Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Finding a Balance

My friend called at 7 o'clock on Sunday night. She was very, very tired, but had much to accomplish before bed. My call was on that list. We spent a good amount of time analyzing her tiredness. After church, she went home and cooked, served, and then cleaned the kitchen. From there it was on to washing floors, doing multiple loads of laundry, decorating the house for Christmas, planning a party for the church youth group, and getting her entire family ready for Monday. At some point in there, she realized that while she had yet to sit down, her husband had yet to sit up.

She checked and realized that he was not dead, nor was he ill. He simply didn't share her list of things to do, and for that she was beyond annoyed.

In the early days of their marriage, she was a stay at home mom and felt it was her duty to be totally responsible for the house. Her husband went to work every day to provide for my friend and their MANY children. At times, she resented what he did not do at home, but guilt would not allow her to suggest any change.

Then the husband's employment changed drastically and my friend went to work outside the home. But the division of labor within the home did not change.

She made me think about my marriage and how things operate here. Checkered and I certainly have our individual strengths and weaknesses, but at some point in our marriage we reached a tacit agreement that the house, the shopping, the kids and their academic and social commitments, the budgeting of time and money, the lawn and snow removal, and everything else was not HIS responsibility nor was it MY responsibility. All these things were OUR responsibilities. So we juggle, and get frustrated sometimes, and snip, and work together. We're absolutely a team. And by the end of most days, we can still smile at each other.

When each of our children was born, I began to pray for the people they would marry. I pray for Lord's protection and blessing on their emotional, physical, and spiritual health. Now I think I might throw in a little extra prayer. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad if that boy and those three girls who will someday love our daughter and sons really understood the concept of partnership, thoughtfulness, and sharing in marriage?

11 comments:

Checkered said...

Phew! I was getting scared that you were writing as "the friend" and I was the two-toed sloth on the couch. I love what we have!

McEwens said...

Makes you appreciate what you do have. Hopefully they will be able to talk abd work things out

Mental P Mama said...

Amen. I could not imagine living with a spouse who would not share in the household duties. {{{Checkered, too}}}

Pleasing Procrasinator said...

I am glad to hear that some still do have that balance in their homes. I am living more like your friend and starting to become annoyed myself.

Julie said...

amen, we are like that too and it is so important!

Ashley said...

My husband and I have certain tasks that we agreed to do. For instance, I cook and he cleans up the dishes. I do the laundry but he helps fold and sort. He does the yard work.. I do most of the cleaning inside. But these are lax guidelines and we help each other out all the time. This weekend I blew and raked all our leaves in the front yard! Crazy! But it feels good to get things accomplished!! I'm glad you have a partner to help, as well. Hopefully your friend's husband will learn to pitch in.

Betty said...

When we first got married and I worked full time I often felt resentful that my husband did not pitch in more in the household. But after we had kids, I stayed home half days, so it was more natural that I did the "house stuff" and he did the "outside" stuff. Somehow it all worked out.
But I can totally understand where your friend is coming from!

Dr.John said...

I think marriage needs to be a partnership. I always did what I could to carry my end.

Laura ~Peach~ said...

my husband...helps sometimes... there was a time when I worked and he was home he did everything at home... so I guess MOST of the time I dont resent his lack of help ... he does work hard outside (in the yard) so for now all is well.
HUGS to you and yours and send me your mailing address please!~

Cairo Typ0 said...

My husband is wonderful and often helps out around the house. He also does most of the cooking. He's not good at keeping things tidy, or appreciating the concept of tidy. *sigh* But he is good at "clean" so i'll take what i can get.

Sue said...

Resentment is not fun, so I too will pray that my girls find husbands who can share the load!