Last week, my husband and I unexpectedly found ourselves home together with W on a Monday morning. My car wouldn’t start, and Ryan had stayed home to wait for the tow truck and manage all the glorious details that go along with car repairs. Little W thought he had won the weekday jackpot as Daddy is pretty much his all time favorite person. I should also add that my husband felt the same way about winning the weekday jackpot. He is a wonderful provider for our family, and yet he will do anything and everything to be at home with our children. The tow truck was delayed (of course), so at W’s insistence, the two of them left for a walk.
I did what I always do when I have a few moments to myself. I got to W-O-R-K. I cooked dinner since I would be working during the afternoon, cleaned the windows and the microwave, answered emails, scheduled a doctor appointment for M, and vacuumed the carseats. While I was standing at the stove cooking, I thought to myself “Ryan is such a good dad.” And of course, he absolutely is. But the implication that I was giving to myself was that I wasn’t as good of a mom. I was envious of his ability to be so present with W, to just be able to put everything aside and take a walk seemingly without a care in the world. As a mother, I feel like even my walks around the block are on a schedule that revolves around school pick ups, dinner, ballet lessons, or swimming class. I wouldn’t have it any other way, but I certainly wouldn’t describe it as carefree.
I was also struck by the feelings of guilt that I felt. “I should be out there with them,” I thought to myself. “I should be with W instead of in here getting all of these things accomplished.” What is with us mothers and the guilt?! When they hand us our precious baby at the hospital, they really should also say “Here is the 500lb bag of guilt that you will also now carry around with you FOREVER. Where would you like us to put it?” “Oh just put it by the bed,” I would say. “I’ll grab it on my way out.”
Thank goodness I was able to shake myself out of that conversation enough to realize that the reason my husband was able to take the time to be so present and carefree with W was because I was doing a really good job as a mom and a wife. I was serving our family by preparing meals, making sure our home was clean, and managing all the responsibilities that come with two little people. Sure, at that particular moment I wasn’t serving our family by being in the moment with a child, but if I am honest, that is pretty much every other moment. And because I was doing all of this for us, my husband didn’t have to. Hence, the carefree walk around the block.
So, in that moment, I reminded myself that the way we serve our families as mothers, as wives, as fathers, and as husbands will always look different and will probably always be evolving. And that’s ok. I still affirm that my husband is such a good dad, the best dad. Thank goodness for a quiet moment at the stove to remind me that I am also a really good mom. You know what? So are you.
Find the joy~