Category Archives: Marriage

Coming into the light

I went through a dark time a few months ago where I felt like my kid needed 50% of me, my husband needed another 50%, my job needed its 50%, my other family and friends needed 50%… so I was either doing fantastically at a few aspects of my life and failing miserably at everything else, or I was failing at everything at once.

Also, notice how there was not a percentage of demands made for myself. Every day, I made choices to sacrifice my own sleep, emotional and mental well-being, diet, exercise – forget about fun and relaxation, ha! – for someone or something else. I went days and days without a chunk of time for myself – or, if I did have a moment to myself, it was clouded with guilt and indecision.

And people from different aspects of my life were not kind. I was told how I was failing and in what ways. People disappeared from my life instead of hanging in there. More importantly, I got no offers of help. Maybe it’s because I tried to shield people from how hard it was for me.

These conditions resulted in occasional emotional blow-outs to my loved ones or having to take mental health days from work with no notice to my colleagues because I. Just. Can’t. Take. It. Anymore!

Then, something happened. I started to communicate what I needed. (I’ll be honest, I did not often do it in the most eloquent of ways – yelling and breakdowns and tears don’t often fall into the category of optimal communication in my opinion, but if I’m at least stating my needs through it all, I say: whatever works.)

I’ve read that one should push through the inconvenience, the discomfort, the conflict of communicating your needs (should I say, especially women?) in order to realize balance in life, but I couldn’t, I just couldn’t… until I had no choice to do so because the alternative – the status quo – hit such a level of unacceptable that there was nothing else to do.

Was it inconvenient, uncomfortable, and conflict-generating? HELL YEAH IT WAS. And on the other side, I have the support of a loving husband, a happily dancing-tantrumming-singing-tantrumming-laughing child, more respect in the work place and among clients, and sleep.

Y’all, I said I’m getting some sleeeeeep.

Who knows how long it will last? Life will throw another curve at me, boy do I know it, but I will relish what I can for now. And if I need something from you, you’ll hear about it.

 

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Decisions, decisions: Should I stay or should I go?

We have decided to cancel a babymoon trip because of other circumstances that can’t really be helped. (Our dear kitty cat has been sick, and we don’t really want to leave her in others’ hands for too long while we’re gone.)

My husband expressed regret, and understandably so. He noted that it was an opportunity for us to clear our heads before we have to really dive into preparing for the birth of this baby. But for myself, honestly, having a babymoon at 7 months pregnant is a bit rough. The discomfort of being so big is starting to be a daily reality.

So I suggested that the trip be less of a cancellation and more of a postponement, to sometime in the next year after the baby comes. We can take the baby, or not. He asked, “But would we really want to take a vacation without the baby?” and I responded, “I don’t know, but it might be good for us to do so, regardless.”

* * * * *

Kids will be a priority, no doubt. But how far of a back seat would our marriage take, or how far of a back seat should the job take? What is walking that fine line going to look like for my husband, for me?

I have NO IDEA. And few people do, right? Am I going to be a blubbering idiot, guilt-ridden and with serious separation anxiety once I have to go back to work? Or will I be so desperate to get back into the swing of things at work and leave the stress and uncertainty of Baby to someone who can handle it better than I can? (shrug) Don’t know.

But regardless of how our hearts react, there is balance to achieve with our rational sides as well. We may not want to leave the baby at home, even with someone we trust implicitly, but perhaps we should take some time away for ourselves, even in the first year. Kids benefit from their parents’ healthy and loving relationship. I may not want to work away from the baby, but who knows? Maybe I’ll be setting a good example for her. Maybe I’ll be closer to achieving true flexibility between work and home life as an executive that my mom struggled more to accomplish in the 70s and 80s.