It has been difficult for me to finish (alone) unpacking our house with all four kids. home. all. of. the. time. After coming home from his first day back at work yesterday, my husband said to me, "Liz, I know you've been working all day, but there is absolutely no evidence that you were. What were you doing all day?"
Normally, I would respond with something funny, and laugh hard (because usually I think I'm pretty funny, even if my husband doesn't) to avoid an argument. But, I was totally caught off guard, and, plus, I really felt like I had not stopped moving since getting out of bed that morning, so I immediately started rattling off all of the things I had been doing all day.
My husband's facial expression did not change as he stood quietly just watching me wriggle and stumble as I brainstormed for more duties that I had accomplished all day.
Then I heard myself say, "...and, I had to help our 2-year old go to the bathroom probably three times!"
I stopped. I felt defeated as the realization hit me that my husband had no idea of how long it takes us (a party of at least three: me, the stubborn-I-want-to-do-everything-by-myself-and-at-my-own-speed 2-year old, and the teething-and-always-wanting-to-be-held 11-month old) to visit the bathroom; and that my husband would not accept this duty as a valid accomplishment.
I quickly left the scene of his investigation.
As I thought about it later, I totally understood that it must be difficult for my husband, after a day of doctoring, healing, solving problems, making diagnoses, preventing death, etc. etc. etc., to come home to a house that looks exactly the same as it did when he left. I'm sure he feels like he has accomplished quite a bit at the end of the day.
But, really, it is a huge challenge, and accomplishment, for me to ensure that his children survive the day. This includes (among many other things) helping them to avoid starving, contracting a serious, infectious disease, or seriously hurting themselves or each other. He should be relieved, amazed, and grateful that his children are alive, happy, and thriving when he arrives home after work each day.
Really, I might have to explain this to him. Will he get it? Probably not.