In this quest for balance, it’s truly difficult to diligently work on all aspects of your life. Actually, I suppose it’s not as hard to work on the various areas, so much as it is to do them all well. With my time being split across multiple roles on a daily basis, I find it hard to focus on being really good at any one of them. I don’t particularly think that I’m being an exceptionally good wife, mom, or a good me, for that matter. But, if I had to choose one role that I know I consciously work at, it’s my role as a mom.
However, two roles continually seem to be getting lost and pushed aside: the wife and the woman. I can honestly say that my marriage is something that is constantly on my mind. Every time I take time to work in the evenings, clean, or even if I rest, I second guess how my time is spent and wonder if I should have spent that time with my husband.
Will he resent that I took that hour to write rather than initiate a conversation? Should I have taken time to sit with him and watch a movie? How do I keep myself from falling asleep after the kids go to bed so that we can spend time together?
These are the types of questions that go through my mind nearly every day. I commented to a friend a couple of weeks back that I worry about losing our connection. Something that concerns me is that most days our conversations revolve around logistics of our household (finances, responsibilities, etc.) or the kids. What about those conversations we used to have? The ones that initially sparked passion for each other?
There’s no doubt that both work and our marriage are important. And while I know that in the big picture one is more important than the other, work is still essential to survive the every day. After all, it is what keeps our household running and without the money that comes from work (his and mine), we’d have even bigger problems.
While our marriage is okay overall, I recognize that there are aspects of our lives that could be improved upon. I wish to improve them before they get worse. As anyone who’s married knows, marriage needs nurturing and takes work to keep it thriving.
What are some ways you work on your marriage and balance it with work and other duties?
I asked a few social media friends to share their thoughts on this topic and any tips that work for them. Here’s what they had to say.
I think the best thing is that even if you don’t have much time to split up, to make it quality time. I really focus on hubby and/or mija during our special time and don’t let any interruptions take priority…
I don’t always succeed but I always feel more balanced and my family feels like they’re getting their fair share of me when I set a time for Internet use and stick to it. For example, if kids get home at 3 pm and my husband gets home soon after, that’s when the laptop is closed and stays closed.
This is easier for me to abide by during the school year…When they’re home for the summer and interrupting me all day, I feel like I don’t get my fair share of time to focus on my work…Bottom line: we spend too much time on the computer. The solution is to spend less time, but even when one tries to make an honest effort at it, it seems like not staying on top of things just makes life more difficult when you inevitably come back to your E-mail inbox.
We schedule a date night (usually at home) once a week. We are both prone to working too much on work or household stuff so we shut it all down and watch a movie, talk, or play a game.
We schedule dates. In fact we go so far as to schedule a kid free vacation once every two years. One year it’s a family vacay next it’s us. Staying connected makes all the difference.
We do date nights…but also, I love to talk to him about work and opportunities and ideas and things. He’s invested in it too because it helps our family, so my work can be a bonding thing, actually!
…after dinner [he] turns on the Xbox…I end up on the computer while he is playing the Xbox. However, I think at this point we both just do it because we think the other is wanting to do the xbox/computer…we really need to set a few nights a week [when] neither one of us gets on either thing!
I try to treat my blogging like a job. We share our work days like we would if I worked outside of the home. I talk about Social Media Moms and people I met at conferences or interesting tweets. I’ll even read him some cool blog posts I find. I keep him up to date on the “cast of characters” so we can truly talk on each other’s level.
[He] is on the computer doing photography stuff or surfing and I am on the laptop. We joke about how romantic it is. I try to share blogging and social media tidbits with [him] as well. Other than talking about my day…it is my way to share “my” thing with him at dinner or while we are on a walk or whatever.
My husband and I went through this pretty bad last year. What ended up happening is I bit the bullet and started hiring people to pick up the work that I didn’t have to do myself…Today, I have more time for family, travel & client stuff.
It’s really hard when you are both working too. We get home, and we’re both exhausted. Even worse DH & I both have work to do on the computer after the kids go to bed. I’ve dubbed Sat night, now computer night. It’s small, but it helps. I even sit on the same couch with him on Sat nights…Also, we have been known to ask my parents if the kids can have a sleep over at their house on a Fri or Sat night, and then we stay home by ourselves.
I know SO many people who don’t do a date night. I think it’s so important; my husband and I try to go out 1-2 a month. To save money we trade childcare with another family friend.
*Ginger shares more date night options for childcare.
We still make time for date nights and just go out to the movies or dinner or whatever without the kids. We are very lucky to have 2 sets of grandparents less than 20 minutes so we don’t have to worry about the expense or reliability of a babysitter.
The good news is I really believe that balancing the three — kids, too — is much easier when the kids are older and in school. It is really hard to find childcare — we live far away from our families — when the kids are, say, 0 to 3 and require so much attention.
*Check out Elisa’s review of a relationship book she enjoyed.
Your turn. Share your thoughts, tips, and experiences in the comments below.