I might pride myself on saying thank you and being thoughtful, but like many of us I probably don't show enough gratitude to the person who does the most for me: my partner. So in the spirit of love and committing to show my appreciation more, I enlisted my husband's input on ideas:
[Related: 5 tips for bringing back the partner in the partnership]
Send something to work
A no-brainer way to show gratitude is to add chocolate or a little something to a work bag. But organizing something to be delivered takes this one step further. While flowers are appreciated there are other items that will seem all the more thoughtful for their uniqueness. What about breakfast or a beautiful notebook?
I'm not talking about having to be a top-notch crafter. Greeting your loved one with a favorite cocktail when they arrive home will be creative enough for many. Alternately, utilizing those magical pens that write on icing can allow you to create an edible thank-you with minimal effort.
Leave a message
With very small children, some days even finding a few minutes for a grown-up conversation eludes you. So how about using those odd minutes (waiting for bottles to sterilize or milk to warm) to jot down a note. We recently purchased a whiteboard lightbox to convey cute, positive sentiments.
Give a gift just because
I'm always on the look-out for the perfect gift. Of course sometimes, it's ages till a birthday or significant occasion and I'm bursting to share it. So why not? Gifts are often much more appreciated when they're unexpected. What about a "Because it's Friday and we survived the week" present?
[Related: Chicago date ideas that go beyond dinner and drinks]
Arrange an A+ date night
We've all read the well-meaning articles telling us how important it is to arrange regular date nights, but it's also important to ensure they're engaging. With minimal effort, you can find something truly interesting in our wonderful city. We're taking a cocktail and magic class, which should certainly prevent the conversation from turning to kids' schedules.
Surprise them with a babysitter
As well as prearranging nights out, my husband mentioned how nice it would be if I just surprised him with a sitter. Picking some time during the day (not at night when your kids are sleeping) and getting out to watch a game or to do some leisurely shopping together can seem quite luxurious.
Create an at-home date night
Of course, it's not always possible to find or afford a babysitter. So creating an at-home date night might be more doable. In the past I've put together a Spanish-themed evening, paring tapas, paella and sangria with a travel movie. We could almost believe we were on vacation.
Allow some alone time
As well as doing, don't underestimate the power of not doing. Allowing some alone time might be the ultimate way of showing your partner gratitude. In our household, we like to work out. While there are jogging strollers, being able to run along the lakefront on your own is a welcome opportunity to think, listen, or just switch off completely.
However you choose to show your partner gratitude, it's doing something that matters. The power of thank you goes a long way.