At this time, my wife Elisa is currently on a 15-day mission trip to Uganda and Ethiopia. While she is away, I took some vacation time to stay home with the kids. I must say I am handling my duties pretty well, considering the house is still standing! During this time, it has kind of made me think about things. About how when Elisa gets back, I plan on showering her with love, and affection, and maybe a gift or two. Not just because I missed her, but because I forgot exactly how much work it is to run a household with a 2 year old and a 6 year old roaming the halls. And that made me realize that we, as husbands, tend go get too comfortable with ourselves from time to time.
We guys (as in I), tend to forget that it is A LOT of work. Running this child to a doctor's appointment, running that child to swimming lessons, then to soccer practice, or a play group, getting all the meals and snacks prepared, putting the house back together after a day's worth of playing, and clean ups, baths, bedtime stories, bed, assuring them nothing is under the bed to get them back to sleep, and press the repeat button in the morning. And sometimes doing so without getting anything done for yourself. Now I know that my wife is a Superwoman in her own right, and she is awesomely great at what she does as a stay-at-home-mom, but getting the hands on experience (in her absence) has opened my eyes even wider than before. That said, I now have a better understanding of how things are when I would normally be returning home from work. And those things are my own assumptions.
Before I used to joke to her about "living" on Facebook, and checking emails in the evening most nights after dinner. This is sort of a light-hearted complaint I hear from several husbands quite often. Well now seeing the full-on routine of the day, and seeing that my kids have only two speeds: Pedal-to-the-metal and Sleep mode, there is absolutely no time to sit in front of a computer during the day!! So now I understand why she runs to check her accounts when I get home, because that is really her first opportunity to catch up on things. So for that, I now feel silly, and apologize for thinking in my own head that things were not as they seemed
So in short, I just want to tell her THANK YOU for all that she does and that I do indeed appreciate her. I also have a whole new appreciation for single parents…….for those of you out there, I applaud you for all that you do. This is a complicated enough job with two people involved, so I just can't imagine juggling the house, the kid's needs and work by myself permanently. Just can't begin to fathom it. So here very soon, I will be celebrating my wife's arrival back home! And you can believe that I will be showing my appreciation
Brandon Hyman is a military dad of two who counts on his wife's good will and flexibility.