I tell my children that if they need help, they have to ask for it. No one can anticipate your needs all of the time nor should they have to. No one is a mind reader. I had to be reminded of this lesson myself.
Last week at my MOPs meeting, the speaker spoke of being jealous of her husband able to have his me time and she not being able to have the same. (If you have been reading the blog, you know that I struggled with this very thing earlier on.) The speaker said that she never told him how she felt when she saw him sitting on the couch, watching television, or doing any other activity that bought him pleasure while she was tending to the baby and his needs. She never told him with words that she felt abandoned or that she thought he didn’t take responsibility for their son. She did express how she felt by not speaking to him, stomping her feet, and slamming doors. The speaker spoke how she had to learn to ask for help and to be specific in her request. She had to learn to say when she needed a break before her breaking point came. She had to learn to ask him to give their son a bath so she could have a minute to get somethings done. She had to learn to use and incorporate her “parenting partner” (her husband) in their child’s daily schedule.
Having that sharp reminder exposed the many ways that I’ve shot myself in the foot. My husband would say he was going to give Jazmine a bath and I would tell him not to because that was our time. My husband would offer to do the laundry but I would decline his offer saying I would get to it later. My husband, “parenting partner”, would play with our daughter but I would cut it short because I wanted to keep her on schedule.
This past week, my husband did the laundry and watched that baby while I took a nap in the middle of the day. I looked at him and said, “I don’t know what sermon you heard or who got in your ear, but I am really enjoying your new husbandly acts.” He just smiled. Now that I’ve had a chance to think on it and look back over the past 21 months, I had a startling revelation. What if my husband has been this awesome the whole time and I am just now realizing it? That would make me and idiot, wouldn’t it?
Yes. Yes it would. I took a dip in the shallow end of the pool and tried to tread water. I am recovering from my idiocy and now asking for help. The truly awesome thing is that he wants to help! Essentially, by refusing his help, I pushed him away all this time and he, being a gentleman, did as I requested. I was telling him to back off and he did just that. By not helping, he was only doing what I asked him to do. He didn’t change. I did.
Now I am telling him to help! Help! HELP!
So what if he put the baby’s summer lotion (Aveeno) on her instead of her winter lotion (Aquaphor). So what if the laundry isn’t sorted exactly as I sort it. So what if he put her down at 9:15 instead of exactly at 9PM.
The point is, he is willing, and able, and wants to help and I will be taking all the help he wants to give me from now on.