During the infant, toddler and preschool years, the little ones are likely to have a monopoly on your attention -- and you might find it difficult to set aside time to devote to your spouse. Weekends away, romantic date nights or even Saturday morning snuggle time tends to disappear among the diaper changes, midnight wakings and Saturday morning cartoons. Instead of trying to carve large blocks of time for your spouse, focus on smaller, daily things you can do for, and with, your spouse to help him feel special.
Some people really need a verbal clue or reminder to let them know how much you love and appreciate them. However, "verbal" doesn't have to come from your mouth. Finding a sticky note that says, "I love you" on the bathroom mirror first thing in the morning can put a smile on your spouse's face for the rest of the day. Sending a text message just before your spouse's important meeting to let him know that you're thinking about him -- and that you know he'll do great -- is a perfect way to show that you care. A text message saying, "I Love You" works well, too.
Many people feel loved when their spouse does something for them. Find something that your spouse puts off or really dislikes doing -- and do it for him. For example, fill up his gas tank or take his car for an oil change on the weekend so he doesn't have to do it. You might also consider repairing his favorite, old jeans rather than trying to shame him into going out to buy a new pair.
Your spouse can't read your thoughts but he can see your actions. Small, thoughtful gestures go a long way in letting your spouse know how much you care. It also lets him know that you think about him throughout the day. For example, if you know your spouse loves cookies and cream ice cream, pick some up at the store. Or, you might make his favorite meal for dinner. "Things" aren't always necessary to show you care either. For example, if you know your spouse can use a few minutes of quiet when he first gets home from work, provide that for him. Try to get the kids to cooperate and keep them occupied while your spouse has his alone time. You can also make an effort to pay attention to your spouse when he's talking, even if you aren't as interested in the topic as he is. Offer some input. It will make him feel important.
Even parents of small children need a little romance in their lives. Hold hands when watching television, hug and kiss as often as you can -- and whisper to each other before falling asleep. Tell your spouse how much you appreciate him often -- and be specific. For example, make a fuss over how good the lawn looks after he mows it, as it will give him a sense of pride. Telling your spouse how you love that he makes a pot of coffee every morning not only lets him know that you notice, but encourages him to keep on doing it.