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Coach Mom Newsletter - Feb 2012

Laundry or Les Mis Love?

One evening before New Year's, Chris came home around 6 p.m. and asked if I would like to see a touring production of Les Miserables. Of course I would. When? Tonight…if we can get tickets. Because of some commitments I had already made to the children, I knew this would be a squeeze. But…we had wanted to see it while it was in town…and we rarely had an open night like this. We worked out some plans for the children, and in fifteen minutes flat Chris had put on his suit, I had slid into my long black dress, my makeup touched up and hair thrown up in a quick do. We threw some yogurt cups, string cheese and Triscuit snacks into a Target bag for a romantic dinner before show. Wiping Triscuit crumbs off our laps, we arrived and were seated with a few minutes to spare before the lights dimmed and the show began. Whew. And what a show it was! Chris really wowed me that night.

A couple of nights later we had a slightly less glamorous happening going on: laundry. That day I had started running the laundry through the washer that had piled up in the midst of the Christmas celebrations…and now it was all clean, but still in piles. Chris turned on the TV, sat down with the baskets of clean clothes and started to fold….and fold…and fold. I think he may have folded through one whole movie and into another! And I joined in part of the time, too, encouraged with the help. In the end, I was so happy to see seven large laundry baskets (one per person) filled with folded clothes that were ready to disperse for putting away.

(I had planned to take a photo, but couldn't bring myself to do it, for fear that: 1. I would be judged for getting that far behind on my laundry; and 2. That every woman reading my newsletter would dream of being married to my husband -- he's great, but he is only human, girls.)

That evening I reflected on my feelings as they related to Les Mis and the laundry folding. I felt equally loved by Chris both times…and the latter cost him a lot less cash!

As Valentine’s Day draws near, consider what meaningful ways you can communicate love to your spouse. Gary Chapman's book The Five Love Languages suggests five typical ways  people feel loved: gift giving, physical touch, quality time, acts of service, and words of affirmation.   Chapman says most people communicate in their own love language, which may not be the love language of your spouse. If you pay attention to how he communicates love, it will give you a clue to how best communicate with him. And, as you fold your laundry, remember it may be the unexpected thing that means the most to him. Wishing you a Happy Valentine's Day!

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Ask Coach Mom

Dear Coach Mom,

I get so frustrated because my husband is all talk. He tells me how great I am, and what a super job I'm doing with the house and children. Problem is, I wish he would pitch in a little more often and help! He really is a good guy with a sincere heart – he just seems clueless to my needs most of the time.


Dear Bewildered,

Hang in there. Concentrate on communicating to him in a way that is meaningful to him. It sounds like words of affirmation are important to him.  Words-of-affirmation guys don't just like to hear that they are great (in general), although that never hurts. Exactly HOW am I great? is what they want (and need) to know.

One of Chris' favorite gifts from me was an affirmation journal. Inside I jotted down dates and specific things I admired about him on those days. One entry read something like this: “I was proud of Chris tonight. Even though he was tired from a long day at work, he took half an hour to wrestle with the boys before bedtime. He's a super dad.” Most posts were scribbled in hurriedly – if I had waited for the perfect time to sit down and use my best handwriting, it never would have happened.

As for letting him know how best to communicate love to you, choose a non-threatening time (not just after he's given you chocolates and roses for Valentine's Day), and share with him how acts of service would be meaningful to you. Gary Smalley suggests using word pictures created by using circumstances from the other person's world to really get full understanding on something. And, since he seems to be a “words” guy, remember to remind him some of the things he's doing right.


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Sweetheart of a Giveaway

Subscribe to Brenna’s blog AND “like” the Coach Mom Page on Facebook®. Then comment on the Giveaway Blog Post  for the chance to win $50 gift card for a dinner date with your sweetheart!

Don’t wait too long –
the drawing will be Friday, February 10!

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