How to be a Mom, Student and Wife

There has been a lot of change in the past few months for my family. I have gone back to being a full time student! This is very exciting since I will finally (after four years of leaving my last school) be able to finish my dream of earning a degree. Also I will now be able to get a job that can pay for childcare and still have some money left over. The cost of childcare was the reason that I have not gone back to school until now, and I decided to go to an all online school so that I would be able to stay home while still completing my classes.

But me being back in school has also added an interesting dynamic to our home since my husband has to take care of our daughter regularly in the evenings so I can go take a test and such. He has had to learn what it is like to be “mom” when your child doesn’t want what you made for dinner or runs around the house because she doesn’t want to go bed. I have done this job of “fully time mommy” for two years now (all day) and he is now getting a taste of it for only a couple hours at most after work. Is he doing a good job? Yes he is. He is doing a great job, but his finished job isn’t always the same as mine and that has taught me a lot about myself.

I have learned that I do have a specific way I like the house at night, and, when my husband is in charge of cleaning up at the end of the night, most of the times it doesn’t even come close to my standards. I finish school for the night hoping that I won’t have to do anymore, but I come out and the an unfinished kitchen, toys not put away, mail not sorted, and other things that I do to make sure I don’t start the next day behind. But I have learned I have a choice in that moment and it comes with keeping balance.

I am learning that the way I react will determine how things go in the future. I like it that my husband takes care of our daughter for me while I study and he does it without complaint so I don’t want to throw a huge fuss because I know he will stop doing that. He will buck against my reaction and not do what I ask of him with a happy heart. But I don’t want to keep picking up after everyone either.

So I tell him how I want the house at the end of the day and he might come back with the all famous man comment “Well I have worked all day and I don’t want to do anymore”. Ladies, how much does that statement make your blood boil?

Men, that statement is the one way to make sure you don’t get laid for a long time. That statement means that you have belittled your wife to just sitting on her butt all day doing nothing. I’ll tell you one thing, your wife by the time you get home has worked almost twelve hours just being up. If she is like me she has done laundry, made two meals, cleaned two meals, house work, get the kids to where they need to go, clean up again, provide snack, clean that up, made the bed, did the dishes, taken care of the pet if you have one, and maybe gotten a chance to take a pee somewhere. This is just a short list of what wives get done on a regular basis, but you are the one who has worked all day?

But her day doesn’t end there. After she has made a third meal, she goes in and tries to get her lesson done while she listens to you and your children in the living room causing noise and ruckus. She sits there hoping to be able to concentrate and know her husband is thinking about her needs with how she wants the house to look at the end of the day and that the two of you will get some time together. That is what is going through your wife’s mind, but does that happen?

For me right now I am still “training” my husband. ¬†And I say that very lightly because he does do his best. He honestly doesn’t see the mess right in front of him like a woman does with it being a flashing neon sign. For example, I have lost count at how many times I have asked my husband to wipe down the counters after doing the dishes and I come in and maybe 15% of the time they are actually wiped off. So what do I do? Most days I just wipe off the counters.

But sometimes I don’t want to. Sometimes I just want to go in a scold my husband for not completing the job like I would my daughter, but I can’t because he is not my child. He has a mom who maybe didn’t push for the same level of organization out of him like I would like to see. And I frankly don’t want to re-raise him. I would like it if he would just know what to do on his own. But is it worth putting a dent in our marriage over a wet counter top? Is there a better way to handle things when they are not up to your standards at the end of the day?

For you men, I would suggest that if you are not going to fully help your wives out to have things completely done, don’t ask for some special hugs. Just don’t do it. There is no better way to piss off an exhausted wife than to see her finally sit down after having to come in behind you and finish cleaning after working over twelve hours and then studying than to ask for some sex. It will not go well for you every single time. So how do you men get laid more often when your wife is stretched more than usual? CLEAN AND HELP TO HER STANDARDS. It’s not that difficult.

And for the ladies. If your husband is needing some loving time, don’t always say no because sex is honestly how men are rewarded for doing things for you. He is trying and, if he loves you, he will continue to try until his dying day, but sometimes men just don’t get it. They love you though so don’t forget that.

So what do I do to not lose my mind all the time? Because time with me in school is actually a training time for when I am working. I will just lose time to get things done while I work and my husband will continue to have to pick up some of the slack so that the house doesn’t fall a part. This is what I do: Take a deep breath and try to move on. I will ask my husband why he didn’t finish and tell him how I would like to have it done, but sometimes you can only beat and dead horse so many times. If a man isn’t going to do something, there is nothing a woman can do to make him do it. So you just have to pull up your boot straps and keep marching on.

Because you are going to school for you and your family and your husband does need to understand that. There is so much on your plate now and you need to be allies with him and not enemies. So don’t let a wet counter cause there to be battle lines. The way to be a mom, wife and student is to give grace to those around you (especially your husband), love, understanding and a glass of wine at the end of the day while ignoring everything your husband missed.

Being a Martha and Married to a Mary

Ok, I will assure you all that the title is just a figure of speech. If you are truly a Mary married to a Martha I guess then it works but this blog post is about me and my husband. See, we are very similar but there is one area that we are very different in. If there is one thing out of place, I will work until everything is all done and my husband can, by some miracle, pretend that he doesn’t see the mess that is in front of him. He is able to turn that part of his brain off after the dishes are done and our daughter is put to bed. Me? I am picking up every last thing I see and putting it away and getting mad that I am the only one working still.

Then it hit me one night, while I was up still doing laundry, that there is a story in the Bible that matches this very scenario. In Luke 10:38-42 there is the story of two women who Jesus came to visit. ¬†Martha was busy hosting Jesus that she started to yell and get angry because her sister, Mary, was just sitting at Jesus’ feet listening to him talk.

I get that feeling because my husband was in the living room watching TV or wasting time on Youtube while I was doing things that actually mattered. How dare he just expect me to do everything myself? But then I heard the voice of God speak to my heart and say “Gracelyn, there are multiple ways to serve both me and your husband but you can’t burn out”. I was like, huh?

I had been working my butt off all day just the keep the house running somewhat in harmony. What right did my husband have to just clock out? Sure my husband had been at work all day and then helped when he got home with our daughter. He hadn’t gotten everything done he wanted to get done but he knew he would get a chance to do them the next day. At that moment he wanted to just sit down and hang out with me.

So I dropped the laundry off in our room and went to couch to sit with him. He wondered if I was wanting him to help with the laundry but I told that I wanted to spend some time with him. This made him happy and we ended up having a nice evening together. I became a Mary and spent my time serving my husband in the way that he needed and resting myself after a long day of being a home maker and mom. And my husband let me know that he would help me with the laundry the next morning and he did. It was his way of showing that he can be a Martha too.

Why bring this up? Because I think of all the fights my husband and I have had in the past when we were first married about him clocking out too soon. I have yelled and screamed at him at how unfair it was that he was getting to relax and I never got to. It is actually quite embarrassing and childish now that I think about it. But, if I had just taken the moment then to listen to my husband and listen to God, it would have saved me so much heartache.

Just because your spouse does something different than you doesn’t mean that they are wrong. I’ll give one more example of this. My husband and I were putting out daughter to bed and I had washed her sheets that day so they needed to be put back on her bed. My husband took the lead and started making it while she and cleaned up. When I came in her room, I wasn’t sure what to think since he had put the character’s feet on her sheets and blanket at the pillow end.

I was a little stunned and told him that he had done it wrong. Big mistake. He explained that now she could look at (it was Ariel at the time) when she sleeps and that just because I didn’t like it didn’t mean that he had made the bed wrong.

Talk about an ouch. I wanted to show him how to do it right but I was too tired to bother. The next day was the day that God talked to my heart and I changed it to bring unity to our home. I couldn’t have made a stink just like all the other times but this time there was an actual change in the atmosphere. I changed and it changed it for the better.

So next time you want to point out just how wrong your spouse is on something, take a moment to think. Would it be better to actually join them and not correct them than to make your point known? Sometimes that is the right answer just like how Jesus told Martha that Mary was actually doing the more important thing.

How You Know You have a Good Man

Now I know most women would say that they have a pretty good husband, but I know that I don’t. I have an awesome husband. He is the most wonderful man I could have ever been blessed with. Now that doesn’t mean that I don’t always see it. Actually I tend to take him for granted a lot. But here are some things that I try to keep in mind to know that I have a great husband and to remind you when you are in the middle of a fight with your man that he is still a good man too.

1. He goes to work every day without compliant

If your man goes to work everyday to bring home a paycheck, then you need to thank him. There are a lot of women out there who their husbands don’t even do this much. My husband has a great job but he has had to work very hard to get it and I am proud of him for that. He gets up, gets ready, and gets out the door to face another day of dead lines and stuff that I don’t have to deal with. He takes the brunt so that I get to be a stay at home mom with our little girl.

Not saying that if you still have to work that he is any less of a man. Some times it is just the fact that it is extremely hard to be a one income family now a days. Most places requires both spouses to work to provide for the family but that is where you can praise your husband even more. He still goes to work and helps pay the bills. He could just be sitting at home doing nothing but he is out working just as hard as you. A working man of any job is an amazing man.

2. If you have kids he spends time with them

After my husband comes home from work, all he wants to do is veg out on his phone. He has worked all day and put up with who knows what, I get it, but he has a daughter now to think about who hasn’t seen her daddy all day. Some times he absolutely shines in this area and plays with her without thinking and other times he slips a little. But those slips don’t out number the shining times. Like this one:

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That is right, my husband is wearing a blue jewel necklace playing Barbies with our daughter. I would say that is a pretty awesome man. Does your husband come home and play with your kids? Does he spend the time to make that relationship connection with them? If he does even in the slightest you have a great man.

3. He does work around the house

We are new home owners and that means that there is always work to do. My husband just planted the last of our tress this weekend and it was a good size job. Even though I would have preferred it done weeks ago, he still got it done. I could have moaned a groaned but it wouldn’t have gotten very far. So I backed off and now all our trees are happy in the ground and I have a happy husband.

Your husband can see what needs to be done. The question is that are you giving him room to put it higher on his to do list? Read any book on men and they will say that their priorities are different from ours. It is just how it goes. The thing is our reaction. If we explain (not nag, yell, or demand) why it is important to us for something to get done, I think you might be surprised at how fast it is actually accomplished.

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This is my husband coming home from work at going right out to do the hole for the last tree. I told him how important it was for me to have those trees in the ground and he agreed to get right on it. Yes, he didn’t even change. Of course he had a little helper who thought that it was rather entertaining seeing the hole being dug.

4.He loves me unconditionally

Do you feel loved? I know sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t by my husband. This whole infertility thing has really taken us through a loop and we are finding out a lot about ourselves as individuals and as a couple. I have learned that I have the biggest mood swings when it comes to having another baby and he has no idea what to do about them. And I have noticed that he is learning that he might not want to go through all the steps to have more children for the sake of our relationship. So where does that put us? We don’t know, but I know that at the end of the day my husband loves me without compare. Even if we just had a big fight and we don’t even want to look at each other, I know he loves me and I love him.

This is where it comes to going back to the beginning. Why did you guys end up together? What attracted you to each other? Have you just simple let that spark that was there all those years ago become dim? Being such a young married couple we are learning that. We are coming up on five years married which might not sound like many years to some people but we were also 20 and 21 when we tied the knot. We are very familiar with things happening that try to snuff out the spark between two people.

One thing is that life wants to kill the romance that had you once falling over heels for each other. My husband and I decided to wait but there was still a spark there. A desire to be together and, as out wedding neared, we were getting more and more excited and that spark began to become a wild fire. Then my husband had a terrible car accident which took years to heal. All that flame of waiting could have snuffed out very easily. Here he and I had waited to be together and now his back was so injured that it took almost a year for us to learn how to enjoy our intimate moments before he was back to “normal”. It would take another year for him to be fully healed. You want to talk about a mood killer? I can give you many examples.

Then our daughter was born two years after we were married. That would be the biggest mood killer of all. We had to sleep in separate rooms like most couples do to get any sleep during that first year of her life while she was up every two hours like a normal infant. But we still managed to keep the spark lit. It was maybe an ember at times but it was still there.

That isn’t the last of the story but I won’t go into it. The point is that we worked to keep our spark lit. There is more ways than one to have romance alive and show your husband that you are still madly in love with him. Are you even doing the basics? Are you taking every advantage to show him that you love him unconditionally? Believe it or not washing the dishes can be a pretty steamy event if you use your imagination.

4. You have to show him you think he is worth it

Finally, the greatest area for things to get better is with you. Where is your heart? You want to point fingers and blame him for all your problems right? That would be easy. Who wants to work on themselves when your partner is the problem? Well I am sorry to tell you but really the number one way to know if you have a good man is you. How do you treat him when he comes home? How do you treat him after a fight?

Your husband will only feel as empowered as you make him. If you don’t go that extra step to show him respect in every area then he will give up and question whether it is really worth it. He loves you but you have to prove you love him too. So if you answered yes to all or only a couple of things then you have a good man. I didn’t say you had a perfect one. We all have issues and so do our husbands. My biggest thing with my husband is his phone. It feels whenever I turn my back he is on it. Honestly I can’t change his time and usage but I can change my reaction and I can change my habits.

I have told him how I feel about his phone but if he sees me on mine all the time too then there is no reason to change. Before anything can change I have to change so that I can bring out the best in my husband.

So do I have a good man? Yes I do. Do you?