It’s Black Friday, which means you have either been cleaning up from hosting Thanksgiving yesterday, shopping since 5am, or putting up your Christmas decor (although I know several of you could not wait to put your tree up early). We hosted 13 adults and two kids yesterday.  You can tell from the lack of kids that we had a younger medical school crowd making a home away from home and a few grandparents. I’m so thankful for our friends and family and to be able to host them all now that our home rebuilding is almost done after the hailstorm. My ideal way to host is to clean the house and just invite people over and pray they feel at home. I’ve learned from some beautiful women in my college and post college life, that hospitality is best when the host can enjoy her company too.  So this year I chose not to stress (initially yes, but not all night) when my husband asked me if three more people could join with a less than 24 hour warning and just made sure to get out the extra silverware, place settings, foldout table, etc.

However, I did feel the weight as the wife to be the primary person to think about and follow through with the cleaning, cooking, decorating, etc. while my husband was busy studying for classes, exams, and prepping for his Day-After-Thanksgiving hunt.  And it’s not just on Thanksgiving I feel the weight of the household chores: meal planning, shopping, cooking, dishes, putting up dishes, sanitizing baby bottles, sorting, washing, folding laundry, putting up laundry, cleaning toilets, mopping, dusting, changing linens, vacuuming, putting up toys, organizing, etc.  Sometimes the role of wife whether you are a SAHM or working outside your home can seem more like a maid then a wife. In reality all the chores could easily be done by someone who is not emotionally connected to my husband.  Marriage is more than becoming a maid, it’s becoming a covenant companion.”

“In reality all the chores could easily be done by someone who is not emotionally connected to my husband.  Marriage is more than becoming a maid, it’s becoming a covenant companion.”

My husband Tom and I have had to revisit roles in our home frequently…and more frequently then I expected pre-marriage. In premarital counseling we talked through the roles of the husband and wife our parents took on and modeled.  We talk through which of those we wanted to take on and which of those we wanted to change or share or were willing to do but didn’t WANT TO do. And I thought YES! we agree on all our roles going into marriage. Check Mark! But, we have revisited our roles sometimes even daily. Revisiting these roles sometimes comes when one person is burnt out of a role, starts tallying up their tasks and minimizing the contribution of the other spouse.  Oh, am I so guilty! Or we revisit when one person really has forgotten their role, basing their contribution on their intentions or other contributions rather than fulfilling their commitment.  We have only been married two and a half years and though its still not easy, revisiting our roles maybe one of the strongest aspects of our marriage, especially in this stage of Tom’s medical career. When we talk through our roles, express our frustrations with our roles, and honestly confess our failure to live up to the standards we set for our family (or each other), we grow closer as companions.  I learn a little more about how much my husband does recognize my contributions to our family and I am able to remind him of how much I appreciate his.

He married for more than a maid or even a best friend.  A maid definitely would help him with his laundry, cleaning, shopping, and cooking. He jokes with his single male classmates how much easier medical school is because he can focus on his studies and not have to think about all the household chores, because he has a wife.  And recommends they get married too.  But I know that he sacrifices his time to play with and rock our daughter before bed.  He sacrifices his time to text and call me throughout his day and to listen to my business dreams.  A best guy friend or even girlfriend would give him the companionship which a maid couldn’t, but because a friendship isn’t a covenant the commitment and depth is not the same.

As a wife you are your husbands champion, you are the only one who over your lifetimes will be able to know him deeply and to speak truth and influence him to be an even better man.  Friendships can fade and girlfriends can change but a covenant companionship can only be found in a wife. So through the holidays when you are struggling with the weight of the cooking and cleaning and lines at the shopping mall, ask your husband to talk about your roles, revisit where he could help out, see his contributions too, and take time to let go of that standard you might be holding on to which no one else is expecting.  Enjoy your company, especially if he is the one you made a vow with.

Featured Image Photo: Little White Dress Visuals

As promised….our DIY project photos!

Our home improvement projects take a joint effort.  Sometimes our neighbors may find it odd that I get out there on the riding lawn mower or stain my own shutters, but its relaxing to me and we saved $650 by DIY.  I’m still scared of the power drill a little so I called on my dad and hubs to help!