By Guest Blogger Anna Keller
Long before I became pregnant with my now-toddler, I worried about what having a child would mean for my relationship with my husband. Kevin and I had always split housework evenly, including tasks like grocery shopping, cooking, laundry, and cleaning, and I didn’t worry about that split becoming skewed, but more what time management would look like.
My biggest worry was that we’d become ships passing in the night, one of us handing off the parenting duties to the other and then back again, in some kind of missing-each-other dance. And…that’s kind of proven to be true. We both think it’s important to keep other parts of our life intact even though we’re parents now. For me, that means continuing to teach Pure Barre. Kevin’s got his own activities, too. And so often we do find ourselves doing that dance where one parent is “on duty” one evening or for a period of time, and then we switch. Things we used to be able to do together – like spending time with friends or taking spin class – are now mostly things we do separately.
And you know what? That’s okay. That’s the season of life we’re in. Kevin and I work to carve out “just for us” time amidst all this busyness, and that time together has become so much more special because it’s much more rare. We soak it in and make the most of it.
This scheduling came by design, in fact. Kevin and I talked a ton about how to structure our lives before Maggie was born and once she was here, and we continue to talk about it and tweak things along the way. We by no means have a perfect rhythm, but we keep the lines of communication open and also both know we’re each trying our best, which counts for a lot.
Oh, and those household chores? Admittedly, they often take longer to complete these days. (While typing this in my kitchen, in fact, I’m trying NOT to stare at the sink full of dishes. We’ll get to them…eventually.) This has been a big adjustment as well. Both Kevin and I are Type A and have pretty high standards for the state we like our home to be in, and so leaving things undone doesn’t come naturally. But we’ve learned that the stuff of life – the laundry and the yard work and the mopping and the dish washing – will be ever present, and in the meantime our time with our daughter (and with each other) is precious and finite.
And I’m very okay with that perspective shift, actually. It was a good one to make, and it’s been helpful to learn to let go a bit more when it comes to chores. (That said, I can’t wait to tackle some chores this weekend…)
In my experience, the biggest key is setting up a system that both parents agree to – making sure to talk about it rather than making assumptions. That way, you’ll know the two of you are on the same page, which won’t make life less hectic but will make it feel much more harmonious and productive, which counts for a whole, whole lot.
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Anna Keller is a wife, mama, marketer, blogger, Pure Barre teacher, freelance writer, and Beautycounter consultant. (She wears lots of hats, but the theme of connection is what links all these roles together for her.) Anna is an Atlanta native, but she and her husband, Kevin, moved to the Triad in 2011 and haven’t looked back. They love being part of this community, and are so thankful to be able to raise their daughter, Maggie, here. You can see other blogs she has written for TMoM here. Follow along with Anna on her blog — curiouser-and-curiouser.com — or via social media. She’s on Instagram at @curiouserandcuriouserblog, or you can connect with her on Facebook at facebook/com/