What a shit storm this past week has been, the week before school starts for our fifth grader, last year for us in the elementary, sad. The sixth grader has his first year in the high school, so bittersweet.
I have been to open houses, and registration nights, and oh, dance class started also. There has been welcome back picnics, and hair appointments, and back to school shopping, which I like to wait until the day before to scrounge around in a panic to try and get everything ready. It keeps us all on our toes.
Of course, as with most big, strung out weeks, cram packed with all the crap I cannot avoid as a parent, The Husband’s was just as packed with band adventures (it’s like he plans it that way). The latest being a gargantuan of a mobile they planned on cruising around in that weekend, that had a list twice as long as mine to fix before they could get it on the road.
So, on my free nights (because I get a lot of those, right?) my only choice was to help out or be left behind and I didn’t want to spend another evening alone. Which meant, the only night or so I had available was with a paint brush and tape. Trying not to lose my damn mind with my two precious pre-teen and pre-angst angels that were trying their hardest to “help”.
I was exhausted, frustrated, over worked, stressed out and wanted to blow up. I was tired of having to do it all alone, I was sick of being put second, and I wanted to send the worst shit text to The Husband, but I stopped and remembered that this was my choice. I chose to be with a musician, and that comes with its share of carrying the load so he can travel, play, and record.
Is this fair? No, hell no, and you feel it. The pressure of knowing you’re doing it alone. It was a choice I made when we started dating, a choice consciously made when we got married, and a choice that I knew full well what I was getting into when we had children.
It was a choice we made together, and as much as I wanted to scream and yell, I knew it wouldn’t do any good, they already planned the weekend gig, they were already packing to go. It was pointless, so I took a deep breath and I texted him. I told him I loved him and missed him a lot.
And you know what? He missed me too, he was feeling it too. We live together and barley see each other during these times. It doesn’t just affect me, he is in this too, but this is his life. He could walk away, but neither of us want that for him. For us.
The main thing that softened the blow and warmed my heart this past week also, was throughout the chaos of it all was that he was adamant about making sure he was there to take our son to pick out his first instrument for sixth grade band. He wanted to share that moment with him, and I understood that he can’t do all of it, but he tries his hardest to be there for the moments that most count.
In our many years of all our trials I have observed that most men want support, and most women want reassurance. And that there isn’t too much of a difference in these two marital securities. Men want to know that at the end of the day, they have someone cheering them on. When I first approached this theory, I thought it literally meant be his cheerleader.
Ok, I cheered in high school, I can do this. And I texted him throughout the day with “I am so proud of you” and “I appreciate everything you do” until he asked me to stop. That wasn’t what he wanted and let’s be honest it can make the best attention whore feel uncomfortable.
After stepping back and reevaluating I realized one thing in all the books I have read and seminars I have taking about the male/female brain (my work in early childhood education has given me a lot of time to study brain development, and I totally nerd out on it), is that men are doers, they don’t need to be showered with words and affection. They need a foot rub, or joining in on their most favorite activity. In our case, going to see them play, helping set up the merch table, understanding that what they do is hard on them also.
Women need words, we like to talk, talk about our day, talk about our feelings, talk about every aspect of our lives and how they work and who is where and why we are mad and so on and so on and so on… we like to listen too, we want to understand and be understood. That is what makes a relationship tick for us.
What we all want is companion, and what we get is confusion. You see, the battle of the sexes is real. Misunderstanding of what each other needs is the struggle, but if we remember to work together, our love becomes easier when we remember we are on the same team.