Friday, December 14, 2012

Friday Q & A–expectations, Christmas cards and giving

I am a young mom of two young children. My question is, how much should I expect my husband to help around the house, with the kids, grocery shopping, etc. He is in graduate school full-time, so he is pretty busy, but his mind is also very preoccupied with his own interests. I know he needs his time to do his things, but he either does school, or his own thing. I really want him to focus on school, and get what he can and needs to get out of it, but I get frustrated a lot. Occasionally, he will help me with little tasks. Like, changing a diaper, or keeping an eye on the toddler while I fix dinner. And most of the time, I have to ask for his help. Don't get me wrong, he's a great guy, and I really love him. I also LOVE being a SAHM and wife, but I do feel like I do it all, all of the time. I don't know what to expect from my husband, or if my expectations are too high. Or if this is just something I'll have to deal with until he's done with school? Tips??

I think managing expectations are such a huge part of making a marriage work.  One of the very best pieces of advice Dave and I got when we got married was from my parents.  It was something that helped them and in turn it’s sure helped us a lot.  They told us that they sit down occasionally and write a list of what they feel the other person needs. NOT what they need…that wouldn’t be nearly as effective.  It’s a chance to think about the other person in that marriage relationship and have empathy for what THEY need.  Then they go over it together and tell each other what they got right and what they missed. 

It is such a great exercise to try to think about that other person in that marriage relationship and what will help them be happy.  That’s what we all want, right?

So, if you sit down with your husband and do this, it may make him realize that one of your “needs” is more help with the house.  It may also make you realize that his “needs” are ok as long as he keeps them in check (although it sounds like you already realize that).  It’s just a good exercise to try to get into the mind of your spouse.  Through this I have realized Dave needs a little unwind time after work and he also needs the counters uncluttered in order to function.  Interesting, right?  He has also helped me a bunch in my role as a mom as he’s thought of what I need…sometimes things I didn’t even think of myself. 

Whenever we feel like our expectations of each other are getting out of whack we realize we need to sit down and figure out what each other needs.  It’s definitely not a big formal “meeting” or something like that, but just taking a little time at dinner or before we go to bed to think about the other person’s needs makes a big difference.

What company do you order your family Christmas cards from (or do you make your own)?

This is a timely question because I just dumped my second batch of cards in the mailbox yesterday.  Is that bad that that is the best feeling EVER?  Seriously, Christmas cards are a humongous pain, but I’m so grateful for an opportunity to keep in touch with people we love so much.  Much more about Christmas cards and what we do with them in this post last year:  http://www.71toes.com/2011/01/card-contest.html (card ideas there too…)

I’ve tried a bunch of card printing companies, but this year I ordered from Persnickety Prints who I think did an awesome job.  We were so excited to get our order and start the envelope stuffing craziness.  2012-12-11 winter 65995

I think Persnickety’s deadline for ordering to get in time for Christmas might be today so if you still haven’t done a card hurry and slap a picture in one of their great templates and get that Christmas card done :)  (In answer to the question, I do my own designing in Photoshop but it looks like they have a bunch of great templates ready to go.)

I want to get my children some new books for Christmas.  Any ideas as to which ones would be good? 

Favorite children's books I think every family should have on their book shelves here: http://www.71toes.com/2010/02/favorite-books.html

Lots more Christmas giving ideas here:  http://www.71toes.com/2012/11/favorite-things-gift-ideas.html

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