Lately, I have been reading about the Duggar family with particular interest in the marriage of Jim Bob and Michelle. Something Jim Bob wrote stood out for me when he was writing about his business adventures. It seemed that the things he did that worked out the best were the ones that he prayed about and TALKED OVER WITH HIS WIFE before he jumped into them. The things he jumped into without this type of preparation were very difficult and some even failed.
A continuous sore spot in my marriage has been Mr. Pete's business which he started enthusiastically but without my full support about 16 years ago. At the time I wondered how we would pay all of our bills, especially with two little boys and one on the way. But this seemed to be his dream and I didn't want to stand in the way of it; so even though I had misgivings he started it anyway. It has indeed a rocky road but we have learned a lot and even prospered as a family and in our marriage.
Recently Mr. Pete has been more stress outed than usual. He took on a side job, he has tons of work at his regular business for the entire summer (although collecting payment remains an issue), and he is teaching a course. All this on top of a yard that looks like a couple of bombs went off on it after the big maples were removed, and three pieces of dry wall on the front porch waiting for installation for the past three months. He is stressed, he is busy and it hasn't been a lot of fun.
But I have learned a lot of things about handling this over the last half of our marriage. Mainly acting like a little girl and pouting doesn't do anyone any good. Neither does ranting. In fact, both of those actions tend to make things worse. And while I have little control over the commitments my spouse makes or how he runs his business, I can look for things to control and help with on my end.
So the kids and I took over the lawn work and now we are all raked and smooth in the front, waiting for some topsoil to plant some ivy and lay down some mulch. I'm going to have a grass-free front yard for easy maintenance and to save water. But it will be lovely nonetheless. I try to concentrate on keeping the home in order, working out myself, and getting ready for homeschooling. I can also get a hold of the finances at home. Noting that a special interest rate on one card we have been paying down quickly is about to jump back up over 20%, I did some homework and found a way to get it down to 5%. Now I'll save money and pay it off quickly too.
I also have to find the time to center myself in prayer - Divine office and rosary when possible. Just keeping in touch with the life of the church works wonders.
Sometimes these efforts pay off. Mr. Pete says he's not going to take on any more side jobs for a while when this one is done. It will be nice to have him home for the evenings - especially when cross country starts.