I admit, I’m the first to complain. I’m the first to point out when the garbage hasn’t been taken out on time, or when the clothes sat too long in the dryer and are now wrinkled. So I’m going to try something different – say thank you more often. Point out the good. Sounds so easy, but I’ve already caught myself a few times and it’s only 9am.
My husband and I don’t always see eye to eye … in fact, we usually don’t. (Our differences are what we love most about each other.) So for this Valentine’s Day I ‘dropped hints’ that I’d like to do something special. In fact, I believe I said, “you know mom said she could watch the kids so we can go out for dinner this week – and I love chocolates!” Translation: take me to dinner and get me something special please! Doug – you know I love you … but my not-so-subtle hints are usually missed. This year, you made me feel special!
Doug came into the house so excited … ran downstairs to finish his Valentine and came up with this:
“In the entire Milky Way, there is no one I love more!” He got me chocolates! in the shape of a heart! with clipart! My mistake was not telling him how much I appreciated the homemade valentine.
So often I wait to be taken out to dinner, to open a store bought gift or to be given flowers. But Doug reminds me how special something quiet and homemade can be. Yes, I still want to have a reason to get dressed up and do adult things … however, that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t appreciate the small stuff too.
Being a stay at home mom has proven to be harder than anticipated. I hunger for validation and I constantly feel under appreciated. When I plan something special for Jaden and I to do together and it ends with him telling me he hates the cookies I made for him and he doesn’t want them anymore (because I told him we’d had enough cookie dough for one day) – I’m crushed. A 3 foot tall 4 year-old crushes me. I think “come on .. he’s four … don’t let him bother you”. He doesn’t understand that he’s hurting me so badly. I should take this situation on as a learning opportunity. But he’s my legacy … he’s the proof of everything I did for the day. He’s my job.
It’s compared to when working for Kohl’s I work for months on a manual to find out the table of contents wasn’t updated before going to print, so the pages are all wrong. All of my effort goes out the window when the ‘powers that be’ are upset with me. I’ve always been someone that takes pride in their work. I take pride in my kids. Talk about working for an unappreciative boss! haha
So I turn to Doug for validation. I look to him to build me up, to remind me that I’m important and I did a good job today (even if the kitchen is a disaster). So much pressure for one person to carry, but true none the less.
So what do we do? Stuck in a hard impossible place. I’ll keep talking. Keep telling a safe friend when I’m feeling terrible, when I’m sad and don’t want to function. I’ll work at thanking Doug rather than complain when a chore is missed. I’ll keep loving my kids. I started to read the “Love and Logic” book to be a better mom. Doug said he would read it too so we can be on the same parenting page. I hope Doug will keep looking for reasons to take me out – to have date nights. I’ll find easy ‘free’ date nights in to counter balance Doug’s preferences.
Look even writing this blog has helped me find more positives and not so many negatives. So perhaps I should keep blogging too