Thursday, October 24, 2013

Working Mom: Sami (on a Healthy Marriage)

I am a working mom (and I love it); but, if I'm being honest, I feel like most days I'm more "surviving" and less "making it work."  So... I enlisted the help of some dear blog friends to share their experiences, advice, lessons, and encouragement on all kinds of topics related to life balancing a job outside the home and a family. I think this goes without saying, but please know that this series is - in no way - meant to belittle or undermine the work of stay-at-home moms - you are doing an incredibly important JOB, and I have so much respect for you!  That said, I do feel like working moms are sometimes under-represented in the internet world... So, my hope is that this will be a place for working moms of the blogosphere to unite and feel understood, connected, strengthened, and supported (plus, maybe pick up a tip or two)!   Overall, I hope this will be a reminder that (regardless of your situation), you are NOT alone, and you are doing a darn good job! Please introduce yourself and  "join the conversation" in the comments.  

(More from me on being a working mom here.)

I am happy to introduce you to my new blog friend, Sami today.  She emailed me when I initially posted about this series, and I loved how unique her story and situation is.  I hope you enjoy these great pictures of her adorable family and her words of wisdom on maintaining a healthy marriage when you are working and raising kids:

About Me: 
I am an almost 30 something, working mom with 2 kids of my own and 2 step-children. My husband and I have been together a little over a year now and will have been married a year in December. He previously had two children, C & G who are 5 {C just turned 5 on October 14} and 3.5. I have one kid with my ex, Lu that is 2.5 and Justin {my husband} and I have 1 of our own Lyds that is almost 4 months. Hence the name of my blog “Yours, Mine, and Ours.” 

Family Picture 2012
Family Picture 2013
I am a teacher by day. I work at an alternative school for trouble students. They are mainly the students that have behavior issues and have trouble functioning in a normal school setting. For a lot of the students, we are their last step before expulsion. Many of them have bad to awful home lives which makes me even more mindful of how I want things at my home for my kids. It kinda sucks for my kids because I am little tougher on them because of what I’ve seen with my school kids. Probably the only perk about the job is the days and hours. We don’t start up until October {really no one should be that bad in the first month of school} and my typical day runs from 7:30a to 2p. This will be great once the kids are in school - I will be out before they are!! (If you want to read more about me checkout my "About Me" page on my blog.)

Keeping your Marriage Healthy
I’m very excited to be part of this blog series with E about Making It Work as a Working Mom. The topic I’ve been given is “Keeping your Marriage Healthy.” This is something I’ve been struggling with lately. Being home all summer together was a blessing. {Justin is also a teacher.} We took turns doing things with the kids and tried to make sure one-on-one time was divvied up among all of them. Even though we were absolutely exhausted from having all 4 of them all day long, it was fun to be a big family unit together!

The days leading up to me going back to work were stressful for me. When I had Lu, I was home with her for 5 months. {Her birth landed perfectly, so I had the whole last month of school off and didn’t have to go back until October!} But with Lyds, I only had 3 months with her plus all the other kids; so I’ve felt short changed in that aspect, but there really isn’t anything I could do about that. {I don’t really get maternity leave, it would just count as sick days, and I need to save those!} I know I shouldn't complain - some moms have only 6 weeks or so, but I love the time I get with them when they are little and don't want to miss any milestones. :(

Needless to say I was freaking out just a tad. I knew there would be so much to do and not so much time to do it in. I want to be able to spend time with the kids and Justin, but I also don’t want to have a mess of a house and piles of laundry to tackle on the weekends. I’m a bit of a control freak and like things done a certain way {usually my way}. Being able to let go and let someone else do stuff to help is something I’ve had to work on. In my previous marriage everything was pretty separated, he did his thing and I did my thing. There wasn’t much of a team effort {which was one of many reasons why things didn’t work out.} So with Justin, I want to make the conscience effort to not do things like that.
this is my favorite picture of us
Justin makes me feel like the wife and mother I’ve always thought I should be. I want to do all the housewife stuff, but while working and being a mom I get spread a little thin. I want to provide him and the kids with a happy wife & mom. We do work well together. He {usually} picks up on hints or suggestions I give without me actually saying them. For some reason with men, plans seem to go better if it’s their ideas. He always asks if there is anything he can do to help and my stubborn, OCD, independent self comes out and I say “No I can do it,” when I really mean “Yes please, but do it exactly how I do it.” I wish part of me could just step back and let go and not worry about how things are done, but when it’s your house and you want things just so it’s hard to let go. {I’m working on it though!}

He never asks too much of me. I like to surprise him with things he’s mentioned in passing or small talk, and I know he does the same with me.  We both love our time without kids. {Which is rare.} Before Lyds we would always have every other week to ourselves, but now we are always stuck with that one kid! {JUST KIDDING, we aren’t stuck, just happily blessed!} We both have wondered what our lives/relationship would have been like without the kids: traveling, romantic weekends, adventures to far off places, and other random stuff we “wish” we could do. But, without the kids, I don’t think we would have made the bond that we did. Having kids brings a whole new perspective to everything and you have a different outlook on life. We both have been on the same page about almost everything when it comes to the kids, which has made it easier on our relationship. 

for some reason I feel like we are in this position alot!
sums up our life
We will try at least once a week to have some adult time without any kids. Our mothers and grandmothers have been great about wanting to watch the kids so we can pawn them off let them have "grandma time" anytime. We have yet to be away from Lyds overnight yet, but I’m working up the courage to do it. Just that 2 or 3 hours of “us” time helps us connect and talk without have to shout over kids or wait until we are dead tired after the kids have gone to bed. Communication was such a downfall in past relationships, we want to make sure we both are open and talk about whatever is bothering us. With both of us coming off divorces we know what didn’t work in them and are making a conscious effort to not let those things happen this time around.
we chaperoned homecoming last year
Both our personalities suit each other well. We have similar interests, so we can do things together rather than on our own. We have similar mindsets about how things should go and try to be open to new ideas the other one has too. Our situation could have been {still kinda is} a tricky one. Having our own previous kids and exes can make things complicated, but when you make a conscious effort, it makes a world of difference.

So my advice to my working-mamas out there -- make a conscience effort to make change where it’s needed and to have “us” time. Talk things our that you don't understand or that bother you. Let your kids see you work through your some of your problems {some problems should be private}. They will learn certain skills from watching/listening to you. But DO NOT fight in front of them!!! You don't want them to think that is how every disagreement is worked out. It’s pretty simple. If your marriage is suffering, all the other aspects of your life will suffer to. My marriage has really made me into the person I’ve always wanted to be. Justin brings those qualities out in me. I’m a better mom and wife than I was a year ago. The difference a year can make.

Thanks so much to E for letting me be part of this awesome series!!!

Read more from Sami at her blog Yours, Mine, and Ours!


What is the best advice you've ever been given when it comes to keeping your marriage healthy? What works for you?!?!

P.S. Check out all the posts in this series here.

1 comment:

Your comments are what makes this thing fun! I LOVE to hear from you and do my best to respond to everyone! THANK YOU!

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