My husband is pretty awesome. He helps around the house…a lot.
For example, while the girls and I were at a movie on Monday, Tom took down all the Christmas decorations (including the tree), put them all away and then cleaned the family room, which is where the tree had been.
He also put up a light my mom gave us for the girls’ room. It’s lovely. Wanna see?
Yep, pretty, right?
He also makes dinner for the girls several times a week as well as packing Liv’s lunch each evening for the next day at school.
Since he works from home, he’s the on-call parent when there is a snow/fog day, a sick kid who has to stay home (though since having their tonsils ripped from their throats, both of my girls have been doing really well as far as colds/illnesses go (now I’ll go knock on wood because I can just hear the karma bus revving it’s engine.)) and during holidays like this past week.
So yeah, he does a lot for our family.
Yesterday while at my mom’s house talking about all that Tom does, one of my aunts asked me, “So what do you do beside lay around and look pretty?”
Which…okay. I know she was almost, sort of joking and if I’d called her on the question, she’d have told me to stop being so sensitive, it was a joke but really? REALLY?!? What do I do?
Well, first, I leave the house five days a week and go to work. I provide our family with the insurance that paid for both of our girls to have their tonsils removed so they could get through a month without a strep diagnosis. I earn a paycheck that pays for our groceries every single week and buys the little things like a trip to the movie theater every few months.
And when I get home each evening after work I am the mama. I parent all evening long. Sure, Tom might have made the dinner but I make sure they eat it. I call them to the table, I sit with them while they eat, I listen to Alyssa talk about Pentatonix and Olivia tell me the elaborate dreams she wishes she’d had. And though he packed Liv’s lunch, I sit with her each evening and make sure her homework is done. I help her study her spelling words. I sign her agenda, I meet with the principal and her teachers when it’s IEP time.
I change Liv’s sheets at least three times a week. I make beds and fold and put away the laundry.
I sit with a girl on each side of me for hours every single night, seven nights a week and rub Liv’s back while Alyssa shows me a YouTube video of Pentatonix that she’s showing me several times before.
But honestly, does it matter?
How we run our family seems to be working for us. We’re all in a really good place right now and it really shouldn’t matter if others can’t see that.
And for the record, the aunt who asked the question has a very helpful husband too. They’re both retired and while she shops and visits with her sisters, he steam cleans their kitchen floor. But I’m not judging that because it works for them.
I guess what it comes down to is the fact that I sometimes feel like I don’t do nearly enough to make an impact in our family. I feel like Tom does so much more and having someone from the outside looking in question my contribution to our family stung a little because it was like the voice in my head that is so freaking mean to me came to life in the form of an aunt. And to have to stand there and justify my very existence in my marriage, my family was hard. It hurt to hear the question voiced by someone else because even though Tom seems to think I do enough and he never, ever complains about how much he does, I still wonder if I’m ever going to be or do enough to deserve him.