Juggling mumStop Being Annoyed with Your Partner

– Relationship Tips for Working Mums

Your boss expects an urgent report before 8pm, the children’s homework is not done and there is no food on the table. Your husband arrives home, dumps his shoes in the doorway and settles in front of the football.

What do you do?
a) Jump up and fetch his slippers – he must have had a tough day
b) Finish your work and order take-away pizza
c) Turn a shade of purple and shout at him to make himself useful.

If this scenario sounds familiar, you’re not alone. A report released earlier this year by the Institute for Public Policy Research found that eight out of 10 married women still do more housework than their husbands. This not only adds to working women’s stress levels but- surprise, surprise – can cause anger and resentment that could spill over into the bedroom.

Career and confidence coach Fiona Clark, founder of Inspired Mums, offers 5 tips to help working mums maintain a healthy relationship.

1. Don’t suffer in silence
If your husband is shirking his responsibilities at home and is happy for you to clean up after him and do all the chores, stop doing it. Today.
Sit him down and tell him calmly, but firmly: “We have a little problem here.” Explain how much you’re doing and how the resentment is affecting the relationship.
Make a list of the key chores such as grocery shopping, paying the nanny, taking out the bins, changing sheets and sorting the household paperwork.
Delegate tasks according to individual strengths and abilities, but make sure you don’t end up with the lion’s share again. Facebook boss and working mum Sheryl Sandberg even advocates a 50/50 split of chores for working couples in her new book – imagine that!”

2. Show some appreciation
Treat him the way you want to be treated. If you want your partner to notice or be more grateful for what you do for the family, let him know and make sure you appreciate what he does too. Or if you want him to communicate more kindly, watch the way you speak to him too. Remember you often get back what you put out!

3. Nobody’s perfect
Drop your standards. The house is never going to stay spotless any way, so learn to enjoy a more lived-in look. The kids will love you for it.
Similarly, don’t be tempted to criticize your husband when he’s trying to help.
So, the kid’s lunchboxes lack your creative touch, but at least they won’t starve and they’ll appreciate your efforts more next time. Grind your teeth and praise him for doing a “wonderful” job.

4. Nurture your marriage with daily check-ins
To prevent your partner from being constantly bumped down to the bottom of your list of priorities, schedule in a 20-minute check in where you touch base every day and give each other undivided, uninterrupted attention – truly listening and being there for each other. Even if it feels artificial at first, you’ll soon look forward to these moments of bonding. Next is a date night once a week or fortnight – either at a pub or in the lounge with a glass of wine, but let’s take it one step at a time.

5. Stay in touch through technology
If you’re both inseparable from your phones, laptops or tablets even at home, send him a surprise message every now asking for a massage or suggesting a glass of wine. Then introduce a technology curfew by when all electronic devices in the house must be switched off. You’ll be surprised how much time it frees up for communicating with each other.

Fiona Clark photo 20131So, armed with these helpful tips, how would you deal with our scenario at the beginning of the article?
The most original answer emailed to chene@inspiredmums.co.uk before October 25th receives a FREE one hour coaching session, and everyone who enters qualifies for a 10% discount off two coaching sessions.

Fiona Clark, a qualified career and confidence coach and founder of Inspired Mums > helps mums find fulfilling, family friendly roles.

If you think you could benefit from some help gaining clarity on your direction and goals, practical advice setting up your business or a sounding board to help prioritise your creative ideas or just help in gaining a better work/life balance, contact fiona@inspiredmums.co.uk.