Monday, November 27, 2006

Go Bug Daddy!

Here's a disclaimer: I think I have mentioned that my husband is a huge help to me around the house and I am really grateful most of the time. But, we were getting ready to leave for our vacation last week. I had a long list of things I wanted to get done running through my mind that morning. Some things were basic: shower, pack, dress the kids, clean up the breakfast mess, fold up a little laundry and leave the house "clean".

Well, Mike had his own list of things to do. Make pancakes, go buy dog food, pay bills (okay I know that one's important), do stuff in the garage etc. While I was still trying to complete the first item on my list (and I felt a shower was pretty important) the kids had a million questions, Abby had packed 10 pairs of pajamas, Annie was raiding the bathroom cabinet and dragging all sorts of interesting things throughout the house, someone couldn't find any clean underwear and all this while I was shaving my legs. I quickly got dressed and started throwing things into suitcases. Everything I put in, Annie took out. I went out to the kitchen to get something and would you believe there was still a mess of syruppy pancake plates and griddles all over? The kids were running around and I was cleaning up (I would have been happy with cereal)!

I looked over and there was Mike sitting in front of the computer with a cup of coffee! Then he proceeded to get up and grab his keys and head off on a dog food run. I was stunned! How can this be? Maybe there is an invisible bubble around Dads, I don't know. And this isn't the first time this has happened. He sits down to read a book and the kids come looking for me. I sit down to read and book and get interrupted so much that I read the first sentence 20 times before giving up. He shuts his eyes on the couch and we all try to be quiet. I shut my eyes on the couch and there are very urgent needs that can't wait. Whatever I am trying to do there is always someone underfoot, talking to me or bugging me. And believe me I have tried to ignore them like Mike does at times, but instead of giving up they just get louder and more demanding.

I want to yell, Go Bug Daddy! or for him to miraculously step in and h-e-l-p! But there are two lessons here. One is that he doesn't always think the things I'm doing are that big of a deal (and I think the same thing about his lists). He doesn't really care if the house is messy when we get home. I do, but I suppose I could learn to let go because when we get home with all our junk it gets messy again anyway. If we had taken a few minutes to talk about things that needed to be done before we left we might have been able to work on things together.

Secondly, this is my life. I'm the Mom. These are probably die to self times that I need to just accept the fact that my life is one big interruption right now.

But sometimes I think we create this problem ourselves. Maybe every little need and question of our kids doesn't need to be answered or attended to right away. I think that is why the kids don't bug Mike because they know I will drop everything and attend to their problem. Ultimately it's another area where I need to live in sacrificial service. It can be really frustrating but it's an area where I need to give over the God. He can help me be more of a servant. And I need His help not letting bitterness and anger towards Mike or the kids grow out of these times. I tend to find myself stomping around and stewing.

And just now I had to stop to help Annie and get her to bed and get Jenna calmed down while I was trying to finish this. Guess where Mike is? On the couch with his book (oblivious!) Come on Michelle, die to self! This is going to be tough!

Philippians 2:3
"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit,
but in humility consider others better than yourselves."


Mike said...

Hmmmm. How can a husband respond to this? Yes, I do have the spiritual gift of discernment (aka ignoring my kids).

Anonymous said...

This is SOOOOOO true at my house. We tiptoe around and let Joel eat his meals in the family room during packer games, but who tiptoes around when I'm trying to scrapbook or read! NOBODY!

Sometimes I do say, "Can't you see I'm making supper with one hand while the other holds the baby and Daddy is on the computer! Go Bug him!" This is definitely a cause for bitterness and resentment to build up.

I have found that I have to be better about asking for help, trying to let him know what I need because sometimes he really doesn't see what is so obvious to me, and to try get on the same page on those days when we both have different agendas and "lists". This was a post!

Mike said...

I see a problem in the anonymous comment above. Your husband still watches the Packers? Praying.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Mike, he still watches the Packers... he's not a fair weather fan like some teams' fans to the west of here! :)