Friday, March 2, 2012

No More Leftovers

   My children get the best of me most days--the piping hot dish freshly planned and delicately prepared me.  I put all of my effort, planning, and joy into their school day. We laugh, investigate, talk, snuggle, sing, and play.  Unfortunately, my freshness seems to wear out by about 4pm.  By that time, I usually begin supper prep and the kids are occupying themselves in the family room with toys carelessly strewn about. By the time my husband comes home, all I have left to serve up to him is my disheveled bland two-day old meatloaf self.
  It doesn't help that he is an overly sweet laid-back guy. He would never dream of hurting my feelings by saying, "I see the toy box threw up in the family room again" or "Do you ever wear anything besides sweats?".  And quite honestly, I'm not even too sure that those things bother him. However, I do know that because he doesn't make a fuss; I have lately been giving him the bare minimum.
   I am already thinking of things I'm going to ask him to do before he even walks through the door. I don't greet him as fresh-faced wife eager to hear about his day. Often the first words out of my mouth are, "Please finish Bible study with Lynsey" or "I need the dishwasher unloaded."  He is happy to oblige, and I am so grateful for his help. However, that has made me come to the realization that I am making no special efforts to ensure that his needs are met as well.
  I can't remember the last time I put effort into my appearance just for him. Actually, if I am wearing jeans, a nice top, and makeup for an activity we do earlier in the day, I will actually go home, take off my makeup, and put on sweats before Jeff comes home.  The thing that bothers me is not that he doesn't care because I feel blessed to have a husband who loves my stay-at-home mom comfy self. I am bothered because I have stopped caring.
Why is it that I can justify putting so much effort into my children and homeschooling, but offering nothing but the bare minimum sometimes to my marriage? Isn't marriage in itself a much bigger lesson to be teaching my children than math or grammar? I am suppose to be modeling a Proverbs 31 woman for my daughter so she can learn to be a joyfully obedient and loving wife.  My actions are supposed to show my son the type of woman he should choose.  By giving my husband what is left of me, I am not being the type of wife that God wants me to be, and I am not showing my children what type of marriage they should strive for.
 I often find a million excuses for my apathy. Well, let's face it, most of my days are just a little bit harder than Jeff's.  He will readily admit that my job is more difficult, and sometimes I will use that to justify my actions. The truth is, even though my job is 24-7 , there are many instances throughout my week that are choices. Enjoyable choices. I get to see my friends at playgroup each week; be refreshed by God's word at CBS every Wednesday morning, and I get to spend the day hugging and teaching my precious children.  I'm not so sure my husband gets so many enjoyable choices throughout his day. In fact, I'm pretty sure the most enjoyable part of his day is when he comes home to us.
  I have prayed for guidance in this area of weakness. I know that marriage is the foundation of our family. We cannot properly parent our children or run our household if our marriage is not balanced.  Now that the Lord has shown me this place of weakness, I have started taking steps to improve it.  On most days, I first try to sit with Jeff to talk about his day instead of giving him a to-do list. I enjoy listening about his day, and I think it gives him a good release from any stress he may have had and helps him transition into the husband-daddy mode.  I also try a lot harder to at least go for the "illusion of clean" downstairs before he comes home. I make sure the kids have any extra toys picked up so Jeff can walk into an environment that isn't chaotic.  I also try to put as much effort into my appearance for him as I would for other activities I do(why is it that we get all dolled-up to impress women but let ourselves look like slobs for our husbands? lol) 
 As I said before, my husband never complains about anything. He would never make a fuss or say anything that would make me feel as if I am not doing a good job. However, I still want to show him that I love him enough to serve up the best of me, even if he doesn't ask.  Before we were parents, there was just Jeff and me, and in the blink of an eye it will be that way again.  I owe it to him, my marriage, and my children to be the best wife and mother I can be. Most of all, I want to be the wife, mother, and woman that God called me to be.
"An excellent wife is the crown of her husband" Proverbs 12:4a

1 comment:

  1. such a good post! i too am guilty of this. i had to laugh when you said that if you were "dolled up" for some earlier actiity, that you would change back to sweats before he gets home. i do the same. in fact i look totally ragged right now.
    thanks for the insight. i need to give my hubby more than leftovers.