Monday. I have oft joined the throngs who dread Mondays...return to routine, to work, to the rat race. But of late, and with many thanks to my protective knight in shining armor, Mondays have taken on a new tone for me. One similar to that of drawing in a long, deep breath. At least on the Mondays when I do what I'm 'supposed' to by making it a day to refuel myself. A guilt-ridden, yet healthy choice for me.
Guilt-ridden only because this is a luxury that I realize not everyone is afforded. And most of all, because when I see my husband needing such a reprieve probably even more than I...it's hard to not have twinges of feeling a bit spoiled.
My hard-working and amazing man goes all week long at his job, comes home and tries to make the most of his evenings engaging and caring for us, his family, and continues with the pace straight through the weekend as he attempts to keep up with the never-ending list of projects and to-do's that come with a house that had some design flaws from the start, and the family has outgrown, but we are ever-trying-to-make-it-work, because reality is, there's probably just not any other option right now. He also deals with all the situations, decisions and spats that I finally throw my hands up over and say, "Talk to your father!!" about. He runs interference between the two females in this house who increasingly are both 'coming into their own', which is all fine and well until our 'owns' don't mesh so smoothly. And then there's just me...he gets lots of point for just handling me with such love and understanding...because, though I'm sure you cannot imagine this, but I am not always the most loveable creature on the planet. ;)
So...what on earth does this have to do with marriage, or what I've learned over the years?
It's huge. Seriously. I've argued with Todd about this idea of him insisting that I take Mondays 'off' to rest and refresh. And about how I struggle because I know it's not fair, because he doesn't have...ever...this kind of down time. And his answer to me is, that if I do it, it is better for me, which is better for him. He doesn't want my 'martyr' complex...he wants a healthy wife. And, honestly, doesn't feel any better if I burn myself out, especially in the name of 'fairness' to him. He wants me to take what he is trying to provide. He's not asking for anything in return. But while he's not asking for anything, I know that he does appreciate...well...appreciation!!
This goes both ways, of course. In my days of endless feeding, changing, and general tending of babies, there was often nothing Todd could really 'do'. But I would tell him that just his appreciation of what I was doing...recognizing and valuing it...soothed my worn-out mommy soul, more than he could imagine.
Sometimes it's about 'doing' less, and valuing more. Value each other. Value what you each uniquely contribute to your relationship and your family. Don't take for granted that you are 'entitled' to whatever it may be...'me time', meals prepared for you, date nights, the fact that he runs out for milk at 10 p.m. when you realize the kids need it for cereal in the morning (oh, wait...is that one just me?)...whatever. I've seen more than I care to of relationships that lack the things that I take for granted. Thing that I have tended to think "Well, he darn well better do such-and-such, that's a given!"...for countless wives (or husbands) are NOT a given. And maybe it's even fair to say certain things are just 'needs'...but that still doesn't mean that it shouldn't be appreciated when your spouse contributes, helps out, or takes responsibility for meeting those needs.
In short...remember to say thanks. To value each other. To acknowledge, not only mentally, but to each other, how grateful you are for everything your partner adds to your life. Oh, and while you're at it, thank the Giver of All Good Gifts as well, for the gift you have in your husband/or wife.
Appreciate. (And do it in a tangible way!)
What is one (at least) thing that you appreciate about your spouse? Tell me about it in the comments...and then tell them about how you bragged on them today!!