Katie Spence Pugh is a busy working mom. Like so many of us, whether we work outside the home or all working with the kids all day, Katie is often exhausted by dinner time and has to power her way through bath time and bed time with the kids. And, because Katie’s husband is a farmer who works long hours during certain times of the year, she often has to go those busy evenings alone. I know many of us who have spouses who work long shifts can relate.
At the end of one particularly rough day, Katie was once again solo parenting after work while her husband still toiled away in the fields. Annoyed, she sent him a text to tell him exactly how she was feeling. He didn’t respond, but when he got home, his actions spoke louder than words. Katie documented what happened next in a post she submitted to the Love What Matters Facebook page. She posted a pic of her husband and daughter and said this:
“I snapped this picture the other night at the end of a long day. I was tired. I was irritated. I had sent my husband a text telling him that I knew it wouldn’t make a difference, but I wanted him to know that I was feeling fed up with how much he works and with all that I have to do everyday by myself. The full time job, cooking dinner, bathing kids, weekend trips without him, keeping up a home, you name it I was resenting it. I have to have these little moments once (ok several times) throughout planting and harvest season. Then this happened. He came in, fixed his plate and sat down to eat all alone. He was tired. He was hot. He was exhausted. Rather than complain, he said he was sorry I was tired and felt that way. Charlotte joined him and talked his head off and even ate most of his dinner. He didn’t complain. He shared, and it hit me. Do I wish that we saw him more than an hour or so a day? Yes. But, the love he has for his craft is something to envy. Farmers work in a thankless profession. It’s always non GMO this and organic that, and let’s not even talk about the stress from Mother Nature. This is a man who is working to uphold 4 generations of blood sweat and tears and showing his children the value of hard work and discipline. So while I felt frustrated, I really should have felt thankful. I got to sit down to dinner and hear all the stories from the day with the kids. I got to give them a bath and hear their squeals and giggles. I got to snuggle and love on them for 3 hours more than he did. He is the one sacrificing, not me. We will keep on keeping on until the next rainy day when we get a few extra hours with our hard worker. In the meantime, the next time you slip into that comfy cotton shirt or eat delicious farm fresh food, thank a farmer. Where would we be without them?”
I love how just a glance at her husband, and his quiet, loving, non-combative response to her frustration brought Katie to a place of thankfulness. My husband works long hours (though not THAT long) and worked Saturdays also when our kids were really young, and I often got resentful even though I KNEW he would rather be with us. It’s just a very easy trap to fall into, and I love Katie’s reminder to validate our feelings while counting our blessings at the same time.
So, to all the mamas whose husbands work long hours, know this: you are SEEN and you are HEARD. We’re thankful you have such a hard-working man; the jobs that keep men away from their families for long shifts are often so important—firefighters, police officers, farmers, doctors, and we are thankful for all they do. But what you are doing is JUST as vitally important, and I pray and wish you the SWEETEST of times when your family is together.
Does your husband work long hours? How do you keep from getting resentful?