Maintaining a standard level of communication with our partners is important. As parents, it can be very easy for us to get caught up in the humdrum of everyday life. Who's driving the kids to soccer practice? Should we get takeout for dinner again? And while we're often guilty of looking forward to the moment when our heads hit the pillow at night, getting on the same page as our significant others is crucial.
Recently, a parenting group based in San Francisco, CA, asked parents how they stayed on top of communication with their partners, and some of their responses are worth stealing.
Related: 35 Secrets to Marriage Success
"Every night, once the kids are down, we spend a hour or two chatting about the day and whatever is going on," explained one mom. "We literally lay on the couch, massage each other's feet, and chat. Sometimes we will do that for only 10-15 minutes over a cup of tea and then watch a show together or something, but it gives us time to chat and catch up. This way, there's nothing that we don't have the chance to talk about. Some days, there are more things going on that others."
A foot massage and some hot tea? I can certainly get behind that! Another positive aspect of this approach? It can take as little or as much time as you want, depending on your schedules.
Naturally, in every marriage there are going to be points of contention. Although it's common for moods and attitudes to ebb and flow, getting to the crux of small material issues is a must.
"It's important to take time to reevaluate where the root of the issue is," explained another member of the Facebook group. "Getting mad about dishes isn't typically the reason I'm truly angry." For this mom, it could be that her partner isn't spending time with her or making it a priority to help with the kids. "It might be he hasn't been making an effort to take me out on dates," she said. "That could be because I've been lacking in his area of needs by checking in on him after work, asking about his day, or being attentive."
The big takeaway? Relationships are a based on compromise and communication, and it's critical to have your pulse on both, especially on the bad days.