The Time My Wife Asked ME For A Raise

My wife is an amazing woman. Let me count the ways! Actually, let me just tell you a couple of reasons why. A couple of recent incidents have (again) highlighted for me what an amazing woman I married 9 years ago, and I just want to take a few minutes and brag on her for being….

A Great Wife And Mom

We are eagerly awaiting the appearance of our 3rd child, a girl. Earlier this week my wife thought she was going into labor. It was two days before our due date and there were signs that her water might have broken during the night. She wasn’t 100% sure it had, but hey… two days before your due date you’ve gotta expect it’s happening, right?

Anyway, rather than wake up her (sleep) loving husband at 11pm she decides to get up and walk around the house for a bit. And then read a book. And then do some stretches. And then climb up and down the front steps. The contractions weren’t increasing like she had anticipated (they were still only around 10 minutes apart), so she let me continue to sleep. Only at 4am did she wake me up to let me know that “today is the day”, but then she told me to go back to sleep and she’d let me know when I needed to get up.

As it turned out her water had not broken, which was disappointing but also a relief. We didn’t want her to have to be induced if we could avoid it, so that was nice. But we were really looking forward to meet our little girl so that was a bummer. But my wife has regathered herself for the week ahead and plowed on admirably. Here we are 4 days later and there’s still no sign of our little one’s appearance, but we know it will be soon!

Responsible With Our Finances

My wife and I both work hard at being financially responsible and sticking to our budget categories, and over the last couple of years (since getting YNAB, not-so-coincidentally) we’ve done a MUCH better job of communicating on where we are with our budget and goals. That’s part of the reason that we’re on track to pay off our 30-year mortgage in only 3 years, but there are obviously several other factors involved with that.

One day recently I receive an email from my wonderful wife, which included the following paragraphs. She was looking for money for some staple items like dish towels, shoes for our son, small things like those. But instead of getting irate and whiny she wrote me this:

“I want to be frugal and put most of our money towards things that really matter, like paying off our house and being generous and paying for the big stuff we need to take care of. I also want to do my job well, and I feel a little underfunded. Kind of like you feel when it comes time to buy some new dress shirts for work.

So in the interest of good communication and because I thought you’d like to know, lately I’ve been kind of frustrated with feeling like we can’t afford, or don’t have money in certain categories, to buy small but fairly necessary things. What are your thoughts? I know you don’t want a big slush fund like miscellaneous, and I agree, that’s dangerous. Maybe we need both a home maintenance and a home improvement fund?”

THAT, my friends, is an incredibly tactful and effective way to let your spouse know that money in some of your budget categories needs to increase. (Especially if you’re my wife, she knows I love a good analogy!)

Instead of making me feel like I’m doing a poor job leading our family and/or providing for us, she let me know that our joint goals and previously-agreed-upon plans are still important to her, and she wants to talk through making things better… with me. I immediately began thinking of solutions instead of trying to justify the way things were.

All that to say, I came away encouraged from what could have been a frustrating interaction with my wife, and it makes me trust her that much more as we pursue our dreams together.

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