I have been validated.
It was brief and I’m sure non momentous for the validator but a triumph of sorts for me.
A few weeks ago I was out for the evening. First of all, let me say that this outing alone is kind of miraculous. Dinner and movie. With human persons who are not my husband. And before you interpret that into something scandalous, it was a group of female human persons. I was out until 9 pm! And it wasn’t because I was at church! I KNOW right?
So I was out getting all wild and crazy with ma gurls (as wild and crazy as one could be watching Les Misérables) and the Mister was home with the kiddos.
Sidenote: Isn’t it funny when a mom is out alone and someone says to them, “Oh, is your husband babysitting?”?
Uh, no. He is parenting. You don’t call it babysitting when they’re your own kids.
The BEST part of the whole evening was that I did not have to make dinner. Correction, I did not have to make 3 dinners.
My daughter eats a rotation of 10 meals: nuggets, grilled cheese, kraft dinner, spaghetti, tacos, hamburgers, shepherds pie, pizza, PB & J, and ketchup. We have a deal that she has to TRY everything on her plate before she asks for something else from The List. Liam is 15 months old and still has only two teeth so I have to mash his food or steam it or sometimes make him something separate all together. And I still try to make something for us grown ups too. The thing is, I am not a great cook. I watch a lot of the Food Network, but nothing seems to be sticking. But I do try so I take it very personally when leftovers do not get eaten, which is often. Well, Liam eats his leftovers. He has stashes of thrown food from previous meals he has hidden in certain areas of the house. He likes to snack on these throughout the day.
But anyways, on this particular night I didnt have to worry about any of that. It was all Daddy.
And when I got home, this is what he said to me: “I did not realize how hard it is to get dinner ready when you’re all by yourself with your kids. It’s so hard. You are a super hero.”
Pretty lame super power but I’ll take it!
And if I’m a super hero for getting dinner ready most nights, then he is a super hero for saying this. Because its not just that he said it. It’s that while he was making supper that night, with kid 1 most likely pretending she’s a puppy, barking at his feet asking to be played with, and kid 2 climbing on chairs and furniture in the living room or opening every kitchen drawer to empty the contents, he was thinking about me. Empathizing with me. Appreciating me. Again, probably non momentous for him. I’m sure he doesn’t even remember saying it.
I think empathy is like a little secret ingredient missing in a lot of relationships. It only takes a small gesture but it packs a punch. Coming home that night, I was pretty certain I’d be announcing my plans to join the French Revolution, but a little validation from my husband and I was ready to do dinner-battle on the homefront again.
When was the last time you felt validated? When was the last time you were the validator? What are some things that your spouse is awesome at that they could probably benefit from hearing you think they’re awesome at it? What are some things that your spouse does (that you don’t) that you need to try empathizing with?
Do you need to leave the house for an evening so that your spouse can have a chance to appreciate you? 😉