I Could Learn a Few Things From My Husband (Not That I Like to Admit It!)

Is it a gift to be able to live amongst the chaos and not try to constantly fix it?

I Could Learn a Few Things From My Husband (Not That I Like to Admit It!)

Is it a gift to be able to live amongst the chaos and not try to constantly fix it?

-Melissa Chapman www.marriedmysugardaddy.com

couple cleaning

On any given night of the week there is very little variation on this scene: The dog is barking, the kids are arguing, the dishes are precariously piled in the sink, laundry is strewn on a bed waiting to be folded and my head is spinning like Linda Blair’s in The Exorcist. The mess, the noise level and the utter chaos becomes deafening. And yet my husband, who could very well sit on a couch covered in newspapers, surrounded by half-eaten bowls of ice cream melting at a rapid pace, seems impervious to the roar of children yelling and the weight of so much housework yet to be completed.

I wonder if he is truly unaware of his surroundings or, like so many men, simply chooses to ignore what is not completely essential to his being. If he needs a dish, rather than spend the time putting the dirty ones in the dishwasher he is fine with taking one off the stack, superficially rinsing it off and proceeding to eat off it. And while the kids are literally pulling out each other’s hair, squeezing the life out of one another and chasing each other around the dining room table, he can sit and solemnly clean his plate without a mere glance in their direction.

I used to abhor his response to our family’s chaos — how could he, upon seeing all those dirty dishes piled in the sink, not roll up his sleeves and load the dishwasher? When our kids are screaming bloody murder at one another, how could he not step in and force them to confront the root of the problem and work to find a solution? How could he see toys scattered every which way and not get on his hands and knees and start clearing them away?

But now, ten years after having birthed our daughter from my swollen pregnant belly, well I just ENVY him!

The truth is, chaos is part of the patchwork of raising a family; it’s messy, and complicated, and if you spend all your energy sweating the crumbs and dirty dishes, you’ll end up missing those wonderful precious moments in between the insanity. His ability is to be present in the moments that really matter, like when he sits and listens to my daughter read her book to him aloud … every last fiber of his being is invested in her every word.

Sure I’d like him to be a bit more mindful of the potato chips on the floor (perhaps even pick them up!) as opposed to crunching them beneath his soles, but I’ll take what I can get — a man who understands the value of time.

Melissa ChapmanMelissa Chapman blogs about her marriage and everything in between at http://www.marriedmysugardaddy.com/. Her work has appeared in The Staten Island Advance, Care.com, ABC News, BlogHer, Baby Center, Momtourage, Lifetime Moms, Babble, The Washington Post, Time Out NY Kids and iVillage.

Read all of her Betty columns here.

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