My housekeeping skills have not been shining through for the last few months, and our home is beginning to develop piles. This bothers me a great deal. I have also been organizing things for the last few weeks, and that results in piles as well, because I have been forgetting to make time to do something with the things I pull out of the neatly organized drawer or closet. Mr. Honey, bless his heart, has not really said anything about it beyond, "Uh, do you think we could keep the hamper clear of stuff so I can put my dirty clothes in it?" I have seen him grit his teeth a few times as he walked into a dishevelled room, like he was trying to forbear in love but it wasn't easy.
Why all this self-disclosure? Well, I learned something last night. I am sure most of you already know this, but it was a pretty big breakthrough for me.
I learned something about manhood.
I sat down with Mr. Honey after the kids went to bed last night and talked to him about the house. I told him that I had noticed he wasn't comfortable with the level of tidiness and that I was sorry. He said it was all right, he knew I had a lot on my plate. I said that I wasn't comfortable with it either, and that I am trying to find a way to get it all done and remain relaxed, but I haven't figured it out yet. He said that he has a rough time relaxing at home when there are so many piles.
So what did I learn?
Two things. One, that it really does bother him, but he is not going to throw that in my face. Two, and this is the biggie, that he is not going to make a big deal of it because he is a real man.
Real men take up the slack. Real men don't flinch or whine when they are given additional burdens. Real men soldier on.
What I had always counted a weakness, I realized last night is actually a strength. He is a noble man. He will take the brunt of whatever happens for his family, for as long as necessary.
I do not want him to shoulder unnecessary burdens. He has enough already.
So what does my house look like today? It's still a mess. I just couldn't get it all done. I know he is not going to berate or belittle me for that. He won't even mention it. But cleaning just went a lot higher on my list of priorities, because it helps him. And I want to help him.