Be Intentionally Specific
To be an intentional wife means that you deliberately do things for a purpose. It means you do not just wash dishes because they are there; rather, you wash dishes because it makes your husband happy to come home to an empty sink, just like it makes you happy to get into a clean car (if he’s cleaned it). Specificity requires you to study one another: learn each other’s likes and dislikes, become aware of your ins and outs, and constantly review the changing characteristics of one another throughout the entire marriage.
I get it, I know. Many of you are already angered at what I am writing! After spending all day wiping bottoms and noses, chasing marbles, vacuuming glitter, and getting bubble gum out of hair – who has energy to be a specifically intentional wife or husband?
The Catch Is…
It is okay to fail. It is okay to feel defeated and exhausted at the end of each day. As a special needs mom who is often putting forth extra extra effort. Being intentionally specific has taken me nine years to figure out! I then I want to share some ideas with you showing you how you can be specifically intentional to your husband when you feel you have no energy left.
What Works for Our Family to lower my stress:
- Clean the house immediately after kids wake up each morning.
My husband does not care if our house is spotless or not… He also gets guilt tripped if I do much more than wash dinner dishes while he’s home. He begs me to sit and relax. It bothers him for me to be up doing things while he rests. So, while the kids are eating breakfast, I do my cleaning (toilets, sinks, windows, mopping).
I don’t care if the car is washed every week… I get guilt tripped if he spends hours out there washing it every Saturday. I beg him to sit & relax with us. But – we both do what we do for the other person.
- I wash clothes throughout the week instead of one day a week.
Every piece of time-saving advice out there says not to do this, and here I sit still doing it. With a three-month-old that screams every five minutes, tossing in a load after breakfast while my three-year-old “washes breakfast dishes” at the sink is about all the time I get. This gives my daughter some “independent cleaning” to do on her own since she loves playing in my sink.
- With the house clean and dishes done, we do therapies and schooling.
Our son gets therapy three times a day. If I can get this done when my husband isn’t home, our days run a lot more smoothly with much less stress.
- During nap, usually, dinner is in the oven if it is a “longer cook meal.”
If I have detailed organizing to do or a large project, I’ll work on it, but I try not to use nap time to clean.
- Kids wake around 3. We pick up morning toys, play, or go outside.
In fact, depending on when they go to bed, they aren’t allowed to get out of their rooms before 3pm. They are required to sleep or have quiet play in the middle of each day to just relax & become refreshed. My three year old often brings her barbies in her bed or plays with her quiet book during this time.
- 30 minutes prior to our spouse coming home, kids go to their rooms for independent play.
Yup, it happens again. I send them off to their rooms. Recently, Kara has started using this time to clean her room so that she can play with her Shopkins. I breathe. Sometimes I just sit. I prepare myself physical and emotionally for my husband to get home from work so he doesn’t come home to a frazzled wife saying “Ok! Your Turn! I’m done for an hour!” And yes, I ask for a text to let me know when he’s on his way. If he were home, I’m sure he would do the same thing
21 day Marriage Challenge:
- Have your spouse’s favorite cup washed and ready for coffee every day for 21 days.
- For twenty-one days, make sending a sweet text to your spouse the first thing you do in the morning.
- Ask them how their day was when your spouse gets home from work.
- Wear outfits your spouse thinks look outstanding, but don’t ask for a compliment.
- Be your spouse’s best friend, not just the wife or husband. Do something fun together every night.
- Have your spouse’s favorite drink in the fridge for 21 days.
- Learn something new every day: (favorite color, dish, food, hairstyle)
- Be brave for your spouse, yourself, and your family. Ask them their biggest fear. LISTEN.
- Pray for one another for 21 days straight.
- Tell your children one nice thing about their mom/dad every single day for 21 days.
- Try not to argue or place blame for 21 days.
- Get their dinner ready every night for 21 days. This one may be hard but try it. (even dishing it up it for your spouse)
- If you go grocery shopping or for dinner alone, surprise your spouse by filling the tank back up with gas.
- Give out one compliment a day for 21 days.
I let my friend read this article before I submitted for publishing. She had several questions, all about why I was suggesting she do everything.
Why is she telling her children great things about her husband if he isn’t around her? Why would my husband do the same for me?
Remember… I’m writing this from the point of view of a stay at home mom. If you work outside the home, obviously you will not be letting your kiddo wash dishes at 10 am. The point is that you can only change your marriage with your own actions. You cannot change the actions, thoughts, or beliefs of your husband or wife.
Complaining about what he does not do will only cause more arguing and stress. Start the change within yourself, first.
What are your favorite ways to be an intentionally specific spouse?
Grab this fun printable for free (click on the image below)…
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