I'm linking up with Almost Gypsy Soul for Soul Food Friday -- What feeds your soul? I don't know if I am doing the assignment correctly-- It might be that I am supposed to link to a article or quote ?? But, what feeds my soul these days is learning to be a good wife which I hear is a lifelong process!
My time as a "stay at home" wife has taught me 6 important things about marriage that will be carried on into my working wife days:
(1) Look nice for your husband. Dave didn't always come home to find me in a sundress and perfectly styled, but I tried to have makeup on and my hair brushed each evening when he gets home, even if it means putting on more mascara while cooking dinner! I was never in my PJ's, although it would be easy not to get dressed all day since I didn't leave the house. When we had plans or date nights, I made sure I looked cute. There was only one day when he came home and I was wearing the same gym clothes from that morning -- and that was only because I was unpacking and time got away from me! (ha and he noticed!) It will be easy to dress up everyday from now on out because I work, but I still want to make the effort when we go out, etc. If I can dress up for work, I should certainly doll myself up for my husband! (Luckilly my husband could care less about fancy clothes so shorts and a tanktop and makeup usually does the trick!)
(2) Show gratefulness. If Dave and I have struggled with anything these past 2 months, its a lack of gratefulness for all the other person does. I did the flying home, packing, moving, unpacking, most of the cleaning, ironing and cooking. Dave is making our only income at the moment and pays our bills. The fact that he works has given me the freedom to look for jobs I want, rather than taking a job at a nearby restaurant. It's easy to focus on what I do and overlook HOW MUCH he does for us. I've made it a goal to be appreciative everyday -- appreciative of any chores he does, appreciative of how hard he works, etc. Likewise, it means so much to me when Dave appreciates a meal or chores. I think when we are both working and splitting the chores, it will be a temptation to focus ONLY on what isn't being done, I hope that my goal of gratefulness can be carried on to the next stage of our marriage/careers.
(3) Celebrate! We celebrated our 1 month anniversary and plan to celebrate our 2 month anniversary too. Life is - and will always be- full of challenges, frustrations and well, just boring not so wonderful days. Why not celebrate small thing with spouses, friends and family? Nothing big, just small things like a note in someone's lunchbox, bringing home a cupcake, enjoying a bottle of wine, making breakfast for dinner or going out for ice cream. I've had time for celebration because I haven't been working, but I hope we always find reasons to enjoy and celebrate life even when I'm busy with home and work.
(4) Play together OUTSIDE of the house. And by play, I mean explore, hike, see the city, try new restaurants, etc It's so easy to just enjoy hanging out (and I am a HUGE fan of that). One of the things that sucks about the single life is that you have to stay so so busy -- parties, dinners out, movies, bars, etc (and YOU ALWAYS WANT TO JUST TAKE A LAZY NIGHT IN)....but one of the best things about the single life is that you ALWAYS stay busy!! (It's kindof a pro and a con!) When you're in a serious relationship and when you are married, it's easy to just enjoy those nights in watching TV, but I think it's important to still go out, have hobbies, explore -- like when we were first dating. It helps that we are in a new city so we are exploring, but I hope we continue to make time together OUTSIDE our home a priority, atleast once a week. Too much in DC to enjoy, and my favorite person to explore with is DAVE!
(5) Do chores/run errands together. It's not feasible to do all your chores together. I obviously did most of the chores while I was at home, but after one really hard trip to the grocery store where I lugged several bags home, we started doing the bulk of our grocery shopping on the weekend (minus a few trips for milk and other staples). AND we usually do our laundry together on Sunday mornings. Switching out the loads and carrying the clothes back upstairs and folding -- all while watching TV and eating lunch. Because I do most of the cooking, dishes, unpacking by myself when Dave is at work, I have loved doing these weekend chores together, partly because I love the help and partly because chores seem less like chores when done with someone else :) !!! Obviously, now that I will have less time at home, I love the idea of sharing chores because there is no way I can get the chores done alone. But, I also just REALLY love our lazy morning of laundry and weekend shopping trip together. :) Doing the mundane with someone else is a lot more fun!
(6) Look for Cheap and Free. Living on one income in one of the most expensive cities in America has involved buying groceries on weekly special and with coupons, going to free activities, cooking in a lot, packing lunches for Dave --- to save money for the occasional meal out. We have learned to appreciate cheap and free. Even with 2 incomes, I still want to be money conscious because our second job is only a clerk's salary so we won't be making a lot by DC's standards -- and because watching our money and choosing cheap and free is wise and will benefit us as we pay off student loans and save. Plus choosing cheap and free makes the occasional splurge on a nice meal or weekend trip okay. I definitely plan on looking for the cheap options even after I start working.