You know going into my marriage, I was a young single mother of one. I had already pretty much sacrificed my social life to take care of my child, finish college, and work a full time job. But when I got married, it seemed like I was dedicating even more of myself to those I love. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing I wouldn’t do for the happiness of my child or my husband, but after five years of marriage I began to realize that I was forgetting about my own happiness.
As women, we often dedicate so much of ourselves to our children and our marriage that we often forget about ourselves. My mother would try and teach me this throughout the years, but I thought that my “years of fun” were behind me. Between working, taking care of the household and running around with my daughter, I didn’t think there was any time or space for me. Until now….
What I’ve found is that even though my husband and I are one unit we are two people. We had likes and dislikes before we came together. We had friends, we had a social life, and while it may have to be minimized, that doesn’t mean it should stop completely. In fact it is healthier to have time apart and be allowed to experience life with and without each other. So I realized I desperately needed to find balance. Here’s what I did:
Prioritized – First I needed to prioritize my life. Figure out what responsibilities were important and what areas could take a back seat. Once I realized all I had on my plate, I realized I would need my partner’s help.
Delegate Responsibilities – I talked to my husband about the importance of being able to have time to let my hair out and be with my friends. He agreed and was more than willing to help out. So in order to make time for myself, I needed him to take on some of the responsibilities with our daughter and with the household. Once we figured out where he could pitch in it seemed like a weight lifted off my shoulders.
Schedule time – Now of course I can’t just come and go as I please, I was a wife and a mother. So I decided to schedule downtime for myself and a girl’s night for me and my friends. I decided that every 3rd Saturday of the month I would hang out with my friends and every 3rd Sunday of the month would be mine to just kick back and relax.
Ladies, it doesn’t matter what you do, but it is important to take care of you. Whether you sit and binge on Scandal marathons with a bottle of red wine and snacks, or you go out with your girlfriends and eat appetizers and sip on margaritas, just do something that makes you smile. At the end of the day if you’re not the best you, how can you be the support system that you are for your family? If you’ve been having a hard time balancing the two, talk with your spouse and find ways to work around it. Maybe even include him sometimes if you know any married couples, but just have fun. Marriage doesn’t mean your life is over, it means that it just means finding compromise in everything you do.