Last night might have been a new record for snark in the Caffeinated House. Now, granted, we had just arrived home from a trip to Northern Wisconsin and everyone was just fried. Traffic was good for an Easter Sunday, but we still had been on the road for 9 hours and the Siren call of home was unmistakable.
It took a bit longer to get the Dragonfly to sleep and while I was parenting her down, the Mister unpacked the Swagger Wagon and brought everything up. All of our luggage was piled neatly in the middle of the room. When I finished with our youngest, I started the unpacking processes. As I am beginning, he looks at me and says, “You are doing this now? The drive was so long, aren’t you tired?” My answer: “Yes and yes. When else is it going to get done?” Him: “Tomorrow?” Me: “Well… You are working tomorrow morning and to be honest, I’d rather take the time now and take care of this without the “help” of the girls.” Him: BIG SIGH.“Fine.” And he starts, huffing and puffing and tossing stuff around.
I want to pause here and tell you one of my favorite bible verses, and it popped into my head at just this moment: 1 Corinthians 13:4-5
Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,
I took a breath and said to him, “You are welcome to help me out here, but if you feel that you are unable to then it might be best for you to go to bed.” He went to bed. I followed about an hour later.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I can be very snarky and sarcastic. There were a million and one comebacks snaking their way through my head, itching to find their way out of my mouth:
“Yes, I know the drive was long, I was there too. I offered to drive on multiple occasions, but you declined.”
“What does it matter to you when or how the luggage is unpacked? It’s not like you were here to pack it.”
“I’ll just tell the nanny to take care of it when she wakes up, after all, without her help, I wouldn’t have been able to get us all packed and out of here all while recovering from Strep and you were out of town.”
“Wow. I didn’t realize that I had three children!”
I am not proud to say that I thought those things but I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t a little bit frustrated with him at that moment. We were both tired and patience was spent, but since we do not live in FairyTale land, no matter how tired a person is, the work will not be done unless someone does it. And I am sure that it was just a matter of perspective as well… he was thinking that I would have all day to get everything unpacked and put away while he had to be up early to leave for work. I was thinking that I would rather take care of all of this now because there is no way that I would be able to get everything that I would have to do on a “normal” day done, in addition to post-vacation unpacking. (For the record… I have about 6 loads of laundry to get through, bathrooms to clean, vacuuming to do, and floors to mop and that’s not counting just trying to keep up with the clutter and messes that the girls leave in their wake! Plus I have to make it to the market at some point because we really have nothing to eat in the house except for some Saltine Crackers (from my bout with Strep) and some tea.)
But the other half of this exercise is not keeping score… not bringing up the fact that he didn’t help with the post-vacation recovery when I felt the need to get a dig in. Being in a marriage is not about getting a one-up on the other person or getting the best dig in. Each partner in the marriage has a role to play and sometimes those roles are not equitable but they are what they are, you can either live with them and offer your perceived sufferings up, or you can work to change it. I am blessed that I am able to stay home with my children, but the other half to that is that my husband works long hours and travels and does not contribute as much to the running of the household as I would like him to, there just aren’t enough hours in the day. However, he counts on me to run this household smoothly. He cannot do his job effectively if I do not do my job effectively.
It is so much easier to be angry and irritable than it is to be light and effervescent, but remembering the words of St. Paul… Love is Patient and Kind. And doesn’t keep score. After all… what do you get when you win?