I can’t even say “this is my confession…” without instantly hearing the Usher song in my head. But this really isn’t that kind of confession. Not a, I did this horrible thing and now my life is over kind of confession, anyhow. Just a: this is my life. My real life. I’m not sugar coating things to make myself sound better, or wiser, or funnier… it’s the long and the short of it. This is my life as I feel it.
There is a lot of pressure in relationships (of all kinds- parenthood, marriage, friendships, work) for perfection, and as it turns out, I am not perfect. (*insert collective gasp here*) I make mistakes. (I know right?! I find it both shocking and appalling as well. Feel free to insert another gasp here.) But I am aware of my imperfections, my mistakes, my less-than-ness. At least most of the time. That said, sometimes I hold people in my life to a higher standard than I do myself. I accept that I am going to fall short (I don’t like that quality, but on most levels, I do accept it.), but somehow I have the tendency to believe that those I surround myself with, should try harder, do more, invest more, and toe the line…possibly more than I do. Even in typing this, I don’t like it. I don’t want to admit it. And I don’t want to be that way. I especially don’t want to admit it out loud, you know, where I can be quoted on it. But there you have it.
Hubbyman had a revelation of sorts this last week. He took a very long road trip with one of our dearly loved friends. Therefore he had more time than usual to process and talk. Probably more time than in the last 5 years. (And by probably, I mean definitely since this was the longest we’d been separated since military days.) This last week he has put forth a lot of effort to make sure I was feeling appreciated, and more than that, that I was feeling taken care of. The first day I was convinced he was in trouble for something, or was paving his way before getting into some trouble. Not because he’s proven that to be true previously, but because he doesn’t always live up to my expectations. I do not mean this disrespectfully or as an implication that he is not an amazing father, husband, and provider- because he definitely is all of those things. What I mean is that sometimes I have expectations for him that he cannot fulfill. They are often unfair, and occasionally unreasonable. But there I’ve said it. Just like he sometimes is less than appreciative of the state of the house, despite how many hours I spend on a daily basis trying to keep it from looking like a hurricane went through it… sometimes I am underwhelmed at how much housework he gets done, or helps with, after he gets home from a long day of work. We all have our downfalls. I by no means am saying that we should no longer expect the best out of each other, or to lower the bar… but when do we start being realistic with each other? Can we know that we’re imperfect, with some acknowledgment that we’re trying out hardest to do our best within our imperfect capabilities? Doesn’t that count for something?
So here is my ultimate confession: Sometimes I have unrealistic expectations for my hubbyman and fail to acknowledge all the things he does do, or give him credit when he does go above and beyond the normal wear and tear of the day. Unfortunately, I don’t limit this to my husband, it’s also with my kids (It’s crazy how sometimes I can have the expectation for my CHILDREN to behave like anything other than CHILDREN.), my parents, brothers, sisters (yes, they’re in-law, but they’re still sisters), and even my friends. (Apparently it’s unreasonable for me to expect them to foresee all my needs and accommodate them. Weird.) So ladies and gentlemen, tell someone in your life who maybe you feel like isn’t pulling their weight (in your home, in your family, in your relationship/friendship, church… and I mean pulling their weight emotionally and time-wise, as much as I do actual work) that you are thankful for all the things that they actually do. Be grateful for the times when they do go above and beyond the call of duty. And then go one step further (c’mon, I dare you!), you go above and beyond for them. Whether it’s bringing home flowers for the first time in a year (or more), or you make a favorite meal and clean up the dishes afterwards, or even just sitting and listening- without rolling your eyes or acting annoyed (no matter what the topic!). Sometimes it’s the little things that can make the biggest difference. Yesterday, my husband did the dishes three times. Once when he got home from work, once after dinner (that HE made), and once right before bed. Did I mention that he also made dinner?! And he also got out, thawed a little, and served me some of my wine slushie! Does it get better than that? Hardly.