Sometimes I feel so old. Take technology for instance. When my husband and I were young parents, we had a cell phone. Yes, one. It made phone calls and that was it! It weighed about five pounds and took up a third of my purse.
Fast forward to today. We maxed out our “family plan” with smartphones for everyone. We can text each other, email each other, Skype, and even Marco Polo! There are so many ways to stay in touch now.
Back when my husband and I had the cell phone, he traveled. He traveled a lot. We had just been introduced to Growing Kids and the concept of couch time. To this introvert with quality time and words of encouragement high on her love language list, couch time was my dream way to connect with my precious hubby on a daily basis! We were getting good at couch time, and then he went on a trip. Sigh. With no caller ID, whenever the phone rang my heart raced, hoping it was him! And when it was, we went into “couch time on the road” mode. I positioned a picture of my husband close by. Our little girl had special toys for the occasion. She also got to say “hi” to her daddy. The purpose of the phone call was for Mommy and Daddy to talk. Those spontaneous calls were the boost my temporarily single mom’s heart needed!
With today’s technology, couch time when one spouse is away is so much different! Here are a few things I would do if this was my season with little ones and my husband traveled:
- Before your spouse leaves, talk about your “couch time on the road” expectations. Do you expect a daily call? At a certain time? Do you have a limited amount of time to talk or will you be able to talk with each child for a few minutes? Is Skype or FaceTime your preferred way to connect?
- Find a favorite picture of your spouse and set it near your “couch.”
- Create a basket of special toys, books, and activities for your children.
- Before the call, write down three positive things you want to tell your spouse. “The washer didn’t overflow much” is not the kind of thing I am thinking of! Did one of the children show a special kindness? Did someone bless your family with an act of service?
- Remind the children that this is Mommy and Daddy’s special time to talk, just like when both Mommy and Daddy are home.
- Take a moment to pray when you are having your “couch time on the road.” Genesis 31:49 is a sweet prayer for couples when they are apart.
I am so thankful there are many ways today’s couples can stay in touch! Find out what works best for you. It might take a trip or two! And it might be different whether it is Mommy who is travelling or Daddy. The point is to keep that special loving bond of communication going.
Keep your husband/wife relationship a priority, even when one of you is away from home!