Find a shared project. Be a team.
Find a project to work on together. This makes you a team and gives you a chance to collaborate and work together to accomplish a goal, and share success. It also helps you communicate. This could be anything from identifying a financial goal like getting out of debt, to agreeing on some parenting rules, to building a picnic table together for your backyard. My husband and I bought a fixer upper for our first house and enjoyed working it together. We’d go to the home store and pick paint colors and new faucets and light fixtures. When we had a second child and outgrew it we were able to sell it and make enough money to pay off some debt and invest in our next home, a larger fixer upper.
I recommend doing some value discovery together and then identifying a few projects that line up with your shared values and will get you closer to your long term goals. You will probably have one related to parenting, but try to choose one that is not primarily about your child(ren) but is something practical that you and your spouse can tackle together that has a clearly defined purpose and success metric so you can finish it and celebrate together. I find working on the house to be a great place to start, but other ideas could include planning and taking a trip (with or without the children), or creating a new holiday tradition, or even making a new recipe.
Some of our fun memories of projects big and small tacked together include: building a picnic table, making a huge sandwich that was a crazy version of a Muffuletta sandwich (I’ll have to find the recipe), setting up a camera and running a time lapse of a thunder storm, multiple camping trips, and fixing up both houses; most recently, building a firepit in the backyard and working on replacing our front porch railing.
My main advice would be this: when he has an idea, write it down. If he says hey this recipe sounds good, or what if we built x or fixed y, or went to z location – write it down! And then look for ways to follow up on his ideas and make them actionable or if they seem out of reach, or some-day dreams, find versions that could be achievable if you made it a priority.
I’d love to hear your ideas! What is a project you might do with your spouse? What could make you feel like a team?
I love the feeling I get when it feels like my husband and I are united against an obstacle, and are strong and successful together. Doing projects together intentionally helps foster that emotion and energy.