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My work day starts with a 4:30am alarm. Pending the hubs alarm, it could be as early as 3:30am.  I stare at the alarm clock and will myself out of bed, always wondering why the hell the coffee can’t come to me. I return to bed with said coffee and stare at the morning news.  I am not one that can just jump out of bed and start functioning.  Then it is shower, getting dressed, making my breakfast, picking up things as I go, packing Cora for daycare, me for work, wake said child, and fight her to do basically anything because I think she also needs coffee.  Because it is the god damn North Pole outside so we start the truck, did I feed the dog yet? Load the truck, bundle ourselves, load up, and head to daycare.  After drop off I can sometimes make a coffee stop before my 30-45 minute commute, depending on traffic. At my desk to start my day at 8am.

I only do this three days a week.  Much easier than most people and the same routine happening across the country.  A fourth day is similar but it is to get the dog to daycare and Cora to swim lessons in the city.  Not near as stressful.

The world has finally frozen over here and my husband gets a chance to take some days off, today being the first.  I did my routine around him as he watched and got in the way more than anything, then I headed out the door.

He called me, at work, at 8:03am to tell me this:

Did you make it to work? You know, I’m out the door before you 98% of the time and I had no idea how much work it takes to get you and Cora out the door.  All that before your work day has truly started.  I wake up, put my pants on and walk out the door.  No wonder you are tired by the time you hit work.  Thanks for kicking ass at that. I’m sorry I take that for granted.

I sat back in my desk chair and about started crying. That man helps, he helps a ton, he does his fair share in the parenting and household department that I know most women would kill for.  However, the truth is, he isn’t home much to be able to do it.  He thanks me, I know he appreciates what I do and he does often acknowledge me but for some reason, this acknowledgement blew me away.

This was the first time he truly observed, recognized and it all sunk in.  He can say, thanks for making dinner but he didn’t see the true task it took to make dinner. He knows I get up and get out the door in the morning but he doesn’t know how much effort it takes some mornings.  This morning was fairly smooth too.

You, as a mother, are reading this, nodding your head, right there with me.  Power to the mammas…

BUT

Hey, two-way street, I have no idea how labor intensive and crazy his job is.  I mean, I know, but I don’t stand there and witness every move all day.  I can imagine, just as he can but that is really all we can do most of the time.  He is also the one normally getting out of bed an hour before me, going out in the crazy heat or freezing temps and working 15 hour days.  I thank him often for how hard he works for us but unless I walk a mile in his shoes…..

Here’s the thing, it is easy to stand in your own corners and try to one up your partner on who does more, or better, or harder or what the hell else there is to bitch about but isn’t that exhausting after we are already exhausted? I think if a lot of spouses quit competing with one another they would get a lot more done as a team, as parents.  So I urge you today to go home and thank your significant other.  Truly tell them that your are grateful and work towards THAT each day instead of a tally list.  See how far you get.