The holidays for school kids have come and gone; and the usual every morning rush to get the kids up and ready for school LetmeDate and at the same time get set for work has caught up with many people, especially career couples.

Many young married people have the responsibility of heading relevant positions in thriving organizations. Many are brilliant, enthusiastic, and committed to their work. But how committed can a person be to his work when the home is unsettled or disorganized?

So many career people tirelessly work to ensure they excel at work and also strive to be great spouses. For so many, the overburdening and pressure of performing at both ends even affects their health and psychological well-being.

After work many of such couples rush home, after much delay in traffic, and are confronted by the mass of house work, disorganized apartments, children's toys and books everywhere, coupled with the kids' homework that must be attended to.

This is the kind of routine people go through on a regular basis, and the average career couple ends up being overloaded, and becomes less productive and unfulfilled both at work and at home. This is why many people barely sleep well and resume work every morning tired with sleep-shot eyes to the chagrin of his superiors.

In the light of these enormous challenges, how do couples, especially wives, who must dutifully be mothers to their children review  and wives to their husbands, find a balance between being a good responsible spouse and running a successful career?

I know becoming a great spouse is the dream of many married people. That's mine too! But it requires more than just more a wish. It needs inner strength, wisdom, patience, determination and a lot more.

You are married! And you love your career. This is what you can do to strike a balance and grapple with the attendant challenges:

  1. Love home management:

Marriage is a ministry. It is an institution you enter to serve. And serving comes with challenges. If you don't love been a parent or home management generally, the stress of house work will kill your joy. Rather than running home from work with joy, you would see it as return to captivity.

Indeed for some married people, the 5-8 work hours is seen as the "great escape" from the home.

As a career person, you must make up your mind to love your home and give your best to it. Home management, especially for wives, is an art. And just like the artist loves his work or pieces of art, you must wake up daily loving your home, and be desirous of giving everything for it. Remember, at work, you might just be the office assistant. But at home, you are the GMD or the GM. Please act like one.

  1. Get organized!:

A lot of the stress at home comes from not being organized, not knowing to do at the right time.

Make the kids go to bed at an appointed time. And early to bed, early to rise! Let them get used to the pattern weeks ahead of school resumption. Let them master the habit of arranging their next day clothes, bags, food packs, etc, before going to bed. This will help you free some time to attend to yourself, your spouse and perhaps prepare for next day work.

  1. Create a mini-barracks - and work like a gang with your kids:

As soldiers do, set a daily schedule for the kids that must be strictly followed. From bed to bathroom, get dressed, then eat breakfast. Having them do this routine helps create structure and teaches your kids a bit of organizational skills. Replicate your office routine at home or military routine.

If you have older kids, let them master the routine and help you with the younger ones, especially toddlers.

  1. Wake up early:

Resuming at work early and doing things timely is not only good at the workplace. Bring it home. Try to wake up 20 to 30 minutes before your kids - yes mum and dads. It helps you to settle down and partly prepared ahead of them. This creates time for quick Morning Prayer, for breakfast together or quick house check.

  1. Let your spouse and family know your limitations:

This is necessary where only one spouse works or is relatively more occupied than the other. You must effectively draw a line between what you can do and what you cannot.

Let everybody understand the limitations you have concerning your availability at home. If your spouse and family understand the nature of your work, it keeps unnecessary friction away and prevents unrealistic expectations at home.

I heard the case of a nursing mother who insists her husband must stay awake with her to nurse their baby whenever she cries. And the infant cries mostly when everyone is fast asleep. And dad must leave home at 5:30am to beat the morning rush. Yet he resentfully sits with his wife tending to the child. He dare not lie down with the child crying. The wife says he loves his work more than the family. And he wants peace to reign. The man leaves home bitter every morning and dreads going back after work.

The home is a place of refuge; a place of comfort and the pivotal figures to direct affairs who every one looks up to for inspiration is the father or husband (and in his absence, the wife). But when children seldom see their working parents, they come up with different kinds of attitudes.

When kids or your partner see you as never available or inaccessible, different kinds of assumptions follows, which leads to resentment.

Spouses and children who scarcely see their partners because of their busy business or work schedules can mistake this to mean one is uncaring, selfish, not good enough to confide in, or relate with. "What is the use of trying to see him when he's never around?"

This is why many spouses seek others friends and relationships especially online friends.

Spouses should learn to carry their partners along. Let them know your weaknesses or limitations. Everyone have weaknesses. But the greatest weakness is not accepting that you have one. If time and availability is your limitation, you cannot improve your marriage by carrying on as if all shall be well.

  1. Practice time management at home:

Your home is like a big organization and your spouse is your prime staff. And just as time management work ethic make your office run smoother; it will help your home stay organized.

Avoid "Fire Brigade Approach" (FBA) at home. What you must do for your spouse, do it on time. Don't wait till the last the last minute before you prepare to undertake a task which your spouse may need in your absence.

Don't use your work as an alibi to shriek your responsibility at home. When you keep running away to work leaving chores undone, especially for women, soon your spouse and family will see your job as competing with them for your time, attention and love. And this is dangerous.

Stop being a time waster. Don't stay or go to places which are irrelevant. Cut time spent at saloons, barber's saloon, shopping malls, watching football games, drinking pubs, etc, and free up time to be with your partner since your work take most of your everyday time.

Make efforts to sit down and review and plan your schedules on daily and weekly basis to ascertain how they impact on your effectiveness at work and the quality of your role as a mother/ father or husband/wife.

  1. Delegate some of your work:

Running a sweet and happy home involves a lot of emotional, mental, spiritual and physical sacrifices and inputs. No single person can ever fulfill this responsibility. It essentially takes the husband and the wife, together with their children to have a happy one, with each playing their roles.

Build a team at home. Let everybody be united and assign roles to your kids. Just because you want to be seen as a good husband or wife does not mean you should get enmeshed in work can easily delegate.

This is where some couples go for maids. If you can afford it, go for it but in agreement with your partner, and together choose one that suits your personality, values and expectations.

Sometimes some people get other family members to come assist them. But this must be done wisely too just as in picking a maid.

Having others help you ensures that nothing suffers or not attended when you are not available. This too helps you to direct attention to your partner when you return.

One of ways mores become more effective, fruitful and fulfilled is by training and teaching their older kids to function in positions / areas that will altogether keep the home running smoothly.

  1. Set special time aside for your partner and family:

One of the greatest ways to kill love in marriage is to neglect your family. Even the bible emphatically condemns this. It says, "But those who won't care for their own relatives, especially those living in the same household, have denied what we believe. Such people are worse than unbelievers" (1 Tim 5:8, NLT)

Every career person who desires a great home must create time for his/her partner. Use your spare time to make up for lost time.

In our offices, we ask for overtime allowances and inconvenience benefits. Have you ever considered giving that to your spouse or family for stealing into their time? Have you considered compensating them for not being around?

Do you still find time to go out with your spouse (and children too) for recreation? Life does not only consist of work - from office to bed; and from home to work, without recreation.

Yes, funds may be scarce to come by, but you don't really need to spend a fortune to go out with your family and partner. There are many relatively inexpensive and even free places and activities you could do.

You can go for picnic with your own meal and drinks; you can have a private party at home, after having it specially decorated for that occasion or go play some outdoor game together. The idea is simply to take time off regularly to be alone with your spouse (and or family).

There are indeed several things we could do to make our marriages sweet whilst we enjoy our career. But are you ready to take the necessary steps? According to Disraeli, "The secret of success in life is for a man to be ready for his opportunity when it comes".

Yes, you can make that marriage better. Remember, it is not just having a partner or a wonderful job that makes an extraordinary marriage, but the dedication of your time and efforts to make that marriage work.