Tuesday, April 20, 2010

How You Doin'?

Evaluating...prioritizing...getting things in line.  It makes for a happier home!  It opens up the door for QUALITY time.

One of the things I discussed with my dear husband (after our blah Saturday) was that I feel like I parent alone at times.  Yes, he is home more now with this job.  Yes, he works hard and is a great provider.  Yes, he helps me with anything I ask him to help with...and yes, I am VERY grateful.  I truly am blessed by the husband I have.  I know that, and I try hard not to take that for granted.

But, what I needed my honey to realize...what I believe most wives want their husbands to realize...is that we would like to NOT have to ask!  We would really love it if our partner thought like a parent WITH us and stayed alert and diligent to the tasks at hand.

Sweet Tom...he always tells me, "I'm sorry babe.  I just don't notice it.  I just don't think about it."  The other day I just had to say, "But if our boys give US that excuse, it is not acceptable to you!"

I was the baby of my family and my mom worked hard around our house.  She would tell me to do something, and I knew that if I put it off long enough she would just do it for me.  Yep, seriously...I was that rotten!  (She should have whooped me good!)  As a result, I didn't know how to do a lot of things when I married at 19 and moved away.  Tom took pictures of me the first time I cleaned our toilet!   

Since those days I think I have worked hard to become a good keeper of my home.  My food is edible at least!  LOL  But, I certainly have had to TRAIN myself to notice things that need done.  I don't love doing it, but I do love the result of it getting done!  

I don't love all the time and effort it takes to be a consistent, caring parent, but I do love that my children are secure in our relationship and their home.  It's worth it!  

Saturday, I hit a wall!  I was exhausted and things were colliding together.  I didn't know how to even begin to tell my husband.  I struggle with not wanting to seem ungrateful and not wanting to put any more on his shoulders.  But I am homeschooling our sons and interacting with them CONSTANTLY!  

What it really came down to is I just need him to be a more active dad.  He's a good man and a good dad, but he isn't always attentive at putting the first things first...not because he doesn't care, but because he doesn't realize something is missing.  Our kids are not crying at his leg for attention like they use to.  But, I do see them acting out in ways that I think Dad's attention could help correct!

Tom wasn't angry with me for expressing this.  He WANTS to know how I feel and how he can help me.  He WANTS to be a father that connects to his kiddos!  (Thank God!)  So, on Sunday, after our talk, we took a family walk/bike ride and then he did Science experiments with them!

He can't do a lot of physical stuff because of his back injury.  He isn't an avid hunter or fisherman.  He's a computer/science/math guy!  So I said, "Don't try to be something you're not with them.  Do what you're good at!  Include them!"  

So they learned how a submarine dives and launched a diet coke into the air with Mentos candies...and they LOVED it!  I could tell by their laughs and smiles, but I also heard Trey say, "Thanks for taking the time to do this with us Dad."

Yeah...I was...I was saying, "Thank You Jesus!" on the inside because I NEVER want my precious husband to feel like I am just nagging him.  You can bet if I am going to say something to my amazing man, it is going to be for good reason and to benefit everyone, not just so I can put him down!  I hate being made to feel like I am a failure, and I don't want him to feel like that!!!

During our talk, I told Tom not to even take my word for it.  I told him maybe I was the one who was thinking something was lacking in his relationship with our boys, when perhaps he and the boys think everything is just dandy.  I told him to talk with them about it...ya know, ask them how they think he is doing.  He hadn't done that before Trey made the comment he did.  I think it spoke volumes.

I think we all need to do that with our kids.  I think adults don't usually give kids enough credit to know how they feel nor enough opportunity to speak it out!  I think I have the relationship I do with my boys because being home with them allots me many opportunities to just talk with them...about all kinds of things!  

So, that reminds me, right now I need to finish this up and get back to helping them with school.   We are in the midst of a really, really, really good book!  And, ya know what?  I think I will ask them how I am doing as a mom.  I'm gonna choose to humble myself and listen with an open heart to what they think I need to do differently...because when we give people a chance to speak up, they know they are valued by us.  (I'll let ya know what they say...even if it's terrible! :)

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