Gail Joan Cohen
TAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF AND YOUR SPOUSE/PARTNER
Children will be served best by parents who take care of themselves and their marriage. If you are not happy and healthy, it will affect your children. Eventually, your children will grow up and will leave home. If you have not nurtured your relationship, you will find yourself without children and without your partner.
Live by your true values. This may take some work to figure out or perhaps even a course on personal development. Maybe some of the time that you and your spouse have set aside to spend alone, could be used to help each other find your inner selves.
Many times couples will bicker because each has been raised with a different set of values and a preconceived idea of what a spouse should say and do. Usually, it is not a question of which way is right, because either way is right. Everyone that argues believes he is right. Even with countries that fight, each country believes their way is right. People are different and have different personalities and have been raised differently. This is a good thing! We do not want everyone to be exactly the same. This is the challenge and the game of life. Discuss, listen and compromise.
If it is not breaking a federal, state or county law, usually it will not matter in the greater scheme of things how things are done. Sometimes we would argue about how the roll of toilet tissue should be hung. Should the paper come over the top or from the bottom? Looking back now it seems silly. Does it really matter? But, at the time I was serious and wanted the roll hung a certain way. I wanted it hung the way my mother hung it. For, of course, my mother was always right. And, my husband wanted it the way his mother hung it. How many little things did we argued about that really did not matter. Think about each time you disagreed with you spouse. Was it something that would really make a difference, or was it just something that you each had a different opinion on? Was it really worth an argument? Would it have been more fun to spend the time at Dairy Queen?
Set aside some time each day to do something strictly for you. It may be crafts, reading for pleasure, meditation or music. Anything that you enjoy will be fine. It need not be a long time. Even ten minutes every day will give us a break from the daily pressures. It is important that with all of the work and stresses we encounter today that we do not lose us. Sometimes we are so involved helping spouses, children and parents that we disappear. We get lost in the forest of life. We turn into a little shrub or weed and get mowed down or trampled on. No matter how busy the day, set aside time to get in touch with your inner being and keep your spirit alive. You are a very important person and essential to the greater world plan.
Some people are happy and content not working outside of the home. If you feel this way and unless you need the additional income to put food on the table, stay home with your children. Have confidence in this decision. It makes sense for you and it will benefit your children. Stay home and enjoy it!
Other people do not want to stay at home all day with preschool children and would rather be out working and around other adults. This decision is also valid. A pleasant babysitter or preschool is better that a screaming or resentful mother. Do what serves your personality and your values. Both ways are right.
Try to schedule time for you and your spouse to get away by yourselves. Enlist relatives or trade time with friends if no one else is available to babysit. Another good idea is to be sure children go to bed early enough to give you some evening time to be together. If this is not possible, try getting up early in the morning before the children awaken. At one time we scheduled time in the middle of the night just to have an hour or two by ourselves. Keeping the husband/wife relationship alive and well is very important.
Most of all be you. Allow your children to be children. They are truly a gift and can bring you more joy and more fun than you could ever have imagined. They will also bring you more work than you could ever have imagined! They are spontaneous, truthful and pure wonder. Put some fun or something special into each day. It will benefit the entire family. Most of all, love your children and enjoy them. Before you can blink they will have grown up and left home. The magical days of their childhood will be gone forever. Cherish the special moments with them while you can!