Respect and Support are more important than BBQ’s + Flowers


michelle cruzWritten by Michelle Cruz

Respect and Support are more important than BBQ’s + Flowers a blog about Father’s Day

After being married for close to 13 years I feel like I have a lock on what makes my relationship strong, powerful, and connected. We focus on so many things and we are going to discuss what it’s like to be continually affectionate.

Robert and I had a fast and furious relationship. From meeting to marriage, we were bonded in under a year. This only happened so strongly because we spoke to each other on a myriad of topics. We openly talked about all things from children to working to housing. Who handled the money? All the way to who took care of aging parents? We left nothing on the table, and everything was discussed. One of the biggest things we talked about was each other’s needs and wants for affection, care… our love languages

We don’t celebrate Mother’s or Father’s Day

Culturally neither of us celebrated honorific holidays like Mother’s Day or Father’s Day. We chatted if we would bring these into our lives and we both decided they did not provide what our ultimate goal was trying to achieve. As a couple we want each of us to feel needed, connected, and loved every single day of the year.

The main portion of these single honor days is gifts: What did you buy for XYZ? To us, we want to make sure there is no attachment beyond love for the gift. A gift of love, a gift of service, a physical gift. Each and every one of these takes time to plan and requires more than just a date on the calendar. This is a part of making sure we have continually cared for each other. We do not attach all gifts to reasons. If I want to buy Robert a fun Vinyl record, I do so without connecting to an event. If he wants to buy me an item from my wishlists he can (and does) whenever he wants. We never wait to show love or buy gifts whenever we want. 

We prioritize each other’s needs

We are individuals that are passionate about each other’s needs. We give space to each other as we ask for it and make time for each other as well. Time away, or time together, we balance it so there is space for each of us to take care of ourselves and not distract from our goal of being in sync. 

This played a big role in the past few years as we had COVID and were in lockdown – with our three kids all over us and the world crashing in all around us. We took the past 2 years at home to seriously build into our lives an even more connected space in our house. I was recovering from a serious case of burnout and complex depression. Robert no longer had a long work commute and was able to give even more to the family. Something he loves to do, and the kids love it too, is to spend as much time as he wants to take his time loving on us all!

What this looks like in our lives

Here is a glimpse of what this looks like for us: we both work from home and have multiple side jobs and businesses… we run as a force. We chat about the week’s tasks and what is a priority and what got left behind the previous week. With us both being neurodivergent, this conversation alone is imperative to our relationship.

Rob has a few parenting tasks that he loves to do, like getting the kids ready for bed, and leading the bedtime routine. This was a task we swapped after I finished nursing the twins. I usually take on the middle-of-the-night routine as it is much harder for Robert to fall back asleep. For the mornings, we swap who is the Priority parent as we each may have early meetings or tasks to complete.

During the school year, Robert loves taking the kids to school so I can sleep in if I was up with a cranky kid in the middle of the night. We make sure to give each other a hug and kiss and offer love or praise whenever we start the day. 

What’s for dinner?

Now, what’s the one thing we do as adults every single day? 

The daily, “ What’s for dinner???” 

This is something that we trade-off depending on how I am feeling or if we are in need of work time. We used to be very “woke”, and would do everything we could do to avoid convenience foods and takeout. With the pandemic and my need to keep recovering from burnout, we now see food as food rather than the previous judgment around it. If it needs to be a chicken nugget night for the kids and something from the grill for us, then that’s what we do.

We never shy away from taking on a task in the home just because it isn’t the normally delegated task we typically do. Flexibility is key! Keeping flexibility consistent is even more important.

It is work

This all takes a considerable amount of work. We check in with each other and ask the hard questions. We hold nothing back from each other. We ask one another deep, emotionally charged questions that most couples shy away from. As individuals, we both do not want to hold anything back that could come up later and cause division. This is a constantly focused relationship.

I will be honest that sometimes it is work and we do disagree. There is no requirement that it must be all hearts and rainbows. In this, it shows up in how we speak to each other, and how we plan our days. It is work! We do this consciously knowing that it gives each of us the love we deserve! 

Building through communication

All of this information is just to say please consider how a longer connected relationship is in need of so much more than a card, shirt, or flowers with a meal. Please take time to build your relationship through communication. This gets better and better, as well as easier, with time. Give yourself space if this time burns like a bee sting. Take what you need for yourself to start another relationship or be true to yourself. Conscious relationships keep growing if you water them.

How do you celebrate the parents in your life? If you are a parent, how do you like to be celebrated? Feel free to share in the comments.

Respect and Support are more important than BBQ’s + Flowers a blog about Father’s Day







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