(warning: not a mommy related post, rather the ramblings of an overwhelmed wife)
It’s 2017 and we’re in March already – oh how time flies by! Lately, life’s felt like a constant race of ‘getting things done’ rather than enjoying life. New Year’s Eve I told myself that 2017 will be the year of great beginnings for us and boy, did we jump in the deep end!
Not only is work crazy busy (compared to last year this time), I’m back to studying again – a part-time 3-year course AND we’ve decided to buy and build our very first home (meaning a big move from the Suburbs to the Winelands in December). I have to admit that trying to keep your head above the surface, as difficult as it already is with being a working mother, these additional commitments and “to-do’s” has not only been challenging my energy and focus levels, but also relationships.
In today’s modern society where both husband and wife OR mother and father (if you prefer) are working full-time with only a few hours to spare in the evening for the kids and one another, having these additional commitments (as I like to call them) can seriously strain your relationship with one another and also with those dear to you like family and friends. Suddenly, there’s no more time for that weekend away, or dinner dates or even just a quiet chat. Support is such a crucial thing when these storms appear on the horizon of life with love keeping you strong and pushing you through it as it quickly passes. But it is also in these moments when the storms that we don’t experience together (work pressure, personal feelings or emotions) may possibly cause us to not fully support or love as we should.
Life gets hard, it becomes a challenge and in between there is the risk of failing your loved ones deeply. The feeling of inadequacy and the fear of losing what’s most important to you comes to haunt your mind causing lack of sleep, which in its own makes any situation even worse. Especially in my case as I am probably the worst person ever when overtired.
I read a short article the other day and it stated that the following 5 things can cause a marriage to fail:
- Overcommitment and physical exhaustion
- Money conflict or excessive debt
- Unhealthy relationships with in-laws
- Unrealistic expectations
When reading this we all are most likely to at least identify one of these in our current situations. That is why honest communication within a relationship remain the most critical factor in making your marriage a successful one.
Now, I may work in PR/Communications – so naturally you’d assume that this factor (communication) should be great in my personal relationships as well, right? Well, no, not necessarily. You see, in business there’s no feeling its straight-forward, but in personal relationships, well they’re personal. I’m also a people pleaser, which means that I will try and do all that I can to keep those I love happy (even if it means not communicating my true feelings for the greater good of avoiding conflict). But then these storms (the ones we create and the ones that arise naturally) come on the horizon and the people pleaser is physically not able to please everyone. It results in those who mean the world to you taking a back seat on the priority list as you have to ‘check emails, post social media posts, do assignments, coordinate event logistics, write content’ and ‘cook supper, clean the dishes, bath the little ones’ – all things required for your family’s well-being. But isn’t your time and attention also a priority? YES, of course! But it’s physically not possible for us humans to be as productive (for a lack of a better word) as we’re pushing ourselves to be.
So what’s the solution? Well, if you know please let me in on the secret! I’ve yet to find it. The closest solution that I’ve come upon is remaining open and communicating with your partner – remember the vows you gave on your wedding day, appreciate one another’s flaws and support one another. Hold each other’s hand as you walk through the storms and leave the criticism and resentments where they should be, in the movie review section of the newspapers!
And lastly, LOVE one another no matter what! It’s what got your to marry one another in the first place.