st. dorothy mantooth

Today I got to have something I wanted. My husband and children accompanied me to my normal set of markets as I “forced” them to participate in errand-running rather than goofing off or relaxing a bit more. I guess my children are regular attendants often enough, but specifically I invited my husband into my world of planning, shopping, cooking etc (all food-related). I did not let myself feel guilty I was infringing on their “play time” (we made sure to play today, too). I talked about my food concerns and expected him to care (altho’ not necessarily requiring him to remember all of this – that would not be fair) even though I sometimes feel insecure that this is, indeed, most of my day-to-day living and it’s rather mundane. We spent the day having just as much fun as playtime would normally be, and I felt heard and experienced.

When we got home Ralph volunteered to make dinner (Cabbage Rolls and mashed potatoes) and left him in there, by himself, not helping nor bossing. He’d say, “Should I put these in this pan?” and I’d answer or tell him to figure it out, mild in my manner and not really thinking much about it and letting him do it (he was working off my recipe). By the end of the (somewhat laborious, especially for him) process he said, “I like making these.” I felt not only did he help, did he take my shift and get another glimpse of what I do; he also felt how satisfying it could be to do what I do.

So yeah, I have been asking directly and specifically for more help around the house. Why does it feel like so much of the SAHM’s life is unappreciated? Would I “need” my husband to observe and experience if I felt others supported and experienced my life? Ralph and I like sharing one another and our experiences; he tells me about his job and I listen and chime in. I wonder how much of today’s experience was just about me, how much was about my desire for more social time with my husband, and how much was related to validation.

But for some reason it meant something to me to share with my husband why I buy my olive oil where I buy it; how I figure out what to cook; what market I get my forbidden rice from and how I found it.

Now it’s 7 PM and suddenly the rain is coming down in a torrent; heavy, rainforest rain. Amazing. Dinner is served and the family is at the table. Thank you, husband.

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