Monday, September 14, 2009

I decided last Saturday that my husband was perfectly capable of managing the homefront for the day and I left. I spent the morning shopping with one friend followed by a one and a half hour afternoon nap. I spent the evening with another friend eating and helping her shop.
Normally when I spend any amount of time away from my family I plan and organize everything for him. I lay out clothes, make and label meals, remind him of nap time and story time and television time. I suggest fun activities and games. I leave a list of chores, in case he gets bored, with explicit instructions (Do dishes: load dishwasher properly, wipe down counters first then sink, wash cast iron skillet and stainless steel utensils by hand. Vacuum carpet: living room and dining room. Use tools to get into crevices.)
I didn't do any of that. I let it go.
I didn't even remind him to get them dressed or feed them.
When I came home my children weren't wearing what I would have chosen as I like clothes to match, but they weren't running around naked either.
They didn't seem to be starving although they did gleefully announce they had eaten "pizza AND cotton candy."
The living room was cluttered with toys and, oddly, a few pairs of socks, but the dishes were washed.
They didn't learn any new life skills or spend an hour producing a work of art but they had lots of fun riding the merry-go-round at the fair.
Best of all? I didn't feel the need to call my husband every twelve minutes to remind him of something.
Did the day run exactly as I would have planned? Well, no. But I guess it didn't really have to.
The girls had a fun day with daddy and nobody cared that they were wearing different parts from two separate outfits while eating (gasp!) sugar.
Love always trusts.
I trust my husband adores our children. I trust he is a responsible, mature adult that is able to make rational decisions.
Despite my inability to let go of control in the past, I've now decided I need to trust him.
As I spent the day having fun and enjoying a break from routine I realized demonstrating that trust before actually feeling it allowed me to let go of the worry. It also allowed him to step up to the plate. I never really considered how demeaning it was to micro-manage every aspect of the time he spent with the girls.
Maybe he messed up so much (at least in my mind) because he knew there were no expectations. Maybe on a sub-conscious level he realized he could never meet my standard so why try?
I treated my husband as though he wouldn't plop the girls in front of a movie, clad only in nightgowns, while he napped on the couch and slipped them peanut butter cups to keep them quiet and he didn't.
They didn't get one peanut butter cup all day.
It was a good day...for all of us.

No comments:

Post a Comment