Tools to fight burnout

ToolsAvoiding Burnout, Part II by Kathy Kuhl

[Adapted from Staying Sane as You Homeschool by Kathy Kuhl.]

Last time we talked about how to nurture our love for our kids when we are feeling weary. Watching for growth and small steps can help us; looking back a few years can help you see character growing.

But more importantly, if you are married, nurture your marriage.

After our first child was born, a man we respected highly confided to my husband that during thirty-three years of childrearing, he and his wife had drifted apart. They were working to rebuild their marriage.

Surprised by his warning, we took action. When our kids were small and money was short, my husband and I took hardware store dates. While a friend babysat, we bought doorstops and toilet-repair kits—romantic, huh? But we figured if we didn’t talk about money or the children at least half the time and stopped for ice cream on the way home, it was a date. When our children were old enough to be left home alone, my husband and I jogged or walked together. We would talk about the children, but also our work, our parents, dreams, and concerns.

Time alone together is important. Whatever your strategies, the goals are to remain friends when you become empty-nesters and, better yet, lovebirds in that empty nest.

That won’t happen if we harbor grievances and dwell on disappointments. Decide to “rejoice in the wife (or husband) of your youth” (Proverbs 5:18). Remind yourself what is admirable about your spouse.

I will never forget visiting a friend in a nursing home whose wife was suffering from dementia. She didn’t seem aware of anything. Yet he focused on God’s kindnesses to them over the years and added, smiling, “She still has her beautiful eyes.” He counted himself blessed. Do we?

Next time I’ll consider the third and most vital step to avoid burnout. But first, tell me, please:

What do you do to nurture your marriage?

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