Getting up…

Every Friday since I realized I was a pretty crappy husband I’ve reflected about how fun and rewarding weekends are and what I need to do to be sure that I will continue to be a better and better husband.

But weekends are also really tough, particularly with two young kids.  There’s play time, nap time, clean-up time, fun time, meal times, bed time, bath time, I can’t sleep time, diaper time, Mommy time, Daddy time, and a whole lot of other time.  And don’t forget errands!

Juggling all of these things is really tough.  Making sure I’m carrying my weight and being a good husband to my wife with all of these things going on is also really tough.

But it’s also really simple.  

For me, it’s as simple as “getting up.”  

If I see something on the floor, I get up and pick it up.

If she’s emptying the dishwasher, I get up and help.

If the kids want to play, I get up and play, dance, sing or scream with them.**

That stuff is really simple.  But it’s tough.

It’s tough because I’m often tired and I desperately want to rest and accomplish a few “me things” over the weekend, too.

Before I realized I was messing up all the little things, I’d sometimes let myself fall into a trap of being selfish and lazy.

It wasn’t a big deal, apparently.  My wife said she understood most of the time, but was often frustrated and tired herself.

So my laziness was at least a “little deal.”

And while “big deals” make a “big difference” in the “big picture,” the “little deals” make a “big difference” between a “good day” and a “bad day.”  (Like the excessive quotes there?  They were on sale, so I got a dozen…)

I realized my biggest downfall was not getting up.  Once I was up I helped quite a bit.  But once my butt hit the couch I was useless.

So I started just getting up.  I’d get up and help.  If I saw my wife doing something in the kitchen, I’d get up and help.

If I smelled something “stinky” as my daughter ran by, I’d get up.

Even if I was tired.

Really tired.

I wouldn’t say anything.  I wouldn’t look to see if my wife was watching or giving me “credit” for helping out.  I just got up.

And guess what?  I didn’t die.

The results were incredible and immediate.

My wife got less frustrated with me.

Which resulted in fewer arguments.

Which resulted in less stress.

And more energy.

And a better day.

A better day-to-day.

And a better marriage.

All because I decided to be a better husband.

By just getting up.

What little thing are you going to work on this weekend?

**If you’re thinking about borrowing my “dance contest” or “scream fest” idea for kids activities, be sure to check with your wife before hand.  While they are a hit with the kids and easy for you because you’re participating and expecting it, your wife might staple your tongue to a burning building without prior written consent… 🙂  #YesILearnedThisTheHardWay #ApparentlyNothingGetsByMe…

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22 thoughts on “Getting up…

  1. Kudos to you for getting up! I believe it’s in those little moments that those favorite, fun, snapshots of our growing up are born! It’s in the ordinary and mundane where true love and commitment live.

    I love the call to “getting up!” It falls under the larger umbrella of that quote “80 percent of success is showing up.”

    You are reminding us that it is our love and commitment that moves us to serve and show love – in our showing up, our actions are the gift.

    You remind us all to show up for our families, our friends, our coworkers, ourselves, our God!

    Kudos, especially, to you for demonstrating how a good and faithful husband and father is very attractive!

  2. Love these thoughts…I also am a recovering terrible husband/father who needs the reminder to “get up” again.

    Your blog really lines up with the message of my site (morethanabeard.com) and if you are ever interested in writing for us, we would love to have you!

    Thanks for your insights 🙂

    -Dave

    • Thanks, Dave! I’d be honored to write for you! As soon as I get the hang of writing and posting over here I’ll be sure to reach out. I’d love to have you post over here, too, so feel free to keep me in mind as I work to grow the readership here. The plans on this site are fluid, as you may imagine, but my plan is to post twice per week as I write the book and ramp it up as the book gets finished.

  3. Wow, this one hits home. I have been in this situation for years. I was the same way. When I wasn’t working, I wanted to do nothing and unwind and just relax. I think that I almost expected that the house would continue to run and that my wife could handle things and take care of me when I was done working. But after enough fighting and crying, I realized that she needed me a lot more than I realized. I made it a point to do the little things, even when she wasn’t looking. To help with chores around the house, play and take care of the kids and give her some time for herself. Funny thing happens. You forget how tired you are when you see your wife and kids smile more. You forget how hard your work day was when your night is consumed with playing and laughing with your kids before bed. You forget how hard you work during the day when you are busy out enjoying life on the weekends. I will never forget that doing the little things has gotten me to a point in our lives where I am happier than I have ever been.

    • You’re so right, Sean. It really is amazing how simple it is to make a big impact on the energy and health of a relationship though the little things. Great to hear that you’re doing so well with that – and that I’m not alone! 🙂

  4. Love it! At my house the roles are reversed. I work outside the home and my husband stays home with the kids and does all the home responsibilities throughout the week. I’m going to remember to “get up” more often for his sake.

  5. I love the line about your wife “watching or giving credit.” When I hear that Announcement That He Emptied The Dishwasher I always follow up with “Thanks. The parade will begin in 15 minutes.” Not so loving. Thank you for GETTING UP.

    • Thanks, Becca! Oh, oh… I’ve been nervously curious about how to help wives share my stories with their husbands without having them think they’re being called a terrible husband! Let me know how it goes. Since I’m pretty new at doing the small things right I’m still exploring the emotions of how to hear (and deliver) that message right. It’s a topic I definitely will explore here and in the book, so I’d love to hear stories of what works and doesn’t. Good luck! And remember, our egos are fragile! 🙂

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