Please read the following quotes with a snarky, irritated tone of voice.
“I can’t exactly do this by myself!”
This was my husband, trying to take a messy bib off a potty-training toddler who was running away down the hallway.
Are you kidding? It’s one kid, and a bib. Seriously.
This was my husband giving two little boys a bath.
Then why do you do extra-curriculars until long after dinner, and expect me to bathe both kids myself?
This was my husband trying to get both boys dressed for church on Sunday morning.
You realize I do this every single morning every week while you’re working, right?
This was my husband trying to make waffles with both boys in the kitchen.
How do you think you have dinner to eat every day, Mister?
“I’m tired, y’know?”
Same husband, explaining why he’s watching TV instead of helping me clean up to host a party of his coworkers.
TV makes you less tired? How handy.
Falling asleep reading the boys their bedtime stories, which inevitably makes them screech and whine that he’s not “reading it nice.”
Not an excuse to poop out on your kids!
Sending me to do the grocery shopping by myself at 9 pm.
I am so tired I could fall down. What gives you the right?!
These “cries of desperation” make me so ANGRY. They reek of self-centeredness, weakness, lame excuses. It feels like I carry the brunt of the parenting, and when my husband needs to do one minor task he can’t handle it. I mother the boys solo for 10-12 hours per day, but still need to help him do it for 2 more hours in the evenings?! As though a yogurt-covered bib is the most difficult possible scenario with two boys under 4.
Then, my perspective shifted dramatically. (Do you ever feel like the Lord just smacks you upside the head with an attitude adjustment? That’s what happened.)
I was in the middle of a mighty internal struggle, trying to hold back my biting words (the comments in italics.) For a blunt, opinionated woman like myself, this struggle is a lot like plugging holes in a dam with my fingers. I usually fail. But this time, I had a revelation.
My husband floundering in these mundane tasks doesn’t mean he is being wimpy or trying to pass off his parenting onto me. It actually means I’m a superhero.
That I possess an important set of skills, a talent at putting out proverbial fires, can juggle an inordinate amount of crises at once. That my super-intelligent, creative, patient, 2nd-grade-teacher husband is flattened by fatigue and mess and multiple toddlers, and I am not.
The fact that I can do this full-time parenting gig all day every day and still stay awake through storytime, not get yogurt on the carpet, remember the groceries late at night, throw parties, and have neatly dressed little boys is a testament to my strengths, not his weaknesses.
We stay-at-home moms and dads, we professional parents, are superheros. We can accomplish what many others cannot. We’ve been called to have an enormous mental fortitude, determination, and patience, and continuously pour from what we have been given into others.
I’m really glad my attitude has shifted about this BEFORE we add more little humans to this family
So the next time you hear your partner say, “I can’t do this by myself!” or “Could you just help me?!” or “I’m too tired!” I suggest choosing to hear “You’re a superhero!” instead.