Hi friends! Happy Thursday.
Summer is such a great time of the year, am I right? I think Midwesterners have a special appreciation for the warm weather + long days.
Perfect time to get ourselves outdoors! If there weren’t for these darn things called jobs! 😉
Drew + I had one of our less impressive nights on Monday. He came home with a stressed + somewhat impatient attitude (I checked with him before sharing) + I was ready for a little help with Maxwell.
We try our very best to leave work at work, but sometimes + because we’re only human…it follows us home. Or if you are on maternity leave or a stay-at-home mom, it’s tough to transition into wife mode + not feel like you deserve a bit of a break. If you are like me, you want to give the VERY best version of yourself to the ones that you love the most. And when your partner has a tough day at work, I don’t think it’s fair to thrust a baby into his arms as soon as he enters the house. Don’t get me wrong, Drew cannot wait to see + snuggle Maxwell…but, he might not be ready to take over parenting responsibilities immediately.
I’m not a relationship expert, but I think there were some simple solutions that could’ve helped us not be reactionary + practice more teamwork.
I’ve written about the importance of getting outside before, but I saw this post on Athleta’s blog + it inspired this post.
On Monday, Drew had a headache from staring at a screen all day. Truthfully, Maxwell + I didn’t make it out of the house once that day + we hadn’t interacted with anyone but each other. I do talk to him like he can answer me, but he isn’t quite there yet 😉
We all owe it to ourselves to spend a little time in nature each day. Science tells us there are many important benefits. I love this quote:
“So remember: to live your kindest, smartest, happiest, healthiest life, just let nature take its course.”
I think all the screen time + lack of outdoor time made the perfect storm in the Kiefer household. We were a bit short with each other + didn’t really make each other’s day better.
Whether it is a walk during lunch time or if you have more time to spend: a run, kayak, bike ride, hike, swim, paddle board, etc. etc….soak in that vitamin D to renew your perspective + attitude. Notice I gave you all active options, because by now you know how important exercise is in stress management. During maternity leave, walks have been the perfect refresh. Lately, I’ve been putting Maxwell in his BABYBJORN + heading out the door. Drew often tries to take a walk sometime in the afternoon to refresh his batteries + get away from the screen.
Hiking is a very happy place for me. I love the fresh air, the challenge, the scenery. This is also the time that I feel closest to the Lord. Often times I’ll say something along the lines of, “Doesn’t this make you feel so small in his beautiful creation? All of our stuff + problems seem less significant out here.” My sister Krystle tells me to stop being so weird sometimes, because I can go on + on.
Okay, so maybe getting outside wouldn’t have solved all the problems. I know I need to practice more patience with my sweet husband. Here is the thing: as new momma, I’ve learned to do 5 things at once with a baby in my arms. And Drew is a slower, more methodical type of guy. I told him that this quote runs through my head when I’m watching him do something slower than I would like:
As my friend Abby wrote in her interview, one thing that is important during new parenthood is to learn that even though your husband doesn’t do things just as you do them, or at the pace that you do them…doesn’t mean he is wrong or not trying his best. Instead of swooping in or thinking I’m right, I need to give him grace + patience.
Last point I wanted to make is that Drew + I have learned to be cautious of using certain phrases in our arguments. The phrase “you just don’t understand” doesn’t work, because duh…Drew will never understand the responsibility of breastfeeding a child for example. But that doesn’t mean that he isn’t trying to be sympathetic + understanding, and using language like that isn’t going to help either of us. We also learned not to use the words such as always and never. Those typically aren’t accurate + can intensify an argument. After Drew went to a leadership conference + they emphasized using “I” statements, I really went to town on those. Drew, when you do this______ I feel like _______. I do think it helps me to slow down + sometimes when I try to put it in this format, it doesn’t sound quite they way I want it to (aka it isn’t as big of a deal as I initially thought).
Bottom line: as much as I need a break, my husband does too. I need to recognize that fact + we need to come up with a plan that gives us a smoother transition, so that we can soak in our time as a family of 3. 🙂
I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend! On Tuesday I have a pelvic floor health blog coming up! I’m seeing a pelvic health physical therapist on Monday + hoping that I will get a green light to start running soon. My OB did tell me I could, but I’m being extra cautious because I have the time + have other lower impact options available.