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Who Was That Masked Man ... ?

Suggestions for Making Time for One Another


Photo © Ted Stritof

Garden Sprites

Photo © Ted Stritof
As working mothers, we are used to living life as if it were an extreme sport. We are busy dodging obstacles, forging our way down treacherous new pathways, hurtling over cliff edges, and climbing corporate ladders.

Superhuman traits of insight, diplomacy, organization, faith, intellect and judgment are all included in the working woman’s character. We are proud of our strengths, and our seeming ability to carry the day single handedly. Except we don’t.

Most of us are lucky to be supported by a husband or partner whose efforts are equally as heroic. But far too often, finding time to devote to your spouse feels like just another obligation to fill. Many women may feel that it’s the one relationship you can let slide, just a bit, until things settle down. What starts as a survival mechanism becomes a habit and you find you miss the respite that quality time with your partner can offer.

Suggestions on Making Time for One Another

Here are a few suggestions for making some time to highlight your relationship.
  • Set aside a specified time each month (or week!) that will only be for the two of you. Protect this time together. It’s at least as important as the kids' soccer practice or swim lessons.
  • Defend your day off. Meetings can creep in, activities crop up, and commitments appear from everywhere. Saying no to these things is empowering and gives you essential breathing space. Repeat after me, “I’m afraid I have a standing commitment on Saturdays.” And guess what? Now you do!
  • Always take some time for yourself. You’ll bring your best self to your relationship if you’ve devoted time to your own well being.
  • Be realistic about your situation. Don’t fall into the trap of complaining that you just don’t have the time for the grand romantic gestures of your past. Creating a special moment is a simple as writing a love note, holding each other’s hand, or insisting on your right to a half hour of adult conversation.
  • Rediscover each other. It’s easy to play a role around your spouse, that of mother, disciplinarian, secretary, organizer, or teacher. Take a breath and remember that this is a man with dreams, goals, ambitions and interests. You both have an intellectual life full of things besides work and children, chores and commitments. Reminding yourself of this allows you to look at your time together with fresh eyes and may open up the door to new experiences for you both.

A working mother is challenged in many wonderful ways, and may often feel like an unsung superhero. Your true identity as a whole woman should be celebrated in partnership with that mysterious stranger across the dinner table. You are each other’s best ally, resource, and joy.

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