You may have heard – the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle is here. Even I’m excited about it! And why shouldn’t I be? For the past two years I’ve seen how it encourages my wife with its excellent resources and helpful tips. Homemaking is not a sprint, it’s a marathon and anything that can help keep a spring in my wife’s step deserves my appreciation.
I didn’t always think in this way. My early views on keeping a home were, well, cringe worthy.
As you may have learned by reading this blog, I like to keep things clean. When I was in High School I began keeping my room, my car, and my things meticulously. My first job was at a local grocery store and I relished the challenge of finding efficient ways to fill a grocery sack as the food beeped across the scanner. A few of you out there might relate but at this point most of you are probably pitying Caroline for ever having married me. Read on. : )
Years later Caroline and I met, and for all of the wonderful things about our courtship it failed to disclose just how different she and I were in this area. That’s not to say that Caroline likes a good mess. It’s just that messes don’t speak to her the same way they do me.
Random stuff on the living room floor likes to jaw at me. It laughs at me; calls me names. I have to shut it up. To Caroline its saying, “Here we are, out of our places. No hurry though. We know you’ll pick us up when its convenient for you.”
So, of course she walks by as if it weren’t there. I simply can’t. Or should I say “couldn’t”. Six children does something to you in this regard. The stuff just kind of grins at me now – no words. I think I’m improving – don’t you?
Early marriage, though, was different. I can remember coming home from work and Caroline telling me that she had taken a nap during the day. “A nap?” I thought. Whatever for? I mean, it’s just you here, in this tiny house. You shop for groceries and you clean this house and you need a nap? (Are you cringing yet?)
There were days where she only had energy or time to tidy up one room before I got home. I’d walk through the door, size things up and quietly make my displeasure known, never mind acknowledging the work she did accomplish. This always hurt her a great deal. Ok, now I’m cringing.
“Yes you fool, she needs a nap. And no, she doesn’t need you guilting her into keeping the house clean!” That’s the me of today talking to the me of yesterday, or, at least that’s what I’d say if given the chance.
Starting a home based business really altered my thinking on this. You see, I was home more, and the more I was home the more I was able to see just how difficult, how complex, how thankless, how physically draining, and how mentally taxing homemaking really is.
I quickly began to realize that not only did my wife occasionally need a nap to help her through the burden of the day, she deserved something eminently more important – encouragement. On a daily basis. From me.
I saw so many needs pressing upon her every day. I saw, with my own eyes, how the tasks she performed were critical to the overall wellbeing my home. To the casual onlooker, of course, these are menial, unlovely tasks not worthy of respect. The mother’s role in society is not exactly an exalted one, and my wife had long since come to terms with the way the world views what she does.
But what about the way her husband viewed it? Did she find honor and praise for her work from him? Something a wife simply cannot and should not be expected to endure is disrespect from within the home, particularly from her husband. He is, without a doubt, the best person to provide the encouraging words of appreciation she so desperately needs and legitimately deserves. She can endure the slings and arrows of the world’s harsh judgement if only he will affirm her work and bless her constancy.
I could have spared my wife a lot of hurt feelings if I would have made more of an effort to better acquaint myself with the demands of her work in the home.
Now I’m a true believer. My wife is irreplaceable. Her work is legitimately difficult. Most men couldn’t handle it. I mean it – they couldn’t handle it. It places physical and mental demands on her that I didn’t know even existed until I spent some time by her side.
Too many men treat housekeeping like professional sports. The greatest athletes make what they do look easy to the point that in some of our more delusional moments we think we could actually do what they do. It’s just like that with our wives. They make it look easy, and we think, “Homemaking – nothing to it.” What nonsense. If that’s the way we look at housekeeping is it any wonder that they receive so little encouragement from us?
So that’s my little plug for not only the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle, but all forms of encouragement we can give our wives. Caroline gets excited about the bundle every year. It helps to keep her spirits up. It motivates and inspires her. I’m all for it. God knows she has a difficult job.
**Caroline here – I have to let you know my husband totally, completely surprised me by writing this. I didn’t ask him to do this, and I was deeply humbled by what he shared here. I love my husband so much, and am thankful for his encouragement!**
The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle sale is almost over! I would hate for you guys to miss out on purchasing this bundle if it would be a blessing to you all. The link is below if you are interested!
(Republished – Originally this post was written April of 2015)