Having five children within six years, I was fortunate enough to not need a gym membership. Actually, I had no choice; the island has no gym and I, having no driver’s license at the time, had no choice but to hoof it when I wanted out of the house. But, honestly, I loved it. With about 50 pounds of children, groceries, books and various necessities in a double push buggy stroller (with buggy-board attachment for the too-tired-to-walk-anymores to stand on), it’s a wonder anyone had to ask me how I lost the baby weight. And now it seems like only last month I was staring at solitary walkers in envy, but, truth is, it was closer to two years ago. Now I’m planning in less than a month to leave my children and husband for all but a dozen weekends of the next year while I attend a horticulture course. Where has the time gone?
Other than a couple close friends, only since the new year began have I started to tell people about my upcoming schooling adventure. After congratulations and best of lucks are said, the most common response from folks (all women) is to tell me how “lucky” I am to have a husband who can manage the house and children in my absence. Many have then gone on to say that their husband “could never do it.” Why does this surprise me? Is my husband that exceptional? Yes, Johnny is amazing with the children, in the kitchen and homefarm, with finances, and at juggling multitudes of things at once. But, forgive me Darling, I think it’s more likely these women are underestimating their men.
Not once did the thought cross my mind that Johnny wouldn’t be able to handle it. I definitely know the house won’t be as organized. It will become much messier before being cleaned and he may need reminders to change the children’s sheets. They probably won’t see the inside of the library unless I am home. And their Saturday trips to buy sweets at the shop will be nearly eliminated. But I am certain they will have clean clothes, three square meals a day, play dates with pals, loads of crafting and building projects, more sweets in the pantry, and as many cuddles and hugs as they could ever want and more. He definitely won’t do things my way. He couldn’t do things my way. I wouldn’t expect him to do things my way.
I have done, or will soon do, a few things to help in my absence like making salad dressings and plenty of spaghetti sauce for the freezer. I’ve mended a pile of clothes and teddies and child-proofed my sewing/craft room so it can be used with limited supervision. I have made green cleaners and a chore list for the children so, in addition to animal care and sorting laundry, they will now be responsible for cleaning their own bathroom. That’s it. Johnny will just have to figure out the rest. I have no doubt that he will, and I honestly believe that most men would find their way if in the same situation.
Women, don’t underestimate your men. They know more than they say, think more than they speak, & notice more than you realize.” –aranislandgirl