Question: I have three children who go to three different schools. I love participating in their school activities and always volunteer to help with whatever is necessary. At home, I help them with homework and drive them to their respective extracurricular activities (after driving them to and from school). I hardly have time to prepare some quick meals and even less time for cleaning and other household chores. My husband, who works long hours in our family business, and practically has no time to help me, is becoming impatient with me lately. It seems he tries to stick it into my face that the house is a mess and I don’t pay as much attention to him or myself as I used to. I always think, what can be more important in life than raising children and supporting their interests? I’m afraid my husband doesn’t understand that it will all pay off in the long run. I’m trying my best to be a good mother so I wouldn’t be kicking myself later. I’m very upset at his ignorance in this important matter.
Answer: I assume, you are trying to compensate for something missing from your own childhood, forgetting that you are an adult now, a person of your own, and a wife. You must have some interests besides helping children with their homework… If your husband implies that you stopped taking care of yourself he is probably right. You should never sacrifice your own well-being, health, and looks for whatever school activities there are. Cooking meals and cleaning house can and must be shared among all the family members, including children. Even the smallest and the busiest of them can help with some household chores. If their school activities take up all of your time, you should probably slow down a bit, and only volunteer at school when you have spare time, not the time you need for yourself, your husband, and your home. Your and your husband’s interests are as important as your children’s, and please stop hoping for some long-run payoffs. In the realm of family relationships nothing is guaranteed.