I’m really happy to share Andrea’s thoughts on compatibility with you today. She has become a friend to me. And even though i got to know her through the digital world via Instagram, we finally met last year and connected for real.We went for walks at the chiemsee lake together with our kids. Back then we already realized that we share some same passions, like our passion for the mountains and being outdoors. Those digital connections that come true in real life and that grow even though a distance seperates, are so very precious to me. And i’m really thankful that i got to know Andrea, her thoughts on so many topics we often exchange, her ideas and inputs that i take along and that often have been really helpful, encouraging and constructive. Andrea also loves to write and has a blog, but because she has not so much time at the moment to write, you can follow that link to her Instagram site, where you can see and hear more of her and her views of life e.g.
Andrea lives in Australia with her husband and two kids, was born and raised in Romania and then moved to germany/bavarian alps when she was about 6 years old. Those different countries she has lived in, shape a lot of her current life with the kids and her husband. In the Interview below you can read why and which aspects of life this affects.
If you hear the word “compatibility”, in which areas/aspects of life does it play a role for you?
There are so many aspects of life that do come to my mind when hearing the word compatibility. It starts from the moment we are born, we are not alone and we cannot do our actions on our own. We have to adjust and live in harmony with our surroundings to become part of a society / family. As parents, it is our responsibility, to teach these values from day one, by guiding our children and by leading by example, as in living our principles in front of their eyes.
Genuineness has always been an important part for me no matter what relationship I am talking about. I am not the type of person who can put on a façade and pretend everything is sweet and beautiful. This also translates in my everyday life. I don’t tell my children fibs, to comfort them and to avoid tears and disappointment but am straight to the point. While I do tell stories, which they believe in and I use those for certain situations to motivate them, I will not say yes to something when I know it is a no. In my marriage, I openly talk about my desires and feelings to my partner and I do expect the same transparency and honesty back. I do believe it is very important to be straight forward to anybody in our surroundings, to build trust, comfort and contentedness.
In our marriage we talk a lot to each other. This does not mean we are always on the same page and that it always works in a harmonious way. We do disagree and we do have our own opinions. What I find important though is to listen to the other and try and empathise with them, do things with them, you personally don’t enjoy too much, but the other one does or give one another time to follow their interests. For instance, my husband likes to go for a bike ride with his friends on Saturday mornings. They leave very early, mostly before or at sunrise to return for breakfast on time. This means that I cannot lie in and have a rest because the kids rise early. While he is riding it is me who prepares breakfast and gets the children ready for the day. I would love to venture out early in the morning for a walk and take photos, read my book or simply lie in without being woken up by children. However, I cannot expect from my husband to renounce an activity he looks forward to all week. Vice versa, he gives me the time to be by myself by taking the children out or looking after them while I am away.
When it comes to children, compatibility is inevitable. I run my own business, look after the household and consider it very important to have time for them as well. The children go to day-care three days a week, which is the time that I invest most of my energy and efforts into the business. I work as efficiently as possible to organise and sort out anything that requires to be done during business hours. Anything that can be completed outside business hours I do in the evening. We started our business in order to provide me with this flexibility as well. I am able to work from home and manage my time around the children. It was important to me to have the opportunity to be with my children and to be able to practice my principles on their upbringing rather than leaving it to an institution. Irrespectively, very often I wished I had more time for my children, and then I do ensure I involve them into my duties to let them feel part of my / our responsibilities and to share a moment with each other even if it is only washing the dishes, tidying up or cleaning the house; in the end combining the chores with singing and poems makes even these moments very sweet. I do believe it is important to make them feel part of our everyday life to help them stand on their feet for their own life.
Another approach to compatibility that is part of our every day is our multilingual household. I grew up bilingually (Hungarian and German) and realised in my early adulthood how important it was to me to pass on my Hungarian heritage to my future children. My parents maintained my sister’s and my Hungarian skills while growing up with big effort in Germany and I knew very soon that this heritage is something that I want to carry on in my children’s upbringing. My husband has been very supportive of raising our children multilingually from day one. He is Australian and grew up monolingually and manages the English language. He reads the English story books and speaks the national language with the children. And even though it is me who organises the English story books, I never read these to my children. My husband has been more than supportive on this approach and I am beyond grateful for this. He does not understand Hungarian or German. Irrespectively, he understands and supports my approach that I always speak to the children in Hungarian. He trusts in what I do and knows I do translate everything he needs or wants to know. Consequently, I have never spoken an English word to our children, but always translate in front of them for their father. They now start translate as well and nobody feels left out.
Which of those aspects challenge you the most these days? (Which one is most important to you?)
My biggest challenge at the moment is definitely managing the business, the household and the children. My husband works interstate and I am alone during the week with the children. It requires meticulous organisation and time management to fit everything, I need to sort out, into a day. And I feel also very exhausted where a second hand, especially during the evening routine would free up a lot of time for me. Initially, I focused on getting everything done and to keep the house tidy and spotless. But with time I had to come to terms that I have to set my priorities. I asked myself what was more important and I came to the conclusion that time with my children is on top of my list over having a tidy and clean house. With time I learnt to let things be and to accept certain inconveniences. I questioned myself what I would regret later in life, living in a house that is not as tidy and clean as I desire it to be or not having spent precious time with my children? The answer came instantly and that helped me to close my eyes and ignore what I would have not ignored before. Having said that, I still would prefer a neater house.
Compatibility often has to do with short and narrow ressources (e.g. time, money, strength,…) and with conflicts (e.g. interests, valuation, requirements/demands,…). Can you give them/yours a name?
As elaborated above, I had to learn to overlook the state of my house as it is not spick and span and perfectly tidy over my time with my children. And this applies to so many aspects in life.
The same applies to our approach to teach our children three languages. It is not easy and it requires perseverance, patience and commitment. Not only once have I wished not to be in this situation as it exhausts me and also gives me sleepless nights. I would not have to say something twice, because another party might not understand what my children and I are talking about. But looking at the bigger picture, all the effort is worth it. Our children are able to communicate with our network, no matter where we are. They master their languages and can integrate immediately. If I let these efforts slip, it is the children who are left out and that is something I am not willing to sacrifice.
In relation to that topic, whats most important to you? So important, that you are willing to shoulder/accept unpleasantness?
The most important part of compatibility was certainly having time for our children which entails that we found a way for me to work from home. This means for me also that I never can leave work at work, or home at home. Some days the separation is a piece of cake but other days this combination really does challenge me mentally. As I never can step away from our business as it is in our four walls, I can get very apprehensive and discouraged which again comes through in my mood.
What helps you currently with the solution of these conflicts? Which strategies did you develop? Are there any tools or products that help you with it?
I think the best solution to solve problems is to talk. Even if the conflict initially escalates and turns into an argument, I think it is important to let out ones frustration and then to try and find a solution to the problem. Mostly we do find a way where all parties compromise on something or sometimes one party has to give in and go with the flow. The important part is to explain ones views and for the other party to listen and to take the information on board. It’s certainly important to express feelings and emotions as well. Sometimes a reasoning might sound irrational, but by talking and expressing our own views the other party can or will understand our standpoint.
If you would have three free wishes, what would you want and wish for your future?
My number one wish is health, contentment, happiness and financial and political security. I do not take any of these points for granted and I do have moments when I cannot be more grateful for being lucky and for not lacking any of the above.
Apart from that a wish that I always have had and will have is to have my own land and house in Romania in the area where I was born. I don’t need to live there but I would love to have my own little Romania that I can always go to and spend time in the part of the world that I always carry in my heart with the deepest affection.
Another wish that I cannot let go of is to settle in the Alps. I grew up there and from the moment I left I have been missing it so much, mainly because of the distance to my family, but also because my husband’s and my real sport is snowboarding. We even snowboarded on our honeymoon and used all our time and energy when we lived in London, to go to the mountains nearly every weekend. I miss the times in the mountains tremendously and want from the deepest of my heart to share those precious times with my husband again and involve our children.
Thank you very much Andrea for letting us use your insight and your personal view/handling with that topic. That means a lot for us and I’m sure for our readers as well, as we believe that this topic affects a lot of us families and individuals more or less.