As homeschool mammas, our days are really full. From the minute our feet hit the floor in the morning until we (literally) fall into bed at night, life doesn’t stop for a single second.
Why do we do it? Because it’s important, we believe in it, and we love it.
But it isn’t easy. Not by a mile.
That’s why on those days — you know the ones – when we barely manage to get dressed by lunch time, have a sink full of dishes from two nights before, and somehow manage to last all day without a single pee, there are some things we just don’t want to hear.
So, heads up, dads. This one’s for you.
It’s for all the hubs who were only trying to help. All of the spouses who meant well. All of the guys who took one look and decided it was time to step in. Basically, for all those lovable hunks we mammas couldn’t live without, yet know not what they do.
Please, husbands. For the love of all that is good in this world. For a long and happy marriage. You must never utter these words to your homeschooling wife:
#1. That’s all you got done today?
Because when you say: “That’s A-L-L you got done today?” (variations: “She’s still working on that?” and “Yea, you told about that last week.”)
We think: Yea, that’s helpful. Thanks so much for pointing it out. But, in case you hadn’t noticed, that’s almost half a page more than yesterday. And he couldn’t even do this kind of thing last month. And, by the way, do you have any idea what it took to get this page done? <insert gray hair euphemism> Besides the fact that I can actually r-e-a-d the answers this time! And it only took until 4 o’clock. Not 8 o’clock like ALL. LAST. YEAR. Total victory in my book.
#2. Is there any meat?
Because when you say: “Is there any meat?” (variation: “Did you make my lunch?”)
We think: No, hon, sorry I didn’t cook any meat tonight. But I did cook beans (okay, I opened a can) and I put that jar of peanuts on the table over there, so there’s your protein. And I’m trying to save money like you asked me to. And I didn’t have time to run to the store anyway. And don’t you think it’s nice to go meatless every once in a while? Besides, me and the kids happen to love beans. And, by the way, it’s a small miracle I managed to get any dinner on the table after the day I’ve had. Oh, and, sweetheart, if you really want something special for dinner,
would it really kill you to make it yourself? make sure to remind me when you leave in the morning, so I can put it on my list of ten thousand other things to do. ‘Cause I love to prepare your favorites <smile>.
#3. You’re just imagining things.
Because when you say: “You’re just imagining things.” (variations: “Remember all those other times you…?” and “I don’t see anything.”)
We think: Any combination of the following: How can you be so blind? How can you be so blind to how I feel? Can’t you tell how I feel? Why can’t you just tell how I feel? You’re supposed to know how I feel! Or, any combination of these statements: Actually, I wasn’t really looking for advice. Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t real. How friggin’ dare you? Hold me. How the heck would you know when you’re not home all day? Mothers intuition trumps everything. Why can’t you just listen without saying anything? Hmmm, maybe I am really crazy.
#4. You should teach that.
Because when you say: “You should teach that.” (variations: “You should teach that.” and “What aren’t you teaching that?”)
We think: Why, thank you, dear. What a wonderful idea! <insert major sarcasm> Let me just add it to my list of 24,995 other things I’m already teaching, so I don’t forget. And, by all means, don’t forget to check back with me every now and then, to remind me, and to let me know if I’m doing it right. I want to be sure I cover it exactly the way you want me to.
#5. I deserve a day off, too.
Because when you say: “I deserve a day off, too.” (variations: “I need a break”, “I’ve been out there busting my butt all day”, “I just got home!”, and “Can’t I just get a few minutes of peace and quiet around here?”)
We think: You’re kidding, right? Of course you deserve a break, dear. Because all I do all day is sit around watching TV and ordering new shoes on your credit card. You do need to relax. After all, your job is more important than mine anyway. Not to mention so much harder. (Seriously? Well at least somebody around here gets a break.)
#6: I’ll show you how to do it.
Because when you say: “I’ll show you how to do it.” (variation: “Lemme show you how it’s done” and “Don’t you remember I showed you this already?”)
We think: Here he goes again. Telling me how to do my job. Was he the one who read all those homeschooling books? Is he the one who goes to all those meetings? Has he ever even heard of Maria Montessori or Charlotte Mason or Emilio Reggio? He’s not the one stuck at home all day with these
little brats darling children. Sure, buddy, go ahead and show me how to do it. I dare you.
#7: Is there any way you can get them to stop leaving their stuff all over the floor (table, porch, driveway)?
Because when you say: “Is there any way you can get them to stop leaving their stuff all over the floor (table, porch, driveway)”? (variation: anything containing the word “passage-way”)
We think: Like I haven’t tried? And this is what it looks like on a good day! You should’ve seen the place before we actually picked up <snarky laugh>. You think you can do better? Good luck with that. Besides, we live here, for crying out loud. If I pick it up now, it’s just gonna get messy in another 5 minutes. Sheesh!
#8: Just give him the book and tell him to figure it out!
Because when you say: “Just give him the book and tell him to figure it out!” (variation: “She’s not trying hard enough.”)
We think: If you could only see me shaking my head inside. You think I haven’t tried that? He doesn’t understand it, because he doesn’t understand it! Giving him the book again for the seventeen millionth time isn’t gonna help. What he needs, is for us to help him. We’re his parents — that’s what we’re supposed to do. <under breath> Didn’t you get the memo?
#9: You sure you should be eating that?
Because when you say: “You sure you should be eating that?” (variation: “Why don’t you go for a jog/do some push-ups?”)
We think: Did you really just say that? and Did you really just say that? (Okay, this might just be in our house.)
#10: Aren’t you coming to bed?
Because when you say: “Aren’t you coming to bed?”
We think: Leaving this one up to you, but I suggest something along these lines: “I’ll be right there. I just have a couple of things to do first” followed by a brief period in which you unload the dishwasher, tuck a half dozen kids in, carry in glass after glass of water, send kid after kid back to bed, feed starving pets, check calendar for tomorrow, take your vitamin, turn off a hundred devices left on around the house, hang up the phone, unclog a toilet, put the lid back on the jelly, put the clothes in the dryer, and hop into bed all showered and energized by that tempting invitation to stay up an extra hour and cut in to your sleep just one more time.
Bonus (and my all-time favorite):
#11: “Stop bugging mom.”
Good one. Really, really helpful. Thanks, hon.
P.S. This post was husband-approved (he’s actually pretty great).
P.P.S. Don’t deny it — you know you secretly have these thoughts, too.
P.P.P.S. Stay tuned for my next post, called: “Latest Couples Trend: Trading places for a day”
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