The simplest thing has changed the game for our marriage
When I first started staying/working at home, I read everything I could on schedules and activities. When I talked to my friends who already stayed at home, I asked them for their best practices on managing the balance between playtime and house chores.
I looked at staying at home and working from home with my kids full-time as a new job. Technically, that is exactly what it was.
If you're tracking with me so far, you understand that I was going from working full-time out of the house with two babies and one on the way, to working very part-time at home while caring for these kids and preparing to give birth. I really don't think there's a more drastic change to be made here folks. I had no idea what to expect and really no understanding of Nick's expectations and desires through this transition.
I took a tool from the business world and brought it home. I sent Nick a survey through Survey Monkey.
This survey was filled with questions about what he might want from me as I enter this new role and how I might best serve him as my husband while I transitioned out of full-time work. Before you think I've time traveled back from the Leave it to Beaver days, take a deep breath.
I am glad I made this survey. In fact, I'd go as far as to say I think it's one of the best things I've done to contribute to our marital satisfaction.
Being married is a partnership. Being a parent is a team effort. This thing called life requires compromise. If I am to be successful in this new role as a full-time caretaker of our kids, while managing the house, and finding time to pursue work, I need to know what Nick's expectations are.
If he dreamed of having a hot meal at the table with quiet kids ready for dinner when he entered the door after a day at the office, it'd be helpful for me to communicate whether that's a realistic expectation or not. On the flip side, if I thought it was my job to make sure the floors are mopped a million times a week and he doesn't care at all, I'd be setting myself up for resentment.
This survey touched on a handful of points that cleared up what I had assumed he wanted and pointed out what really mattered to him in the muck and the mire of the work week and this new phase of life with multiple kids.
I printed his responses and to this day reference back to it if we're having a busy week.
I hope this idea can be helpful to you and even make you laugh. I know it sounds silly, but I'm sold on the idea of being pragmatic about expectations in relationships. If it can help at least one couple navigate through the little things in marriage and parenting, I'll consider it worthwhile.
A word document version of the survey is below for your use. Take it, edit it, and share it with your person. And then tell me what you think!
I'd love to hear if it helped you. I'm on Instagram @pragmatic.maggie-- DM me or post about it and tag me.