You ask to be different and the Lord shows you how and you sit there and go "Well shoot. That's SO not what I was thinking."
Today has been a rough day. Tot has been up sick (read: puking her guts out) since 5am. Little David did the same thing yesterday, but not near so bad. So today I have spent cleaning the junk, washing the fajillion sheets and towels and blankets and clothes that have had the junk thrown on them, being clung on by two very needy and deserving children, giving medicine (ew...the worst kind, too), driving back and forth from the Dr's office and the pharmacy, and hearing my poor Tot toss her stuff every thirty minutes (including twice in the car and at the dr's office). Like I said, it's been a rough day.
Well, simultaneously, Dave has also had a rough day at work.
Obviously, I call him periodically to let him know what's going on with the kids, and we share about our days and what's been going on.
He starts telling me how his day has been, and what has made it so frustrating and irritating. He talks to me like he always does, like we always do, because getting it out makes it feel a little better.
But then I unconsciously screw it all up.
Subtly (or most likely not since I am about as subtle as a snare drum), I let him know that my day was also really bad.
No, seriously, really bad.
I know, I know, your day was bad. I'm so sorry you have to deal that at work. Yes, of course, you sound insanely busy. I can't believe you have to do all of that.
But really, my day was horrible. Did I tell you about the vomit? Surely, I told you about having to clean it up. Did I mention the 4 loads of laundry?
Yes, Yes, so sorry your day was bad. I can't believe that client did that. I can't believe you have to do all of that extra work. I hope you don't have to work late.
But no seriously, mine was horrible. I told you about the Dr's visit right? And the puking in the car? And the pharmacy ordeal? Did I mention giving the medicine?? Oh by the way, can you bring me some pedialyte on your lunch break?
What do you mean you don't have time? Don't you realize how bad my day has been? Of course I can't do it any other way! There IS NO OTHER WAY!! (maybe an exaggeration)
(**Seriously, you wouldn't believe the snit I worked myself into**)
And I completely run over the poor guy and all I can think of is, Does he not realize how bad my day actually was?? Can he not understand that obviously my bad day trumps his bad day and how very right I am and how very wrong he is? And why hasn't he dropped everything to HELP ME? WHY WON'T HE GET THE PEDIALYTE???
Then a few hours later, while I am cooling down (after realizing I didn't need the pedialyte in the first place, and feeling a little sheepish for throwing such a fit) I'm checking a message board of a Christian Home Keepers website. There was a post asking how we spent our evenings, and a friend of mine responded that as soon as her husband gets home, she and her girls wait on him hand and foot. She said it's her way of letting him know she appreciates the work he's done all day, and that she respects him, and that it teaches her girls how to be servant minded and not always self mined.
Well, fine then.
And then it hit me. This is one way that the Lord wants me to be different.
Our society has done a major flip flop regarding how it views women who stay at home with their children. We have gone from almost every woman staying at home, with society viewing that as the only right way and assuming that every woman found this easy and appealing (and most women never correcting that assumption), to a society that has an empowered female population that never hesitates to tell you exactly how bad they have it and regardless of whether or not they chose to stay at home, they still want you to know every single detail about their hardships and to shake your head at them while saying "I don't know how she does it." Now, realistically, there are just as many women who tell you how great everything is and pretend that there is nothing hard about it, but in my moment of self realization, I saw that I have been quickly approaching the Martyr in this story.
Sure, my day was bad. But does my bad day negate the fact that my husbands day was just as bad for him? Does my being frustrated mean that he should drop everything and make my entire world correct once more? Does my poor attitude mean that he should then take my bad day, make it as his own, and try to then fix both of our days while simultaneously working every second to provide for our family? And does the fact that I had bad day mean that I no longer have to be a listening ear, no longer have to be polite, no longer have to be sympathetic? Does it mean that I can shirk all of my responsibilities and normal joys as a wife?
Yeah, you can say God put it on my heart just a smidge that I was being unreasonable.
So here I sit, telling you all of this so that you would know that I don't think this different thing is going to be some majestic plan like I'd hoped. I think it's going to be a few smaller steps, and a little better ability to look at my actions and be honest about them. I am not going to turn into the ideal housewife (or christian) overnight, and I'll probably still pout about my "job" every now and then (probably more now than then), but I am slowly seeing the things that need to be changed.
I am certainly going to be changing the way I treat David when I've had a bad day. And that's a start.