When my husband walks in the door from work each evening I immediately stop what I am doing, dance happily toward him, skip circles around him as he places his briefcase down and removes his jacket, then I begin to fill his ears with all of the wonderful things the kids and I did that day.
You don’t believe me?
Ok. You got me.
Totally lying. In fact, the exact opposite is our reality. When my husband walks in the door from work each evening, I let out a highly dramatic sigh of relief, jut out my lower jaw (fumes optional depending on the severity of the day), spew out 3-5 complaints about my stress level, the kid’s poor behavior, the messes I’ve dealt with and the tantrums I’ve survived, then end with something snarky like, “And now…. they are allllll yours. They still need a bath, homework-round-3 needs to be attempted, and NONE of them are getting shows or dessert tonight because they have had QUITE a night. And not in a good way.” Then I huff upstairs to stare at piles of laundry.
It’s quite the welcome home, I imagine.
And I’ve realized, in my many moments of staring at those piles of laundry in the moments after my husband’s return, that our day wasn’t actually that bad. No, in fact, it was pretty great.
I left out all of the good stuff because for some reason, unbeknownst to me, I feel like I need my husband to see all of the hardship. That mom life is the tough life. That it’s exhausting and tiring and anxiety producing. But in fairness to myself, the timing of everything is partially to blame. It’s not my fault that kids conspire to be complete and utter whack jobs between the hours of 5 and 7 constantly needing things and whining for things……. like asking for Girl Scout cookies two minutes before dinner is served and then throwing a fit because I shockingly said NO which results in a tailspin of “YOU are the meanest of all the moms in the entire world” bull crap. And thennnnnn, as soon as I sit down to take my first bite, one of them has to pee and the other one spilled their drink and the other one is still sulking over Carmel Delight deprivation. You didn’t know that was a real thing, did you? And it is usually just AFTER all this that my husband walks in.
So is the grumpy bitch mood justified?
I think so.
But I’ve been thinking…..is it really fair to keep all of the good stuff in hiding?
I didn’t tell him how number 2 played hockey by himself for 30 minutes straight and commentated the entire game and how I spied and laughed and ignored the mark he made on the wall because it really was too cute.
I didn’t tell him how number 1 ran off the bus and gave me the biggest hug and they we played outside with friends and number 3 flirted with the 4th grade girls and it might just be the funniest thing I ever did see.
I didn’t tell him how when I was making dinner they were all playing together in the basement doing the “Hooo-HA” chant in a tight huddle and then falling and laughing and getting up to do it all over.
I didn’t tell him that we made brownies and I left way too much in the batter bowl so they all had plenty to taste and that I’m pretty sure I found the way to their hearts.
I didn’t tell him how number 3 had a vocal dual with Adele in the car – the louder she said “HELLOO”, the louder became his off-beat/off-pitch/off-word version of “Take me Out the Ball Game.” And I freaking LOVE Adele, but his song was the one that made my heart swell.
I didn’t tell him that the kids made me go down the slide and that I swang on a swing (is that even a thing?) and did “under doggies” like it was my job. Because it is my job and it was actually kinda sorta really fun.
I didn’t tell him that felt pretty damn special when the boys were fighting over “my mommy” or how they said they didn’t want to do ANYTHING but sit on the couch and snuggle with me. Oh, and they kissed the baby in my belly totally unsolicited…… I know.
I didn’t tell him any of that.
So to all of the husbands out there, on behalf of all the wives out there who are home before you with all of the kids, just know, that despite our Oscar-worthy acting skills, our day probably wasn’t as rough as we made it out to be. Give us a minute to escape, let us be alone or pee alone or do whatever it is we need to do, then check back in thirty minutes or so when the wrath of the witching hours has started to dissipate. Pass us a glass of wine (or for the pregnant mamas, ice cream will do), then ask us again, “How was your day?” Maybe this time you’ll get a better version. That is, as long as you are on bedtime duty 😉