Honestly, if I read one more article about how dads “don’t get it” or they’re “clueless” I might throw up. Not because they’re completely false, I mean no, my husband will likely never “get” what pregnancy or mom guilt feels like. He doesn’t understand how my mom brain never fully shuts off and how, even with someone in my house watching the kids while I work from the upstairs office, I struggle some days to quiet mom mode to go into publicist mode to get the one million tasks done. I am the first to admit, like said articles, I have resented my husband on various occasions for his working from an actual office. I have dreamt about a quiet commute, picking up coffee and listening to the blissful silence a I sipped my latte in my professional outfit and real shoes before heading into the office, greeting my co-workers with a smile because I didn’t have a diaper bag, or clingy toddler, in tow.
During a particularly stressful day last week I cried to my husband as he emptied the dishwasher, listing for him every tiny thing that I had dealt with during the day, on top of attempting to get my work done. Our two year old was extra whiny because he was recovering from an ear infection. Our four year old decided she didn’t need to nap so therefore was extra sassy. Our nanny had to leave early. The dog was nuts. The bug guy had to be called. The groceries ordered, picked up, and put up. Both kids in and out of car seats in the 98-degree Tennessee heat. Still trying to find a new hire for work and no promising prospects. I cried. I told him most days I was living on Jesus and caffeine, praying for the best but feeling depleted on an all-new level. As he held me I asked, almost defiantly, why does it all feel so hard right now?
And that’s when it hit me.
This is hard for him, too.
He might not get what it’s like in my exact shoes but I have zero clue what it’s like in his. I know he works a very demanding job, serving clients as a mental health therapist, and then some days takes on extra sessions before rushing home. He doesn’t get the luxury of being able to see the kids whenever he wants during the day, and I know he much rather be able to join us for lunch than any colleague. He doesn’t get to take the kids on impromptu walks or play dates. There are some days when my exhausted husband rushes doesn’t even stop to visit the bathroom before finding the kiddos, ready to play and soak up every minute he can with them.
When I stopped to really see my husband, it clicked that it’s hard for both of us. While I had stood there airing my grievances and making him feel bad because of all the things I had dealt with that day while he was away at work, he was cleaning up the kid’s mess from dinner and emptying the dishwasher - because he knew that would help. As soon as he got home and could help, he did. I realized all over again how thankful I am God brought us together and blessed us with two wild, but precious, darlings. This season of serving others in our careers and parenting littles is not for the faint of heart. It’s tough, and we each struggle with a different kind of hard but WHEW, isn’t it rewarding?
So sure, our husbands might not always “get it” but let’s please change the narrative because they are far from clueless. They know so much more falls on us mamas and I assure you, they want to support you and lighten the load. Let them. Also mamas, let’s be quick to put ourselves in their shoes when we can to step in and help lighten their load. After all, we’re in this together, hard days included.