In today’s busy culture, the demands of work and family are very real! If you are involved in community activities outside of your work, then you may have extra demands. Once you arrive back at home, your family needs you. The backpacks and schools need you, there are phone calls to make, and emails to send. There are also piles of laundry piling up, dishes in the sink, dinners to plan, shopping to complete, and a lawn to care for….
When do you get to take time away for yourself or your marriage?
When a tree is planted, the water must reach the roots in order to strengthen the trunk and branches, and to ensure growth. Similarly, if we take care of ourselves as caregivers, and our relationships with our significant others, then we can offer love and strength to the products of our relationship- our children, our workplace, and the commitments that we have made to our community.
So, how can we do this?
Exercise alone or together, or with a friend. Take a yoga class. Try running. Just a walk in the fresh air is good for the mind, body, and soul.
Reach out to your extended family and your community family. Find out if there is a matinee or an inexpensive night at the community movie theatre that a nearby teen could babysit for.
Ask around to nearby couples or other families at your school. How do they get a night off? Who do they call? The best referrals are word-of-mouth!
Schedule your time together or time to be alone. Put it on the calendar, in your planner, and in your mobile device. Set an alert for it. Take turns lining up care for the children. Always having to do so can be exhausting. Reach out to your “village” – this may be your neighbors or other parents at school or in your child’s extracurricular activity and offer to do the same for them in return!
We have to make it a regular occurrence in order for it to become part of the routine, the norm!
And most importantly of all…put down your phone and put away your computer! Even for just a half hour. Allow yourself a break from it all. The world demands that we respond immediately, but I promise you that you that it will all still be there when you come back!