Ever wonder how your husband can just sit on the couch and watch the game – oblivious to the kids running around, dishes in the sink, and the errands left undone?
“It’s kind of like men are digital and women are analog,” said Dr. Tina B. Tessina, psychotherapist and author of Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Fighting about the Three Things That Can Ruin Your Marriage. Tessina noted that men are task-oriented, so when the job is done, it’s time to kick back. Women, on the other hand, are always thinking about what’s next on the list.
However, you can relax and carve out time for yourself just as effortlessly as he does. Ready to make it happen? Here’s how:
Let it go
“Moms have a tendency to feel responsible for everything, so they have trouble letting go of areas that they really could let go of,” Tessina said. To offset some of this control, loosen the grip on some of your expectations by deciding what is really important and accepting imperfection. If cooking healthy meals is a priority, focus on that, and accept that your house might not be sparkling at all times.
Although most moms think their spouses are capable of helping out with chores, more than half don’t feel comfortable delegating, according to a recent report by Real Simple and the Families and Work Institute. But just because you’re a master multi-tasker, doesn’t mean everything should rest on your shoulders.
Ask your partner and your kids to help pick up the slack even if it’s not completely “right” or the way you want it done. And instead of hinting about what you want done, be specific. “It’s not that he refuses to help, it’s that it does not register,” Tessina said.
According to a recent report by P&G, 47 percent of moms have less than two hours of free time each week. It makes sense: Most of the time you feel like you’re running a marathon to get it all done, so it’s hard to imagine adding one more thing to your schedule. Yet making an appointment with yourself to go to the gym, take a bath, or meet friends for coffee is the only way to guarantee nothing else takes priority.
Dr. Gaby Cora, a wellness doctor and coach maintains that instead of making demands of your partner, decide what you would like and negotiate together. Taking an entire day to go out with friends might not be realistic, but meeting them for lunch for two hours might be. Also, allow your partner some down time as well. “As much as you may ask for times for yourself, offer it too so that it may become easier for both,” she said.
Julie Revelant is a freelance writer and copywriter specializing in parenting, health, healthcare, nutrition, food and women's issues. She’s also a mom of two. Learn more about Julie at revelantwriting.com.