She was a mom who had every hair in place, her seven children were immaculately groomed and well behaved, and her house sparkled. She was organized, beautiful, and loved the Lord. One of the older children informed me “I love our home because it is always happy.” But this beautiful woman told us as a young mother she struggled with her role as a mother.
Particularly, she said, she found that even when her husband was home, she kept control of the children. She didn’t want him bothered after a hard day at work, so she ran interference when the children misbehaved. If he was in the other room feeding or bathing a child, and the child was crying, she would rush into the room and take over. She made all of the home school decisions (even though she dutifully allowed her husband to have the “final say.” What stopped her was the realization that her actions were preventing her husband from developing relationships with the children, and that as they grew older, they were more obviously needing their dad’s input.
This talk was given years ago, but I remember it well. I’ve been thinking about ways that I can help Lee make the most of the time that he spends with the children. I don’t want to hinder his interactions with them. Since I’m with the children all day, I can share knowledge with him that will be helpful as he talks with them. I can deny myself the pleasure of cleaning up the dinner dishes with him so he can play with the kids before bed. Life is full of challenges, isn’t it? Cleaning up by myself is one of the hardest choices I can make, but I think it’s a good one for now.