Seeing is loving…

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. 

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Categories: family, marriage

7 Comments »

  1. It's been a long time since I've commented on your blog, but I have been reading it everyday!I know what you mean about the house/greeting thing. When my husband comes in and is "attacked" – even if it is LOVE he sometimes (not always) loses his cool. Now, I try to have the front room picked up of junk so he walks into a peaceful front room. Then I have the kids doing something (playing a game, reading, writing, whatever…) and my husband can GO to them to greet them! It has helped so much with the attitude of the house!

  2. Wow! What a thought provoking post. My husband loves coming home to: "Daddy, Daddy, Daddy!" and a big hug from the girls, even at 10 and 13. Then I get my kiss, he changes into his lounging clothes, and does his thing. But he decompresses on his ride/drive home from work.I never even try to calm the critters or the girls, it's just our welcoming home committee. I do need to be better about being in the moment and shut off the list in my head. Stina even thought I din't see her cartwheel and had me tell her how she did and was surprised I could critque. Thanks for the reminder.

  3. I heard a pastor once say, "We judge ourselves by our intentions. We judge others by their actions."Basically…. we often have a lot more "understanding" for ourselves when we act in ways that we didn't really intend to act. When others act like that, we tend to not look beyond the action to see what they truly intended. Hearing that has definitely helped me to re-evaluate some of the negative thoughts that I've had toward my husband. Ultimately, I know he loves me like crazy, and most of the time, his intention is to be loving. So, when his actions don't mesh with what I consider loving, I can still try to see him for the love that he has underneath it.

  4. Nikke- you are awesomely faithful- no worries… Yeah, I think it's something in their personalities. I sense a lot of similar qualities in our husbands… Chw's drive home isn't relaxing at all so he just needs that moment to collect himself. We were gone yesterday, when he got home, and he told me it was the most productive 45 minutes of his day and awesome. I didn't know how to take it, lol!

  5. Marion, That's awesome! my husband used to like that- but he also was gone for weeks at a time. His job now is SO stressful, and the rush hour drive home is too- he's just growing into needing that peaceful moment. Suits me… I like peaceful dinner prep time anyway. :) (p.s. SO Glad you read my blog, girl! Thanks!)

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