Just read a fabulous post from Harvard Business Review by Herminia Ibarra that brings up a much neglected aspect of the whole work/life balance puzzle.
Remember that little past time your husband and you used to share before the kids, work struggles, PTA meetings, caring for aging parents, and all the other chaos we endure on a daily basis in our overstressed lives?
Exactly. We get so caught up in being “mommy” and “daddy” we forget those blessings grew from us being “husband” and “wife”. But how can we expect those blossoms to grow up beautiful and strong if we don’t cultivate the soil they call home?
A loving marriage is the foundation for family, children are an expression of that love, career supports that love, and interests outside the home cultivate the marriage by providing opportunities to strengthen the bond.
It’s impossible to address work/life balance issues without emphasizing the importance of a happy and healthy marriage. Regardless of how beautiful your “home” is, a crack in the foundation will be costly later on.
So how do we strengthen that foundation?
If you want a happy home, kids, career, outlook, get back into newlywed mode and make time with your loved one priority one. Play together, dream together, and SLEEP TOGETHER. Bedtime rituals aren’t just important for making kids feel loved and nurtured, they work wonders for couples as well. Never miss an opportunity to snuggle with your spouse and reconnect after a long, hard day.
While in survival mode, the little things we once appreciated in our partners slowly become expectations. Instead of being grateful for what DOES get done, we’re annoyed by what DOESN’T. Shift your mindset and look for opportunities to praise your relationship, spouse, and family. When life gets hectic and tempers flare, take a deep breath and remind yourself why you married him in the first place. I guarantee you it wasn’t because he never left the toilet seat up.
The desire to show love is a beautiful gesture, but easily lost in translation. What makes us feel “loved” can vary greatly leaving a husband and wife feeling like they’re speaking different languages. Instead of playing guessing games, ASK! A heartfelt, “What can I do to make you feel loved?” could open a whole new level of intimacy for you and your partner. If you want the relationship to meet your emotional, psychological, and physical needs, you must be open and honest about sharing them.
Join in! Do you believe its possible to balance kids, career, AND marriage?