A Good Day

11 February 2014

We knew when Jacob started this job back in the summer that things would be crazy in January and February.

But we didn't expect it to be this crazy.

There was so much work to be had that my brother moved to Houston for it and is living in our third bedroom, and another friend from Fredericksburg is currently bunking in our (albeit pretty homey) garage and occasionally his wife (my best friend from childhood) and their eighteen month old join the fray. Don't read that sentence again. It's too confusing. Just know it's been BUSY. The days are filled with snotty babies and giggles and tantrums, and the nights are full of big meals and laughter and beer and husbands cleaning the kitchen after oh-so-subtle reminders from their domesticity-weary wives.

It's wonderful and very very hard. My friend and I managed to have a few conversations over the toddler din, and when we talked, we talked about our plights as stay at home mothers tending to the endless needs of little people; we talked about how the days are generally frustrating, always exhausting, and sometimes pretty decent. We also compared our days and experiences to our husbands' who for the time being are working all day every day. There are days when Jacob arrives home late in the evening, I toss a baby in his arms and shuffle off to the kitchen (via a solo trip to the bathroom) so I can get food on the table before our toddler barrels into the over-tired freak outs.

He holds the baby with one arm and tries to close out jobs on his iPad with the other, and in frustration he says: "I know you didn't see it, but I worked really hard today."

I drag a toddler to his eighth time out of the evening and rush back to stir the onions on the stove, and in frustration I reply: "I know you didn't see it, but I worked really hard today."

And it's not fun to be that wife. I don't ever want to be that wife. But I have been before, and I certainly will be again.

As I talked about this with my dear friend, I remembered a day not too long ago - a day when the house was still in boxes and the weariness of moving still hung over every moment - when a mom-friend here in Houston texted and said she could get us into the zoo for free that morning if we wanted to come. I was lying on the bed nursing Lucy June, and I started my stock response of how we couldn't because of all that we needed to get done blah blah blah, and then I thought: Jacob would love it if we went to the zoo. Jacob would love it if he came home tonight, and I said, we didn't get a single box unpacked today, but we did see a VERY pregnant elephant. And we did it. We went to the zoo.

As I told this story to my friend, I realized something: nothing blesses my husband more than when the littles and I have a good day.

So, husband mine husband dear, I've determined to have more good days. Each morning when I think of all the things I want to get done, I will remind myself to have a good day.

And even when I haven't had a good day, I want to stop in my frantic blitz clean of the living room before you get home in the evening and remember at least one good thing about my day. That way, when you ask me how the day went and I automatically begin the montage of crazy: "Lucy June ruined three outfits before 10am and Jake threw blocks at me while I was nursing and even though I feel like I spent the whole day cleaning the kitchen, it's still a mess..." I can finish the list with that one good thing: "...BUT Jake did spend half the day in a helmet and leg warmers telling me he was pretty cool."

Me: Jake where did you put my keys?
Jake: Ummm...I put them somewhere.
And now I must go have a good day...and get my toddler out of the bathtub where he has been for the last hour so I could have a cup of coffee in peace.

24 comments :

  1. I often feel the same way when my husband gets home - I only see him sitting in his chair, having a few moments of peace, when he's been working hard all day. And he just sees that I got to "stay home". It's good to remember that we're both working hard for our family, in our own way. Along the same lines of this post, I thought you would enjoy this article also. http://www.organizinglifewithlittles.com/2014/01/26/for-the-unappreciated-mom/

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  2. Lovely post! And a good thought. I am exactly that housewife, too much of the time. Sometimes it helps just knowing other mommies fight this same battle. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I plan on following your advice. :)

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    1. I'm so glad! One thing I feel very capable of doing at this point in motherhood is bringing some nice big steaming cups of solidarity to the table!

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  3. That exchange between you & Jacob couldn't be any more similar to a thousand convos Sean and I have had if you were sitting right there in our living room. I hate that, HATE it. Yet I keep doing it - ?? You are so spot on in this post. I'm learning from you, friend.

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  4. Amen amen amen. You wrote this for me, didn't you?

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  5. Love this, Kate. You are so right. Jimmy likes nothing more than for me to have a good day.
    P.S. The expression on Lucy June's face as she looks at Jake is priceless.

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  6. You are right on, so much depends on our attitude. Choose joy, and your life will be more joyful. Pretty simple, but pretty hard to actually do.

    I think as long as both husband and wife know and really FEEL that the other is doing their best for the family, it's much easier to be grateful. It's when we feel that we are doing more than our share that things get dicey. And isn't that just fallen human nature. Nothing a good Confession can't fix :)

    Great post, as usual, and I hope you can get some quiet time together!!

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  7. Hello - This is my first time here, via Moxie Wife. I want to thank you for t this post! If you only knew how much I needed to read it this morning. My husband is traveling for work right now, so I am home (pregnant) with our 5 boys, and feel slightly overwhelmed. I feel encouraged today. Thank you!

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    1. Welcome to the RLog! I'm so happy to have encouraged someone so out of my league! Five boys with a baby on the way is positively medal worthy!

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    2. I agree. Congrats, you are blessed x

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  8. Thank you, thank you for this perfect post! Somedays I need a reminder that though neither see the work we do, we still do it! I have been trying to lead with the good things lately and it really changes all of our evening attitudes. The 3 year old dumping a gallon of milk in the dog dish story can wait...

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  10. This is how my roommate responded:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTYZzjC4O_k

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  11. So I feel like with blogs, we often read a lot of the same ideas on marriage and motherhood, rephrased and repackaged, and that's wonderful and truly comforting. But this! I'd never read this idea before--that husbands are blessed by their wives having good days. Thank you. And well done.

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  12. O so true Kate.
    I remember years ago Paul walked in and I vomitted out every thing that went wrong that day and then he said "You know what darl, I hate hearing all this. I hope one day you tell me you've had a great day"
    ….so I've been working on it ever since.
    SO SO SO SO SO SO true. you've hit the nail on the head, and every SAHM should read this.
    But just sometimes I slip out another vomit!
    x

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  13. I'm inspired! So now my goal is to NOT call Ryan on my way to work in tears over my non-good morning at least four times next week.

    But...can I call you instead?

    And Anna needs her shoes. I think we have officially lost all other matching pairs we didn't leave at other people's houses. Do I smell a play date?

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  14. You mean choosing joy isn't stalking upstairs and drinking wine and reading in bed while I sulk? Ugh, Kate, stop making me realize how ridiculous I am. It's terribly inconvenient....;)

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