So, tonight my husband called at 7:39 p.m. to say he was on his way home. He said that today was his "worst day since starting residency."
Unfortunately, he called right after I had cleaned up dinner and was shepherding the children up the stairs for showers and bed time. It is, hands down, the most stressful time of the day. At least one of the kids is usually crying, two are busy either wresting or playing an active, running and crashing game, and one of them becomes deeply involved in a very messy art project. It's incredible. Their energy increases exponentially and their hearing (of my voice, at least) becomes somewhat challenged.
I was so proud that I had actually cooked a meal for dinner tonight (Hawaiin Haystacks) that I told my husband about it when he called. He said it sounded yummy, but then he asked if I had made him a plate, or if he would have to get everything out of the fridge and make it himself, and told me about how his mom always prepared a big plate for his dad when he was at work late. I was looking for kudos for actually cooking a meal - or maybe not even that - I don't think I even needed a 'thank you.' (I knew he would be very happy to have a cooked meal). But, his recommendation/criticism on how to present it to him when he arrived really struck me wrong.
Not to mention the complete, undiluted chaos surrounding me.
I quickly hung up so that I would not create unnecessary tension between us. He later asked me about it. He said that he had just needed a listening ear and some encouraging words, and I had fallen very short of meeting his needs. We talked about it. He had so many frustrations. Why was I not able to just listen and sympathize? I attribute it largely to the time of day that he called, but how can I avoid that next time?
Sometimes we need each other, but without communication, (and totally obedient children), we just glide past each other and miss out on being there to offer support at the right moment.