As I get more into blogging and content creation, I’ve been thinking a lot about work-life balance as a husband. I am constantly working to improve my skill set and advance my career, all while trying to build my own platform from the ground up.
You have a job. You work hard on a daily basis. You make good money. You pay the bills, and you manage the business side of life in a manner that establishes a strong foundation for your household. Congratulations! Potential gender roles removed, you’ve fulfilled what some would call the necessary requirements of a thing us millenials like to call “adulting”. On the surface, this is good. In fact it may be great, but there’s more to your story.
You also have a partner in life. Someone whom you’ve entered into a social contract with requiring a level of commitment well above and beyond your ability to create stable ground for your day to day life to rest on. The person to whom you are married will require a significant piece of everything you have to offer, and leaving anything on the table even if only for a little bit could have long-lasting, devastating effects on your marriage.
The real effort with being a husband who is both dedicated to career and marriage comes in balancing work and marriage. Work is a general requirement of life. Conversely, marriage is an optional privilege and is also work in and of itself, but both require you to be all in to achieve success. Where many have failed in the role of husband is falling short in fully grasping the full scope of commitment required. As a result, being a husband takes a back seat to everything else.
I’ve just recently celebrated my 3rd wedding anniversary, and making sure my wife feels and actually is prioritized remains a top concern. I create content, I’m a fitness enthusiast, a marketer by trade, and if these things aren’t demanding enough on their own, I also must be a husband to my wife. Here’s a few tricks I’ve learned along the way in maintaining work life balance as a husband.
1. Make The Time, End of Story
As the saying goes, if something is important to you, you will find a way to make it happen. In these very short three years, I can say with minimal hesitation that husbands… “Am I a priority to you?” is the exact standard your better halves use to judge the way you manage your time with them. If you wish to prove “yes you are” as the answer, making and protecting your time with your partner should be a top concern.
This time, however it’s scheduled, should have your significant other positioned center stage for the duration and nowhere else. The philosophy I’ve adopted over time simply states that everything else is a distraction, and can wait as a result. Whatever it is will certainly be waiting for you after your quality time has concluded.
You may likely have a lot of different things going on, and some of them may be of particular importance. No matter the case, no individual or collective set of circumstances should ever be the cause of your spouse questioning their worth, or their place in your life. Because of this, when the time comes to be with your other half, be all the way there, physically, mentally and emotionally. As a reminder, here’s a short list of things every couple can do help make time for each other:
- Date nights. Schedule them regularly, make them interesting, and protect them like your life depends on it.
- Put everything away. Phones, computers, TV’s and anything else that steals your attention.
- Be vulnerable. Because in my opinion, emotional intimacy is the gateway for real romance.
- Make plans for the future. After all, if the idea is that marriage lasts “till death do you part”, why not be prepared for everything between now and then?
- Budget every hour possible. Chances are you probably waste a few days each month on pointless distractions. Each of these distractions is a missed opportunity for quality time.
Of course, what takes place beyond this depends on what works for you, but each of these will help build a solid foundation to progress from.
2. Make Everything Count
Work-life balance goes well beyond time spent at work versus time spent outside of work. Because the stresses of life at work can affect life at home and vice-versa, the version of you that shows up to both these settings is also vitally important. This becomes especially apparent with people such as full-time entrepreneurs since it’s likely they spend significantly more time in a work related setting than anywhere else.
This is where making time count with your spouse becomes paramount. Prior to COVID-19, chances we’re 40% to 50% of your day was spent just working and commuting. Add sleep to the mix, and arguably 80% of your day is full leaving you with the remaining 20%… Just under five hours to do everything else in your life, including spending quality time with your spouse.
Regularly maximizing meaningful moments with your partner during those small windows of time goes a long way. Missing those daily windows may lead to resentment if you make a regular habit of not connecting. Therefore, be mindful that while some time apart makes the heart grow fonder, too much time gives the impression you’re being distant or worse; you simply don’t care.
3. Be Mentally Present at Home
If I’m starting to come across redundant, it’s because I intended to for emphasis. This last point can’t be stressed enough. Speaking from experience on both sides within my own marriage, let me definitively say being mentally present pays huge dividends! Not sure what this means? In short, be actively engaged with your partner through your words and more importantly, your deeds.
Initiating contact, active listening, and gestures of consideration are your best friends! All of these show your willingness to reciprocate time and energy, your involvement with your spouse, and your commitment to your relationship. Mental absence conversely does the exact opposite. Personally speaking, I would argue that mental absence is essentially the same as physical absence both at work and at home. That being said, when you’re in one space be all the way in that space, and vice-versa.
Maintaining balance between life at work and life at home is tricky at times. The balancing act however is necessary not only for your economic health, but for the health of your marriage. With enough effort, you may find growth within yourself along the way.
#HARDWORKEASYLIVING – Do HWEL For Yourself