It’s pretty hard to not be a busy wife nowadays. Long gone are the days with short to-do-lists, especially when children come into the picture. It just seems like as soon as we tick off an errand, a new one squeezes its way in, stubbornly pushing its way between our routine chores, like the laundry and cooking, and our free time to spend on what we really enjoy doing, like chatting with our best friend or reading a book.
As we continue through the motions, our lives somehow warp into a twilight version of a family circus: our husband as the ringleader, our children as the acrobats jumping through the hoops of life as they grow older, and us as the clowns struggling to juggle twenty balls at the same time – trying to ensure that none drop lest we ruin the act and disappoint everyone around us.
That pressure to ‘live’ up to other people’s expectations and our unrealistic expectations of ourselves can drive us to perform in ways that may hurt our lives and marriages in the long run. Although we may think that we can hold onto all twenty balls, it’s almost never the truth. Time is tight, energy is lost when expended, and the moment comes when something must give in order for us to survive. If we are to continue living our everyday lives, then we must choose to drop a ball.
In the midst of the daily chaos, many of us unfortunately make the mistake of letting go of one of the three most important balls: the relationship that we have with ourselves, the relationship that we share with our husbands, or the relationship that we foster with our Creator – each of which will influence the quality of our marriages and lives, which is why dropping any of these balls causes busy wives to make three HUGE mistakes:
Mistake #1: Forgoing Daily Self-Care
Daily? Yes, daily. Women need to actively partake in activities that they enjoy and cause them to feel happy afterwards on a DAILY basis. It doesn’t have to take an hour out of our time; it can be as short as fifteen minutes inshaAllah. The point is that if we want to feel young, fresh, rejuvenated, and capable, then we need to give back to ourselves too. When we engage in what makes us feel light-hearted and relaxed on a regular basis, we are better able to give more to others, especially our husbands and children.
Often, taking care of our own emotional, physical, and mental states are the first things to go out the window when we’re busy. We become the “mommy” martyr, but have we stopped to think if our 24/7 rescue mode is helping or hurting us? Once we truly admit how much we need to slow down and give ourselves that simple break, we easily find the solution for fitting in self-care into our busy schedules. Figure out what feeds your soul, and add even a little bit of it to your day. It can change your whole outlook, and stop that constant “not getting enough done” feeling.
Check out our post about self-care for more details and answers to popular questions inshaAllah.
Mistake #2: Failing To Give Our Husband Special Attention
The most common way that wives fail to give their husbands special attention – but definitely not the only way – is by ignoring his needs in the bedroom. When women are stressed, their cortisol levels heighten; this means that we’re in flight or fight mode, and in this survival state, intimacy is the last thing on our minds. Surprise, surprise: Overwhelmed wives are the ones that feel the least sexual desire – although it still exists, buried underneath the piles of diapers, kids’ football tournaments, and rushing to the grocery store.
We always hear about sexually frustrated men, but we seldom realize that our husbands may be one of them. When our husbands start snapping and bossing us around, we feel defensive because they seem to not sympathize with our long to-do-lists, but do we empathize with their physical needs and give it the same attention and importance? Do we consider that this may be the real reason that he’s so fed-up and annoyed? Intimate relations are not purely physical for men too; it’s their way of emotionally connecting and expressing their affection.
Mistake #3: Caring More About Being Perfect Than Being With Allah
Most women say that they know that they are not perfect, but rarely do they confess that they secretly wish that they were. This unspoken desire can wreak havoc on our lives because we’re still subconsciously ‘trying’ to be perfect. Sometimes we’re so obsessed about what others will think about us if we don’t ‘live up’ to these standards that we stop concerning ourselves with how Allah will judge us and our choices. When we strive to be perfect, we may fail to recognize our limits as human beings, feel guilty for saying ‘no’ to others, and hesitate uttering the ‘I can’t’ that we’re often dying to tell the people in our lives.
The great news is that Allah did not create us to be perfect, but rather He created us for Him. Thus, our goal shouldn’t be to busy ourselves with accomplishing things in this worldly life if it is at the expense of busying our hearts away from our Creator, depending on ourselves instead of Him, and putting what He has made incumbent upon us on the backburner, which can often happen when we’re trying to be a perfectionist.
NEWSFLASH: You don’t have to be the ‘queen of the universe’ because Allah is already the King of it.
Stop over-thinking, over-analyzing, and over-functioning about everything. Do your best and surrender the rest. Let go and focus on what is most important in the scheme of things, like your real obligations as a wife and mother, and learn how to say ‘no’ to the things that are extra or not pressing. If you’re having trouble distinguishing between the two, we offer private sessions to help wives learn how to prioritize their time in a way that is pleasing to Allah Most High, as well as teaching women how to say ‘no’ in a manner that helps them inshaAllah.
When the going gets tough, the tough: strategize. They figure out what’s important and what’s not; what’s worth the effort and what’s not; what’s needed and what’s not. Your relationship with yourself is important. A good marriage and loving friendship with your husband is worth it. And undoubtedly, a strong connection with your Creator is more than needed.
© Muslima Coaching, 2017.