Anyone who has the responsibility of being the primary caregiver for children knows how demanding and difficult that job is. Sometimes, all you want is for someone to say, “Wow. What you do is really hard. I get it.”
Joanna Venditti has four kids, ages six, four, and one-year-old twins. She says her husband is very understanding about how difficult it is to raise four children, but that occasionally they’ve argued about how hard it is for her to juggle as much as she is, especially after the arrival of their twins. Recently, she went away for three days for a conference, leaving her husband home to take over the primary caregiver role. Let’s just say he appreciated her more than ever.
She wrote in a post for Babycenter, “Initially, he was letting me know that things were going great… until reality started to sink in, and I received this text from him: How the f$&@ do you do this? I am loosing [sic] my mind and my soul is defeated.”
Venditti admits that part of her laughed and “relished in the fact that he was finally experiencing [her]reality.” The next morning, after her husband’s first night alone with the kids, he sent her this text:
“Not that I ever thought that I could do this on my own or that I didn’t need you or you didn’t need me, but I know that I need you and we need each other to run this house and this family. There is a lot to look after and a lot to do for one person, but aside from that, there are just things that I do not have in my dna to share with the kids when they need it and the reverse is probably true as well – and I just had that thought that I/we need to be a team, a complementary team to run this house right and raise these 4 amazing children right. Love you”
We could all be reminded to tell the person we share our commitment to raise a family with how important they are to the “well-oiled machine” that is a home with kids. And it’s the same message if the roles are reversed: if mom is away working all day and dad is home. Or when you are talking about a same sex partnership or marriage — we all need to each perform our “role” (whatever that is) and just as importantly tell the other person that they are appreciated.
Life is overwhelming for everyone. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of focusing on our own daily struggles and hardships that we forget what our partner is going through. Venditti says, “This text, no, this love letter, said to me everything that I needed to hear. That I was appreciated, that I was doing a great job, and that instead of playing the “who has it harder game” that we should get on the same page and be a team.”