The past week of my life has been one of the roughest, but also one of the most reflective. At the ripe age of 34, I got the news a few weeks ago that I needed to have my tonsils removed. Ick. If you are familiar with this procedure then you know. If you are not, imagine the worst pain of your life, multiply it by 137, set it on fire, drop it in your mouth, then you might have an idea. Tonsillectomy surgeries for adults are ridiculous. When my doctor told me 1-2 weeks of recovery time I secretly thought “Whatever, give me 2-3 days tops.” Nope, she was right. Not only was she correct, but one-week week post-op when I still couldn’t speak, this ‘tough girl’ was in her office begging for more pain meds. Yes, I said one week without speaking. I mean, can you even deal?
Let’s back it up to before the surgery. Like any other busy momma, I was nervous about the well-being of my family while I scheduled myself to be potentially off-duty. My parents and hubby had already arranged their schedules to be available for help. While that was comforting, ya’ll mommas know that we still just have this need to control all the details– leaving lists and directions for lunch packing, homework, which kid goes where at what time, who reads what book, and so on. Leaving all those little things in the hands of someone else can be downright frightening. In our craziness, we must somehow fear that our kids won’t get fed, make it to school, or bathe. In the back of our minds, we see our littles just wandering mindlessly like little zombies eating and attacking everything in sight because we aren’t there to control every move. So when I thought about my husband taking over as ‘mommy’ to the zombies as well as managing all the household duties– laundry, kitchen clean-up, etc…. that was almost enough to convince me to not have surgery.
Why was this thought of my husband taking over so frightening to me? Oh, that’s right, because I have control issues. I’m not always this precious little kitten of a wife who has the children neatly kept and a newspaper ready at 6pm. No, I have a way. A way that I do things. A way that I think is the only way they can be done. Two days post-op, I was out of bed trying to make sure everyone had eaten vegetables and the kitchen was clean. I could barely speak and hardly move, but something in me just couldn’t let it go. My husband looked at me and firmly said “You are a terrible patient and I am not happy with you. I got this. Now go back to bed.” I tried, ya’ll. I tried to muster up the words and the energy to stomp my feet and fight for my domain. But I lost. I couldn’t speak, so all wars were off. I had to surrender to the King of the house.
Back to bed I went and God did a little number on me just like I was hoping he would when I am down and low. He showed me that I have got to surrender some control and trust in my husband to be the Leader of the house. And the only way he could get me to do that was to take all my ability to fight it and leave me in bed sky-high for a week.
I am so guilty of saying to my husband things like:
“I wish you’d spend more time with the kids.”
“Why don’t you help them with homework?”
“I wish you’d clean the kitchen without being asked.”
“Why don’t you take out the trash without me asking?”
“This is not how I want you to do (insert any random task).”
I am always hovering over him. Watching how he does things to see if he does them like I do; inspecting his work to see if it grades well on the score-card in my head. When he does something around the house, I critique it or
nicely condescendingly tell him how he could have done it slightly better. When he does something with the kids, if it’s not the way I would do it, I feel the need to let him know. I walk behind him picking up his trash, coffee mugs, and clothing like he’s a two-year old.
Ladies, raise your hand if you’re guilty of this, too? We think we are doing so good
handling dictating it all, meanwhile our husbands walk around on eggshells unable to actually be husbands, fathers, and leaders in our home.
I was given no choice but to just shut up, sit back, and pray the house didn’t burn down. Guess what?!! It didn’t. I would get up out of bed occasionally and find him snuggled in a chair reading to one kid, or packing lunch and practicing spelling words with another. He got everyone dressed in the morning and to school on time, kept the kids fed & bathed, and everyone made it alive all day every day. He even kept up with friends and neighbors who would bring us meals, took back their dishes, got kids picked up from birthday parties, and purchased gift cards for the football coach. He was loving, attentive, and doting on me. Hopping up at night to keep me on a medicine schedule. Forcing me back in bed when I wanted to get up. Laying hands on me and praying for me with the boys. Can you believe it? When he didn’t have me monitoring his every move, he stepped up to be the husband and father I always am
encouraging nagging him to be. I just shut my mouth and mountains moved like never before.
So ladies, I am encouraging you to just shut up sometimes. Step back. Let your husband be the husband he wants to be, the daddy he wants to be, and the leader he is called to be. Trust that God has given you the proper man and that God has instilled wisdom, discernment, and insight in him. Trust that those are his children also. Trust that it’s his home also. Trust that he is just as capable as you. Trust that God is good and will always provide. I promise, you will be blown away with the results.
The real question: Can I continue to keep quiet when necessary now that I am healthy???