Summer is full of hobbies. The warm weather, school breaks and need for sunshine mean that everyone seems to have something they want to do. Unfortunately hobbies are often a bone of contention between many couples. He wants to go fishing. She wants to take the kids to Disneyland. He wants to grill out with the guys and she wants to go have dinner and a glass of wine with the ladies. He wants to go mountain biking. She wants to plant flowers in the garden, followed by a pedicure. In all fairness, not all of these are specifically hobbies. They are all a source of enjoyment for the half of the couple who comes up with the idea though.
As firefighting families, we often have more time to partake in extra activities during the summer. Granted, the economy has forced many people to take on second or even third jobs to make ends meet. With limited time and resources, both people should try extra hard to find some common ground with their interests.
My suggestion is to work out a give-and-take agreement with your spouse. That doesn’t mean you have to give up your interests every time you want to do something. It just means that you shouldn’t pretend like it’s all about you. You have the responsibility of family, so go do stuff with them, not to get away from them on your days off work. If that means cutting a weekend mountain-biking excursion to an hour ride and a picnic with the family, then do it. Make those memories with your children and your wife now. If it means sucking up your loathing of the great outdoors and going camping with your husband and kids for a weekend, then postpone the pedicure and do that. (But for the sake of everyone, please keep the whining to a minimum.)
These shared times are important for all of you. You just might be surprised at how much more interested you are in your spouse when you do things together. A woman is often sensually drawn to her husband when she sees him tenderly caring for their baby or leading a family outing. While I obviously can’t speak from a man’s point of view, I’ve seen the way my husband looks at me when I cast my fishing line next to him or practice my marksmanship skills alongside him. As your children grow up, they too will remember times spent doing things together as a family and focusing on each other, not on the television. So go enjoy your summer and make your family’s summer enjoyable too.