I’ve totally been absent for a long time, I know. Sorry. I definitely have my reasons though. I love blogging and writing about aspects of married life that can be useful for people, but I think it’s important to take a step back from writing, and just enjoy those aspects of married life, instead.
I’ve been so busy the past few months. Though I enjoy being busy for the most part, I start to hate it when it is consistent and doesn’t come with a nice break. You know what I’m talking about? I’ve had all these ideas floating in my head of great things to write about with marriages, especially after I’ve been learning even more in school, but when I’ve had free time I’ve been trying to spend it with Trevor or I’ve been trying to do things that are beneficial to our marriage. Whether it’s keeping up on housecleaning so the chaos doesn’t cause us stress, or making time to go out on a date, I think that’s been more important than blogging. I’m back though, and I’m in a better mindset, with some ideas flowing, great topics that I hope will be beneficial to marriages, and some cool projects in the works! I’ll tell about those another day.
Right now, I want to go back to the “being busy” thing that’s been happening since August.
I finished summer semester, packed up our apartment and we moved into our new house over Labor Day weekend. I had already started school the week before, which was crazy trying to get things prepared for the house while being in school, but it was worth it. Ever since then it’s been 18 credits of school, never-ending homework, unpacking, planning our home, and trying to be a good wife in between. It’s not easy when you factor in health concerns, getting used to a new place to live (including trying to make new friends), and other personal trials. Trevor has been busy too. He’s developed a program on his own time that is being implemented into every-day work life at his job. (So proud of him!) He’s also been teaching students web development a few times a month. This might sound whiny to some of you, because I know so many people whose lives are more chaotic than ours.
I see amazing moms who are also students, or who also work, and who are trying to juggle all of that at the same time. And I’m sure they also have their own personal struggles to deal with on top of all of it, too. For awhile, I was down on myself about not being able to do the things I think I should be able to handle, in being a wife who is at home half of the week, who also doesn’t have a child or a job to worry about. I felt bad for not having the time or mental capacity to make a proper dinner some nights, not exercising for weeks, and not cleaning parts of the house that should be cleaned more often than they have been. I looked at others’ current scenarios, and said, “Well they are a mom and they can juggle all of this stuff, but I can’t. I should be able to handle this, shouldn’t I?”
With Trevor’s help, I’ve come to terms with the fact that I can’t do everything. We only have so many hours in the day, and we do the best we can. That’s something I think Trevor and I have had to remind ourselves of throughout our marriage in various situations: “You do the best you can, and that’s all you can do.” Sometimes the best we can do in the day is just doing laundry. Sometimes the best we can do is: “Hey, at least I showered today.” (hahaha) Everyone handles different loads, whether you’re a mom or dad, a wife or husband, a student, or an employee. No matter what the “job title” is, we don’t know what personal struggles we are each trying to handle at the same time as trying to fulfill those roles.
Two things that helped me
A few things have helped me during this busy time in life. Prioritizing every day helped me have a better perspective. If your list is long, make time for the most important things. Sometimes I ask myself: “Are clean floors more important than cuddle time with hubby?” I also had to start asking for help. I had a hard time with this because again, I expected myself to be able to go to school, do homework, cook, clean, unpack a house, and be a good wife at the same time. Since I had such high expectations of myself, I felt like I wasn’t “pulling my weight” or something if I were to ask Trevor to help me with some things. He reminded me that we don’t live in a traditional household that has rigid gender roles. Though some of the responsibilities fell into place with each of us, we both still share those responsibilities. I’m sure some of you have felt the same hesitation I had in asking for help, so if you are the spouse on the other side, maybe offer help to them, if you can see they are struggling to keep up.
My busy days are nearing a break with the holidays and this semester coming to a close soon. I’ve already made a better plan for spring semester in that I’m going to take less credits, so that actually means I’ll graduate a semester later, but I’m feeling good about that. I’ve set a priority list of things that need more of my attention next year, and I’m looking forward to accomplishing those goals. Having this plan has been good motivation to keep going, and I like being happy like that! I’d rather avoid feeling so burnt out with life, that I lose all motivation and end up spending the day binge-watching Gilmore Girls. It’s fine though, because we all deserve days like that, and it’s OK if you don’t get through your list sometimes, right?
It took me a long time to stop getting after myself for not being able to do all that I think I should be doing. Those days were not fun. Take my advice: Try not to put expectations on yourself because of your comparisons to others. We tend to do that to ourselves as a society, and especially as an LDS culture. Let’s just stop that.