One of the things I never expected thirteen years ago, back when I started being online, was that I would get married “late” (based on when almost everyone I knew got married), that I would have a child within two years of being married, and that I would be a working mother.

My plan was to get married around 25 or 26, have a child about five years later, and then stay at home with the baby while my husband worked. Instead, I got married at 29, had our first baby just before my 31st birthday, had our second baby just before my 33rd birthday, and my husband works from home and stays home with the kids.

It’s had various challenges, and I could talk about those at length. Maybe one of the biggest things has been trying to not be the stereotypical “working parent” who comes home and ignores all the wonderful things the parent at home has done during the day. I’m bad at this anyway; Will has an incredible tendency toward service, and he has taken care of our home, of me, of all the little things that I hate doing, and he does it all because he loves me and our children. I – not having that gift – tend to take it for granted, don’t reciprocate as much as I should, and I forget to say thank you.

I’m trying to be better about that. I’m grateful for the chance to play with the kids when I get home from work. I’m grateful for the dinner Will made for all of us, and the clean kitchen. I’m grateful for having clean clothes because Will took the time to do laundry. I’m grateful that when I came home, Seth (our two-year-old) was happily playing at the sink, “helping” Daddy wash dishes while Will made dinner.

So … I try to remember to clean the bathroom on trash day. It helps me to have a reminder like that. We both hate it, but there’s no reason I can’t do one of the things I hate so Will doesn’t have to. I try to remember to make the bed. (When I write it out like this, it seems pathetically small!)

And tonight we had a special little treat after the kids were in bed. (No, not THAT treat. I wouldn’t tell you about that … ) A French press of decaf coffee with a little pumpkin pie spice, some Laceys cookies, and the choice of decorating the Christmas tree or watching tv. He chose watching tv, which I was very happy with because I didn’t really feel like standing upright anymore today, what with being up since 3am and all.

And now … bed!

Two Cups of Coffee and Cookies
Evening Snack for Two

3 Comments on Saying “Thank You”

  1. Although her plan was a bit different, my wife has so far followed a very similar schedule: married at 28, baby just a little over a month before her 30th birthday… so far our only one, but I guess if we have another before she turns 32, we’ll be right on schedule–thanks for mapping it out for us! 🙂

    For our daughter’s first nine months, I was also the stay-at-home dad. We’ve since become a 2-working-parents family, but neither of us have any doubt that if one of us was to stay home, it would be me. As you seem to understand, it’s all about what works for any given couple, what fits with our own unique strengths and weaknesses: conform to society’s norms at your own peril!

    Happy holidailies!
    John recently posted..Moving On

    • I’ve really been surprised at how well it’s worked out. I knew Will would be a good dad, but I’ve been amazed at how good he is at the staying at home part. I’m grateful it’s worked out this way because I think in a lot of ways he’s the better parent to be home with the kids. Not a lot of kids get the gift of having their dad around so much, and I love it! You’re exactly right about the conformity … the ideas I had definitely weren’t the best arrangement for us. First lesson in parenting: flexibility is key!

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