As a mom have you ever had that moment where you look at your husband and think, “Why can’t you parent these kids like I do, it is not THAT hard?” Or maybe a variation of this thought such as “Really, you think a couple hours with these kids is hard?” or “I handle this [insert random child problem] just fine, why can’t you?”
True confessions, I was thinking those exact thoughts today. After an especially long and difficult week with the kids I was throwing a little pity party for myself thinking “My husband could never do what I do day in and day out.” (Really, I am not that perfect of a mom, someone needs a reality check!)
And then it hit me like a ton of bricks, I could never do what HE does day in and day out either! Think about this for a moment, could you just jump in and do what your husband does every single day? I couldn’t.
My husband is an executive chef who cooks standing up for 3,000 miles at a time. First, I can’t cook to save my life so cooking for hundreds of people a day is out of the question. Second, these legs were made for chasing toddlers but I am not quite sure how they would do over 3,000 miles.
Sure, I have a basic knowledge of food and cooking and I’m not terribly out of shape. However, since I don’t do what he does every other week I wouldn’t be capable of waltzing in and taking over and being him.
So why is it that I think he should just walk in the front door after working multiple 16 hour days and be able to do everything I do (and we won’t even mention doing things the WAY I do them)?
Sure, he has a basic knowledge of our kids daily lives and undertakings. He’s actually an amazing dad who helps with homework, plays catch, drives kids to dance class and baseball practices and cuddles babies in the middle of the night. He’s a great husband too who always does our grocery shopping, puts his knowledge of washing and drying clothes into regular practice and always manages to help me find some quiet time.
However, when it comes to the ins and outs and bits and pieces of the day to day lives of the 4 small wonders we live with, I am the one walking that path daily and intimately. I am the one the school contacts when a child gets hurt on the playground. I am the person who overhears the chit chat during the car pool each day. I am the adult that experiences all the early dismissals, days off and summer breaks.
We chose this life he and I.
For him this means being on the road 175 days a year, putting his culinary degree to good use, standing up for 78,000 miles, leading his team of cooks, prep cooks and dishwashers well. It means knowing what people want, how to prepare it for them and correcting any errors that might be made. It means balancing supplies and food and menus to meet and exceed his company’s requirements and expectations.
For me this means being a single parent 175 days a year, putting my gut instinct in high gear, driving endless times to and from school and leading our crew of 4 well. It means knowing what their little bodies and minds need and how to fix a broken heart or change a childish error they have made. It means balancing different ages, stages and activities and making family time a priority to meet and exceed the expectations we have set for the community God is making us into.
Just like I can not walk in and do my husbands job I need to find the grace to understand that he can not just breeze into my current vocation either. I need to give the guy a break!
Instead of being short when he asks what our son needs to do after school, I should appreciate that he is willing to help. Instead of being frustrated that he can’t seem to remember everyone’s bed time, I need to take note of his heart to want to tuck kids in sweetly. Instead of being annoyed that watching all 4 kids for multiple hours at a time seems overwhelming to him, I should be thankful that he cares enough to try.
Sweet friends who are in this season of staying at home like I do, give your husband a break! See the work, provisions and time he is giving to your family as the gift that it is. Encourage him in his profession or schooling or search for employment. Tell him that you appreciate what he contributes to your family and give him some grace when it takes some time or extra energy to ease into the rhythm of family life.
Embrace the gift that is the intricate knowledge of your children’s lives. Their favorite Lego, princess dress or must have goodnight song. Tell your husband the daily bits and pieces of home life as much as you can and encourage him to have fun and enjoy your family when he is around.
We are partners on a journey my husband and I. We want to be deeply connected and easily walking through parenthood together. In this season of life we are parenting together, we are just taking it in from different angles.
As we embrace who we are and where we are today, the greatest mark of Jesus in our midst is the grace we can give each other. Time for me to give some today…
Linking up today with: Unforced Rhythms