Get any group of married women together, especially moms, and there will inevitably being a gripe session about husbands.
“He never puts the seat down!”
“Just once, I wish he would put his clothes in the laundry basket.”
“Maybe the kids wouldn’t run to me first for everything if he didn’t pretend he couldn’t hear them.”
“I feel like the household chores are all on me. How is that fair?”
There comes a point when you actually feel pressured to join in the complaining, even when there’s nothing in particular to complain about. I know, I know – who doesn’t have something to complain about, when it comes to their spouse?
Let me preface this by saying that our relationship is not perfect. We have fights, we do things we need to apologize to each other for, but when I hear some of the crap that some women have to put up with, I need to tell you that I’m pretty damn lucky.
I’m always shocked to find out just how little some men do around the house. Some women act as though laundry basically only gets done because of them, but it’s kind of the opposite in our house. My husband washes the towels, dishcloths, and bedding, something I have trouble keeping track of. He also tends to be the one to put the kids’ clothes into the wash, and sometimes he puts their clean clothes away, too.
He basically singlehandedly takes care of the cats, feeding them and cleaning their litter (thank god). And while I’m generally in charge of meals, he loads and unloads the dishwasher as often as I do.
We alternate who puts the kids to bed, but let it be known that, throughout the school year, my poor husband has endured putting screaming babies to bed 1-2 nights every week, while I go sing in a choir. In fact, when my daughter was 5 months old and would only tolerate me putting her to bed, he would take her outside all bundled up, even in the dead of winter, to walk her around the neighbourhood until she fell asleep.
For as long as I can remember, we have alternated who got to sleep in on weekends, and who got up with the baby, or kid, or kids. And during the times when I was up all hours breastfeeding, he would get up with the kids in the morning every single day and let me sleep. Hell, if I stay up late completing assignments even now, he’ll get up with the kids to let me sleep. And while you’ll never catch him making their lunches, scrambled eggs or pancakes are always on the menu.
Probably the most important way my husband has been incredible is how supportive and encouraging he has been, throughout my postpartum depression, my challenges with breastfeeding, my decision to pivot careers and pursue freelance writing full-time. Never once has he questioned the legitimacy of my feelings, and he has always encouraged me to seek additional support, as needed.
It may seem silly to write an essay about how great my husband is, but the truth is, I think so many of us spend time criticizing our partners that it’s easy to harp on the negative. As I said before, my relationship isn’t perfect. We’ve had our ups and downs. But any time I find myself getting irritable about what my husband hasn’t done, I stop. I give myself a moment to breathe, and then I think of what he has done for our family, and for me.
And then, I am humbled.