Recently, there was a brilliant blog post doing the rounds called “Dumb-ass stuff we need to stop saying to Dads” (unfortunately no longer available). It not only acknowledged Dads as perfectly capable primary caregivers in their own right; but was also refreshingly honest about his triumphs and her failures.
I was relieved to read it because, you see, I have one too:
An amazing husband.
And that’s not me bragging. It’s actually a little bit annoying (in an incredibly grateful kind of way!)
Last month, Amazing Husband sent me on a spa day for my birthday. Naturally, as this involved leaving him home alone with Toddler and Tiny (still barely 4 months and breastfeeding), I spent the whole morning worrying about how they were going to cope. However, as I sat in a used hotel room, breastpump in one hand, phone in the other, I admit that my heart sank a little bit when I realised just how fine they were. By midday, he’d done two loads of washing, hung it out, cooked our tea, rearranged the cupboard under the stairs and done craft with Toddler. By the time I got home, he’d added in a bit of reading for his degree and very probably rescued a bloody kitten. And he was smiling. I confessed that actually, I didn’t find it all that encouraging that he’d managed to fit my whole week into a day; “you know it actually makes me feel bad about my life.” To which he replied, “I’ve also cleaned the kitchen.” I won’t tell you what I said after that!
(On a purely selfish note, the only apparent need for my existence in this situation was that Tiny had refused to eat all day; so there you have it. Husband brings the beauty, brain and braun. I bring the boobs. Standard.)
The thing is: he’s always been like this. A few years ago I went abroad with work for a couple of weeks. I remember some of the older ladies at church joking that I’d have to book someone in to do his washing. I opened my mouth to put them straight, but he laughed along as if it were true. When all the while, the real truth was that he’d also gone abroad with work that year; and had genuinely left me an instruction manual for the washing machine, bin collections and all in between. He would text to make sure I’d eaten. Of course, back then I was leaving for work long before he got up, getting in long after he’d finished for the day and paying most of the bills; so it seemed only fair. Now that I’m a ‘housewife’, however, I’m out of my depth. I needed actual training sessions before I was left to my own devices, and am still not trusted to do the grocery shopping. (He actually wanted to take both children with him on this venture last Saturday but I wouldn’t let him; mainly because I was afraid he’d actually manage it!)
There’s just no getting around it: Husband would make a much better housewife than I do, and everybody knows it. But he doesn’t want to and I do; so he helps me get it right. In my defence, however, I’d also make a much better student than he does, and everybody knows that too! But I’m not called to that, and he is. So I help him get it right. I proofread his essays and critique his sermons. Because, at the end of the day, we are a team. We have the same children, the same home, the same faith, and will one day have the same church and the same parish. We want all of those things to thrive and so we’ll work together, by the grace of God, to make sure that is possible. And that’s why I flipping well love him. We don’t fit the mould; we very rarely fly; but we break the mould together and we fall with style!
Happy Valentines Day Husband, you’re worth more than you got! Xxx