Finding margin and balance between work and home can be difficult. However, it is a necessity for anyone hoping to maintain their mental health and a happy home.
Licensed counselor, author, wife and mom Erin Smalley shares ways to help couples find balance at work and home:
Acknowledge and understand the pressure you are facing:
Smalley says that in most cases, women face an unbelievable amount of pressure both inside and outside of the home:
“Research is showing this that we’re reporting a higher stress levels than we ever have in the history of the United States. We’re reporting more stress on us as women, because typically what they find is that even if you’re working full time outside the house, you are doing equally as much at home as you did prior to working full time”
Not diminishing the pressures men face, Smalley says most men simply think the pressures at home are not equal to those in the workplace. Understanding this is the first step for couples to find a healthy work/home balance.
Men and women decompress in different ways:
“Often, couples are frustrated because they say: ‘Well, I’m stressed. As a woman, I want to talk this out, and my husband comes home and he’s stressed, and all he wants to do is go into his man cave.'”
There is a biological difference in how our bodies process stress.
“When we’re unaware of the physiology and the differences in how God created us, then it can become a real frustration versus recognizing that one of the healthiest things I can do is to spend time with friends.”
There is value in healthy friendships outside of marriage
Smalley says that marriage was not created to exist in a vacuum:
“My husband is introverted. He works long hours. He comes home, he’s got four kids, and he’s got me to deal with. But he’s learning to value the importance of friendship in his life as well, and he sees that when he is with other men — it doesn’t have to be a formalized accountability group — what’s really going on is that it gives him an outlet besides me. I can’t meet all of his needs. That’s not what [marriage] was even created to look like. You have to value these other relationships.”