Back to School Does Nothing for a Marriage – Creating Family Homeostasis

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I’m recording a little later than I had anticipated, but it just took me a bit longer to pull my act together this year…or it took me the same amount of time it always does, I just made a choice to give myself some slack—and boy does slack feel goooood! 

TeamC, I am so happy to be back with all of you! Now, because I got things kicked off here later than I was hoping to, I’d love to talk this week about back-to-school, and next week take a quick look back at the summer. 

First, I want to talk to you about a book I read…it’s called Dopamine Nation. In this book, the author, Dr. Anna Lembke talks about the body’s desire to create and maintain homeostasis. She explains that dopamine brings us a dose of pleasure, but then, in an effort to keep equilibrium, the body follows that pleasure with pain. Lembke goes on to suggest that we’d all be better off if we stopped trying to constantly avoid the natural occurrences of the ‘pain in our lives’ because pain is actually an integral component to the system that creates overall ‘balance in our lives.’ This topic got me thinking about how I can see homeostasis at work, not just in my own body, but also in my relationships.

Back in Season 4 of Confessions, in the post, titled “It’s that Time of Year Again – Let’s Blame My Husband!” I joked that, “Back to school does nothin’ for a marriage,” and here we are again, Team, entering September, with all of the anxiety, confusion, overwhelm, and excitement that comes with the transition to a new school year. The strange energy that this month brings to our home is one of the very few things I do not have to write down to remember. That being said, the two things I can also rely on every fall are 1. that blessed magical yellow school bus that you all know I deeply love and appreciate, but also 2. my husband’s complete amnesia regarding what our household looks like during the first few weeks of a new school year. In the past this amnesia has bothered the c-r-a-p out of me. But recently I got to thinking…hmmm, is this the world’s effort to create homeostasis? Is this why we’re attracted to people who are the opposite of ourselves? 

Especially at this time of year (and often at Christmas, too), I can convince myself that the world just needs more me’s around. People who don’t procrastinate! People who stick to the list! ! People who can see trouble’s-a-brewing and steer clear of it before it even happens! But really, that’s not at all what our household needs for peace. I anticipate September like a bomb’s about to go off people! Our family needs the other side of that seesaw. We need a person around who doesn’t think there’s a war going on: enter, G Man Master De. And we need this person around mostly because…There’s NOT a war going on! And while it sometimes causes me deep pain that my husband’s approach to the world is completely different than mine, I think that’s the good pain. Team, I think that’s the pain Lembke refers to in her book, and, I think that’s the pain required for family homeostasis…the pain that makes our home a more balanced place to be.

Since Dr. Lembke’s book brought this pleasure/pain balance to my attention, I’ve become more conscious of the notion that I’ll have more peace in my life if I embrace both the joy and the discomfort that come from the human experience…and, I’m telling myself that,this includes the joy and discomfort in my relationships. Thinking this way oddly allowed me to accept others’ differences with much more ease. When I only saw those differences as someone else being wrong or annoying, it would frustrate the heck out of me. Seeing that the differences actually help to create and maintain overall balance in our home? Now that’s something I can get behind. It doesn’t change the fact that I’ve been a little pissy over the last week or so, but I know I’ll pull out of it!…Right? Yeah…it’s just a matter of time now.

Ok TeamC, please tune in next week when we take a look back on the summer and you can find out if all that planning we talked about in the spring made even a bit of difference!

But, before I leave you, please let me just say, I’m so excited about this season of Confessions! I’m also very appreciative to be getting back to you all in September this year, unlike last year when my office and yard were in shambles. And Mom, our beloved Grammy, currently has no active cancer in her body, so our trips into New York have diminished considerably.

So please—keep tuning in. If you’re not a subscriber, I would absolutely love to add you to the Team, so please pop over to and subscribe—it takes seconds to sign up and it’s just one email a week letting my TeamConfessioners in on posts and announcements that often don’t always make their way to social media…. And, it also really helps me out if you tell a friend or many friends about the podcast, so please spread the word.

I am so happy to have you joining us for another season of: self discovery, self-care, awareness, and growth! And remember, I’d love to hear from you—Please reach out to me about topics you’d like to cover this year, any comments or questions you might have—I love hearing from you all. 

So let’s buckle up, get ready to start on our eighth season of Confessions of a Recovering Micromanaging Perfectionist Martyr!

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  1. Without pain, would I even know what pleasure looks and feels like? Lovely post. And if you want to come live with me for a day and get things organized here, just let me know.

    • So true Christine, so TRUE!
      Hahahaha – I hit my threshold this summer! Maybe next year 🙂

  2. Talk about a dopamine hit! Seeing your Friday morning blog post in my inbox! Thank you Mags for sharing your insights … I still find myself playing catch up to these ideas and approaches… but i love trying! And such great news on Grammy! Love you!

    • Daniel! Thanks so much for checking back in…I find myself doing the same exact thing with my ideas and approaches 🙂
      VERY good news about Grammy.
      So great to hear from you~

Welcome to my blog! Here you can read about what’s on my mind as I try my best to recover from screaming at my kids and nagging the bejesus out my husband.

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