My husband I had a date day this past weekend.
It included our first Uber ride since the pandemic started,
lots of beverages and snacks at restaurants with outdoor seating,
a return Uber ride back to our home for a kid-free dip in our pool,
and a late-night UberEats order of McDonald's for the win.
It was a real good time, though, it was practically impossible not to discuss
the kids starting e-learning soon,
how much the fear of COVID has limited what we can do,
the surreal new standard that is mask-wearing,
and how much longer we're going to have to live with this pandemic looming.
We talked about my husband's work a little bit.
How though we are so very thankful he's got a job that's keeping him busy,
it's hard to be that busy,
isolated to your home work office,
and only get maybe two hours with the kids every evening by which time they (and I) are grumpy and tired from a long, perhaps dull, often challenging day.
We talked about me and how there's this everpresent feeling of guilt that I'm not doing enough.
That I'm not present enough.
That I'm not organized enough.
That I'm not keeping the house clean enough.
That I'm not keeping the kids happy enough.
That I'm not doing enough to
stretch their brains,
expand their minds,
or make sure they don't fall victim to the 'summer learning slide.'
It's a lot, and it gets me down an on a typical day,
I'm an overwhelmed, under-confident wrecking ball of anxiety.
When I voiced this to my husband, I expected him to tell me,
"Yeah, I've noticed. You've got to do something about that."
I predicted he would say something like,
"Why don't you try to get a better routine going, be a bit more organized and plan more?"
He didn't, though.
Do you know what my husband did for me?
He took the pressure off.
He informed me that he thinks I'm a rock star.
That I'm doing right by our kids and a terrific job.
He shared with me that they are happy. That at the end of the day, each child is smiling and has a funny story to tell.
He told me it's incredible that I'm doing something different with them each day.
He voiced to me how proud he is of me and the job I'm doing.
And then he went a step further.
He made sure I knew, with three weeks left until the school e-learning year starts, that I don't need to put any more effort in than I already am.
That I don't need to do a damn thing differently, except for trying to 'let up' on myself a little more and enjoy our children.
He encouraged me to have that weekday glass of wine if I want it.
He told me that I need to get out of my
super self-critical head
and submerge myself into these
wearing, but precious,
ordinary (but anything but)
moments with our three children.
And because of this conversation and him,
I'm heading into the first week of August feeling a bit
more secure in who I am,
and incredibly thankful to have a man in my life who knows how to build up and support the woman in his.