I always complain that "life" gets in the way of, well, living. I mean it rather tongue in cheek, though. None of us can avoid things like work, caring for the children, laundry, cooking, etc. We have to do those things in order to survive, pay our bills, and be decent members of society. We can, however, allow those things to take over our lives.
Barb Wire Man and I have definitely allowed that to happen recently. I am incredibly blessed that I am able to work at home, but that certainly doesn't mean I don't work hard. I am able to stay at home with my two precious children, like I feel God has called me to do, but I also care for other's children. I've always taken that incredibly seriously. Essentially, I am filling in for their mommy. I truly act as though they are my children when they are with me. If my job is to teach my own child about his numbers, letters, manners, and God, then it is also my duty to teach the other children. I still have to change diapers (literally, about 18 a day!), fix breakfast and lunch for 5-8 kids, get them all down for nap, plan activities, and play. On top of this, I still have my household duties. I cook all our meals; breakfast, lunch and supper. I have mountains of laundry that I have to wash and hang out to dry, then fold. I have toilets to scrub, floors to vacuum and mop, and I try to make sure my house is spotless before Barb Wire Man gets home from work. By 5:00 in the evening, the last thing in the world I want to do is, well, anything basically. I certainly don't try to make sure I look pretty for him, because I'm around kids all day. I darn sure don't feel sexy by the end of the day! He understands this, but I know he would love to come home to a wife who at least looks like she took a shower.
Barb Wire Man drives a semi truck, so his hours are hardly 8-5. Some days, he is out the door by 4:30 in the morning, while other days, he doesn't leave til 7:00. Some days he is home by 5:00, but often it is 7:00 or later. Sometimes, he doesn't get to come home at all, and "gets" to sleep in a little bed in the back of his truck. His job duties include far more than just sitting and driving a truck. I ride with him every chance I get, and I know that his job duties are physically taxing on him. Once he gets home, there are always things I need for him to do. I know how tired he is, so I try to do everything at home by myself (which makes me even more tired!), but there are some things I cannot physically do. When you are short, sometimes, you just need a tall man to help! He trudges through, and does the things I need help with. Because the kids haven't seen him all day, all they want to do is play. I'm pretty sure he uses up the last few ounces of energy he has on our children. I've asked him many times how he has the energy to play with those two the way he does. Once the kids are in bed, all he wants to do is sit on the couch, watch TV and get on his computer. I don't blame him for this at all ,but he knows that I'd give anything for conversation, a little attention, and to simply be acknowledged.
So, what is a couple to do? We could eliminate our jobs and daily chores from our lives. Then, we'd be homeless, hungry, and most likely childless! Of course we can't do that. People make time for the things that are important to them. Outside of work, we do have an abundance of free time. I don't know about you and your spouse, but Barb Wire Man and I could make time for each other. We have chosen not to do so. I have always poured my efforts into caring for my children first. Keeping my house in what I deem "perfect" condition was second. Those two things alone consumed me. I had no energy left to be sexy for him. Barb Wire Man's spare energy went to the our kids, sitting at the computer, and watching TV. Noticing me was last on his list.
To put it bluntly, we acknowledged each other when we had to. We have wonderful, amazing conversations during the day on the phone. He sits in a truck, and has time to talk! But at night, we are alone while sitting on the couch together. After the kids are in bed, I busy myself with cleaning the house...even if it is already clean. I sit on the couch with my computer in my lap. Barb Wire Man sits on the couch watching his TV programs and is on his computer at the same time. We know what all our friends are doing, what their kids are doing, and even what their grandkids are doing, and we know what they are all thinking thanks to things like Facebook and Twitter! But we don't know what each other is thinking. We don't know what the other is feeling. Basically, we know more about people we are merely acquainted with than we know about the person we claim to love the most. And we have allowed ourselves to become okay with that fact that the most we say to each other is "Are you ready for bed?".
We both know this is something that must change. We must stop busying ourselves. We don't have to leave our house once a week to go on a date, though that would be awesome! We don't even have to swear off TV and Facebook. But we do have to set aside time every night to really talk with each other.
We don't need to talk about the kids. We don't need to talk about how our days went. We don't need to talk about what we are going to have for supper the next day. We do need to get to know each other better and continually. "Where do you see our family heading in the next five years?" "Am I meeting your needs?"
I know surely we aren't the only ones who go through this type of thing in our marriage. Hopefully sharing part of our story will help you, as well as keep us accountable. What type of questions do you and your spouse ask each other?
Yicarechech Adonai L'Olam Ve'ed
(May God bless you and keep you)
- ▼ July (9)
- ► 2012 (79)
- ► 2011 (136)