Marriage

Your Shift-Working Husband Deserves Better

You guys, I KNOW you do a lot for your family. I know you scrub the toilet and replace the soap and I know it feels like no one notices (or appreciates it). But, today I’m not talking about that. Today I’m talking about our husbands and how undervalued, underrated and underappreciated THEY are.

I have known my husband for nine years and he’s worked for the same company the entire time. I learned last year that my husband works without air conditioning. For 8 years I had absolutely no idea because he never complained—not once. He works in the heat, in LOUISIANA, and he never once complained about it. It blows my mind.

Let the record show, if I worked without air conditioning for 30 minutes I would promptly type up a text to send to my husband. He would’ve known how “hard my life is” on day ONE. After about a week, I would’ve come home with bad news: “So, I’m so sorry, but I quit my job today because it was hot. I mean, it was REALLY hot. Like, I was sweating. I just couldn’t do it any more. Sorry about that.” I’m not being sarcastic. I’m telling you right now there is no way I would work in the heat for 9 years.

My husband’s schedule changed recently. He works weekends and nights now, too. In our area shift work is common, but for us, it’s new and it’s been an adjustment. Still, now that he’s working (and not sleeping) at night the only thing my husband complains about is missing time with me and the kids. That’s it. He missed trick-or-treating with the kids this year for the first time and that was hard on him.

He has not uttered a single complaint about missing sleep. Meanwhile, I have thought (and even said out loud) many times how “lucky” he is to go to work and how “hard” my life is being home all day with the kids. You guys, I actually get annoyed when he puts his dirty clothes on top of the hamper instead of in it or when I have to remind him to take out the trash.

I even get resentful about the amount of time and energy he spends acquiring investment properties. I whine about my husband’s entrepreneurial choices—that he chooses to spend his free time busting his butt for our future.

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Don’t get me wrong, it can be easy to get resentful when we feel alone, right? We’re stuck in the house wiping booties alone and eating dinner alone and breaking up fights alone. But, you know what else? We get to sleep in our air conditioned homes at night. And we get to go trick or treating. And we don’t live with the pressure that comes with supporting an entire family.

Because my husband is willing to wake up and drive to work even though he doesn’t want to I have food to eat and I can order things off Amazon whenever I get the itch. That’s kind of a big deal, because, if it was up to me, I wouldn’t survive one measly air conditioner free day.

A Little Appreciation Goes a Long Way

The sad part is that he still manages to thank me for what I do with the kids. The dude actually THANKS ME for feeding the kids and keeping them alive. He pretends like it’s not expected.

Maybe your husband isn’t great at gratitude and it feels like he doesn’t appreciate you at all, but, ask yourself: do you appreciate him? Does he FEEL appreciated? Does he feel like you understand the pressure he’s under? Does he know that you get it? DO you get it?

You have to be the change you want to see, so, if what you want is appreciation, start giving it. It’s easy to get frustrated with our husbands when we sit and think about all of the things we do. It’s especially easy if we expect our husbands to do all of the same things we do. But, should he have to do all of the same things you do? And, is that really what you want?

Moms & Dads Aren’t Meant to be the Same

Men and women weren’t meant to be the same. We each have our roles in our families and in the world. If what your husband does in and for your family is different than what you do, that’s ok. It doesn’t mean he’s not as valuable as you are. It doesn’t mean he’s not working just as hard as you are.

I spend a lot of time annoyed that my husband isn’t another Diana because a mom clone would be reeeeally nice. How much could I get done around here?! Sure, the house would be spotless if I had a clone. But, you know what? A spotless house wouldn’t matter, we’d be in foreclosure cause dang it’s hot outside, y’all. I’m so glad that there aren’t two of me. My family needs him. Without him and his hard work ethic we wouldn’t be where we are.

Without him, the toilet would still be broken and there wouldn’t be anyone to tell me I’m pretty and pinch my booty from time to time. There wouldn’t be a hunk to drink beer with—drinking beer with my clone just doesn’t seem as fun.

My husband doesn’t do all of the same things I do, and that’s ok because what he does is hard and it’s ENOUGH.


Want to read more on this topic?

  • Here is a Today article about what dads want.
  • Here is another blogger’s story about how she learned (the hard way) to stop nagging and start being grateful.

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