What I learned from my husband about relaxing

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husband relaxingToys are everywhere.

Papers all over the counter.

Shoes and socks strewn about.

The laundry basket overflowing.

It seems no matter where you go in your house there is something that needs to be tended to.

There are two types of people in the world.

  1. Those that can ignore this and still find a place and a way to relax and those who could not possibly find a way to relax with such distractions all around them. The first type is not stressed in the environment described above because they recognize the importance of relaxing before they tackle the mess.
  2. The second type will clean, organize, put things away until it is “done.” The catch here is, it is never really all done. There is always more to clean and put away. Every day you produce more dirty laundry and dishes. Kids will always get toys out. There will always be food to make, groceries to buy, and bills to pay.


Brian can ignore things and relax and I am the one who needs to get things done. So ultimately Brian relaxes and I do not.

It has taken years (10+) for me to realize this fundamental difference in our personalities.

I used to think he was lazy, but honestly we are just wired differently.

I wish I could be more like him and find a way to relax before everything is done. Discovering this difference has been great for our marriage.

Brian has certain jobs in the house that he is almost solely responsible for. I do not comment on when they get done, I just know he will get them done. The laundry bothers me when it starts to creep higher than the hamper. It doesn’t bother him until either there are no clothes to wear or the pile is overflowing out of the hamper and all over the floor. I have relinquished total control of laundry to him and unless I or the kids are running out of clothes I don’t say anything. This was a freeing thing for me. There is one job I no longer worry about getting done.

There are so many things Brian has tried over and over again to tell me in hopes of getting me to relax, but honestly I’m a hard sell.
  • You will never, ever be “caught up” or “have it all done”
  • If you take a few minutes to relax at night, you will actually be more rejuvenated and ready to work later or tomorrow
  • You need to take a break for your own sanity and everyone else’s. I think he only says this because I’m driving him crazy as I run around doing things.
  • There is more to life than “to-do” lists
  • When you are focused on getting things done you might miss life happening around you
  • Enjoy the moments

I am a work in progress.

I think every day that I don’t mention the overflowing laundry basket is a huge step for me. There are even many days that it doesn’t even bother me anymore, because I’ve taken it off my “to-do” list.

I still balance the checkbook, update the budget or work on the grocery list and menu plan while watching television with Brian. Other it seems like wasted time. I’m getting better at putting things down and being present with my family, because those relationships are far more important than my so called to-do’s.

One of my favorite hobbies is scrapbooking. I love to scrapbook, but I have found that I can never get it done at home, because I don’t allow myself uninterrupted time to do it. At home I am too distracted by what appear to be more pressing concerns than “me-time.” My solution has been to go on scrapbook weekends. This forces me out of the house, away from any distractions and allows me time to enjoy my hobby. I thoroughly enjoy these weekends and come back rejuvenated.

Slowly, ever so slowly, I am working on building relaxation into my life at home. I have 35 years of being a task master to overcome. I strive for a healthy balance of getting things done and relaxation.

Whether you are the relaxer or the perpetual doer in your house it is important to recognize which one you are and how your loved ones may be different. Take some time to appreciate those differences.


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