It’s been a long time, I shouldn’t left you …
Soooooooo … it’s been a few weeks! Life got really busy for me. Work has been so busy I’ve barely had time to breathe! Trying to manage my personal and professional life has been a seriously difficult task. Thank the good Lord for my husband who has stepped in to be Mr. Mom. He’s been taking the baby to school and picking him up. He’s been “cooking” :-). He’s been my right hand. My rock. I couldn’t do this … be this brilliant … shine this bright without his support. I love you, Bryan … more than anything in this world.
When I was a little girl, I used to LOVE the “Dear Abby” column in the newspaper. I would wonder, “Who is this woman who knows everything from the best cleaning tips to etiquette to relationship and family advice?! She’s amazing!” She was my idea of the “perfect” woman. Well … my Mom, Claire Huxtable and Abby. They were my top three. Abby was sensible and never chastised too harshly. She seemed loving, and from what I remember, showed an endearing level of honesty that I truly respected. I always dreamed that one day I would be her. I just knew that I would be able to eventually provide my own quirky, tell-it-like-it-is advice to all people. So today feels pretty cool to realize that dream in my own little way.
Allow me to introduce “AskThePRGirl”, a place where you can talk to me about anything. I’m a wife, mother, sister, friend, executive and woman of God (when I’m not being incredibly ratchet). I have experienced SO many things in my life and one of my “gifts” (and we all have many) is prescribing a good dose of loving and common sense advice for just about anything. I’m not always right, but that’s not my goal. My goal is to listen, or rather, let you know there’s someone here to listen.
This is a judgment free zone so feel free to ask me anything. Your identity will be protected so never worry about that. If I know, I’ll share. If I don’t, I’ll tell you, and even better, I’ll pray with you. I’m not here to solve your problems. I’m here to be an objective, loving sounding board or simply provide best practices that I’ve learned through ALL of the roles I carry. Once a month (or as my schedule allows), I’ll answer a few of the questions submitted through DM on Twitter (follow me @AskThePRGirl) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org). And don’t fret! This is in addition to my other schedule weekly posts :-).
Let’s get started! Below are a few questions that I received the past few weeks:
Dear AskThePRGirl – My man and I have been together for many years. It seems that since the birth of our children, we don’t talk or hang out as much as we used to. And our love life has slowed as well. I really miss that. I miss him and us. What should I do to turn things around before too much time goes by and we just don’t know each other anymore?
Dear WorriedAboutUs – First, you should know that you’re experiencing something that every relationship encounters, especially once you introduce children: a lack of intimacy. I would first caution against a few things that women tend to do when our men ain’t (yes I said “ain’t”) acting right or when the relationship is not giving us what we need.
- Don’t nag him. Much like you, he’s tired and doing his best to take care of the family and make it to the weekend. Nagging him makes him likely to avoid communication with you at ALL costs which defeats the point. By nagging, I mean complaining about the state of the relationship at really inappropriate times. For example, when he FIRST steps in the door after work. He doesn’t want to hear your mouth as soon as he gets home any more than you want him climbing on top of you after a day of house cleaning, wrangling the children and the 365 million other things you take care of in a day. #RealTalk
- Don’t communicate the issue using EVERY OTHER communication tool BUT communication. What do I mean? He asks you to pass the salt at the dinner table and you angrily slide it down the table. You snap at him for the smallest things. You start fights about things you wouldn’t normally fight about. Don’t cower to your feelings and insert randomness and chaos into your relationship by refusing to clearly communicate your concerns.
- Don’t withhold sex as punishment. Sex is where you two can commune, look into each other’s eyes and speak without speaking. It’s such a critical part of your relationship and certainly the part that speaks the loudest to your man. Please believe … what I can’t audibly tell my husband is communicated when we are intimate. I make sure he “feels” me. Understand? 😉
My quick and dirty advice: be the example and tell him how you feel. Don’t start the conversation when he’s tired and he’s had a LONG day. Schedule a date night. Get someone to watch the kids and make reservations at a nice restaurant. Use that time to talk about things. Not just about what’s “wrong” with the relationship, but about everything! Ask him how he’s been. Ask about how work is going and if he’s still happy at work. Plug into him and show him (rather than tell him) the type of communication and intimacy you’re seeking. Do for him exactly what you’d like done for you. And do it often! The best way to teach behavior is to demonstrate it again and again.
Know that it will take time and it will not happen overnight, but the more you invest the effort, the more it will become clear that you need this shift in your relationship. And while men are simple and sometimes must be hit by a rock to get things, I’m sure your man will eventually tune back in to the need to restore intimacy in your relationship.
I feel an insane amount of guilt every time I stop at a drive-thru window on the way home from work to feed my family. There is simply not enough time in the day to do everything and I find myself having to cut corners on the things I deem important like cooking for my kids and taking care of my home. My house has been a mess for weeks now. I clean as much as I can, but my focus tends to be on what’s necessary to make it through the week. You’re a Mom. Do you feel guilty when you can’t be the “perfect” Mom?
Thanks, Imperfect Mom*
Dear Imperfect Mom,
Join the club, lady! I hear you and I feel you. My house looks like a modern day war zone on most days. My kid has eaten more fast food than ANY parent should deem safe. My family used to get home cooked meals at least 4 – 5 days a week. These days, we eat out WAY too often. I can’t seem to get the laundry done before it piles up and needs to be done ALL over again. My friends tease that I need a nanny and a housekeeper, but I’m not comfortable having another woman in my house doing the work that I’m supposed to handle. I know it’s crazy, but as I discussed in my past blog entry “I Don’t Know How She Does It”, I wanted to be just like my Mom. She worked, raised us and took care of everything in the home. And she was a single parent! I have help and I’m still beyond exhausted most days. But, my desire is to be my family’s hero. I want my husband to beam with pride that I bring home a little bacon and I STILL cook in the bedroom. I want my son to think Mom can leap tall buildings and still make his lunch every day. The reality is that life just doesn’t work that way. The good thing is that my husband sees my flaws daily and he still thinks I’m perfect. And, my son still hangs the moon on all of my words whether he eats McDonald’s or Mama’s meatballs. I’m learning (and I’m still a work in progress) to let myself off the hook. As long as there is love in my home, it doesn’t have to look perfect. As long as my family is healthy and smiling, then my most important job has been done.
So … damn the laundry. When I can’t get to it, I buy my son new stuff. Is it smart? No. Does it make my life easier? Yes! Research healthier fast food options or on-the-go meals like they those at Trader Joes and Whole Foods so that you don’t feel so bad that you didn’t hand make the meatballs. Hire a housekeeper. Even if she only comes once a month, that’s better than nothing at all and certainly, if you’re anything like me, more times than you’ve actually cleaned that month.
Let yourself off the hook. You don’t have to be THE perfect Mom to be a perfect Mom. Cross my heart. 🙂
When I have a moment to read, I am ALL ABOUT author Beth Kery’s new series When I’m With You. It’s an eight part romance series and it is hot as all hell. I like my romance and I like it dirty … and NO ONE is more deliciously dirty that my girl @BethKery. If you like a little kink with your love story, I definitely suggest you try her work. She is absolutely brilliant and will keep the sizzle in any relationship. I think my husband would kiss her if he could just to say THANKS! 🙂
If you’re looking for something a bit more self-help-ish / “I am woman hear me roar”, I would suggest Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Facebook COO, Sheryl Sandberg. My friend @MsRobertsIsThe1 suggested it to me and I can’t wait to dig in. It’s next up on my Kindle. I have heard of Sandberg’s infamous TEDTalk and I look forward to learning how this “Wonder Woman” addresses women in business and our potential to be true leaders. I’ll be sure to review it on my blog real soon.
That’s all for now folks! Be sure to submit your questions through DM to @AskThePRGirl or email them to email@example.com.
Love you. Mean it.
P.S. I can’t even begin to describe how amazing this moment is. I just got a chance to be “Dear Abby”. I hope I made her proud 🙂
*Names created by AskThePRGirl to protect the identity of submission