He finally walks through the door and I’m sure our night is going to get better from here. He will entertain the kids with a quiet game while I finish preparing our dinner. We’ll eat it and he will tell me what a superstar wife and mom I am for making it through the day without losing my mind. He’ll put the kids in bed while I take a hot shower and relax. It’s going to be bliss from here on out…
but wait. He comes in and looks upset. He’s stressed out about something and I’m not ready for that! Instead of helping with the kids he wants to vent about his troublesome day at work(!) can’t he see I’m overwhelmed already??? I’m less than kind as I respond to his greetings and ask him to help with our son. I sound almost livid as I ask what he’d like to drink with dinner. How DARE he come home and dump more stress on me today…. I need him to be there for me, he needs me to be there for him. neither of us are being very helpful to the other. We end up spending the evening hurt, angry and exhausted, and no one gets the listening ear and encouragement they so desperately need.
Does this scenario sound familiar? Sadly, this happened to us a lot the first couple years of our marriage. We were just learning how to communicate with each other. Neither of us was expecting anything that unrealistic under normal circumstances, but when our bad days happend simultaneously disaster would strike! Unfortunately as a new mom I had hard days a lot and my hubby was working an extremely stressful job so he did as well. What’s a newlywed couple to do?
Thankfully we found a solution. Now we warn each other when we’re having a bad day. I may email him during the day to let him know how I’m feeling, he often does the same. If he’s on his way home and the kids are acting crazy I will text him to let him know. That way he is prepared when he gets home. He knows I’ll need extra help and he hits the ground running when he walks through the door.
Sometimes he emails me and lets me know he’s had an overwhelming day, when he does I try to make sure I’m ready to hear about it when he gets home. If it’s making sure the kids are entertained with something quiet so it’s not a chaotic mess when he gets home, then I do that. If it’s dealing with my own stresses myself so I don’t feel the need to dump on him when he gets home, then I try to make sure that happens.
There are still some days that we both have a horrible day at the same time. That can’t be avoided. But now we are getting better about putting our own stresses on hold until after the kids are in bed. Helping each other out as much as possible, allowing the other brief snatches of rest to maintain sanity until the kiddos are asleep and then talking about our days, or just sitting together in silence to think.
Communication has made all the difference. We know what to expect and are already contemplating ways to help and encourage each other before we’re even face to face.
Remembering to have grace and keep in mind that although our days may look very different, they each hold their own stresses and worries. It’s not a “bad day” competition anymore, seeing who ‘deserves’ rest the most. Instead we work together to help one another out until we’re both feeling better again.
What about you? How do you and your hubby work through hard days together? any one have any tips or advice? I always love your input and ideas on how to be a better wifey!