by Stephanie Foster
It's easy to lose track of the important things when you are raising a family. It's hard enough to pay enough attention to your marriage when you have children; if you add working from home to the mix, it can become nearly impossible. Yet a strong marriage is one of the greatest gifts you can give your children.
There are some simple ways to make sure your spouse knows how much he or she means to you, however. These tips won't solve all your problems, but they will help you to remember how much your spouse means to you.
1. Say "I love you" often. My husband and I say these three little words every day. We start the day with them, and the day ends with them. It means so much to hear the words, even when you know your spouse loves you.
2. Be honest with each other about your needs. If your spouse is not doing something you wish he or she would do, say so, whether it's helping with housework or cuddling. Don't be confrontational, of course.
3. Show appreciation for the things your spouse does. Not only is saying "thank you" a good example to set for your kids, it's one of those small things that makes a huge difference in how people feel about what they've done.
4. Take time to listen. Make sure you know what is going on in your spouse's life. Emotional support is utterly vital in a good marriage.
5. Get time away from the kids together. It doesn't matter if it's for an hour or a few days, just do it. You need to remind yourselves what you mean to each other, and to just relax in each other's company. No need for fancy plans, dinner and a movie or even just a walk will do. Try for at least once a month, better yet, once a week.
6. If you work from home, don't let your job or business run your entire life. Keep a schedule, just as you would at a traditional job. It's easy to let these things get out of hand, but remember why you're working from home in the first place and keep your priorities straight.
A good marriage is one of the best things in life. Don't take it for granted. You'll be giving yourself and your family a gift that lasts a lifetime.