As the school year ended, my wife recently went away with some friends to a yoga retreat.
It's always a blessing to grant her the space to do things like this to help her recenter, recharge, and connect to what helps her find meaning in life.
As usual, she did a great job of managing my expectations on what needed my utmost attention that weekend while she was away: feeding our son lol, caring for the 1/2 dozen dogs she had that weekend for her dog-sitting business, lacrosse schedule, and so on.
Naturally, I excitedly headed into the weekend, looking forward to the challenge of taking on responsibilities above and beyond my typical call of duty.
I found myself completely ahead of the curve, connected to every task and activity, and even over-delivering in some aspects, such as deep cleaning our kitchen.
Once I put our son to bed, I settled into that first night and took some time to reflect on the day, and as I pondered what I achieved that day, it dawned on me how much I'd subconsciously taken my wife for granted.
I realized there's a particular part of my brain that was active that weekend that's usually shut off and I was filled with all sorts of emotions as I contemplated that reality: frustration, confusion, guilt, surprise, and even a little sadness for leaving her to manage the lions share of the workload at home.
Immediately following this insight was a surge of joy, appreciation, gratitude, honor, and respect for her being the glue that holds us together.
Having a coaching practice and realizing how many of my female clients struggle with overwhelm because they're expected to do everything, while the husband works is an unfair and uneven distribution of responsibilities.
This is certainly a pattern that's easily visible in our culture as well, mom's walking along with all the kids, while dad's trailing ten feet behind on his cell phone.
Also, I'm seeing many posts from strong women who are operating past their threshold's due to these imbalances...we, as men need to step up to the plate!
These challenges can only be resolved through a series of generous conversations that reestablish boundaries, followed by men feeling their way into new roles and women allowing them.
Progress will not be linear and approaching it with a process mentality will go a long ways for all parties involved.
All this to say, my wife is amazing, and I'm deeply thankful for her.
"If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together." African Proverb