Today is the my first day of my last semester at BYU (crazy right?)!I have one full semester of classes left, one more Model UN competition left, one more set of finals to go through, and one more semester of the ultimate balancing act: being a student and a wife.
When I first got married it was a huge perspective change for me. School had always essentially been number one, and now there was this other person, this eternal relationship, that in the long run was actually far more important. This didn’t mean slacking in school was okay, but it meant that occasionally Ben’s needs took priority of late night studying.
Here are a few tips I’ve come up with over the past year and a half for balancing being a student and a wife, two very important roles:
1. Put the books away: On a regular basis, have a set time where you are done for the night. Of course, there can be exceptions for big projects or tests, but having time that night where you KNOW you’ll be together is great.
2. Go to bed: If number one isn’t possible, just plan to go to sleep at the same time. And make sure falling asleep involves plenty of cuddling. Studies show that couples who are physically touching for at least seven minutes a day are far less likely to separate.
3. Eat dinner together: Family dinner doesn’t have to be a traditional meal seated at the table, but whatever you’re doing for dinner that night, use the time to give each other attention after a long day. Put the books or computer away for the fifteen minutes it takes to eat. Ask about their day. This is an important time to reconnect and get updates on how the other is feeling.
4. Keep dating: Sometimes everything gets so hectic that you turn into roommates instead of spouses. Make sure that you continue dating each other. Plan regular date nights to keep the romance intact (click here for a list of dating ideas posts).
5. Use the weekends: Weekends are an excellent time to rejuivinate and reconnect. Do what’s best for you. Maybe its sleeping in and cuddling, but for us its definitely getting up and doing something (well, at least for Ben :). Ben and I both set aside Sunday as a spiritual day and a day of rest. I love spending the whole day as a family without distractions of school, most media, and work.
6. Hold family council: It is important to know what is going on in their school, work, and social schedule. Set a time to have a weekly family council (we do ours before family night every Monday evening) to briefly go over the week. I find out what Ben has going on and how I can support him in it.