Stance: Studies on the Family

Brigham Young University Student Journal

Tag: work

A: Aspirations as a Married Couple

You spend your whole life planning what you want to do and be for the remainder of life, and then . . . BAM! You get married, and everything changes. It’s a challenging experience to try to take two lives with two plans and merge them into one. In some cases, there has to be a lot of compromise so that the two partners can live their idea of a fulfilling life.

When I was deciding to marry my husband, Tyler, I thought integrating my plan into his life would be pretty easy. My plan in life was to grow up, go to my dream college studying the thing I love, marry the love of my life, have some cute little kids, and otherwise insert myself into his plan. I thought my plan was very conducive to married life. This plan would have worked out great, except that life doesn’t always go as planned, and I didn’t have a back-up plan.

Shortly after I married Tyler, I realized that the thing I was studying was not something I loved. This was problematic because I was almost done—and if I wanted to insert myself smoothly into Tyler’s plan, I had to graduate when he did, or not at all; so changing my career track was not an option at that point.

Another problem we encountered was the fact that Tyler’s plan wasn’t fully developed. Sure, we knew the basic outline: graduate from college, get a master’s degree, get a job. But, all of a sudden, we started figuring out that the track he was on would not lead him to the career he thought it would. We applied for internships, but he didn’t get any because he just wasn’t in the right field (even though he’s brilliant, and any company would be lucky to have him).

These problems led to many nights of stress for Tyler and worrying for me. Sometimes we’d lie in bed about to go to sleep, when I would start worrying out loud and end up in a fit of tears. Why aren’t things working out for us? I’d ask. Why didn’t everything go as planned?

Now, I still don’t have the solutions to our problems, but I have a formula for dealing with aspirations as a married couple that I recommend to anyone having similar issues.

First, you have to talk to each other. You have to get together and write down the things you enjoy doing, the things you could see yourself doing as a career, your ultimate dreams and goals.

When you’re done with that, I recommend that you rank the things on your list in order of importance to you. Talk about the things that you feel are non-negotiable, and things you wouldn’t mind doing without. Work out possibilities for the future, and how those things might affect your relationship and your family.

Then you have to make a plan together. And not just one plan, but several that range from broad to specific, from semester to fifty years, from ideal to worst case scenario. This could take several hours, so make sure you have a block of time set aside for doing this, or else you could end up scratching things out at 3 o’clock in the morning.

The last step is making a plan of action for right now. What will you do today to set you on the right path? Even if it’s just research, it will help you out in the long run. Decide on a timely plan for both of you, and help each other out. Remind your husband when his internship application is due. Encourage your wife to look for opportunities to acquire new skills. Take it day by day—if you always make sure you’re on the right trajectory, you will eventually end up where you want to be.

BY CARI AVERETT

What Bees Buzz about Relationships

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By Jerrick Robbins

When I lived at home, my dad often enlisted my help on certain household projects. My mom called it his “Honey do“ list, although it wasn’t really a list. She would simply call out, “Honey, do this” or “Honey, do that.” My dad would echo Wesley from The Princess Bride and say, “As you wish” to his Princess Buttercup. He was her farm boy and her worker bee.

I’m slightly terrified of bees, but I’ve also come to respect those little black and yellow creatures. I learned that bees converse through a sort of dance. They zig and zag communicating to the other hive members the location of a particular flower-filled meadow. On average, a hive of bees will fly over 48,000 miles to accumulate enough pollen for just one quart of honey. That’s a lot of work!

Looking back at those Saturdays spent working on the list with my dad, I remember the feeling of accomplishment I had when we would finish a project. I imagine that honeybees don’t have that same feeling at the end but during the journey. For them, collecting honey is a continuous process. Collecting honey never stops.

Those days of helping my dad on his “Honey do” list are past, but I’m getting closer to having my own Princess give me “Honey do” lists someday.  I’ve decided there’s a reason why so many couples call each other “honey.” Now maybe it’s because many people think it’s cute, but I believe there’s a deeper reason. Think of all the time and hard work a hive of bees accomplishes just for one quart of honey. Now think of all the time and hard work required to nurture a relationship. There’s a correlation there, and it’s not coincidental.

 

Motherhood: The Greatest Work

by Christy Hinkson

Christy is an author and a mother of ten. She recently released her new book Home Remedies for a Nation at Risk: What American Leaders could learn from American Families. Also, click here to view Christy’s blog Stand for the Truth.

The debate is back with some people questioning the value of the role of stay-at-home mothers. It is amazing that anyone would actually think that mothers who do not leave their homes to join the workforce are not working. As a mother of 10 children and the grandmother of 4, I would like to invite anyone who holds this belief to come to my house and follow me around for a day. Children enter this world through a process called “labor” and the work associated with motherhood is never done. Each mother in this world works and works hard.

By watching a mother at work you can witness what she does for her family physically, but it is impossible to witness the enormous impact that a mother has on the world now and forever. I dare anyone to find any job on earth that is more important and has a more lasting effect on humankind than mothers do. Governments rise and fall, companies come and go, celebrities leave superficial impressions, but no one can shape and influence another human like a mother can. Women do many kinds of work and make lasting contributions to the world, but any contribution pales in insignificance when compared to the impact of what she does as a good mother.

Sometimes mothers doubt their ability to impact because motherhood is available to so many. This responsibility is given by God to so many, because it is so important. Every hero that has entered this world came the same way, tiny, fragile and placed by God into the arms of a mother. Mothers teach and influence their children in a very personal way, who in turn teach and influence others, who teach and influence many others and on and on and on.  All that is good and right in this world can be traced back to the influence of somebody’s mother.

While I was in college, I wrote a simple song and now, 25 years later, I still believe every word of it. I will include the lyrics below. Our daughter, Heather, now the mother of two, recorded the song. A free download is available at this link:

http://www.heartrisemusic.com/Downloads/Music/07%20The%20Greatest%20Work.mp3

“The Greatest Work”

The Greatest Work that I will ever do, will be in my own Home
I want to live in a way that I can give and make my potential known.
The greatest thing that I will ever do, I know inside will be
To live my life as a mother and a wife and raise a family.
The greatest work, the greatest thing, now is clearly in my view
I may reach heights unknown, but I know that in my home,
Is the greatest work that I will ever do.