Easy ways to show more emotional support for your spouse and help them feel seen and heard.
I hope he isn’t mortified that I shared this, but I guess I’ll ask for forgiveness instead of permission.
For safety reasons, I never share when this guy is out of town, but he’s about to land after being gone almost all week so here we are. Homeboy got his second vaccine dose and hopped on a plane hours later experiencing side effects while still finishing a project with a client in record time. So 10 points for Gryffindor! (Apparently, I now call my husband Gryffindor)
But let me tell you what scores a thousand points for Gryffindor…
Adjusting to new norms
I’ve had a doozy of a solo parenting week. I think our kids are adjusting back to dad flying and being away for work trips again. I’m adjusting too! It’s been a year of being home without travel. Returning back to old schedules is an adjustment for all!
After putting the kids to bed, my husband and I talked on FaceTime. I recounted the hundreds of tasks for the kids that took over my precious work time this week. We’re almost back to normal work hours for me, but we’re still working through life without formal child care for a few more weeks.
A Never-Ending To-Do List
We found out this week our son was accepted to a competitive kindergarten program. I spent my week sorting out, reading up, registering, and preparing for the new kindergarten immediate tasks at hand. We had a preschool Easter party prep that took a ton of my time too. Plus, hello last-minute Easter bunny prep. We have a big religious weekend watching General Conference ahead which includes some prep. There was registration for classes, and researching and finding private lessons and classes for kids since we’re feeling more comfortable getting back in the groove of these things in the near future.
Plus a few other deadlines and life events I had to cover solo.
Single parents of the world, I salute you! The weeks I solo parent and have to cover all the life and home and kid events on my own are more work than I can handle most weeks!
Emotional Support For Your Spouse.
I sat and recounted it all and said I feel terrible I’m so behind in work projects. My spouse is one to dive in and help, but due to necessary work travel, he just couldn’t this week.
But he found a way to offer emotional support for his spouse that touched me deeply.
He listed and then said,
“Wow! You’ve done a ton of mental work this week! You must be exhausted!”
Yes, yes I am. And I needed that validation more than I knew.
Mental parenting tasks for holidays, appointments, and schedules fall disproportionately to women; something I’d read in a study, shared with him, and we talked about a few weeks ago.
And he listened. But also, he remembered. And the moment I felt so entrenched in it, he validated it before I realized I needed it.
Being More Emotionally Connected
I guess the lesson is, when something feels heavy to you, share it. I often bury these thoughts, I mean I never mean to make him feel bad for working hard and not being physically around. But this moment taught me there’s an easy way to calmly share the overwhelm and emotional concerns in my life.
I carry a mental load of motherhood that can be overwhelming and exhausting some weeks. There’s more to keep track of than I ever imagined, and does it only get more complex the older they get? Cause it sure feels that way.
I know he pitches in to help whenever and wherever he can, but I also know my brain is fried from the tasks that fall disproportionately to women.
And he sees that. And just offering the emotional support that he sees the struggle helps me feel validation and more love. He’ll be home shortly and help me pick up wherever he can.
But there will be times of life all he can do is offer emotional support. And sometimes just listening and validating is all it takes to help your spouse feel the love they need.