I was sitting on the couch, typing away on my laptop. The dogs were excited and playful because Chw had just walked in the door after a long day of work. Genny, in her tween
I am the center of the world charming fashion, ran right up to her daddy and started hounding him for something super selfishly annoying urgent, when he just lost his cool…
Amidst the barking, bouncing and incessant chatter he failed to see that the message truly being handed him was saying we love you and we’re glad your home.
It’s almost always the same story, every Monday through Friday. Some days he’s had a great day and he’s more receptive of the high energy welcome. Other days, like the one I just mentioned, his nerves simply can not take it.
On this particular day in question though, which hadn’t been a cake walk for me either, I got annoyed at his response. “They’re just happy to see you.” I snapped. While we didn’t exactly have an argument, the atmosphere was one laced more with hostility than anything, and words were exhanged. As he went to take a shower and rant about me in his own mind, I began dinner preparations where I proceeded to fume even more. I was, after all, the one in the right. How could he be so self consumed in his irritations not to see that this was- (mostly, with the exception of a small percentage of his 11 year old’s
selfishness well meaning ways…) his home and if he didn’t want his family lovingly greeting him than maybe he should go elsewhere after work… (while he was likely thinking, why can’t she see that I had a hard day and I just needed to come home to a home of calm and peace?)
I wish I could say that it was like the instant flick of a light switch that reality came to me- or that the above scenario was a one time moment- but that would be a lie. I am a hypocrite. I don’t always see my husband. Sure, I look his direction and know when he enters a room, bit I don’t take the time to truly see him. To see the heart behind his actions, or the things etched plainly in his expression that he hopes I’ll notice. In my deadline rush or other busy filled hours I don’t always stop to look at my kids when they talk. There are times when I don’t stop to put myself in their position and try to see where they are coming from. I’m sad to say, more often than I wish, I jump to conclusions only to later realize that if I would have just paused to truly look at my husband/kid/mother/friend/________________, then I would have saved everyone involved some serious hurt…
On a positive note, we’ve established the routine that he comes home to a peaceful and quiet home, greeted by his wife. He’ll then, go in and see Genny who will be peacefully doing whatever it is she needs to be doing at that time. It works well. It transitions nicely and, on the flip side, if we’ve had a busy day it gives us a small portion to process the day and wind down from it as we head into the evening with our family.
It obviously doesn’t solve everything. I still fail to see my them sometimes. I’m trying to be much better at this…
And when I fumble at it, I’ll look directly into their eyes and ask them to forgive me.
Today, in my 28 day challenge, I will:
– Stay present, and in the moment, when I am with my family. I will not only see their face, as they speak, but how they say it. I will try to place myself in their perspective and see why they feel the way they do.
– I will have a staring contest with my daughter.