really appreciate this. At the end of the work day he gets back home about 30 mins before me, and always makes a point of waiting for me before he gets stuck into doing whatever he has planned for his evening… he meets me at the door and takes my bags from me and puts them where they need to be, gets me a juice while I flop onto the bed and then we catch up about our day. I just love it, and the more babies I see enter the world the more I know that this special gesture may not last much longer. So I’m appreciating it all the more!
  67. I would love for him to organise a surprise day out for us as a family, where he has taken care of all the details, and I can just relax and enjoy the quality time together.

 

photo credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/clickflashphotos/3440590766/”>ClickFlashPhotos / Nicki Varkevisser</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>cc</a&gt; photo credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/clickflashphotos/3440590766/”>ClickFlashPhotos / Nicki Varkevisser</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;

Sensory Learning Experiment #2: Finger Paint!

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This experiment was a little more ambitious than the first and required more preparation (and cleaning – boy oh boy did I clean…)

Sensory Learning Experiment #2: Finger Paint!

Aim: Do something arts and crafty with brace-clad bub

Hypothesis: She will love getting her hands full of colourful paint and creating a ‘picture’

Equipment: 1 x plastic tray; 1 x tub of plain yoghurt; variety of food colouring; plastic containers for each colour ‘paint’; 1 x camera

Procedure:

1) Mix plain yoghurt with food colouring.

2) Seat baby at spica table.

3) Place protective cover over carpets in a 1 kilometre radius.

4) Place plastic tray upside down on the table to provide a canvas to paint on.

5) Roll up baby’s sleeves.

6) Place ‘paints’ on table.

7) Guide baby by demonstrating how to paint with the coloured yoghurt on the tray.

8) Step back and enjoy your little Picasso in action!

 

Safety risks:

1) Baby’s clothes may never be the same again.

2) Baby’s nails may be dirty browny/purple colour for several days.

3) Your plastic tray may not come completely clean.

Results: Lucy enjoyed the feel and taste of the paint! The beautiful green, pink and blue colours very quickly merged and became one big purple smudge on the tray. She was completely covered in paint by the end and it was nearing her nap time. She was getting grumpy and impatient which didn’t help the long-winded cleaning up process that was necessary before she could sleep. I was worried about her clothes being stained but after a good soak in Napisan they came out spotless.

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Conclusion: Make sure you do this activity when your baby is feeling fresh! It’s quite a lot of work for you so you want to make sure your baby gets in a decent play session make it worthwhile. Dress your baby in old clothes just in case the colour doesn’t come out.