Giving the Gift of Play

Giving the Gift of Play

Hi! Long time no see! I had to take a break from the ol’ blog for a while for various reasons. For one, I was working full-time on a project, so I decided to put all my energy into that. I figured, work for money > work for free. When that was over, I had a baby. I figured, work for family > work for me. Rhyming unintentional, but pretty fantastic.

Liana new baby
Meet Liana!

But now, the baby and I have found a sort of rhythm, I’m not so terribly sleep deprived, and I am back to not getting paid… Which honestly kind of sucks, but at least it gives me time to do this again.

So we just celebrated various holidays—in my family, we do Thanksgiving, Christmas, and a light version of Hanukkah… and you know, a parents’ version of New Year’s Eve, which consists of saying, “Hey, it’s New Year’s Eve,” going to bed at 9:00, and waking up in the morning saying, “Hey, Happy New Year.”

A Gift That Improved My Marriage

My focus on this post is going to be our recent Christmas gift exchange, and how it affected my marriage, helping me be kinder to my husband.

A long time ago, I wrote about the best advice my mom ever gave me about marriage. You can read about that later, but I’ll tell you briefly, the jist of it is that we have to appreciate each other.

Well, after this past Christmas, I have a piece of advice of my own. And honestly, I have heard it before. But it is so valuable and so easily lost when we are involved in just making it through each day as parents to young children.

That advice is: Have FUN together!

It seems simple, I know, but I think it’s often overlooked. I think we don’t realize we need to actually make an effort to play. But we have to.

When we forget to play, we take our lives and ourselves way too seriously. A poorly-loaded dishwasher leads to an argument that is completely unnecessary and silly—even though we might feel fully justified in being annoyed! (It is annoying! Seriously!)

I came to this revelation after the gift I gave my husband for Christmas did wonders to relieve what could have been a tense bout of nagging.

As a rule, Josh and I don’t give each other gifts. But this year, I had a flash of inspiration and could not ignore it. I knew it was a fabulous idea!

What was this miraculous gift, you may (or may not) be wondering?

Nerf guns.

nerf guns ready to go
These suckers are always at the ready, preloaded and sitting on the kitchen counter.

How Did This Gift Save the Day?

When I opened the dishwasher to find yet another poorly loaded, clean-but-not-really-clean, cutting-board-pressed-flat-against-the-back-of-a-frying-pan bunch of dishes, my first reaction was a heavy sigh.

I could feel the nag rising up, itching to get out of my mouth.

I looked at my husband, hand stereotypically poised on hip and said, “Joooooooshhhhhh.”

frustrated lady
But this is how I really felt, if I’m being honest here.

He sheepishly looked into the dishwasher, knowing right then that he’d done something that I’d talked to him about SEVERAL times. I’m sure he was expecting a verbal attack.

What he got instead was a different kind of attack.

I went to the counter, grabbed one of the preloaded Nerf guns, and went nuts. And so did he. We had a battle royale between the kitchen and dining room.

And it was awesome.

My frustration immediately dissolved, and I’m sure Josh was happy to have escaped that episode of annoyed nagging! Playing with your partner > arguing with your partner. ?

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