President Obama is trying to do many things for his country. Who knew that he was also going to be a role model for marriage?
The Obama's recent date night in New York was apparently big news. Besides the grinches complaining about the Obamas going out while America is in a recession, most of the country is watching with awe and admiration -- and a little bit of envy.
It seems that the Obamas are teaching an important lesson, one that's forcing others to sit up and take notice. Not only do they have date night (Okay it involves Air Force One and it's probably very easy for them to get reservations!) but even in his daily schedule, he sets aside "Michelle time."
By doing so, he has challenged the rest of us (and put a lot of husbands on the hot seat!) If the President isn't too busy to find regular time for his wife and his marriage, what excuse do we have?
Time with our spouses doesn't have to cost anything. It just requires commitment.
Yes, I know. They have the perfect live-in babysitter. But I'll let you in on a secret. Time with our spouses isn't dependent on grandparents. It doesn't require a private plane or tickets to a Broadway show. In fact it doesn't have to cost anything at all. It just requires commitment.
Every couple can set aside 15 minutes a day that is just for them. If your children can be left alone, you can take a walk after dinner (Everyone thinks we do it for exercise; we do it to get out of the house!). If your children aren't quite old enough, try tea on the front porch or shutting -- and locking -- your bedroom door (another effective technique we've employed). When children are too young to be left unsupervised for even a short time, wait until they go to sleep (they do eventually) and carve out some time then. If you really can't keep your eyes open (I know the feeling) then try getting up 15 minutes earlier and have the time then. My husband once tried to spend regular time with me during one of the middle of the night feedings but this effort was a bust and I don't recommend it!
I'm sure there are solutions I haven't thought of -- lunches, coffee breaks, videoconferencing -- but the message is a crucial one.
Every marriage needs its time and every couple can and must make it. There are no excuses (especially now that football season is over and basketball season will be soon) since marriages cannot thrive without that regular connection, that checking in, that affirmation of the importance of this relationship in our lives.
I may not agree with all of the President's policies (I may not agree with any of them!), but I think he is setting a good example here, one that we could all emulate and respect.
Not every man can be President. But every man can be a good husband.