Dear Homeschool Mom: How to Love Your Husband While Homeschooling
Dear Homeschool Mom,
Sometimes as we homeschool (or as we get prepared for the new homeschool year over the summer), we let our jobs as mothers and teachers (and chefs and housekeepers and chauffeurs…) stop us from spending time with our husbands. But it is important for us to love your husband while homeschooling and we have a few ideas to help you show him you do. Being a mom is a hard job, and being a homeschooling mom is even harder! (And if you have special needs kids, that adds an extra element of stress and difficulty!)
But it’s important for our children to see what a healthy marriage looks like. I realize there are more and more single moms who homeschool today, and I’m so happy that single moms are increasingly able to homeschool! But I think most of us hope that, if our children choose to marry as adults, they are happily married!
Love Your Husband While Homeschooling
Having a happy marriage while homeschooling is possible! Yes, we’re busy. Yes, our lives are often stressful. But we don’t have to sacrifice our marriages!
I don’t remember when I came across The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts by Gary D. Chapman, but I wish I had come across it much sooner! I think it would have been so helpful for my husband and me to have known about love languages and affirming each other’s love language 30 years ago when we were first married. We didn’t know that we spoke different love languages or that we needed to each meet the other person’s need to be loved in the way each of us understood. We probably each thought we were doing all we could do to love the other.
And to be truthful, when our children were all younger (They’re 25, 24, and 18 now.) and needed so much care and attention (especially our severely autistic child), we were both exhausted and burned out most of the time. I sometimes wonder how we survived! I hate to admit it, but our marriage wasn’t top priority for many of those years. But we had promised God and each other that we’d stick together, so we were determined to do it! The love languages book did make it easier, though! So know that when I say love your husband while homeschooling, I understand when we don’t. Hopefully, they understand when we don’t.
And, to be honest, I’m not sharing this with you because I have any obligation to this book or the author. I’m sharing it with you because I truly do wish I’d known that different people have different love languages. I think it would have made some of those difficult years a little easier. I think it could have helped us avoid some misunderstandings. And I think it would have made the good years even better!
Basically, there are 5 love languages. They are:
- Words of Affirmation
- Acts of Service
- Receiving Gifts
- Quality Time
- Physical Touch
I realized that my husband has two primary love languages. (Most of us have more than one.) His are quality time and physical touch. My husband loved (and still loves) movies and television shows. He has always enjoyed sitting down in the evening—especially after the children are in bed or in their rooms for some quiet time before bed—and watching a movie or TV show.
I never took the time to sit and watch a show with him because I was always too busy. Once the kiddos were in their rooms or in bed was the only time I had to catch up on everything I needed to get done! When I reminded myself that quality time was one of his love languages, it became easier for me to set aside what I thought needed to be done and spend 45 minutes or an hour watching something with him simply because he enjoyed it when I did. (Keep in mind that it’s his idea of quality time, not mine, that meets his need!)
His other love language is physical touch. I think most men speak that one, right?!! I realized I also was not spending time giving my husband the physical affection he needed—inside or outside of the bedroom. That was difficult for me for a long time because my children were so physically needy that I felt like I had nothing left to give at the end of the day. I didn’t want anyone touching me or needing anything from me once the children were in bed. But once I began to understand that physical touch was one of his most important love languages and that he didn’t feel loved if his physical needs weren’t being met, it helped me understand his needs and that he wasn’t being selfish or uncaring. He needed me.
This doesn’t mean that my husband doesn’t appreciate acts of service, words of affirmation, or receiving gifts. It just means that those aren’t as important to him. Those are the love languages that he might appreciate having met now and then, but they aren’t necessary for him to feel loved on a day-to-day basis.
You can probably guess that, as a busy work-from-home, homeschooling mom, my most important love language (at least right now) is acts of service! My sweet hubby is wonderful about helping with the laundry (my downfall!) as well as helping to keep the kitchen clean. Now that the children are older, they are required to help more too, but my husband makes sure it gets done one way or another, and that means so much to me! (It also helps free up more time for me to spend with him—and he knows that!)
Over time, we began to realize that meeting the other person’s needs made each of us happier too! We didn’t start out doing a very good job of it at all, but we have improved with time and effort, and you can too!
No, you don’t have to read this book to have a happy marriage. But it can definitely be helpful if you’re looking for ways to love your husband while homeschooling and to strengthen your relationship. Not only will you and your husband be happier, but it will be a great example of a happy marriage for your children. After all, our children are the reason we do what we do, right? So I’d like to encourage you, whether you have a wonderful marriage or a marriage that needs some improvement, to learn how to love your husband while homeschooling and maybe even help him better love you in the process. It truly is worth the effort!
NOTE: There are also books for The Five Love Languages of Children and The Five Love Languages of Teenagers. If you like the one for adults, you might also like these!
Do you have tips or ideas to share with us? We would love to hear what you have to say about having a happy marriage and modeling a happy marriage for your children!
You May Also Enjoy These Articles!
3 Ways to Choose Joy in the Everyday Homeschool
10 Simple Ways to Teach Children to Love
6 Healthy Marriage Practices for a Busy Homeschooling Mom
The Homeschool Marriage: How to Find Time to Date Your Husband
Three Secrets for a Hot Homeschooling Marriage
We read The Five Love Languages as part of our premarital counseling and I really think it helped us get off on the right foot. I think it’s easier for us than most couples because both of us have the primary love language of physical touch. Our seconds get a little more difficult because my second is his last priority and same for him. I suggest that book to all married couples and frequently give it as a gift at showers.
Giving the book as a wedding shower gift is a great idea! I’m going to start doing that myself! 🙂 Thank you for your comment, too. I really think more marriages would last and be happier if people knew about love languages and how to meet the other person’s needs.
We have the book and are reading it. It has helped us a lot so far !!
My husband and I set aside time each evening to spend time with one another. It’s so easy to put yourself last as a Mom, but I’ve realized how important it is to continue to date your spouse. It doesn’t have to involve a sitter and expensive restaurants either, just quality time together at home.
We also make sure to have family movie night & family game night. With my husband’s work schedule, it can be challenging, but we find ways to make it work. ☺
Thank you for this! My kids are young and my youngest has a rare syndrome that really takes any extra free time I could possibly have. I know time will go quickly and I don’t want 15 years to pass and not feel like we know each other. I have been putting this book on the back burner but I think I need to get a copy.
Courtney, I have a daughter who is now 22 years old who is severely autistic. She’s not quite as hard to manage now that she’s older, but when she was younger, she took a huge amount of my time each day. It really is especially hard for parents of special needs kids to make time for each other, but it’s super important!! Parents of special needs kids are under even more stress than that of parents of typical kids, and it’s easy to let the time pass without nurturing your marriage. I do hope the book will be some help to you, and I hope you’re able to find some way to spend a little time with just your husband. I know it’s hard!!
One of the best pieces of advice I got before I married was that men view quality time as doing something side by side (watching a show, playing video games, or a project together) whereas women need quality time that’s face to face (talking over dinner). I could understand how my husband felt like we had lots of QT and I felt we had none. We were spending lots of time on the couch watching TV and we just needed a better balance of what we each thought was quality time.
That is a very good point! Thank you for sharing it.
My mother always said we often show love in the way that we want to be loved, but we need to actually love our partner in the way that they need to be loved.
Yes! That is so true!