A couple days ago, I was gone all day at a conference. Sara had been with baby all day and cooped up at home because, contrary to the norm, I had the car. When I got home, I sensed Sara's tiredness and knew immediately this was an opportunity to create space for Her to choose what she wanted to do alone or with us for the evening, so I offered to take Emery off her hands for a couple hours. I asked her what she would like to do, and she said she wanted to work on a project for the nursery. I took Emery off her hands for about two hours to let Sara get her creativity time. She was very thankful and it was a recharge to her. Such a recharge isn't just good for her but also for me, Emery, and the three of us as a whole.
On a related side note, in order to experience feelings of thankfulness on our part as givers, we must ask for the desire to give our time to our spouses simply because we want to try to do good to them. The moment we think about getting something from them in return is the moment we have ceased to be givers and turned into manipulators. That being said, it is still true that when we do preemptive strikes of love, we in turn build up trust with them so that when we need time for our own down time, our spouses might be more likely to endorse our need for such time. As spouses, we can even begin to realize that when our spouses ask for rest/creativity/play time, that their request isn't just for them but even for us as well. This is when it really gets good - when we begin to take care of our mind/body/spirit in order to do good to others and not just for ourselves. We offer space for our partners and we ask for our own space as well, but the amazing thing is that both giving and requesting this time can become preemptive strikes of love. It is a circle of trust and gratitude that builds and builds over time.