I found myself frustrated with my husband tonight for the first time in a long time. I walked out of the bedroom after having spent nearly 2 hours trying to get our overly tired daughter down, excited to finally spend some time with my husband and he was sleeping. Doesn’t sound like a big deal, does it?
My husband and I rarely see each other these days. He works two full time jobs and most of the time he is gone by the time I wake up and home long after I’ve gone to sleep. He has two days off – split – and spends his week day off running errands and spending the day making even more money for our family with odd jobs. Sunday, his weekend day off, he often spends with me and our daughter at my parents house, sharing our beautiful daughter with my family. So needless to say, we don’t get much time to ourselves. He never complains about how he has to spend his days off and often times doesn’t even know what the plans are until they are happening.
Today we decided to spend the day at home – no plans with the parentals, no plans outside of our home. I figured today would be a day of uninterrupted time, just my husband, daughter and myself. But instead my husband vegged out and my daughter and I went grocery shopping with my mom. Once I got home, I put away the groceries, did some things around the house, and my favorite activity – loved on my little girl. My husband and I briefly discussed getting a movie and sitting down for dinner together as it is such a rarity. Finally 6 o’clock approached and the day without naps reared its ugly head as my daughter hit a wall. Any parent knows that an overly tired baby is the hardest to get down. I went to put her to sleep, assuming that when I was done my husband was going to be ready for “us” time!
Two hours later I finally emerged from the bedroom only to find my husband asleep on the couch. I immediately got frustrated because dinner wasn’t made, the kitchen was a disaster, no movie have been picked up, and I was out of my (alcohol free) wine. As I stood there trying to decide whether not to wake up my husband, allowing myself to get more and more frustrated, about to throw myself a party of the pity variety, I realized something. All of these expectations that I had – for the day, for the evening, for my husband – they were all expectations that I had. And they were all expectations I had kept to myself. That got me thinking…
My husband is sleeping because he’s exhausted from working two full-time jobs so that I could stay home with our daughter. My husband is sleeping because he never gets a moment to himself, not one. My husband is sleeping because even on his days off, he never really gets a day off. Too often I find myself disappointed, frustrated, or let down by expectations not met but expectations that haven’t even been set or shared. I set myself up for failure when I expect my husband to be a mind reader. Too often I fail to remember what my husband does on a daily basis, the decision that he makes every day to work hard for his family to allow his wife to be a stay at home mom. Too often I fail to remember all that he sacrifices so that we don’t have to.
I then decided to put on my big girl panties and clean up the house, make dinner, make his lunch so he doesn’t have to wake up extra early in the morning to do that, and start some laundry. I could have (and in the past would have) woken him up, complained, and turned right around and walked back into the bedroom to feel sorry for myself over the expectations not met. Why didn’t I?
Because I realized that often times it’s so easy for us as wives to think of all the things that our husbands aren’t doing. And then to complain about it. “Nag” as my husband would say. But he’s right – sometimes I do nag. And then I’ll have a moment of clarity and think “Really? That is what I was choosing to complain about? That’s how I chose to speak to my partner?”
It’s easy to get swept away in the moment by tiny things that don’t really matter. I was just telling my mom the other day that whenever my husband does something that I would normally “nag” him about, I think to myself “I’m a stay at home mom. I have time to clean that up” or “I’m a stay at home mom. He deserves [said thing]”. The things I was about to allow my night to be ruined over are just superficial and dare I say selfish. This adjustment in my mind set made me feel grateful and humbled. My beautiful daughter was safe, asleep in her room, my husband was home with me, finally getting some much deserved rest, we have food in our bellies, a beautiful home, a beautiful life!
I could have ruined a perfect Sunday over unexplained expectations. But a quick reminder to myself of how lucky I am made me instead feel incredibly lucky to have the life that I have and excited for the opportunity next Sunday to do the same thing all over again. ❤️ I guess the moral of the story is to appreciate the important things more often and let go of the insignificant moments – in the end it doesn’t really matter. And you don’t want the moments you remember when you’re old and gray to be the moments you spent complaining and being negative. You’ll want to remember the moments spent gazing at your sleeping child just a few moments longer and kissing your sleeping husband on the forehead as you enjoy the quiet, appreciating all that God has given you.