I think this is a pretty common dilemma for many people. You and your significant other, whether you have kids or not, both work. Both of your jobs have scheduling demands, both of your jobs have busy and slow periods that may be in opposing time frames, both of you have promising futures at your respective jobs. How do you handle this? How do you stay mentally healthy, physically healthy, have a healthy relationship with each other and maintain a healthy relationship with yourself? This is a lot to have to manage and schedule and handle, then for some people they have to throw kids’ schedules into the mix and then everything is even more complicated.
How do you do all of this and remain present and engaged in everything?
It’s hard, it’s really hard, it can make or break your relationship with your significant other and, if you have kids, it can make or break your relationship with them. Honestly, there are two huge keys to staying sane in this situation; communication and organization/scheduling.
Communication. Everyone tells you this is key, and it really is, especially when determining whose job is more important “now”. Now could be today, this week, this quarter, or this year. But it needs to be discussed and agreed upon. How do you determine whose job is more important? The questions really need to be customized to your situation, but I’ve included some questions as jumping off points. Who has been at their job longer? Who has more opportunity for “immediate” advancement? Who makes more money? Who likes their job more? There are more questions you can come up with, of course, but these are just a few. From there, determine who needs to concentrate on their job more and who needs to be the support system.
In addition to this big talk are little daily talks that are a definite must. If one of you is working late semi-regularly, and especially if there are kids involved, talking at night is probably a no-go. You’re both probably too exhausted to form a full, coherent sentence, let alone talk about schedules etc. I suggest waking up ten or fifteen minutes earlier and talk about everything in the morning, before the day really begins. Talk about working late, working weekends, time with each other, time for the kids, pets, errands, etc. These talks help to ensure that the two of you stay on the same page. If these talks don’t happen I can almost guarantee that there will be a lot of misunderstandings, miscommunications, and an unhappy relationship. It might not happen right away, but it will happen.
This transitions into my recommendation of organization and scheduling. I feel this is a must as well because, without it, no one knows who is doing what when, you unintentionally end up neglecting your relationships with each other, with your kids, with yourself. A schedule will seriously be your saving grace. Aside from taking work and school schedules into consideration, I recommend a rough schedule (a rigid one may cause more undue negative stressors) of when you’re going to do everything (ie. time for homework, bedtime routine, groceries, food prep time, time to work out, time with each other, time with kids, time for yourself). One of the most important things, in my opinion, is a meal plan and grocery list. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, it could be a white board, a sheet of paper on the fridge, whatever’s easy for you. It takes me less than thirty minutes to go through the grocery ads, pick recipes, plan the week and create a grocery list. Now, it wasn’t always so quick, it took time for me to get the hang of it, but even when it took longer it really was a huge help for my family’s schedule and our sanity.
When you take the time to meal plan and food prep, you eliminate having to do that during the week, which is where most of the time crunch and stress comes from, and you can schedule in time for the rest of your priorities during the week, and then have a little more time on the weekends for quality time with each other, with the kids, with the pets.
Let me know what you do to schedule/organize & stay on the same page with a busy schedule!
Hey, I'm Natalie and I'm an author, a wife, and mom of two kids and two dogs.
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