I recently saw a friend’s husband added to social media stating he came home to find his wife was reading a book entitled “How to not Hate your Husband After Kids.” My immediate thought was I need to get that book from the library pronto.
I’m convinced my husband should read my mind, know what the day entailed and sweep me into his arms with thanks for the day I’ve navigated. He should sing praises for me for vacuuming our upstairs. This task sounds menial but what he doesn’t understand is that I had to corral all our children up the steps, busy the big kids, hold the baby all the while, vacuum with haste and then clean up the toys used to busy the kids. Next, I must tactfully convince all the kids to return to the downstairs in order to keep the evidence of my completed work intact. By the time I’ve done all this everyone needs a snack. THAT’S JUST TO VACUUM, my friends.
But guess what? Normally my wonderfully amazing husband doesn’t notice that I’ve taken the time out of my day to vacuum. No one does. No one knows that I loaded the dishwasher three times today. No one is there to give my a high five for keeping my cool after asking my oldest to please be gentle with his sister for the 28th time this past hour. No one says “Wow, that was so creative!” when I come up with a nifty craft project to fill our afternoon with wonder rather than giving them over to the television.
Often my kind husband is swept straight into Dad Land when he walks through the door and he doesn’t see that I’ve spent the last 45 minutes prepping and cooking a new meal for our family menu just to impress him a little. Normally our kids want to wrestle, play and report all the details of their day to Dad. This means that means our check back in after hours of work is hurried and interrupted.
You can see it’s so easy to feel like I’m not on the same team as this guy that I choose. I’m finding the trouble is most days when I feel that hate want to boil up for the man I really love, it’s not because he’s not really his fault. More days than not he’s a rockstar dad. In so many more ways than I deserve, he works to love me well. Nonetheless, it’s hard for me to not hate him.
I think it’s because I’m envious of this man that seems so much more put together than me. He doesn’t have 10 more baby pounds to lose. He is a superman when he enters after a long day gone, while I’m the taskmaster. He isn’t rattled with worry for our kids. He laughs freely. He’s well dressed. He’s a man with a plan. I’m the woman struggling to keep it together.
He’s also not in my head. Unless I open my mouth, he’ll never know how lonely just one day with the kids can feel. Sharing is hard, and it feels kind of crazy to point out that you vacuumed, right? Who wants to fish for compliments for their own cooking? Does a compliment count if it’s not freely given?
But I’m learning I have to start fishing for compliments on my own cooking so I don’t hate the man that I love. I need to explain to him in great detail the vacuum scenario. I must start talking. If I don’t, he nor anyone else will ever know.
What is even more challanging for me is to stop comparing. He’s never going to have to lose baby weight, the end. Why am I mad at him about this? I win in our house every time someone has a boo-boo because I nursed these little people. They are Team Mom all the way. We have different roles, different gifts, different challenges. It’s the way God made it to be. I won’t lie, I hate it sometimes, but if I don’t want to hate this guy, I have to embrace it.
We are still working on it, every day. It’s worth it though because more than getting all the thanks I may be due, I want to love my husband while we have kids.