So, this was another one of those thoughts that started as a little bitty pondering and then became a full blown realization.
Since I have determined that managing this home well, and leading those therein is my purpose and passion right now, it kinna changes how I look at the jobs I have to do here. My focus, though unfair at times, is about these people God has seen fit for me to nurture, guide, teach, support, love and respect.
Its all about them. Its about teaching them and supporting them in everything they need to know and be to be strong Christians in the world. Now, that being said I believe that taking care of myself is part of taking care of them, so dont think that I mean that we have to disregard our needs completely ...but that they (our husbands and babies) are to be our focus and our motivation for doing what we do.
Since I have started looking at them that way, I have started to consider what stress they are under? What stresses out the husband? What about my kids? What does their stress look like? What do I need to do to decrease all of THEIR stress levels?
If stress effects me this way, how does it effect my children? If I am stressed, I know they respond to that, but how does it make them feel? How does my stress effect them, and what things create stress for them independent of my stress? How does stress effect my marriage, and how does his stress effect our family?
Again, I asked God to open my eyes to the things that cause my precious ones stress..and I was a little amazed. As well, I asked to show me how I could reduce it..and I was amazed again.
Lets start with Husbands ...
Since every one of these is different, they each would have their own triggers to cause stress. They carry so much weight with things they get from outside our home. Things like their jobs, family (extended) obligations, church obligations, financial pressure, pressure to provide, pressure to be good husbands and Christian men in the world.
Our homes are to be their havens. Their center in the storm, their place of comfort and LEAST stress. I realize that there are alot of things that I can change to make it more so for him, by paying attention to things in our home that cause him a sense of stress.
If you noticed that your being late to things causes him stress, its worth the effort to make the effort to be better about it.
If he says that having certain areas of the house out of control (the office, his closet) cause him stress, then help him to maintain a sense of order there (it may not be fair, but ...its our job)
If not having socks, underwear or other essentials available when he needs them, we need to make the effort to stay up on our laundry for his sake.
If it stresses him out to run out of deoderant, then try to make sure there is always a spare under the bathroom sink.
If it stresses him out for you to be on the internet when he is home, then try to time your surfing for husband-free times (I gotta work on this one..but, right now I am good..he is in class!)
Arent sure what adds stress? Or are you really ready to make this a priority? Ask him. You may be surprised with his response!
With effort, and a mindset of service (and a little humility) we can make our homes havens for them, and in turn us. It speaks love to these boys to attempt to care for them, its tough but so worth it!
And, not just avoiding stressful situations, but making the effort to create that atmosphere can be important. Again, you know your man better than anyone, so you know those things that give him a sense of "ahh, its good to be home"
A 10-minute nag-free break when he first gets home, before handing him his "hunny please do" list
Energy for him at the end of the day ;)
Homecooked meals, or a cookie jar full of his favorite cookie
Ironed shirts (good thing this isnt one of Adrians!)
Watch the football game with him ..oh, and ask questions.
Allow him a guilt-free golf trip, or night out with the guys (and a free night for you too!)
I know what you are saying..I dont have time, energy or the want-to to do to any of those things! :) BUT, when we manage our stress, and we dont waste our time and energy on the things that arent important, then we get to give it to the things and people that are. Even more so when you CHOOSE to conserve your energy for those things and people that are most important.
Its a wonderful cycle.
And remember. This is your purpose. NOTHING on your list is more important than your family, and your family started with HIM and YOU so its worth your time and effort.
OH, and I was also amazed that alot of the things that I noticed causing Adrian stress, also caused me stress. AND, that the solutions would work for decreasing BOTH of our stress levels, making our home more peaceful (2 for 1 deal). AND, I was more motivated because I wasnt just working on decreasing my stress, but his too and that was more worth it to me!
On a closing note, what husband wouldnt love a less stressed out wife? There, you are already doing him a favor :)
(Oh, and wait til you hear what I have learned about the kids!)