Being the Household CEO is frickin' HARD....here's 1 way to make it easier

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I left our quarantine pod the other day to go for an afternoon walk. It was sunny, warm, and above all I needed a change of scenery. I had been home all morning running the new circus act called "quarantine juggling." My muscles were tight and my body was definitely telling me that a break from family time was in order.

The moment I left my driveway, I felt a sense of release and relief. I took a deep breath and let out an audible, "ahhh." Being the household CEO has always been challenging for me, but running a business from home while also managing the kids distance learning schedules has added in a whole new element of pressure.

As I was breathing in the fresh air, enjoying the feeling of sunshine on my face, I ran into another woman that I know, and realized that she was crying. Through frustrated tears she explained that she told her 2 children that she was headed out for a walk.  She said she felt like she was going to lose it and she didn't want her kids to see her breakdown.  I could certainly sympathize with her situation, and applauded her for recognizing her limits.  We talked a bit more about what the quarantine experience had been like for each of us, then went on our respective ways.

As I made my trek back toward home (aka quarantine twilight zone), I was thinking about this whole quarantine situation and how much tension and pressure families are feeling behind closed doors. Being the glass-half-full person I choose to be, I then reflected on what has made it easier, made this load feel lighter, and made aspects of this actually quite enjoyable for our family.

As the answer came to me I was surprised because this has not always been the case..... my husband, Tyler, was what was making the difference. 

It was our partnership.

It was all of the work and effort we have put into making ourselves stronger, more understanding, less judgmental, and better communicators.

I realized that this experience of living together in such close quarters ALL THE TIME has been a great test of what we're made of and how far we've come because of the "relationship conditioning" that we've been practicing over time.

I see and hear about all kinds of people in relationships who don't feel like they have the support of their significant other...and I used to feel that way too. When people ask me how things turned around, my answer is, I took responsibility for making this part of my life better. Rather than settle for a lifetime of complaining and complacency, I put a stake in the ground for what I wanted and I communicated that I wasn't backing down until we gave it some serious attention. It wasn't easy. As a lifelong over-functioner and people pleaser, it took courage and practice to figure out how to voice what I wanted from my partnership with my husband in a way that was constructive and focused on our shared growth.

So yes, being the household CEO is hard (WAAAY harder than I ever imagined), but here's one thing that makes it easier.....having a partner who stands with you in it all, supports you, and is willing to constructively communicate through the mess when things go sideways (or global pandemic strikes).   

This is why we're offering Module 3 as a breakout of our Couples Connection course right now. Because we know how hard and dark and lonely it was for us before we had a framework through which to communicate about the everyday stressors that were slowly chipping away not only at our marriage, but at our parenting and overall quality of life.

Since we applied a coaching model to our relationship, here are some of the everyday stressors that now feel much lighter...

  • Talking through our schedules more proactively 
  • Awareness of the workload involved with being the  "Household CEO" of scheduling, running errands, going through kids clothes, communicating with teachers, making medical appts, etc. We now engage in more shared responsibility on that front
  • Putting car keys in their "home base"
  • Betsy becoming more firm with the kids, Tyler able to be the fun/playful one more of the time
  • Meeting in the middle more often on our cleaning standards 
  • Accepting that Betsy is likely never going to be a chef in the kitchen and Tyler's cleaning/pack-ratting is not going to be as high of a priority for Tyler as it is for Betsy

 Some of the more intangible changes we've experienced are:

  • More respect for each other. Our differing strengths and styles and what we each bring to this "party" called life (turns out when we stop to appreciate them, they actually complement each other beautifully)
  • More humor between ourselves and with the kids
  • Better sex life (this one is actually quite tangible :)
  • More closeness between ourselves and our kids
  • More time for fun, play, and overall smooth operations when we're functioning as a well oiled team machine 
  • Better modeling of the types of humans we want to be and we want our kids to be
  • More personal awareness of our impact, more personal responsibility, and more personal growth 
  • Oh yes, and did I mention....waaaaayyyy better sex life?!? It really does deserve to make the list twice ;-)
  • And finally, I would argue that this is the most important one because it plays into all of the other ones....working through our different communication styles and finding common communication ground 

If you're ready and willing to take this quarantine relationship lemon and turn it into lemonade, then click here....

 

 

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