67 Wives Answer the Question: What is the nicest thing your husband could do for you?

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  1. Send me to the spa for a day!
  2. The nicest thing my husband could do for me would be to support and be there for me through hard times.
  3. Just recently my husband took over my role as mom and carer by organising and looking after our three young kids while I was in hospital for an emergency procedure and during recovery. I felt totally loved and adored by his total care and concern.
  4. I work full time and he works a much less demanding job from home. The nicest thing he does for me is keeping our house together – he washes the dishes and the clothes, he vacuums and cleans and shops and cooks – so that at the end of the day I don’t have to think about those things. And sometimes he drives to the beach with my running gear and our dog (because I take the bus) and waits patiently for me while I run. That’s pretty nice too.
  5. To clean up the kitchen after he messed it up, when he was sweet enough to cook supper when I was sick.
  6. I think surprising me with a day drive somewhere. A spontaneous day of quality time…simply because he wants to have me all to himself. I’m studying at the moment and haven’t had a proper break in so long… a simple “surprise outing” that somehow included a picnic would be wonderful!
  7. A massage and taking my car to have the wheel alignment checked.
  8. He could take a day (or half day) off work so I can get some dental work done. If it was a general need at this stage of my life I’d go with, ‘being home on time every day to put the kids to bed and to just talk to me about the day, our kids and his work.’ It gets lonely when he works long hours. After thought, just a simple thing to do… Rub my back.
  9. The nicest thing my husband can do for me right now is what he is doing and just being there for me and giving me the love, support, help and understanding I need to help me cope as some days can be hard and at least he knows that raising kiddies is demanding and exhausting (more so since my baby became ill) so when he comes home and nothing is done he helps me with whatever needs doing.
  10. 1)Look after the kids (by that I mean feed them and entertain them) for a decent chunk of time so I can get on with some thorough cleaning, tidying out a cupboard, filing, sorting through clothes etc…yes really ! 2)Don’t ask me what I’ve done or who I’ve spoken to today when you know full well it is the summer holidays and I’m only just managing to keep my head above water! 3)Notice all the cleaning, tidying etc that I constantly do!
  11. To sit with me for half an hour a day. Just holding my hand, looking deep into my eyes and telling me that he still thinks I am the best thing in his life….
  12. Run me a nice hot bubble bath to soak in as soon as our baby is asleep in the evening… And then organise dinner while I soak in the bath!
  13. Be on time!
  14. The nicest thing he could do for me is surprise me by doing a few of my ‘to-do’ items off my list, especially house errands. My best is coming home to clean dishes and a clean kitchen.
  15. The one thing my husband could do is take an interest in things that interest me or at least support me in my hobbies.
  16. I would love to arrive home from a long day at work to find a meal planned for, shopped for and cooked by my husband. (Unasked)
  17. The nicest thing my hubby could do would be to acknowledge how I am struggling being the best mother, see that I am failing miserably, and support me more than just providing bread for the table.
  18. Clear out our cluttered garage so I can use it to park my car in!
  19. Cuddle me before going to sleep and not expect/demand/guilt me into sex!! Take the kids downstairs one morning and keep them quiet while I sleep and not feel bad about it!
  20. I can think of a few things my husband could do for me but the answer is a fairly simple one…let me rest! With a lively 2 year old son and at 36 weeks pregnant I value my rest very much.
  21. Coffee in bed while he takes care of the kids in the morning!
  22. The best thing today would be for him to get our daughter ready for play school this morning.
  23. He can start to fill the role of daddy as I’ve just found out I’m pregnant! So I need him to be my knight in shining armour to protect and love me and our little bean inside me.
  24. First thing I thought of is to buy me flowers! Absolutely love it when he does this!
  25. I think any small gesture which says ‘I see you’ really makes me feel loved. Things have been quite busy for us with my husband having a new job with a long commute, our baby and moving into a new house – so there hasn’t been an abundance of time. Two nights ago, he came home and said he wanted to make us pancakes – this small gesture meant so much, cause he put some time in for us, even though we had to book flights while eating the pancakes! I am hoping a massage is the next inspiration somewhere in the near future!
  26. He could offer (unprompted) to give me a break from the kids to have some “me” time without me having to ask for it…Basically to take the initiative with the kids and take control of a situation that gives me some time off…
  27. Wash the dishes!
  28. It would be absolutely wonderful if he could help me set up a homeschool classroom with loads of shelving/ cupboard space….as that is my daily job and it would help me as I love being organized and neat. That’s my season and my need. Or else it is always nice if I could have “me” time. So dad could take kids etc
  29. The nicest thing he could do would be to prep a nice supper (even a simple easy one) wash up after and sort our baby out for the night. Basically the evening routine I normally do on my own. And then we can just sit and chat or watch something nice.
  30. The best thing my husband could do today is support me with the day to day chores…like the washing up!
  31. Some of the nicest things my husband could do for me… give me a lie-in, take the kids out for an afternoon so I can be alone at home for a few hours in my own, uninterrupted company, carry in the food shopping bags and pack them away in the kitchen, get take-aways. Another way he really blesses my heart is by being kind to the kids and being a very fun daddy.
  32. He could take a day (or half day) off work so I can get some dental work done. If it was a general need at this stage of my life I’d go with, ‘being home on time every day to put the kids to bed and to just talk to me about the day, our kids and his work. Another simple thing to do: rub my back.
  33. I really enjoy it when my husband gives me attention – as in will put something he is busy with down, look at me and engage. I HATE it when he will prioritise a sports match so strongly that he won’t help me with anything until it’s over (incl post match breakdown……..) Sport is a huge dread for me.
  34. I think the best thing my husband can do for me is surprise me by doing the things that are usually my responsibility to lessen my load.
  35. I would love him to take me to a lovely park or woodland area, where we could walk and talk, hand in hand, away from life’s distractions. We have so little time together.
  36. The nicest thing my husband can do for me is understand my need for my family and country now we have our own little family.
  37. Take the kids off my hands for about 4hrs. ..it gives me space and time to get my jobs done around the house without interruptions! Probably the second thing is help me fold clothes, do dishes etc without being asked!
  38. Send the girls to granny and take me out so we can re-connect preferably over some yummy sushi followed by a walk on the beach! Oh and not at night because then I’m just exhausted. Some days I miss my handsome husband even though he is right next to me!
  39. Helping me with making supper and playing with my children after a long day.Sounds trite, but it really is such a nice help. I got home last week after not sleeping well etc, to find that he had made supper, even though he was writing a huge exam the next day. Little gestures like that make all the difference in the world.
  40. My husband is just amazing. He does the nicest things for me all the time. When I am on a hectic work schedule – he cooks, cleans, washes the clothes and makes me endless cups of coffee…sometimes for months and months on end! He tickles my back. He buys me chocolate. He tells me I look 10 years younger than I am. He doesn’t try to change me. He always encourages me. He makes me laugh and he always listens to me! He believes in me! The nicest thing my husband could ever do for me is just be himself! How blessed am I?!!!
  41. The nicest thing he could give me is his TIME, and his time he needs to be 100% committed to listening and understanding. Just him and me (no kids). Absolutely love TIME with just him.
  42. The nicest thing he could do for me is surprise me with a night (or 2) away at a hotel or spa. Doesn’t have to be far away, but just to have a night or 2 of uninterrupted sleep would be heaven right now.
  43. Wait up for me and help me with the evening feed to burp our baby. AND wash my car on a Sunday afternoon when he’d rather be watching sport.
  44. The nicest thing is probably a foot or back rub (pregnancy has a downside) The nicest thing he does is just listen to me moan and lately cry about everything (even his family) without getting upset or annoyed.
  45. My husband is usually so sweet and thoughtful so there is not much I could think of. Maybe a surprise holiday overseas — I have never travelled abroad (don’t even own a passport)
  46. Stand up for me when family or friends misunderstand me.
  47. Tea in bed!
  48. I think the nicest thing my husband could do for me is to organise a babysitter and take me out for dinner. Just time together – that’s all I want! He is very good about it, but that’s probably my best! Amidst work, baby and life, time is precious and I just want that 1-on-1 time to connect with him.
  49. Wash the dishes or hang the washing for me.
  50. Organise a very reliable babysitter/s and book us into a hotel for 2 nights in summer to laze by the pool and eat at all the good restaurants!
  51. I think quality time,one on one, is the most important thing he can do for me. Touch without leading to sex is also important.
  52. At the moment in my pregnancy, my husband comes home early makes me dinner, cleans up and rubs my back with lots of sympathy and affection. I honestly cannot think of anything else I need from him at the moment.
  53. Send me away for a night or two to a spa retreat far away in the countryside.
  54. Offer some practical help in an area of life he knows I am stressed/anxious/overwhelmed with. For me this demonstrates a sense of care and thoughtfulness, that he’s thought about how I’m doing and what is currently going on in my life, and is demonstrating his love by offering his help in that area. Here’s a real example that would bless me right now… if he came home and said something like, ‘I don’t want you to have to worry about anything else for the rest of the day, I’ve done some grocery shopping and have planned something for dinner. Let me sort it out and you just take some time off. AND I’ll clean up afterwards!’
  55. When he takes our baby out on Saturday mornings to give me a couple hours break. That is probably the nicest thing as I really need that time!
  56. Offer to take our daughter to school more often so I can lie in! He did this morning so I was very grateful.
  57. Offer to take care of our girls and give me a morning or afternoon to myself.
  58. At the moment the nicest thing my husband could do for me is to do something helpful around the house or with our son … especially without me asking him to. I have reflected on this before, and realised that since we have become parents my love languages/primary needs have changed a little … I would probably have said something like a surprise dinner or flowers or quality time if I’d been asked this question a few years ago, but since having our baby acts of service are definitely top of my list! I’m sure it will change again too as we move through different seasons.
  59. The kindest thing my husband could do for me, right now, within our budget, is to take the boys in the early morning and let me sleep. With an unlimited budget, I might say the kindest thing he could do for me would be to send me to a spa for a day and a good night’s sleep. But really the kindest thing he has ever done (and repeatedly does) is forgive me when I’m grumpy and tired and haven’t been an excellent mom; I’ve shouted and huffed and wanted to murder these precious boys… a little while ago, after such an episode of excelling at being the worst version of myself, he responded to my apology with: “it’s OK, this is a safe space for you, too”. It was the kindest thing anyone has ever done for me – to let me know that I belong, even when I feel I shouldn’t, even when I am at my worst. I am loved.
  60. That my husband loves the Lord our God with all that he has, and that he encourages me to do the same, by example and what he says.
  61. I would like him to make dinner more often. Sounds silly but we both have busy jobs and I would love to come home to dinner made maybe just once a week. It would be bliss!
  62. My answer applies to today specifically: look after the kids and give me some me-time. I’m working full days and when I get home it’s super busy. He lets me wind down: I can have a shower while he cooks and when I’m done we all sit together and have dinner. He’s amazing!
  63. The nicest thing my husband could do for me is love our son.
  64. The nicest thing my husband could do for me is make time to talk only about us! This sounds weird because we are married and of course we talk all the time and even when we are not with each other we chat on the phone and text. However with having two little ones, being in ministry and a lot of people commitments, we often end up being consumed with sharing our hearts for others. When we have just us time and I get a just me moment with him, it goes a long long way. The nicest thing my husband could do is check in with and ask how I am doing and what I am thinking about. Because it’s not always kids kids kids house cleaning, cooking etc. up here in my head and also in my heart.
  65. The nicest thing my hubby could do for me is offer to give me a night off, wash the dishes and clean the kitchen after dinner. Well, that would be a small nice thing. A big nice thing would be if he could plan a romantic weekend away for us, something where I would enjoy all the details and activities, but didn’t have to tell him or do any of the planning myself. I wouldn’t mind if he held open the door for me too every now and then (my guy is very egalitarian!)
  66. At the moment there are two things that my husband does that I just think are so sweet and lovely and that if he didn’t do them I’d wish that he did: in the morning he gets up and makes us bacon and eggs for breakfast and brings me breakfast in bed, complete with orange juice and then a bit later a cup of tea. I’m terrible in the mornings and need about 30 minutes to remember what day it is, so I really appreciate this. At the end of the work day he gets back home about 30 mins before me, and always makes a point of waiting for me before he gets stuck into doing whatever he has planned for his evening… he meets me at the door and takes my bags from me and puts them where they need to be, gets me a juice while I flop onto the bed and then we catch up about our day. I just love it, and the more babies I see enter the world the more I know that this special gesture may not last much longer. So I’m appreciating it all the more!
  67. I would love for him to organise a surprise day out for us as a family, where he has taken care of all the details, and I can just relax and enjoy the quality time together.

 

photo credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/clickflashphotos/3440590766/”>ClickFlashPhotos / Nicki Varkevisser</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>cc</a&gt; photo credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/clickflashphotos/3440590766/”>ClickFlashPhotos / Nicki Varkevisser</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;

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My Contribution to the Parenting Lexicon

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Becoming a parent means familiarising yourself with a bewildering number of new terms to do with babies. Your first few visits to the midwife or obstetrician may feel like you’re having to learn a new language altogether but by the time you have safely delivered your precious bundle of joy, you bandy these words about like a medical professional while chatting over cups of coffee at mothers’ group. 

Sometimes, despite your greatly expanded post-bub vocabulary, you just can’t seem to find the perfect word to fit your experience and you have to make one up to do the job. There are three that I have coined since having a baby:

You get a thermometer. You get a spedometer. And then you get an

  • f-bombeter

noun

1. a system of measuring and indicating mental health or stress based on the frequency of thought or uttered f-bombs.

Now, I hate the f-word. Hate. Hate. Hate. It never featured in our house growing up. Hearing it makes me cringe. And I have never been able to say it out loud. It is a deplorable word. So when I find myself thinking the word or – gasp – muttering it under my breath (never with any volume or vehemence – just muttered)  then little warning bells go off in my brain. This is a signal that perhaps I need to slow down a bit, get some rest or ask someone for help because if I have stooped to such a level as to use that word, then I can’t be doing too well. 

My second new term is:

  • mockingbird night

idiom

1. a difficult night for a parent during which their child resists going to bed and repeated verses of the lullaby ‘Hush Little Baby’ are sung in an attempt to get the child to sleep.

The beauty of this particular lullaby is that you can just keep making up verses as you go, coming up with all sorts of wild and wonderful items to buy your little cherub (though they totally don’t deserve these gifts at this point!) I have tried a few times to learn the original lyrics but I just can’t seem to get them right. So instead, Lucy has been promised golden larks that turn brown, bales of hay that get burnt, diamond rings that are fake, and other such things that get increasingly silly the tireder I get. The plus side of these silly verses is that they often make me giggle and this makes me feel better despite the fact that my child just WILL NOT SLEEP!

And thirdly:

  • napalysis

noun

1. the moment of paralysing indecision faced by a parent when their child has gone down for a nap and they have to choose how they will spend their free time.

One day I was particularly flummoxed by my many options and actually wrote them down to use as raw material for this post. This was my list – in no particular order:

  1. Unpack the groceries from the car
  2. Finish washing the dishes I’d started hours earlier
  3. Make a new batch of food to freeze for Lucy
  4. Take the washing off the line
  5. Sort the groceries should I choose to fetch them from the car
  6. Have a nap
  7. Have a cup of tea
  8. Unpack the dishwasher
  9. Gather tiling ideas for the bathrooms in our new house
  10. Wrap a present and write in a card for a friend’s birthday
  11. Read the magazine that my husband bought on subscription for me for Christmas and which I never seem to get to
  12. Remove the chipped, month-old nail polish from my toenails
  13. Read my Bible
  14. Catch up on the tv episode I had missed the night before because Lucy took hours to go to bed
  15. Play with my dog
  16. Catch up on months of filing since the dining room table was barely visible under the piles of paperwork
  17. Check the postbox

What makes the decision-making that much harder is that you just don’t know how long you’ve got. It may be that your baby usually sleeps for one hour but there’s no guarantee that’s how long she’ll sleep today. This means that you tend to choose the most urgent options – usually the chores – and plan on doing the more relaxing, nice things second. So that lovely, hot cup of tea that you put off until you’ve unpacked the groceries etc etc usually gets poured the same moment that the baby wakes up and the poor dog simply never gets played with other than her daily walk and the magazines stack up next to your bed, gathering dust. 

So let’s put these new terms into a sentence:

After a few successive mockingbird nights, my f-bombeter was indicating dangerous levels; there was no room for napalysis: I had to sleep. 

I’m quite sure I’m not the only parent making up new words and phrases as I go. Anyone else got some to share?

The Other Mother Theresa

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In a recent post, Sisterhood Sticky Notes asked the question, ‘When did you feel loved today?”I have felt loved all week and it has everything to do with one very special friend called Theresa.

I first met Theresa when Jon and I were new to Perth and visiting different churches in the city to try find one that felt like home. When we walked into Freedom Life she was one of the first people to greet us, but not in the formal handshake-at-the-door kind of greeting, but more the Tigger-from-Winnie-the-Pooh-bounding-up-to-say-hello kind of greeting. It was not so much the crazy hair, piercings, loud accessories and colourful wardrobe that left a lasting impression, but more the warmth and friendliness that oozed out of her. You felt loved and accepted and special within seconds of chatting to her. In fact, Theresa herself was probably the main factor that drew and kept us at this church.

There was definitely no forgetting her face, but she also made it easy for me to remember her name. She introduced herself and said that she has five children, so I could go ahead and call her Mother Theresa if I liked! Now, Theresa does not just have five children: she has five boy children. All between the ages of 14 and 7. This in itself would qualify her for the title of “The Other Mother Theresa”. But wait – there’s more…

Theresa shares something in common with the late Mother Theresa: she demonstrates her love through acts of service. It’s been a challenging and emotional week for Jon and me with Lucy going to hospital and getting her cast (spica) put on. Theresa knew this and knew that we would need a lot of love. So, instead of just sending a loving text, she set about loving us in very practical ways:

*She cooked us three nights’ worth of delicious suppers

*She bought us a ready-made meal to heat up on the day we got back from hospital

*She gave us snacks to take with us to the hospital, including delicious homemade brownies

*She came to visit me and Lucy to get us out the house for a coffee to make sure we weren’t just sitting around at home getting lonely

*She prayed for us

*She sent encouraging text messages

*She phoned to check up on us

*She asked what things we will need for our new house that we’re building and in a few days had sourced a double bed, a bedside table, a chest of drawers and an almost-new microwave 

*She rounded up a friend to help Jon with painting the new house on the weekend (thanks Tony for giving up your whole Saturday!)

All of the above just in the last week.

This is love in action. This is the type of love that captured the world’s attention when Mother Theresa was nursing the sick and helping the destitute and feeding the hungry. This is the type of love The Other Mother Theresa is demonstrating to her five boys. She doesn’t tell  them to love others – she shows them how to do it.

Let us all love like Theresa loves.

“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.  If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?  Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” 1 John 3:16-18

What happened to my miracle?

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God, I have to be honest (which I think you prefer over lip service): believing you had healed my baby only to find out her condition has worsened and she has to undergo surgery is hard. I feel like a kid at Christmas who unwraps the gift I’ve been begging for all year only to discover it’s faulty and has to be sent to the manufacturer for repairs. And all the other kids around me are happily playing with their presents and showing them off and posting pics of them on Facebook.

I know that you are not a genie in a magic lamp who I can summon at will and present my wishes to. But you said in Luke 17:6: “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.”

I’m pretty sure I had at least a mustard seed of faith, possibly even an acorn. And just in case I didn’t, I asked my friends and family to pray too so that all of our prayers together might be enough to move your hand.

And when you were knitting Lucy together in my womb, as per Psalm 139:13, we prayed that she would have the best of Jon and the best of me in her. I’m not sure how this translates into a genetically pre-disposed hip condition. Did you drop a stitch?

Walking with you can be perplexing and some scriptures seem so paradoxical. I find the older I get and the more I read and experience, the less I know.

But I’ve walked with you now for over twenty years and there are a handful of things I do know beyond a doubt. I have experienced the truth of them enough times to be convinced of them:

You are a good father. (Psalm 100:5)

You will never leave me or forsake me. (Deuteronomy 1:6)

You are constantly at work to make every circumstance beneficial for me. (Romans 8:28)

Lucy gets so upset now whenever I leave the room and I have to console her on my return. I find myself saying soothing things like, “Oh my baby, just because you can’t see me doesn’t mean I’m not here”.

And, “My darling, you need to learn to trust me. I’ll never leave you on your own.”

And, “Lucy, everything I’m doing is only for your good.”

And I can almost feel you poke me in the ribs and chuckle and say to me, “Sound familiar, Jen?”

And then I know – regardless of the confusion of prayers seemingly unanswered – that everything really will be alright.

Another Setback. Seriously?!

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A week and a half ago, just as we were starting to get used to the Rhino brace, I got a phone call from the hospital asking us to come back in to ‘discuss treatment options’. My heart sank all the way down to my toes. By now I am familiar with what the treatment options are for DDH and so I had a pretty good idea what the conversation might involve.

We went along to the appointment last Friday and my worst fears were realised: Lucy has to have an operation.

Basic anatomy of the hip joint (image sourced from Wikipedia)

Basic anatomy of the hip joint (image sourced from Wikipedia)

After the last x-ray, the doctor showed the images to his colleagues and director at their weekly meeting. They agreed that putting Lucy in a Rhino brace wouldn’t actually solve the problem because some tissue has built up in her hip socket, preventing the femoral head from sitting snugly in the acetabulum. An operation is needed to remove that tissue and set the hip joint correctly.

While there are risks involved in operating on a seven-month-old baby, it’s not necessarily the surgery itself that I’m dreading. After the operation, Lucy will need to be in a plaster cast called a spica for six weeks.

This is similar to what Lucy will be in, except hers will go to her toes. There is a space left in the groin area so that you can change nappies. (image sourced from visn22.kramesonline.com)

This is similar to what Lucy will be in, except hers will go to her toes. There is a space left in the groin area so that you can change nappies. (image sourced from visn22.kramesonline.com)

If her hip is looking good after six weeks, she will transition into a Rhino brace again full-time for a further six weeks. If all is well after that, she will only have to wear the brace at night for a few more weeks until the doctors are happy that her hip is stable.

Her operation is scheduled for the 11th of February at Princess Margaret Hospital in Perth, which is the only hospital in Western Australia that does this procedure. She will stay overnight and then be allowed home.

We have a long road ahead!