I won’t tell my husband “thank you” for watching our girls when he’s not at work.
I used to, but I won’t anymore. I had this moment of realization when I caught myself saying thank you to him when he was simply doing what he is supposed to do naturally given that he is the father of these two lovelies, and they are his responsibility as well.
I won’t say thank you for going to work today (though given the amount of snow days as of late, I’ve secretly been calling his school to thank them for not cancelling despite the detestable weather). I won’t say thank you for going to the dentist. I won’t say thank you for putting air in the tires of your car. So why in the world did I find myself repeatedly gushing thank you!!! as I was putting my coat on to go to my job? Why would I do that?
Reason: He’s working a regular job, and I know how tired that makes you feel. Except that I also know how full-time parenting is a regular job and how tired that also makes you feel. We're often meeting on equal levels of energy on any given evening.
Reason: I don’t want to bother him. Except that if I can’t “bother him,” then what recourse do I have?
Reason: He’s a guy who wants to do other things. Except that he’s foremost a guy who is fully committed to being a full-time father, and if I don’t let him spend alone time with his children, then I am the problem. And we both want to do other things. We share the time we have.
I deeply value the little extras that he gives me, including the rare hour home by myself upon occasion. I choose to reserve my heartfelt thank yous for those times when the gift was proffered unexpectedly rather than for the day-to-day existence when we are both doing our understood jobs.
Hey…thank you for giving me some time yesterday to work in silence. It was exactly what I needed. Thanks.