Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Art of Sucking It Up

On Monday night, I was teasing Rob about how he must have been looking forward to going back to work just to escape this booby hatch for a little while.

Don't get me wrong; I love this booby hatch. I am a founding member. I run it on a daily basis. But that doesn't take away the fact that sometimes this place is NUTS and it's all I can do not to run out the door and sit at the curb with my thumb out.

Anyway, back to the teasing. As is true of almost all my teasing, it was predicated on the teensiest kernel of jealousy. Rob gets to go hang out with adults and do grown-up things, while I get to stay home with people who pick their noses and then wipe it on the only clean pair of pants I have left.

I know, your heart is breaking for me, right?

Tuesday morning was rocky with the three littles, mostly because Sally and Bun have a cold that they have graciously passed on to their baby sister. Their brand spanking new baby sister whose immune system must be like, "SERIOUSLY, PEOPLE?! A COLD ALREADY?"

You've got to hit the ground running around here, Mopsy. (luckily, there's no fever, just some mild snottiness. We can deal.)

When Rob called in the late morning to see how everyone was feeling, I teased him a little more by saying how glad he must have been to get away from whining, drippy kids.

And then he recounted how truly crappy his morning had been. Oh, I felt like a heel. In fact, I felt so badly for him that I started to cry on the phone. I am sure wildly fluctuating hormones had nothing to do with the crying.

I don't go into specifics about Rob's job here on the blog, mostly because of privacy issues and respect for him. You all know he is a doctor, but I don't know if I've ever mentioned how many irons he has in the fire at any given moment.

He sees patients in the office, he delivers babies, he does in-patient call at the hospital, he teaches residents, and he is the director of a residency program. And he still arranges his schedule so that the children can rarely say that their dad couldn't be around because of work. (In fact, the only times he has had to miss family time is when a baby was on the way, and the kids understand that to be a very good reason.)

I'm honestly surprised that his head hasn't exploded.

It's so easy for me to forget how much he has to suck up in order to take care of the gaggle of us at home, especially at a time like this when we are all a little off kilter as we adjust to Mopsy's arrival. It's so tempting to think about how easy he has it, just going off to work and leaving the mess behind him.

What I fail to remember is this: even on my worst days (and there are some days, believe me), I am still surrounded by people I like. Heck, I even love them! When I leave the house, it's usually to see other people that I like and who I choose to be around. And when all else fails, there is always the shimmering promise of nap time awaiting me in the afternoon.

Rob goes to work and sees people who are often at their lowest points. They are ill or in pain, and they are just not themselves. In most cases, he can help them or alleviate their discomfort, but sometimes there is nothing he can do. And I can't imagine how it feels to tell a person that there is nothing to be done.

On top of all of that, he is the boss and that means the buck stops with him. All the unpopular decisions have to be his. All the criticism is directed toward him. It's not a job for the faint of heart.

I don't mean to make Rob sound like he is trapped in a joyless occupation; there are so many parts of his job that he loves. I just mean to remind myself that the grass is not always greener out in the big wide world.

Now if you'll excuse me, I think I'll get off the computer, make a plan for dinner, and try to clean up the house a little. Just my way of telling Rob thanks for being the one to suck it up for the team.

Lord, bless and preserve my cherished husband, whom You have given me;
Let his life be long and blessed, comfortable and holy;
Let me ever be a blessing and a comfort to him, a sharer in all his sorrows, a consolation in all the accidents and trials of life;
Make me forever lovable in his eyes and forever dear to him;
Unite his heart to mine in fondest love and holiness, and mine to him in all sweetness, charity, and submission.
Keep me from all ungentleness;
make me humble and obedient, that we may delight in each other according to Your Blessed Word.
May both of us rejoice in you, having our portion in the love and service of God forever. Amen.


  1. Ugh. This makes me feel crappy - in a good way. Talk about perfect timing. I have got some kindness to go not-so-randomly act upone my main squeeze. Thanks for the reminder!

  2. Eh. Clean pants are overrated. I'm so glad to hear that Rob has someone like you at home who can hear and appreciate his situation.

    Hubbers doesn't bring his work home with him very often but when he does, it's a doozy.

    Sorry to hear that Mopsy is already drippy nosed. Hope EVERYONE gets better fast.

  3. Mutual appreciation for each other is an essential part of marriage (and the part that is easily lost in the shuffle). Well, that's my opinion anyway! I hope that Mopsy's runny nose is back to good soon :)

  4. You two are an inspiration!

  5. Anonymous6:33 AM

    Oh, man, I am definitely guilty of thinking my life is so much harder than kicking it at the office. Of course it's not true, but it is so tempting to fall into the whoa is me trap.

    Going to put my big girl panties on now. Thanks for the reminder. Hope Mopsy feels better soon.

  6. I just started reading you, but wanted to say thanks for this entry. This sums up exactly how I feel about being home... We are blessed to have partners willing to sacrifice to support our families.

    We truly have the best "job" in the world, being home with crazy, dirty, tantrum-throwing maniacs that we love more than life itself. Thanks for reminding all us moms how blessed we are -- even in our roughest moments!

  7. Anonymous10:30 AM

    Great post- I know exactly where you are coming from. Sometimes I am jealous that Tom gets to be around grown-ups too and then I remember most of his day is spent handlilng the discipline issues of teenagers. I too appreciate what he has to suck up for our team!
    Hope you and Rob have some time to relax together.
    Mirabella MOM

  8. My sister-in-law and I have this discussion regularly - she is a stay-at-home mom, and I used to be, and I understand that whole 'getting-out-and-talking-to-grownups' thing. She will feel a little melancholy every now and then, and I just point out to her that talking to grownups is way overrated. At home with your children, if someone gets lippy, you can send them to their room. No such luck when you're dealing with grown-ups. :)

    I feel your pain, and I think you worded this post (as you do every post!) beautifully. I always appreciate your perspective.

    And I love your pretty new baby! I hope she and everyone else feels better soon.

  9. Awwww. That was wonderful! Love the prayer at the end. I hope everyone is feeling better soon and that all is well with you!

  10. Great post. Who hasn't felt that way sometimes when it feels like they get to escape the craziness of family life? My husband was a true saint this weekend, picking up where I left off and headed in all directions running errands, going to rehearsal, singing at my concert today and finally plopping on the couch to put my "cankles" up. He never once complained about taking care of the house, dinner, the kids, etc. Seriously a SAINT.

  11. I do that too- make food to show I'm happy/sorry to Champ and that I appreciate all he does. You both have so very much on your pates right now and no matter how tough Rob has it, your hormones and sheer day to day activity entitle you too to realize how difficult (and wonderful) your days are.

    You are a strong woman to share this Aimee and it helps all us out here to realize we are all part of a very large whole experiencing similar things (well, minus the adorable baby for me ;))

    sending you 1,000 blessings!!!


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