Written by Bria – a current graduate wife
Time…there’s that word I know, and dread, so well! Do you find yourself asking, “How will I have the time today to nurture my child, talk to my husband, keep in touch with all my family and friends that live so far away, pray, exercise, cook/eat healthy, read, shop, clean, do laundry, make my house look and feel cozy and inviting, do things that I enjoy (hobbies that refresh me) or even take a shower?” Whew! Sometimes I can hardly find the time to just sit and breathe, let alone try to find the balance to living a healthy lifestyle. However, I am passionate about it and am striving to reach it each day. I have recently rediscovered the beauty and importance of “taking time for you” and want to share some of my thoughts with other graduate wives out there.
Have you ever felt like you were in a constant race and could never reach the finish line? I have recently been feeling this way and realized I needed to figure out how to get some much-needed time for me. I am a stay at home mom and love it so much, however my little guy is a very rambunctious, extremely active, never stop…BOY! I have realized the importance of finding a nanny/babysitter and taking advantage of any opportunity I can to get away for a few hours each week on my own. As I first started doing this, thoughts of guilt and selfishness ran through my head because my son is/was incredibly attached to me. It took a while, but the time apart each week is really best for both of us. It refreshes me and it teaches him to be independent.
I used to have this “control freak-I can do it all” attitude, but I’ve realized how unhealthy that is for my family and me. I have to be honest and admit that I can’t do it all. I’ve been able to monitor my own emotions and well- being and take a break every once and awhile. I don’t have to be super mom and wife! Once a week, or whenever you can, I encourage you to get totally alone to exercise, shop, cook, paint, read or whatever will rejuvenate and refresh you.
Even without kids, if you are working full-time while supporting your husband in grad school, I know personally how incredibly taxing and exhausting this can be. I brought in the income for three years, commuted in good old southern California traffic, and encouraged and supported my husband emotionally through it all. Even though I know time together is sometimes tight when you are working and your husband is up late studying, I encourage you to still try to carve out some time for yourself each week. The benefits from nurturing yourself will far exceed the few hours spent apart from your spouse. It really is almost impossible to be an encourager if you yourself are not feeling peaceful and encouraged.
Whether it means getting a babysitter or missing out on ‘evening time’ with your husband once in a while, taking “time for you” is crucial to the graduate wife journey. I am by no means an expert, just another wife on this extraordinary journey and I’d love to hear more of what has worked for you. I look forward to more posts in the future on the ever-challenging topic of living a healthy lifestyle in the shoes of a graduate wife.
Have you found it difficult to find time for you? If you have found time to do this, has it greatly impacted your marriage, role of supporter, motherhood? What rejuvenates you and how do you spend your time alone?