For my hardworking fellow homemakers, their spouses who wonder what we do all day, and our friends in other seasons of life who wonder too…
It happened, once upon a very recent time ago, that a husband phoned a wife, and asked her to take care of a simple task for him.
And it happened that she that submissive, humble, godly, (size 2), Proverbs 31 woman personified, who was perhaps feeling particularly frustrated and tied down to her kitchen/laundry room/toy room/nursery, replied:
That’s something you should handle. When you come home from work, your work is done, but this house is my work, and I keep taking care of everyone and every thing for hours after you call it a day, and then I’m still on call through the night!
To which he replied: “But you have more free time.”
Which caused her to remember that he had recently mused aloud: “I sometimes just wonder what you do all day?”
And being her usually gracious self, she had rambled on about: “It’s death by the one-minute task! Add up everything I do and it just takes TIME! I do this, that, this, that…and the day is done.”
There had been silence on the other end, like there was right then.
And she said thanks for the call and embarked upon an afternoon-long photojournalism project…that was texted to the husband along the way…
and goes like this…
1:15 P.M The rescued begonias the wife planted on the front porch.
1:16 P.M. The daily mail retrieval (because the husband instructs it not be left overnight).
1:17 P.M. The husband’s next two lunch salads ready.
1:19 P.M. The husband’s requested avocado salad dressing.
1:20 P.M. The husband’s requested hard boiled eggs.
1:20 P.M. The husband’s prepared lunch cooler fruits.
1:23 P.M. A text from the husband that said: “Thanks!”
2:00 P.M. The sleeping baby’s lunch on the stove and starting the buttered brown rice the husband requested for dinner.
2:05 P.M. The daily cleaning, drying and reassembly of the husband’s six-part juicer.
2:05 P.M. The husband’s juicer ingredients ready for the next day.
2:06 P.M. The cleaning, drying and partial reassembly of the food processor (after making the husband’s salad dressing).
2:07 P.M. Feeding the baby (stripped down to keep clothes clean).
2:23 P.M. Scrubbing the high chair (several times daily).
2:25 P.M. Wiping up the floor (several times daily).
2:26 P.M. A text from the husband that said: “Annoying.”
2:28 P.M. The (freshly cleaned up from lunch) baby sitting at the kitchen table undoing folded laundry.
2:29 P.M. A text from the husband that said: “Turning my phone off…”
2:37 P.M. Stain-treating liquid baby vitamins on the couch snuggle blankets.
2:42 P.M. Shelling the husband’s requested hard boiled eggs (now cooled).
2:43 P.M. Dumping compost (multiple times daily).
2:44 P.M. Second set of hand-washed dishes drying on the counter (used too often for dishwasher).
2:45 P.M. A text from the husband that was non-sympathetic.
2:53 P.M. Special measures for washing fragile baby clothes.
3:23 P.M. Partway through folding and the week’s second round of ironing.
3:24 P.M. A breather to scrub the kitchen sink (for the baby’s bath), check emails, and water the outside plants, before returning to the laundry.
4:29 P.M. Retrieving a naked baby, disposing of a diaper flung into the foyer, and collecting toys tossed into the kitchen hall.
4:32 P.M. Bathing the baby.
4:40 P.M. Dressing the baby for the husband in the world’s cutest 3-piece outfit (found on clearance for $2 – while burning up free time selling used baby equipment).
5:02 P.M. Putting a DVD on for the baby and starting a pot of decaf.
5:16 P.M. Partway through cutting up 8 pounds of red onions to freeze (they were super-cheap at Aldi – and using that knife – the baby safely, but quite unhappily, gated out of the kitchen).
5:38 P.M. The onions bagged and ready for the freezer.
5:38 P.M. Dumping more compost.
5:40 P.M. Braiding six potted lantanas into tiny topiaries on the deck.
While the baby gets some outside time, playing with her toys.
And discovers everything but her toys.
Hosing off the deck where the baby has un-potted another plant, and shoring up the makeshift barricade.
Medicating baby bug bites, and snuggling with the baby while she refines top and lid removal skills, before the daily straightening of the toyroom/livingroom debacle.
6:39 P.M. Plugging away at the laundry and ironing while encouraging the baby to color – and watching her break and eat crayons instead.
7:27 P.M. A new diaper and the décor that fully rotates within a week.
7:42 P.M. Treating separation anxiety by sitting at the kitchen table after dinner (and maybe $2 outfit is too snug, maybe?)
But it also happened, once upon a recent time ago, that when the husband came home from work…
A discontented baby was swooped up and entertained on the living room floor. And fed a bowl of buttered rice. And whisked away upstairs to play in her crib. And when the wife stepped out of her first not hurried shower in days, she found a freshly diapered baby, in footed jammies, being swayed, then patted, soundly to sleep.
And the husband held the mommy, tighter than she imagined he’d had in a while, until she realized that made everything worthwhile, and she too fell fast asleep…dreamily realizing that nothing has ever been expected of her except that which she’s always wanted.
Not your typical fairytale, but it works for me.