with Angella Dykstra
I'm a mom of three, a professional accountant, and an amateur photographer and writer. I am not a marriage expert. But my husband and I take "Til death do us part" seriously, and here I'll be sharing how we keep our marriage strong while we both do that insane work-life juggle.
Check out my Work It, Mom! profile and my blog, Dutch Blitz.
Last week was a bit of a rough week for my husband and I, both individually and together. I came down with some mystery stomach bug that made me feel like I was nauseous to the point of barfing, but not quite there, so I just felt and looked miserable and subsisted on a piece of toast for each “meal”. On day two of this lovely virus, my husband left for a long-anticipated hunting trip, which meant that I got to balance school drop-off/pick-up for our sons and child care drop-off/pick up for our daughter while I tried to clock some office ours and NOT lose my lunch.
He came back empty-handed from his excursion and upon arriving home fell victim to the same nausea that I had just recovered from. He’s on staff at our church and we had our annual family camp on the weekend, so he couldn’t rest much either as he had planning and organizing to do.
A few hours before we left for family camp, we had a Discussion. The first morning he was away, I awoke to a goodbye note from him that included a reminder to let our dog out of his crate and to put him outside in his run. I laughed because…there was a good chance that I would have forgotten about his dog (it’s not MY dog). What he did not include in his note was a reminder that the garbage needed to be put at the road on Thursday morning for pickup and it didn’t even cross my mind to think to do so.
This morphed into a whole conversation about who does what around here and he couldn’t understand how when *I* go away, he knows exactly what needs to be done (and does it) but when *he* goes away I don’t know what needs to be done unless I have a friendly reminder.
We hashed it out and came to the conclusion that we’re simply wired differently. I am a “list ” girl. I make lists and take notes and put items on my calendar. If I don’t write them down, they simply float out there and I may or may not think to do them. I usually don’t. I’m more of a compartmentalized person in that if I’m working on one thing, other things are not even on my radar.
He, however, is more of a visual person. Instead of being focused on one thing at a time, he sees EVERYTHING that needs to be done (which of course stresses him out to no end). It’s not that I don’t see everything, I just choose the most necessary things and then make time to do stuff I enjoy, like photography and writing (Hi!). I pointed out that I tend to be happier than him in general and he saw my point (YAY).
So…he’s going to try not to be so anal (his words) and I’m going to try to see more of what he sees. I told him that it would be a lot easier if he would just TELL ME and then I could WRITE IT DOWN and I think he might be OK with that now since he now understands my wiring a little better than he used to. Ten years into this marriage gig and we’re still figuring each other out. We should have it all straight by the time we’re eighty or so.
How does it work in your relationship? Does one of you worry about every minor household detail while the other does the necessities and then takes time to enjoy the non-necessities? Or are you both wired the same?
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