Hello world! Happy Saturday! Today, I’m feeling particularly grateful for all of the blessings I have in my life – of which there are many. My focus today: my dear husband.
On a normal Saturday, my husband would get up with our oldest, bring her downstairs, set her up with “Finding Dory” for a bit until little brother woke up, pour me a cup of coffee, then one for himself (because he’s wonderful), maybe start breakfast… He’s my dream guy. Once I roll myself out of bed, come down to join the living and settle into my comfy chair with my coffee (thanks, babe!), he might go upstairs and take a quick shower to get ready for the day. Well, sadly, today is not like a normal Saturday. Ernesto has a conference which will occupy him all weekend! I miss my husband!
I’m a stay-at-home mom, so weekends are like a partial break for me. He’s so good with the kids and gives me some relief when I really need it! It’s not a huge deal that he isn’t here to help with the kids – it makes it like a normal weekday – but I just miss getting to do things together! Tag-teaming parenting! Seeing him play with the little ones or feed them or cook for us or start a load of laundry (he’s incredible, I know)… It’s just so nice to be by his side and witness this amazing man I married. Did I mention I miss my husband?
Many wives of doctors feel lonely throughout certain parts of the medical journey. Doctors miss out on a lot of things because of the crazy hours, conferences, meetings, etc… But let’s be real. There are MANY jobs out there that have awful hours and stress, making it very difficult for people from all walks of life to spend time with their loved ones. Regardless of whether your spouse is a doctor, nurse, truck driver, manager, server, etc… Every single job out there can be tough and stressful. As spouses to these highly stressed individuals, one of our responsibilities is to alleviate some of their stress in any way we can. How can we do this? Well, I’ll tell you some of the things I try to do to help my hubby.
Set out his clothes for the following day.
Ernesto needs to wear business attire to work. Some residents can wear scrubs because it is practical for their training specialty. Not so for my guy! So, ironing or steaming his clothes and hanging them up in the bathroom for him (so he can get dressed after his morning shower) is a huge help for him. I also provide his undershirt, underwear and dress socks.
Pack his lunch for the following day.
Some hospitals will provide food for their residents/interns for free as a benefit. Our current residency location doesn’t do this, so I try to pack him a lunch each day. There are some days when all I have on hand is materials to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or a grilled cheese. That’s OK! It’s still food. I try to make extra food for dinner each night so that he can take leftovers the next day, but sometimes it doesn’t work out that way! Throw in an apple and a cutie and that’s a pretty good lunch!
Also, I’ve heard of women putting love notes in their husbands’ lunches as a sweet gesture… I’ve not done this, but I think I might start!
Prepare his morning coffee.
We had a Keurig, but it’s getting a little old, so we chose to invest in a super-fancy drip coffee maker (just kidding… we got this one for $20!). Each night, I’ll grind the coffee beans and set up the timer to brew at 6:00 AM. If I’m extra thoughtful, I’ll set his travel mug and lid right next to the coffee maker. I know… that’s something that would take him 0.5 seconds to grab himself… but why not do it?
Many mornings, I’ll come downstairs while he’s in the shower and I’ll prepare his coffee for him. I know just how he likes it and it’s one less thing for him to do when he comes downstairs!
Give him a loving send-off.
“We love you Daddy! Have a great day!” and add a hug and a kiss. Why not, right?! Start his day off right!
Give him a proper greeting when he comes home.
Hugs! Kisses! “I love you! Tell me about your day.” And having something to eat, ready for consumption! Even if dinner is still simmering away on the stovetop, having some kind of snack for your husband will probably make him happy. Maybe he would like a beer? Ernesto enjoys beer, but we usually don’t budget for it (trying to save $$$!)… It’s a nice treat every once in a while though and if he’s had a long day, why not have one ready for him? The point is: be thoughtful.
Ernesto also likes to be able to take off his work clothes before the entire family descends upon him. That’s hard to do when the three-year-old is running around like a mad woman and has been asking about Daddy’s whereabouts all day, but it can be done! Perhaps your spouse would like a few moments to wind down from their workday before diving into their after-hours job (a.k.a. parenting)?
Some of those are super simple, but they’re just a few of the things I try to do every day to make his life a little easier. Truth be told, I forget or don’t get around to doing one or two items on that list some days… For me, it’s about forming good habits. I am still in the process of forming those habits and I occasionally forget a step! That’s OK! “Progress, not perfection,” as my sweet husband always says.
It’s nice to do these little things for Ernesto, but I want to do MORE! One of the keys to doing more is paying attention to your spouse. What do they like? What do they value? What makes them feel good?
Ultimately, my goal is to live a life of service joyfully. “Progress, not perfection…” I struggle with making selfless choices every day. It’s not selfless to do a kind deed with the expectation of praise or appreciation. It’s not selfless to do something with the end-goal of receiving something in return. Even if you are doing something that benefits others, it’s not truly selfless unless you do it simply because it’s the right thing to do. I still struggle with this. I want to do things for Ernesto and not worry about whether or not he notices or appreciates it. That’s what I’m working towards! Selfishness is very prevalent in today’s society. Women don’t tend to like the idea of “serving” their husbands… The idea of serving has been twisted and given a negative connotation, but I’m working very hard to reframe my mind in such a way that I don’t simply conform to society’s view of what my role as a wife should be. I want to be the kind of wife God wants me to be. I recently read an article that I thought did a good job of discussing what the Bible says about a wife’s role in marriage. Check it out here. There’s even a link within that article that discusses the role of a husband in marriage – it’s a great idea to read BOTH.
Don’t get me wrong… I completely understand how hard it can be to serve selflessly… When you go out of your way to do something nice for your spouse, but they don’t even notice, it can hurt. Or if you work hard all day, cleaning, doing laundry, cooking, caring for the kids and your spouse walks through the door and asks if you got “X” done on the to-do list… Maybe it was the ONE thing you didn’t get to that day. It hurts! You might feel like what you did wasn’t enough.
Well, friend, try your best to keep your mind in a positive place. It might seem impossible, but consider this: don’t do the housework or kind gestures for your spouse… Don’t do the laundry for the benefit of your family. And don’t do it for yourself… Instead, do it for the glory of God. Do all things with God on your mind and in your heart. You may have moments where you feel abandoned or alone. When you feel unappreciated, you may wonder if it’s worth it. Do they even notice? I can’t answer that… But I can guarantee with 100% certainty that GOD notices. God sees everything that you do. You are literally never alone. While you’re sitting, folding laundry, God is sitting with you. He’s admiring you for how loving and caring you are. He looks at you with the kind of love that we can only dream of and marvels at his creation. You may not feel like what you do matters, but I promise you, it does. God cares about you and your daily tasks. He wants you to do all things with a happy heart, knowing that HE appreciates you for all that you do. So, really… who cares if your family doesn’t notice your hard work? Your Heavenly Father knows and that is all that matters.
Jesus led by example. When he washed the feet of his disciples, much to their shock and dismay, he wasn’t worried about how filthy they were. And he certainly wasn’t looking to receive anything in return. There are SO many examples in scripture of Jesus’ selflessness. I want to live a life of love and selflessness like Jesus.
So can you commit to letting go of your need to be recognized for all that you do? Can you stop worrying about whether or not anyone notices? Let’s do it together. It may be challenging, but you are not alone. Nobody’s perfect, and we are human, so… expect mistakes. When you feel like you can’t handle something, lean on God. He will give you the strength! Just always strive to be better and remember, we are striving for “progress, not perfection…”
Ernesto and I have been married for over 4 years (5 years in July!) and we are still a work in progress. Our marriage will always be a work in progress. We will have good days and bad days… But I love that man so much and I enjoy growing in our relationship and our love of God with him! The picture above still puts a goofy smile on my face. He is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made and I feel so blessed to be his wife.
I hope you have a wonderful weekend! Try to do something selfless for someone today. And share with me some of the sweet things you do for your spouse to show them that you care. I’m always looking for new ideas.
Thanks and God bless!