I think it comes down to respect. Jill and I are career minded. We are both in school full time to (hopefully) improve our positions at work. We work full time to support our lifestyle, but we also enjoy the challenge of being contributing adults. If not at this job then at another. Due to the nature of corporate America wanting to do more and more with fewer and fewer, there are a number of demands that are put on our time. It is difficult to get work and school done in a normal day AND get Kat from daycare before daycare sets her outside for the night.
We (so far) manage this by communicating and scheduling. And making allowances for the demands of the others goals. We try hard to communicate that there may be term projects coming due that require working late. Or work that requires working late or even Biz Travel. And sometimes you boss will ask you to show up for work at an unmanageable 7am for a meeting. So you gotta get going in the morning.
By being supportive of Jill's goals, I will reap the rewards. She is my partner for the rest of my life. If she is happier and satisfied with where she is, that can only result in less stress at home. Less stress is a good thing. Usually means more happiness, hugs, smiles. All that leads to a happy content Kat! (keep baby happy - new mantra) Jill is supportive of my goals. She is the helping hand when I am down, the kick in the butt, when I need it. She will give me space and a sounding board at the right times.
I think this all comes together because we respect each other. Life isn't about always getting what you want. (think PHilton) Life is about working for what is important to you and those around you. I sincerely believe that by helping others achieve their goals, I will achieve my goals. And life isn't all about ME. Now that we have Kat, I understand that life is all about raising a little person, to give her a chance to experience her life.
This whole post is a result of a conversation regarding work/life balance today. A coworker was having a difficult time with challenges of the job, challenges of children, and challenges of spouse. I really wondered about the challenge of the spouse because Coworker didn't seem to have support from Spouse. Spouse was contributing to the stress, wanting work/career to stop intruding on Life.
This made me reflect on how Jill and I prioritize, schedule, and communicate. Our relationship isn't perfect. But it is the one we will have for the rest of our lives. So we have to make it work.