My amazing wife has given birth to three boys. With each one I’m amazed at what a woman’s body can do and even more daunted by the kinds of torture a woman can handle. Forget male strength. Women who carry babies, deliver them and then choose to do it again – that’s powerful. (Or as my wife says, temporary insanity.)
We’ve always been so appreciative of the fact that she’s gone through all three experiences without any “damage.” No stitches or surgery. Yeah for healthy mommy and babies! Then a few weeks ago she began to notice that she had a slight bulge and some achiness. She put it off for a while thinking it was no big deal and I pressed her to go into the OB and have it checked. Better safe than sorry with the woman you love!
Finally, she relented. That’s when we learned she had a hernia. The kind that are mainly gotten by two types of people – men lifting heavy weight and 80 year olds. Seriously?! My wife works hard at home and in her workouts, but I haven’t seen her doing any power cleans lately. (Though I’m sure there are more than a few times she’s wanted to do a shot put with one of our kids.) Apparently Mason, our latest addition, finally pushed her body over the limit. I immediately put it on the calendar to spank him as soon as he’s old enough for me to also understand a tongue lashing.
It’s the day after his birthday. Felt like that was only fair.
Of course we looked around to find out what kinds of alternatives there were to hernia surgery, but only found quackery (eat herbs!) and delay (it’s not that serious – you can just wait). So last Friday she went in for outpatient surgery.
Side note: she texted me while waiting in pre-op, “Literally sitting amongst 5 elderly with walkers. Feeling good :-/” (I let her know she was definitely the hottest chick there!)
All of that backstory is just to say that for the past week I’ve been playing double duty as Mr. Mom and the Working Guy. It has been really tough at times and overwhelming almost the whole time. But as we round the corner of the 1 week mark for my double life I’m sitting in my local Starbucks at 5:30 AM (to get some quiet since my 3 year old wakes up at 6 AM!). Two things are running through my head this morning.
- Gratitude and amazement at the powerful woman I live with. This is what she does day in and day out?! I’ve been at it for a week. A…week. I need some alone time, a date night and some kind of spa package. (Not to mention a vasectomy.)
- Reflection on what lessons I’ve learned in all this.
As I’m letting the past week settle in on me, gratitude sets in again. Putting down a quick list on paper:
In case you can’t read that, the list is:
- I have awesome kids!
- Stay at home moms are super-heroes. Seriously.
- I need to bring my wife flowers more.
- Spontaneity is important, but more often experience follows preparation.
- Routines are great – until they suck.
- Routines are important – and you should break them.
- My kids are the most important investment in my portfolio
- Leading kids demands humility and greatness
There’s so much here for us! The lessons of gratitude, planning, intuition, connection, servant leadership, humility, internal greatness and the power of little gifts have so much to offer us as dads and leaders. Maybe I’ll do a series on each of them one day, but for now I’ll have to ask you to make the connections.
Let me know if you have some ideas on the connections here. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Have you ever been a Mr. Mom for more than a day or two? What did you learn? If you haven’t been yet, I suggest trying out an experiment where you do it for a week. (Though you shouldn’t have your wife get a hernia for this experiment.)