How do I love thee? Working.

 

I remember when my maternity leave ran out. His paternity leave ran out at the same time. (Let’s just pause a moment and acknowledge how phenomenal it was, here in the States, for my husband to get eight weeks of paid leave after the birth of our child.) Okay, moving on…

 

We had both decided that we wanted me at home with our newborn son, so that wasn’t an issue. It’s always good to be on the same page and all. I kissed him goodbye that first morning back and set about my day with our little guy.

 

I had no idea how hard it would be.

 

It’s not even so much that I struggled with the whole “infant care” piece. Our baby was a good eater, a good sleeper, and a generally easy-going kiddo.

 

 

I struggled with my own role and purpose.

 

Days would go by and I’d try to recall what, exactly, I had done. My husband would arrive home from work, take off his tie, and tell me what had happened in the world of banking– my previous workplace, too– that day.

 

I’d listen to the disaster of loan rates as the feds changed prime. I’d troubleshoot what might have caused an out-of-balance ending in nine (– almost always a transposition.) I’d sympathize when social security day fell on a Friday.

 

And then I’d tell him about my day.

 

It got to the point where I felt like I needed to give a detailed account of, well, just what the heck I was doing with all these hours at home.

 

“Well, I did the baby laundry and changed the sheets. Oh! And I picked up dish soap!” I’d stammer. Even as I said the words, I’d feel almost frantic about how little I was accomplishing. When did this happen? How did I become this woman who got so very little done?

 

And then, one day, as I hurriedly threw some packaged “rice & sauce” stuff on the stove to concoct a make-shift dinner, I turned to my just-got-home husband with tears in my eyes.

 

I hadn’t even gotten dinner under-way until well after six that night.

 

And he took my hands.

 

“You don’t need to tell me what you do with your days. I know you’re working. You’re taking care of our son– you’re doing the very most important work there is. I might be the one bringing home a check but, I tell everyone… you ARE working.”

 

He’s never changed that tune.

 

It’s a wonderful thing to truly respect the work of one another.

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9 comments to How do I love thee? Working.

  • I hate the question, “What did you do today?” It can be a hard one to answer.

  • Susan

    You have such an understanding husband. Mine wanted me take care of our premature son, work at home while “he was taking naps”, cook, clean and stay up all night with our crying son. That worked out really well (I’m being sarcastic.) What really happened is that I was so exhausted from staying up most of the night, I would pass out while I was trying to work. I would wake up completely freaked out when the phone rang. My son didn’t sleep through the night until he was about a year old (his stomach was so small he had to feed every couple of hours during the night.) I just want to to realize that not all men are like your husband. You really have an amazing man.

    • I definitely realize that, Susan, and I try hard to not forget it. One of the best things about writing this series, for me, is that it forces my focus on all those dimensions of my husband that are truly wonderful. This isn’t to say he without fault! But I am a lucky woman and I try to always be grateful for that. I hope that comes across in my writing.

  • This is one of my favorite qualities about my hubby too. When I’m so overwhelmed and sleep deprived & mention it to him, he more often than not offers to bring supper home. I don’t know of anything better he could say.

  • Kimberley

    This has got to be one of my all time favorite series ever! Thank you for sharing real life and reminding me of all the reasons my husband rocks, especially when I forget how awesome he is. Your stories constantly remind me of how truly blessed we are.

    • Oh, this comment made me SO happy, Kimberley!! :) That is EXACTLY what I hope happens when people read these posts. I don’t ever want women to leave this series thinking I’m just trying to brag about what an awesome guy I got– I really want to remind myself (and encourage others) to take the time to remember all the reasons these men are so very deserving of our love! :)

  • Eight weeks of paid paternity leave. And you got to take it TOGETHER since you were staying home. I so very much love that! :)

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