Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Welcoming Daddy

Today's topic: Welcoming Home Daddy

Today's host: Lisa

Today's goal: Catch up with the other women at the well!

This is my last makeup Well visit and then I will be able to jump in every Monday with the rest of the ladies.

Lisa asked us to contemplate how we can make our homes a place of peace for our husband and our children's father. She posed these questions:

How can we lay a welcome mat of love for our husbands after a long day of hard work?

How can we make our homes inviting places where Daddy longs to be at the end of a long day?

How can we involve our children in this process and teach them to show reverence to their Daddy?

My husband owns a business, which makes our lives a little different. His schedule is very unpredictable. The time he arrives home changes day to day. Some days it will be 5, some days at 7 - and we don't know until that day.

My youngest goes to bed a little after 7, so that can turn giving Daddy "down time" or even eating dinner together into a challenge. When blood sugar is hitting an all time low and snacks just aren't holding them off, dinner can't always wait....

Most of the time, Troy does not desire to talk about the happenings of the day AT ALL. At first I felt a little left out of the biggest part of his life. Until he explained that he considered me and our home his haven. And that what he needed from me, more than anything, was a place of refuge. A place where he could let it all go and just enjoy his family.

The most important thing to me became anticipating his needs. I am working on reading him - and being the wife he needs that day. Some days he needs time to decompress, some days he just wants to laugh and wrestle the girls, some days to talk about nothing of importance.

Around here, welcoming Daddy takes little effort. Madeline can literally announce his arrival the moment his Diesel truck hits our block. Olivia can get the doors opened. And the two of them greet him in the driveway before he hits the house if they can, yelling Daaaaaaaddy all the way. He feels so important and honored. If he does manage to get in without them noticing, most days there is some kind of hugging-wrestling-giggling match on the living room floor.

But, as idyllic as it sounds, it's been just over a month since we lost our baby. And I am well aware that many couples struggle in their relationship after the loss of a child. To combat that, we've made an effort to talk to each other about what we need from each other, especially because those needs may change week to week, or even day to day, as we navigate the grieving process in our own ways.

Troy's answer was so simple. What does he need the most from me right now? A hug and a kiss when he sees me.

That's all. Just stop working for a minute and give him a kiss.

Easy as this sounds, it isn't always for me. Don't get me wrong, I count the minutes until Troy gets home. But when he arrives I am usually in the middle of trying to get all the elements of my meal on the table at the same time, in a hot kitchen, with two tired, hungry kids underfoot and I'm on a mission to get it done!

But no matter. If that is what speaks to him, then I need to stop working for a moment and focus on him.

And he does the same for me. Just this weekend, he surprised us with an extra day off work to extend our family time at the lake - and never answered the phone all Monday. I know this was a huge sacrifice. But he did it because his family was more important.

And I want to make him feel more important. That's my answer to how to make my home an inviting place Daddy longs to be. Make him feel MORE important.

My other ambitions for me and my children are:

Have a plan for dinner, no matter how simple. (Have the girls set the table.)

Do a quick straightening of our main living areas. (Have the girls to pick up the trail of tripping hazards they have produced and put them back in their rightful places.)

Be flexible and try to be what my husband needs that day. (Even the girls do this if Dad gets a call he has to take, and they have to be respectfully quiet for a few minutes.)

Just as he's working to figure out how to meet the needs of all three of his girls, we are doing the same for him. Our welcome mat is our honest excitement to see him at the end of a long day. Our home is inviting to him because he knows it is his refuge, where he will feel important and loved.

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