Appreciation for Partnership

Lisa and the Boys

Lisa has been home from California a couple days now.

The time away was a great break for her, which was my hope. She works so hard as a stay-at-home mom of two boys (and now baby number three on the way) I wanted to give her an extended time of no responsibilities. It’s been almost a year and a half since she has gotten away like this.

I was thinking about the last time I had the boys solo for multiple days in a row. Things sort of went the same way: really good for the most part, but with one big blowup from me. It’s kind of funny, but kinda sad.

Funny, because I guess it’s predictable what happens when Mom leaves. She’s a powerful presence of peace in our home, and when she’s not here it’s obvious.

Sad, because I haven’t changed as much as I thought I had. My capacity to handle stress has grown, but the boys are 17 months older than last time. The stress they can induce in a given moment has grown alongside my capacity. I want my growth to outpace that.

The physical toll of parenting can be obvious. But the emotional side of carrying all the responsibilities is so taxing as well.

That is what I feel the most when my wife is gone. Emotionally worn down.

Without her here to take on some of the physical duties with me, the emotional toll begins to grow at a rapid pace. She not only bares much of the burden of getting things done with me, but shares the load of stress that can come when handling all of the pieces.

We got home from the airport about dinner time. Lisa jumped right back into mom-ing over dinner by helping to oversee the mess the boys create. Then she got them in the bath. Afterwards I got Abel ready for bed, and she did Asher. We all read stories together. I put Abel to bed while Lisa did Asher.

Once the boys were down I drove Lisa’s mom home (She was in California as well and flew back with Lisa.). When I got back to the house Lisa was finishing up the dishes from dinner. I sat down at my computer to do some work and make a little extra money.

I love the partnership I have with my wife. After almost 10 years of marriage — nearly half of that with kids — we’ve started to do the dance of life in-step with each other. Our lives and our home are so intertwined that when one of us is gone it fractures our normal functionality.

But when we’re together, operating as one unit, it’s what makes our house feel like a home. We equally bare the responsibilities, carry stresses for each other, and share the joy of having an awesome family.

It’s funny how we appreciate things even more when they are gone, even if it’s just for a little while.

My wife is pretty amazing.

What do you appreciate about your spouse? How do the two of you balance the workload of your home?

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Adam Hillis

Adam Hillis

I help family men connect and commit so your wife won’t leave you and your kids don’t hate you.