Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Stress and your Family

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!)


  1. Such good thoughts about taking care of wonderful husbands. I often tell myself how blessed I am that God let's me share a life with Ben. Obviously, there are those moments as in any marriage, but on the flip side, I sometimes feel undeserving of how wonderful he is to me. But those thoughts usually come as a result of having previously thought about his needs, and having tried to meet them. Like you were saying...if it stresses him out that I'm on the phone when he walks in the door after a long day, know that and plan accordingly. And if he wants to bid on a round of golf with his buddy at a silent auction for a future golf date....support him and let him have a great time without any feelings of guilt. Really. I know that I'm sarcastic at times...but I actually mean it this time. I do think sharing in his interests really does mean a lot, even when he may not verbalize the way I do. But watching a little football goes a long way. (It's the support of video games where I personally struggle.) However, little things such as making sure he has his extra favorite bar soap or deoderant under the sink...makes him happy. And how easy is that?

    So, I agree....help destress him, it destresses you... you both end up loving being home together...and there you have a happy married life. It's not that hard world. Figure it out. Courtney did.

  2. yeh, that support of video games? when there are children to watch and dinner to cook and house to clean? just can't do it. the worst is when the kids are down, i'm down (with a wake time of 4:45a)and we are awakened by the victorious gamer champ of NBA 2K8. any suggestions?

  3. I REALLY needed to hear this!! I am so busy putting Cannon first that I have not been thinking about my husband. I needed to be reminded of MY job as a wife. Do you have any men that play indoor bsketball or sand volleyball? He had so many friends in Savannah and was ALWAYS playing and now he doesn't. :(

    Thanks Court!

  4. Okay Video Gamer Spouse - how well do I understand! :) Since I dont know all the details here, I am gonna base this on my experience.

    I am a lucky one whose husband may not always see the choas around him, but is willing to help once I make him aware of it. We have talked in length about the right time (NOT when there is so much to be done)to play, and not. A little consideration on his part goes a long way.

    So, first I would consider that discussion (just in case it helps).

    Part of that discussion, would be to explain that his playing at the wrong time increases your stress level. It makes you feel less important than the game, and unimportant seeing as you are so busy with the kids and that he doesnt seem to see that when he plays (to be sure, he doesnt!).

    Honestly, sometimes its a matter of him simply not seeing it. Our boys are wired different than us. They truly can shut all that out. Its wierd.

    You can discuss with him that you want for him to be able to destress that way (because he does enjoy it). However, his timing is important to that. His consideration of your situation with the kids, can be rewarded with some supported gaming time when things are less stressful.

    You may be surprised that it would be worth it for him!

    The middle of the night thing, if you are okay with the fact that he is up, but the loudness is the problem - again, first talk. The discussion about appropriate time is a great time to do that.

    Also, it seems from my experience that when I give him boundaries about when he can do it with my "blessing" then he is more willing to meet me half way.

    So, talk to him.

    Being silently frustrated doesnt work. They dont hate us, they just dont see it.

    And, after the discussion, you probably will have to remind him.

    "Hunny, this is really not the best time to do that. Could you help me with the kids so I can get dinner on? If you help me now, I will let you play guilt-free later on" :) ..you could start right off with that one tonight. You may be surprised!

    Remember to get rid of the accusation and the bitterness. Sweetness goes along way with these guys.

    I know it sounds rosy. But, he has to be aware of how it effects you, and you have to be willing to allow him that time (at the right time).

    And, its worth it, I promise!

  5. Yes, I've had a hard time putting my hubby first...teaching takes my day time energy...an active toddler gets most of it at night, then I have to spread with Liv... Then I spend most evenings in front of the computer working on my second job. It sucks. He is usually stuck with the kids on the weekends while I'm working (not all day, but a couple of hours each Saturday usually). Now that I am full time with my 'other' job for the summer, I am really struggling with balancing it all... I thought I wouldn't have to work tonight, but forgot about a late newsletter that MUST go out, an order to process, and a DVD to make...

    He does get golf games on occassion and I never make him feel bad about that. All of this is temporary and he knows it, but I still feel bad.

    A messy house, that stresses him out. It is not something I have under control yet, but I'm working on a good routine...

  6. Remember, like Elizabeth Green says "Something is better than nothing, and always aim for more" :)


Related Posts with Thumbnails
Related Posts with Thumbnails