Tonight in households across America the same argument is occurring. It looks a little something like this.
“How was your day?”
“Kind of rough. Work is really challenging right now and my day was filled with meetings.”
“Well that wasn’t anything. I had kids clinging to me all day and picked up the same mess over and over.”
“I hear you, but my boss is really being demanding right now and I am so exhausted from such a long day.”
“YOU’RE Tired? Try cooking and cleaning all day and dealing with bickering kids!!”
You know what the problem is when we try to one up our spouse in the “who had a harder day battle”? Nobody wins.
A few years back Ryan was traveling a bunch for work and I was miserable trying to parent without him home. He would call from these really nice hotel rooms after a dinner on an expense account and say how much he missed us. I would be seething thinking about how nice it would be to sleep in a bedroom someone else cleaned, eating yummy food and sleeping through the night without babies waking me up.
But then I traveled alone a few times. That hotel room all to myself got lonely, the food didn’t taste near as good sitting at a table by myself and I missed my family terribly. Lather, rinse and repeat for several months and I would have gotten a tiny taste of my husband’s life.
And it only took a few days of me being away for Ryan to get a taste of what life is like at home all day with three kids. Actually it probably only took about ten minutes.
When I have a rotten day I want to feel supported. And when my husband has a bad day he wants the same. Neither of us want to enter into a competition about who has it worse. So next time your husband opens up the lines of communication about the struggles in his life, listen. Yeah, I know. Your day was harder. But just listen.