Being insanely busy is not ideal. It has a lot of downfalls. In the chaos of “work work work”, “go go go”, it can be difficult to connect. With God, and with each other. But that is the season of life we are in at this moment. We have 2 small kids. A house in Philly (still in the process of renovating). Our own business to run here in the Bay Area, which requires a lot of our time and energy to get going (and The Griffiths don’t half-ass things, we go all in). It’s not like this all the time, there are slow periods. And it’s not how we want things to go forever. That said, I’ve found a blessing in the midst of it all.
I get asked a lot by friends “how do you and your husband find time for each other being so busy (between the kids and the business)?” And it got me thinking…I wonder if things would be different if we weren’t so busy. Being busy has caused us to be very intentional about our time together. Because it doesn’t just happen naturally right now, we have to make an effort to ensure that it happens. And we make the most of it when it does.
During the “slow periods” (normal daily grind seasons of life), it can be very easy to get stuck in a rut. Sit on the couch and stare at the TV all night. That tends to be our rut. But when things are crazy and we haven’t spent much time together, sitting on the couch and staring at a screen is just not acceptable and I don’t allow it to happen 🙂
So here are the things we do (I shared something like this before …but it’s worth mentioning again).
1. First of all, this wouldn’t happen if we both didn’t agree that marriage is a priority, over everything else (save for our individual relationships with God of course). We could easily put marriage on the back-burner while we raise our kids and run our business. But that’s not the kind of commitment we made to each other on July 17, 2010. Like I said earlier, we’re all in. Putting the kids first, or work first, while our marriage suffers, is not something we’re going to let happen. Though Satan tries his hardest, he has failed and will continue to fail in all of his efforts. That is all.
2. Date nights. We do a “babysitting exchange” with a friend once a month. I watch their kid while they go out on a date, and she watches our kids so we can go out. It saves us money by not having to pay a sitter and it’s something we actually plan and schedule. Intention. And we have a “radio silence” rule while we’re out (no checking cell phones or tablets, texting or emailing anyone etc.) We have other “date nights” at home too sometimes. After the kids are in bed, we drink wine, eat cheese, rent a movie, talk, etc. Same radio silence rule applies. This is something I’d actually like to do more of. Right now it’s kind of spontaneous and sparse. So, room for improvement here 🙂
3. Working out together. I’m not saying all couples should do this specific thing (though it does have amazing benefits, for the overall health of your body AND your marriage) but find something fun, challenging, and different to do together that you both enjoy. This is how we got out of our “sit and watch TV” rut. Every night after the kids go to bed, we start Rushfit. It only takes an hour, and then if Ivor needs to get more work done, he does it after. We committed to it and we’re doing it together. Heckling each other (he gets called a pansy or princess on a regular basis), encouraging each other, challenging each other, etc. It doesn’t hurt that he looks pretty hot at the end of the workout.
4. Going to bed at the same time. There is something important about ending the day together I think. At least for me. It just feels wrong (and lonely) going to bed alone (as a married woman). This doesn’t mean we fall asleep at the same time by the way. I tend to be the one who passes out first. And Ivor will read or something if he’s not tired yet. But being in the same room, in the same bed, at the end of a crazy day with the kids (or a crazy day at the office) is a way of unwinding. It’s like a big sigh. No matter what happened that day, whether it was a good day or a bad day, we still have each other. We’re still husband and wife. We’re each other’s constant. We might talk about the day, or we might not talk at all. But we’re both present. Does that make sense? There are very few instances where we don’t do this (like if I’m tired at a ridiculously early time, like 8pm…which happens occasionally, I won’t ask him to come up with me. I know I’m just going to immediately pass out anyway. Or when he has a late night gig or something). But whenever possible, we make it happen.
5. Working together. I can’t help him work on Google stuff obviously (top secret confidential…and ya know, I have no idea how to do what he does). But our business (Bitwise Productions), is our business. So we work on things together whenever we can. He has his part and I have my part, but there are still plenty of things we can do together. That way we can make “work” another way to bring us together instead of keeping us apart. That is the blessing of running a business from home. And the nature of our business (event production) is actually kind of fun. And we get to see just how good of a team we make. Ivor’s the business guy. The big picture guy. He’s the entertainer. And I handle all the details behind the scenes. We need each other. His weakness is my strength and vice versa. We are a team. And that’s why I think our business will be successful.
So that’s where we are right now. We don’t do this perfectly all the time. It’s not the ideal situation we want to be in. I get frustrated and discouraged at times. But instead of letting the busyness put a strain on our marriage, we’re doing our best to make it stronger. While it would be nice to have more quantity time together, the quality time we’re getting now is pretty awesome and we’re not taking that for granted.