My husband regularly makes me cry, and it’s for a weird reason.
It happens when he brings me food.
That sounds a little bizarre, I know. Hang with me.
The other night, when I was feeling turmoil over things that are in the air, things I can’t control, (and it also happened to be “that time of the month”), he brought me a milkshake. And I cried.
Months ago, when I thought he had already left for work, at a time when I was feeling down and frustrated in my role as a mom, he showed back up at the house. Holding a bag with a breakfast sandwich from our favorite breakfast spot. Yep – crying.
Why on earth would I cry over that?
As a stay-at-home mom, I literally spend all day taking care of other people’s needs. For the two little people in my life, I do everything. I change their clothes, help them go to the bathroom or change diapers, keep things clean and tidy, help them get ready for bed, drive them places.
And yes, I feed them. Which takes more time and effort than it probably should, because kids get distracted, complain, fight, and can’t make up their minds. I rank it as being more difficult than dirty diapers, and that’s saying something.
Usually as I do those things, my needs come last. Unless I get up early, I’m the last to get dressed or brush my teeth or hair. I’m the least likely to get as much sleep or a nap. And when it comes to meals, forget it. I usually eat whatever my kids leave on the plate, and call it a day.Taking care of a physical need is a small thing that makes a big difference.
When my husband brings me food, to me it says, “I see you. You have needs too.”
And I don’t mean to complain. I like my day job. I like taking care of my kids. Although some days are harder than others, it is definitely what I signed up for, and I’m okay with it.
But it means so much to be seen. Usually I forget even my own needs as I get caught up in my kiddos’ needs.
It doesn’t even necessarily have anything to do with kids.
The way I knew I wanted to marry my husband was also him bringing me food. (Okay, now you think I’m straight-up crazy.)
One night, after a particularly long and stressful day at work, I called up my boyfriend at the time. (That’s my husband now, just so we’re clear.) We were supposed to hang out, but now it was too late, and I was starving. It was 10pm, and I hadn’t eaten since lunch.
I was in tears. He had little clue about my hectic day, and asked what he could do. “All I want is for you to give me a hug and tell me it’s all going to be okay.” He told me to pull off the next exit and meet him at a grocery store parking lot.
When we parked and got out of our cars, he hugged me, and told me it was all going to be okay. Then he took me inside and bought me supplies to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, which we then sat and ate in his car.
Clearly, food is the key to my heart.
Guys, I’m talking to you. Take care of those needs.
Those things that seem almost too ordinary, too obvious.
Maybe your wife is going through something, and you have no idea how to help. Or you just want to do something nice for her to show you care.
Take the kids so she can take a nap. Encourage her to go for a long walk, or to go out for a cup of coffee on her own. Bring home dinner one night.
I’m telling you, it means a lot more than what’s on the surface. There might even be tears. (But good ones.)
This post first appeared on whatyoumakeitblog.com.