rick & 1j13
Thursday, November 20, 2003
In the typical household, the family workload is something like this:
  • KIDS - go to school, do homework, play, bedtime
  • DAD - go to work, pick up groceries, play, bedtime
  • MOM - go to work, check homework, go back to store for what Dad missed, watch as everyone plays while doing laundry & dishes & fixing lunches for tomorrow, bathing kids, catching up on bills & correspondence, making plans for weekend, etc etc etc and then some

    It's not much different in our house (I do dishes!). Everyone would probably agree that mothers get a heaping portion of the workload, making it easier on the rest of us. That's why I wanted to write and tell how the kids and I are trying to keep Vicki sane this week. It's Play Week, with opening night of the AHS Drama Presentation of DAYS OF OUR SCHOOL LIVES tonite in the auditorium. For the past months, she's had rehearsals through the week and things to do through the day. But last week and this week is all culminating right now, and she's at her usual frazzled state. That's not a bad thing, and everything turns out well in the end. But I'm trying to use this time to teach our kids how to help others get through life.

    If there's anything she doesn't need, it's whiney and clingy kids. Our daughter's been especially rough with "I miss Mommy" every night. Of course it's cute and endearing, but it's also rough on Mommy's way-too-stretched-out psyche. I'm trying to teach her that I love Mommy, too, and that we all miss her, but that I love her so much that I want to do everything to help her have a great week including giving her the time she needs to do it right. That goes for play week, but also for the mornings when we're all trying to get ready for school - don't start arguments over what pants you want to wear, and instead, smile alot and be helpful so that you can help others start their day off right, too. Stuff like that makes morning something special instead of a chore to endure each. day. of. the. week.

    Okay, this one's not going so well. But I'm planning right now to get alot of the backed up stuff done tomorrow evening. While it's been busy for Vicki, it's been busy for the rest of us, too, and Friday evening's the first night we'll have to just watch TV and get some housecleaning done. But that is so important to our wives. Men, take the garbage out, after cleaning the kitchen and vacuuming the den. Major bonus points, and the house will just feel better. Especially when your wife is stressed out - coming home to a clean house makes a huge difference. At least I hope it does tomorrow night.

    You've heard it before men - women need to be touched. Don't let her stress and standoffishness be a barrier to a knowing and understanding and empathetic hug. It'll mean more than you know, as the woman of your life feels your love and melts in your arms. Let the kids see Mom and Dad loving each other - and let it be a big time for a group hug. Find something to laugh about together. Affirm her as often as you can, letting her know how much you appreciate what she's going through, how much she does, how much you miss her, how much you look forward to the time when the stress is gone and you can just be together. With us, after Friday the play is OVER for another semester or so. That's releasing to me, and I want her to know I look forward with her to this pressure being over, being done well, being memorable as a memory that's behind us instead of as a stress still looming large ahead.

    Just a few things... affirming my wife today while she teaches her classes and gets things ready for tonite's opening. We'll leave a light on, dear.

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