These past 9 days or so I did something different. I conquered a bit of fear. It wasn’t bold like jumping out of an airplane or climbing Mt Everest, nothing like that. It was something not as life risking, yet something more rewarding than any of those things. With the help of some wonderful friends, I sent my wife, Addie, packing for her 40th birthday on a 9 day trip alone, and I survived playing mom and dad for those 9 days.
On this little adventure, I learned a few things about myself, my wife, my kids, men and all you women out there who do this little mommying thing full time.
1.It’s easy. What?!?! That’s right, it’s easy. It’s easy to make assumptions from my perspective on what it means to be a mom. When I go to the office every day, putting in the work then coming home expecting dinner on the table, things at home to be in order and the kids to be excited to see me. It’s easy to expect that on a daily basis when I’m NOT here all day experiencing the non-stop life of a mom moving from one whirlwind to the next. Seriously…ladies…I salute you. Day 1 I had it down. Clothes picked out the night before…lunches made the night before ready to go the next day…showers done the night before. Then transporting children to various extracurricular activities like Volleyball and choir etc. Nailed it day 1…then each day it got a little easier to forget things.
2.Kids need food. I realized this when dinner time rolled around on day 2 and the kids began asking me, “Dad…what’s for dinner?”. Yeah, I forgot about a dinner plan. I was just finishing patting myself on the back for making sure breakfast and lunch were successful.
3.Hy-Vee Dinners. Just so y’all know…Hy-Vee has some great dinners for $5 on Monday nights. Yeah, that was my back up plan. I went to the store because I had grand visions of grilling some pork chops and asparagus…until I sat in the car driving to the store…finding my eyes feeling a bit fatigued from the hustle of homework, getting kids home, answering questions, talking to them all about their days. Why is that so tiring? I salute you again mothers around the globe.
4.Shower Daily. So here’s something. On Day four, or three, I decided to sleep right up until the time I needed to get the girls all up and out of bed. Forgoing a shower thinking to myself, “I can do it later in my free time”. Pshaw. Like I said earlier (see learned lesson 1. “It’s easy”) you move from one whirlwind to the next. Then when the kids are at school, you are then cleaning up after the whirlwind. By the time you sit down, you think to yourself, “I should take a shower. Wait…it’s already 11, it’s almost lunch time. Don’t waste time on a shower when you can eat. Because in three hours you have to get the kids again.” That’s right, I didn’t shower that day. My apologies to any who interacted with me. Lesson learned, I got up earlier than the kids the rest of the time for a quick shower. I liked myself better.
5.Lifelines Rock. Seriously couldn't have done it without the help of a couple of moms who took on extra kids every once in awhile. Delivering them from one place to the next to watching them for HUGE chunks of time during the weekend so I could lead worship at Grace and see Thor. Thank you Rebekah Herzog and Marie King!!!! You were my lifelines this week!!!
6.Husbands. Dudes. Seriously. Listen to me. If you ever get this chance, if you don’t get the chance you HAVE to create the chance. I’m telling you, your wife needs a break. She may not be asking for it…but I’m betting if you were to offer it up, she’d jump on it in a heartbeat. I can say that this small taste of nine days has given me a miniscule glimpse of what my wife has done so well for the past 13 years. It’s not easy. For those of us who go into an office, I know, it’s work, but listen…your wives are on ALL THE TIME. Consistently waiting on someone who needs their next meal, to tie a shoe, to help with homework, to clean the kitchen, to listen to a child’s story that they’ve heard for the thirteenth time (with a smile). Whatever the timeframe is that works best, figure it out. But you have to let them do it.
7.Wives. Have I mentioned I salute you? We husbands need you. Our families need you. I seriously don’t know how you all do it.
So tomorrow my amazing wife flies back from 9 days of time alone in Florida. While I didn’t pull a rip cord to a parachute while falling from an airplane, I do feel a sense of accomplishment knowing that I can do this. It may not have been pretty…and the kids graciously pointed that out to me several times…I did spend some crazy good quality time with my girls that I haven’t had a chance to do in a long while. More importantly, I had the chance to express my appreciation and gratitude to the woman that makes it all go every day. I’m praying she feels refreshed, rejuvenated and loved. Knowing that she truly is the heart that makes this family accomplish so much each day. Love you Addie!!!!
Now get back home please!!!