When we were dating, we would fuss over what gifts to buy, where should we go for dinner, how can we make it more special or unforgettable for each other whenever Valentine’s draw near. Now that we are married and have assumed parenthood, Valentine’s Day have somehow dwindled in significance and been relegated to lesser status after kids, after careers and after other more legitimate commitments. In fact, many frugal friends I know (myself included) have asked the hubbies not to send them flowers on Valentine’s or buy them fancy dinners…After all, we don’t need our partners to affirm their love for us at the expense of being fleeced. While I’m not an advocate of lavish gifts or romanticized celebrations, we must be careful not to allow familiarity and complacency to displace passion and spontaneity in our marriages.
Despite our hectic, multitasking lives, a group of Mommy Blogger friends and I have come together to count the 3 favorite things we appreciate most about our husbands.
1. He has faith in me, more so than I do myself. Whenever I say or think ‘I can’t’, he will encourage me lovingly with ‘you can, Darling, give it a try’…His love inspires me to be a more Godly wife and Mom to our kids.
2. He puts the family’s needs above his own. He sacrifices his sleep on weekends to buy us breakfast; sacrifices his lunch hour daily to pick the girl home from school; sacrifices his rest time to make memories with the kids (and settle household bills!). During this difficult period when we are going through a family crisis, he sacrifices the long-awaited CNY homecoming trip back to Malaysia (which mean so much to him) so that we can stay on in Singapore to accompany my Grandma on her final journey…
3. He lights up our world. The days are more fun, more enjoyable, more memorable, more worth-living with him around. On the rare occasions when he’s out-stationed, I find myself missing him like crazy…(and our kids feel it too)! That’s why despite being married for 16 years, my heart still skip a beat when we meet at the end of a long day.
1. He plans everything! Ever since we got together, he’s been in charge of planning all our holidays, and does a wonderful job each time. All I have to do is pack my own luggage! He picks the hotels, decides on our itinerary, and tries to ensure that our trips are more than just sightseeing trips, but would include some special experiences. We attended cooking classes in Bangkok and Japan, and I think that really made our trips more memorable. Plus, he takes great photos, preserving our memories and experiences perfectly.
2. He is the best dad for Noah, and I love watching them play together. Even though he travels quite a bit, Noah still asks for him regularly, and likes spending time with him. He brings Noah out on short walks when I need a break from being Noah’s primary caregiver 24/7, which really helps me keep my sanity on tough days.
3. He is my best sounding board and confidant. I worry a lot, about everything and anything. I would be a headless chicken running around, if not for his calm and logical analysis of my worries. He was my rock during our years of infertility, and without him, I wouldn’t have been able to survive the entire process.
1. He does the dishes without complaining, and even without me asking!
2. He cares for my parents, as much as he does his own.
3. He surprises me with little gifts and sweet gestures, when I’m least expecting it.
1. Laughter – I love to hear him laugh. It makes me feel warm and fuzzy and his laughter is absolutely contagious. Plus knowing he’s happy makes me happy too!
2. Housework – He’s one of those gems who helps out with housework so the whole load doesn’t fall entirely on me!
3. Helps with the kids – Thanks to his super-dad abilities, I can go out now and then without worrying about the kids!
1. I love how he knows what’s going on in my mind when I have certain looks on my face (and sometimes does the necessary so that I can achieve what I had in mind!).
2. I love how often we “SNAP!” and say the exact same things at the same time.
3. I love how he wakes up early on weekends no matter how late he got back home the night before because he knows how precious the weekends are with the kids.
1. He makes a great condiment. Everything just tastes better when the Barn Owl is around. Especially the tall glass of Ribena he pours out for me when he gets home from work (yes, the Barn Owl comes home from work and one of the first things he does is to bring his wife a cold drink!) That thoughtfulness means so much to me at the end of a long day.
2. He has dimples. Okay, right now the dimples are all hidden away inside his beard, but that just makes them super secret dimples, just for me. In any case, I see them every time the children smile or laugh, which is pretty much constantly, because dimples aren’t the only trait they inherited from the Barn Owl.
3. He invites the quietness and calmness in. Sometimes, it’s good just to sit quietly together and not say anything, but just be there. That’s something I’ve learned from the Barn Owl, who drifts silently on silent wings. Being around him is peaceful. I always have better dreams and a more restful sleep when he’s there.
1. He has a really wacky sense of humour and makes me laugh with his lame puns, ridiculous jokes, silly songs and unnecessarily-elaborate gags. He’s so musical and can sing and play the piano very well. It always amazes me whenever he sits down at the piano and plays whatever comes to his mind.
2. He is a big softie and has a very good heart. He is prone to random acts of kindness like helping blind people to cross the road and is very supportive of the various community projects that I drag him into.
3. He is a hands-on dad and takes really great care of the kids. He also likes to tell them all kinds of ridiculous things just to see whether they’ll believe him. The kids love his nonsense and have inherited his humorous nature.
1. He’s the best Dad my boys could ever ask for. He plays with them as soon as he gets back from work, even though he’s had a long and tiring day. He bathes them, patiently teaches them to scoot and cycle, cuts their nails and readily agrees to be the horse or camel or dinosaur that they ride on. He pats the boys to sleep when they wake up at midnight or unearthly hours, so that I can have that extra bit of rest. They love him so, and I do too!
2. He willingly and cheerfully goes shopping with me and/or takes care of the boys while I try on clothes… 🙂
3. He gives the best hugs in the world. When I feel like everything is falling apart, I know he will hold me close and gently kiss me on the forehead. He lets me cry after a bad day or after reading the worst kind of news articles on Facebook. He tries his very best to understand my explosive emotions, and bites back his questions and suggestions until later, because he knows I just need him to be there.
(Just a little foot-note) 10 years ago, on the eve of Valentine’s Day, he asked me out on our first real “date” and told me that he liked me. Maybe it’s kind of cheesy, but I was melted by his sweet shyness and thoughtfulness, and the very unique way that he “confessed”. 🙂 We officially got together on 26 February 2005.
1. I love (n hate) his sense of humor.
2. He plans his time around his children.
3. He lets me go out whenever i want and he settles the children each time.
1) We only have joint accounts but he doesn’t question how I spend his money. I don’t spend on luxurious goods anymore, so I guess I have gained his trust.
2) Cooking is not my forte and I dislike cooking. I’m a lousy cook yet I cook often at home. But he doesn’t complain about my cooking.
3) Whether it was because of my previous job or late nights out with friends, he wouldn’t be unhappy. Most of the time I would go home seeing him soundly asleep. Some ladies may presume that the husbands don’t care, but for me, it is the freedom he gives me that I treasure.
1. He loves God more than he loves me. That alone is so assuring.
2. In all his busyness, he would always make time for the family. He’s the CCA ic in our family. Looks into all their fun activities, exercise and food!
3. He doesn’t mind me laughing at him. Cos he always turns it around and we both end up laughing at and together with each other.
3) He listens to all my crazy ideas, and supports me in my dreams to pursue writing. And when I feel down or discouraged, he is always there to lift me up.
1. His wisdom: He’s smart, wise and knowledgeable in both actions and words. I was first attracted to him because he has answers and solutions to all my questions arrowed. He never fails to impress me. Or perhaps, it is true when we say men should go for the less smart.
2. He’s tolerance: Men seriously detest nags. I have my days of intensive nags, and he has high tolerance for that. This man of few words doesn’t rebukes, but somehow absorbs. I’m blessed to have this man understanding my talkative days.
3. His competence (He does the laundry): With no helper in the house, he never fails to empty dirty laundry into the washer. With man like this, who needs helper?!!
1. He gives me random bear hugs when we ‘bump’ into each other in the house!
2. He is consistent – When I mentioned I had a craving for Ferrero Rocher a long time ago, he left me a box of the chocolates on my office desk and has been replenishing it every time it runs out since then.
3. He came into my world of blogging by starting a blog as well, because he knows how much I enjoy doing it and he wants to do it together with me.
1. He allows me to boss him around to do everything and anything even though he would NEVER EVER allow anybody else to do it to him. They will die if they try.
2. He laughs at all my corny and inappropriate jokes. Even sprained his neck and shoulder mid laugh sometimes.
3. He never gave up on me even when I wanted to give up on us during our early years of marriage.
1. Super hands-on dad – two confinement nannies said he’s one of the most involved dads they’d ever come across.
2. He doesn’t hesitate to tell me my faults! (I need that)
3. He deeply loves Jesus and gives freely to God’s work, thus inspiring me to know God and serve Him more!
1. I love how Sean puts our family first and cares for my well-being over what others feel is supposedly more necessary than my sanity. He takes on the burden of providing for the family while I go on to do whatever I wish, without having to worry about the family’s finances.
2. He’s my pillar of strength and supports me in such an overwhelming way that I sometimes wonder, “How did I get so lucky?” Every job, every hobby that I decide to pursue, he’ll encourage and motivate me to do it better. Sometimes, he’ll even work alongside me!
3. He’s a much better housekeeper than I am. While we share the household chores (pretty unevenly, might I add), he never once told me that I should clean this or that. From dish washing to cleaning the bathroom to feather dusting…He does them all. I only mop and do the laundry, occasionally packing the house.
1. His Hands – They are always there, reaching out to the children after they fall. Though I miss holding them now because they are always full from clearing the laundry basket, setting up train sets at odd hours (because his son asks for it) and lugging groceries home from the supermarket, I am glad they have now become the support and comfort that our children so need. Watch out! I will claim those hands back soon!
2. His Humour – I am the most serious person on earth! Straight-faced and stern. His humour breaks the Ice Queen in me and really? Besides looking suave with a ponytail back in school, his humorous romantic self gives me butterflies in my stomach! Today he is still throwing me curve balls with his witty comebacks (though not romantic anymore *haha*) and he taught me, “In all seriousness, Life is a playground!”
3. His Heart – He reserved the biggest part of it for me.
1. He’s a loving partner – He places importance in maintaining and nurturing our relationship.
2. He’s a caring father – He keeps a good balance of work and family life. He makes an effort to pick the kids up from classes after work even though he’s tired.
3. He’s my confidant – We share the good and bad, weather the ups and downs and work out any problems we face together.
1. He tolerates my nonsense behaviours – that includes scolding the kid insanely, unintentionally. He knows when to reconcile with me.
2. He gives me space to keep my sanity.
3. He is the best coach and playmate of the girls.
1. Most supportive husband and awesome to the max when he was so cool in asking me to leave the two kids in his care while I had 2 weeks of “ME” time in U.S in 2014!
2. I am always his priority on top of everything and thankful to him for this beautiful family.
3. I can never find another “house husband” like him who scrubs the toilet and tiles, changes the bed sheets and mops the house with no complaints. Am really thankful for that!
1. I love him for his cuddles and strong hands – there is nothing that his hugs can’t make it better. When I’m sick, upset, angry, worried, stressed, his hug makes everything bearable. And those hands, they had a big part in making me fall in love with him. So protective and strong. On the practical front, those strong arms came in very useful when we had to lug prams, diaper bag, many luggages during our travels.
2. His love for the family, his parents and mine included. Never failing to put us in first place, and going the extra mile for us.
3. He is my ‘school bus uncle’. No matter how tired or busy he is, he’ll make time to eat breakfast with me and fetch me to and from work. Just cause he wants me to have a comfortable ride home after a tiring day at work.
1. He is my cheerleader. For Alexis, actions speaks louder than words. So when I’m feeling down and out, he takes me out for happy food or dessert while being a listening ear. When I tell him that I need to get fitter, he offers to take care of our little girl Sophie so that I can go for a run. And when I had this crazy idea to take part in the vertical marathon, he gamely joined me in scaling 73 storeys and all 1,336 steps!
2. His sense of responsibility – Being a dual income family, never once have I seen him shrink away from any responsibilities around the home be it providing for the family, taking care of our daughter and even getting his hands dirty with the chores. He’s one new-age Dad who is more than happy to step it up and do what it takes to build a happy family.
3. His unconventional ideas of romance – While he is not one who sweeps me off my feet with flowers and poetry or even lavish meals for special occasions, he shows his love in practical ways like reorganizing the study room so that I can have my personal crafting space to do my scrap-booking and crafts.
1. My hubby is the sole bread winner but he is very generous with us and always buying clothes, toys and gifts for us and put them secretly into the letterbox as random surprises to brighten our days!
2. When he comes home after work in the evening, he always offer to help me out by washing the dishes after dinner or bathing the children!
3. My very suave and charming hubby has always been very patient, accepting and supporting to me! He asked me to quit my job and stay home and he is my number one supporter of everything I do! I hope I made him a proud hubby too!
1. He loves me just the way I am, the same me 20 years ago, and the same me pre-kids, the same me post-kids, and the same me now, he accepts all my good and bad.
2. He trusts me wholeheartedly, in the past, now, and ever and forever. He always supports me in what I decide to do.
3. He doesn’t show his love via expensive gifts or dinners on the special days, but he does it with small little gestures on the normal days, like getting me the food I like, arrange to go to a place that I like, helping around in the house, etc.
1. He really gets me and loves me for who I am. More than anyone else, my husband truly lets me be myself. When I got to know him, I knew that this was it — I was home. I wasn’t going to find someone else who understands me and my idiosyncrasies who would still find me cute! Haha. He loves me even though I drive him batty with my insatiable kaypoh-ness, my need to procrastinate and my general obliviousness to mess. As a result, he makes me want to be a better person.
2. He appreciates what I do and what I do for the family. I am a stay-home-mum and honestly, this role does not play to my strengths. I am not organised, dislike planning and schedules and hate managing people. As you can imagine, I’m not doing the best job right now but my husband, bless him, notices what I do and regularly takes the time to tell me how he sees the efforts I’ve put in, how he thinks the kids are thriving, and thanks me for managing the home and being there for the children. Even though the burden of providing for the family and his mum falls squarely on his shoulders, he has not suggested that I go back to work, leaving me free to decide to stay at home with the kids this season. I can’t thank him enough for that.
3. He is my best friend. I can talk to my husband about anything and everything, no matter how frivolous and judgemental, even if he might not always approve. (Where it’s frivolous and judgemental, he usually doesn’t!) It helps that we have similar view on the important things like family and faith, but where we differ, there is always room for discussion and some healthy banter. We’ve always enjoyed each other’s company in the 18 years we’ve known each other and there’s no one else I’ll rather spend the rest of my life with!
1. He takes charge of the poopy parade – he changes the poopy diapers because he knows I absolutely loathe handling poop.
2. I don’t get flowers from him, but he buys me awesome geeky things like Bluetooth watches and instant lomo cameras.
3. He is a badass driver – very sexxxxy – and is also one of the kindest and most gracious men I know.
What are the favorite things you appreciate about your spouses? Let’s make time to affirm them often. Have a blessed Valentine’s.