Yesterday afternoon, my sweet guy called me and said he'd be home in 15 minutes. I was so excited that, for once, he'd be off of work at a decent hour instead of working late like he's used to.
But as soon as we hung up, I looked at the big pile of dishes I hadn't been able to finish and the fact that I had just gotten home only a few minutes ago from running around town in the rain with a 4 year old in tow. (Did you know that buckling and unbuckling a car seat can add about 10 minutes to your shopping spree?)
Oh no, I thought, he's going to be home and I haven't finished everything yet!
The perfectionist in me reared it's ugly head and told me I should have done this -- I could have done that -- but I didn't.
Now, of course he can help me with housework (and he does!), but I like to do it myself and have it out of the way so that when he is home he can relax and we can enjoy his time off together- which is sort of limited anyway.
I looked down at my lunch - since that was overdue, too - and sighed. I wanted him to come home, but if these things were undone now then they would be undone tomorrow, and then my perfect schedule would be all out of sync.
I spent the evening with a not-so-perfect attitude and begrudging the fact that our norm was thrown out of whack. But when our "norm" has been eating supper without Daddy because he has to be out working late, I have pitied myself that we can't be a "normal" family where the Daddy gets home around 5p and we can all eat supper together as a family.
So... what gives?
My caring husband held me in his arms and asked what the matter was. What was frustrating me? How could he help? And I told him that it was just one of those days where there is so much to do, yet so little time to do it. Then, in an effort to help ease my troubled mind, the hard working, work-exhausted guy put aside everything else and helped me hand wash dishes.
The world would tell me just to put him to work - he can handle it. Use him as another pair of hands to get the work done. And besides, I've been busy, too. Despite popular belief, housewives don't just twiddle their thumbs every day, all day. It's not like I'm not exhausted either.
But I don't want to put him to work. I don't want him to have extra 'chores' he has to do before he can actually relax for the evening before he has to get up the next morning and do it all over again.
When he pulls into our driveway in the evenings, I hope a sense of calm comes over him and he thinks of our home as a haven. A haven from the non-stop busyness of the world. A haven from the horrible traffic he sits in day in and day out, a haven from the noise, the pollution, the crazy. Certainly not come home and find a wife who's frazzled just because he happened to get off early today.
Besides, work is work. Housework never seems to get "done." Dishes will still need to be washed. Clothes will still need to be hung up. Things will still need to be put away. Sticky floors will still need to be mopped. But we will grow old. Our daughter will not be 4 years old forever. Our family will probably change over time. And that's both exciting and kind of scary. Because that just means that our lives will just continue to get crazier, and more hectic, and busier. But it will also mean that dreams are coming true. That we will be living a lovely life - one filled with love, peace, joy and fulfillment. One that we know is blessed of the Lord.
Of course, there is always time for work. But I don't want it to become something that takes over our lives. A tidy home is so much more enjoyable, I'll be the first to agree, but it doesn't have to dictate how we live. I don't want to forget how to be spontaneous. How to watch the sunset with my two loves while those dirty dishes continue to be dirty. How to teach my girl to watch the birds build their nests while the table has so much stuff on it. How to take a day trip to a new place while the laundry can't put itself away.
Because, I want to live life.