Working Parents: Keeping the Peace When Life Gets Hectic

It's no secret that stress can make us all a little crazy. When I was working 80 hours per week a few years ago, everyone suffered. My co-workers knew that my hunched shoulders meant "leave me alone or have your head bitten off," my husband knew to treat me with kid gloves, and even my dog knew to give me a wide berth. Thankfully my husband is a very wise man who was able to keep the peace in the house through a few wonderful tactics, and I'd like to share the ways we found to make life more bearable when work overtook my life.

Pick Up the Slack

I must admit that my 80-hour work weeks made me a complete and total slacker in the household duties department. For the entire two month period that 80 hours was the weekly norm, I don't think I picked up the vacuum or unloaded the dishwasher once. Instead, my husband wordlessly took on all of the household duties.

I can't express how much I appreciated my hubby's domesticity during that time period. It helped me relax a little bit, and the pounding head and twitching eyelid that I experienced every day at work subsided for the few hours that I was allowed to go home and rest. It was better than a basket full of kittens.

My point? If life becomes more hectic for one working parent during a time period, you can always help out by pitching in a little more at home. Not only will it help keep the peace in the home, but it could help the over-worked parent catch the break needed to forge through the busy time period and make it through to the other side, completely intact.

Set a Relaxing Tone

It's also important to have a relaxing environment during stressful times, and for me, that meant a nightly bubble bath was a must. My husband allowed me the space to unwind in the tub, and he also brought me books, wine and candles. For others, though, relaxing may mean different things.

Some people prefer to relax by socializing. Others like to veg in front of the TV. Still others like to exercise. Whatever form of relaxation your partner enjoys the most, making a point to encourage their relaxation can help your spouse find peace during the most stressful of times.

Realize That This Too Shall Pass

As you help your spouse get through the rough patch, it's important to keep it all in perspective. It can be easy to get caught up in feeling like you're covering too much at-home duty. And, honestly, you probably are covering way more than your fair share. But if you remember that busy periods often pass, it can be easier to accept your newfound temporary status as the one-and-only household manager.

Getting through a rough patch when life and work get hectic can be rough for both parents, but if you take things one day at a time, pick up the slack, and set a relaxing tone for your stressed spouse, it can help keep the peace in the family. And I bet you that when things calm down, your spouse will be more than willing to do the same for you!

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Anonymous's picture

Maria wrote:

Wed, 09/12/2012 - 20:44 Comment #: 1

OMG, I'm unbelievably happy you're blessed with such an amazing husband! and thank you for the great tips;-)))

Christa Palm's picture

Christa Palm wrote:

Mon, 09/17/2012 - 16:18 Comment #: 2

Maria, welcome to the site! I love your site as well -- great pics and tips!

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