I load dishes in the dishwasher, scramble together my current stack of books, bible, journal, computer, shoving them into my hastily emptied diaper bag. Tugging my pink beanie down over my ears, I head out into the cold + dark, smiling at the few scattered snowflakes still floating down.
It’s Tuesday. And I’m hurrying. I only have two hours.
Tuesdays are quickly becoming my favorite. This sweet guy has given me Tuesday evenings all to myself. We talked at the outset of the new year about some of our goals + hopes for this year and I asked him if it would be okay for me take one night a week to invest a bit more intentionally in writing. (Or to just lose myself for a bit in a book without the constant mommy-radar that I have up when I’m home, listening and responding to little cries. Or just to scroll mindlessly around the interweb. OR to take a nap in the car, I don’t know.)
I had said how I felt like I could never turn my brain off. There are certainly times during the day when the kids are sleeping and I have time to get a few things done or relax, but in the back of my mind is the constant awareness that I’m on-call to take care of them if they need me. It’s usually fine, but on occasion, it can wear an introvert right out.
It’s one of the most beautiful things about marriage lately, the way we can be a team. The longer we’ve been married, the more we’ve learned that we all function better as a family if each of us has the opporunity to recharge in the particular ways that we each need. It’s been fun to make a habit of asking each other what we can do to ensure the other spouse rests. Sometimes what gives the soul rest is a good hard run in the quiet wilderness where the only sound is your labored breathing and feet on soft ground. Sometimes for my husband, rest is having time to tinker around in the garage and work on his motorcycle or woodworking projects. It’s important for us to make time to connect with each other and go on dates. It’s important that we make time to be all together as a family. It’s important that we connect with the kids. In the midst of all of that, it’s easy to neglect our own souls. Lately we’ve been working on taking turns holding down the fort so the other person can do something that feeds their soul.
And don’t go thinking that we just have a good marriage. We have been married nine years this May. NINE. It’s no small miracle that we didn’t kill each other the first five, but here we are, not just surviving anymore, but (dare I say it?) thriving. The marriage we have now still needs a lot of work, of course, but it is one we have fought hard for. Any progress we have made has come with a lot of blood, sweat, tears + prayer.
This season with three little ones under 4 years old is a very busy season. In order for us to not burn out, we’re learning we have to be intentional about working hard when it’s time to work, and resting hard when it’s time to rest. Playing when it’s time to play.
“To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.” Eccl. 3:1
A time for decaf americanos and words in cozy coffee shops late at night. So, there it is. It’s Tuesday again, and I’m writing a little and just savoring this strange-vaguely-familiar-yet-sort-of-foreign sensation of remembering that I’m still an individual.
So.. here’s to husbands who hold the 2 month old while they give the four and two year old a bath. Here’s to husbands who do all the dishes (even though they hate it), who read scripture and sing bible songs over sleepy children as they tuck them in bed. Here’s to husbands who believe in their wives and speak words of courage over them when they think they have nothing to offer. Here’s to husbands who tell their wives to dream. Here’s to husbands who sacrifice.
I’m so thankful for mine.