Tips for Balancing Work + the Husband
This post is Day #17 in the 31 Days to a Better Work + Life Balance series.
I've been married for about 7 years and about 4 of those years I've also been running my own business. So I'm obviously not an expert on this issue! But since this month is all about balancing, I thought I could share just a few things that have worked for us balance-wise and set some new goals for myself.
When things feel out of balance with my husband, usually one of these is true: 1) We're not seeing/dating each other enough, 2) We're not talking about tough issues or we're focusing too much on them, 3) We've let go of some of the fun parts of marriage
Really See Each Other
When life gets busy, it can be easy to fall into coworker roles. Our interaction gets limited to these types of conversations: "Hey can you pick up this?"..."This needs done."..."I'll get the kids here if you get them there." I know when you're managing a lot, that stuff has to be figured out at some point. Working as a team on these things is important, but there's gotta be more to your relationship and communication. Otherwise we start to feel unappreciated or invisible to each other (and ourselves).
A few things we do to really SEE each other:
Regular nights out // once a season, we get a sitter and get out of the house together
Date Nights at home // every friday the kids go to bed early and we get dressed up, grab take-out and have a super fun date at home
Couch dates // 1-2 evenings a week we get cozy on the couch after kids are in bed with cocoas and talk, watch shows, play cards or just read side by side*
*Rules: We try our hardest NOT to talk about kids, work, or hard stuff during dates. This makes such a big difference in the connection we have on dates and reminds us to seek out the interesting things about each other.
Future plans // We try to plan in things to look forward to together. Whether it's a home project, show series, big trip or just a challenge to find the best donut place in town, it draws us together.
Breakfast and dinner together // We don't always sit at the dining room table, but we always wake up together and try to usually eat and talk together at dinner
Acknowledge each other // We always greet each other at the door or say goodbye with hugs. Or if we're spending time in separate rooms, we pass by with hi/smile/wave. It's little but it's kind of a nerdy way we flirt/check in. This says "I see you and you aren't an interruption."
The Not-So-Fun Stuff
Just because we try not to talk about money/kids/work/hard stuff on dates doesn't mean it never comes up. But when it's time to talk about those things we pick an evening when kids are in bed and do more of a meeting style keeping things as SHORT as possible. I also have to be careful not to put business stuff ahead of time with him since my hours can sometimes change.
A few things we do to RESPECT each other:
Ask his advice // He joked recently that this may not always be good for my business but it's good for our marriage. I ask his opinion when I'm not sure what to do and then I usually at least TRY to take his advice. This shows him I care what he thinks.
Ask for what I need // Sometimes I'll expect something of him or get resentful if he's not doing things for me. Instead of getting annoyed I've been trying to just ask for what I need. He can always say it won't work, but if I am buried in a huge work project, I'll ask for extra help with the kids/meals/house stuff.
Resolve things quickly // Obviously we can't agree all the time. So we try not to leave or "escape" the fight until it's resolved. Or if we're really mad and need a short break, but try not to take it to friends and family just to vent. Usually one of us will apologize an hour later and so venting or running away just makes it a bigger problem than it needs to be.
Priorities start with him // Well actually they start with God...but then him. Time with him and his feelings always, always needs to be first priority in my heart. I have to make sure I choose him over the expectations of kids, family, friends, and work. He's my person.
What challenges do you face when trying to balance work + the husband?