I just got home from the Hearts at Home conference last night. This is the third year I have come home from the conference. I always have a great time, learning how to be a better wife, mother and Christian. I am super excited to come home to my husband and 3 kids and start implementing the new things I have learned. I want to spend more time with the kids and enjoy them where they are at and I find myself constantly daydreaming about my husband. On the way home from the conference I talk to the other women about what we learned while we were away and what we are excited to share when we get home.
This year I arrived home at dinner time and I knew I wouldn't have the chance to really talk to my husband until after the kids were in bed. I was excited about this, thinking that I would come home and all the kids would run out to greet me, and my husband would help me carry my bags in and we would go through the run down of what they did over the weekend. I envisioned at least one hug and maybe a kiss from my husband and then later a candlelit bedroom followed by some great sex. This is what I daydream about on the way home.
When I pull into the driveway I get a few butterflies in my stomach. I am excited to be here. I pull into the garage slowly, taking my time to get my purse and a few other scattered items in the front seat of the van, giving them time to realize I am home and make their way out to greet me. This is where the disappointment begins. Chloe makes her way to the garage yelling "mommy! mommy!" I hug her and wait for the others to arrive, but they don't come. "How did you know I was home?", I ask Chloe. She tells me that daddy told her. Hmm. That is interesting. I get all my stuff from the back of the van and carry them into the house. I hang up my coat and my keys, take off my shoes and still, Chloe is the only one there to greet me. I go into the kitchen to find Collin still eating his dinner at the table as he says "Did you buy Claire a present while you were gone?" I am confused by the question but realize that they must have thought I would buy Claire a birthday gift while I was gone. "No, No, I didn't get her anything." He goes back to eating. In the meantime Joel is cleaning something up in the kitchen. He glances over and says a casual "hi" and goes back to cleaning up. I unload my stuff and unsuccessfully look around for something to eat.
I am suddenly feeling very greasy and unattractive from the long drive home. Claire is not here, Joel is supposed to pick her up from the school in 15 minutes. Joel tells me he wants me to hear a new song. I sit down to listen to it and can't concentrate. The whole time I am thinking that I just want to leave and come home expecting nothing from them. Then I wouldn't feel so let down. Didn't they miss me at all? Then I start noticing the new boxes on the counter labeled "Homework papers" and School Papers" I am instantly offended. What is wrong with the box I use for school papers? Why would we need a box for homework? They do it and take it back to school. Apparently my system doesn't work and they were waiting for me to leave so they could change it. I notice a few other things missing from my kitchen and decide to take a shower and pray about my slowly budding anger. I come out of the shower only to find that there are no clean towels. I left a basket of clean towels in the middle of the floor ready to be folded and put away right before I left. I use a dirty towel. I come downstairs and find the towel basket in the corner of the room still unfolded. I am so glad I tried to finish all the laundry before I left. I suddenly feel the urge to fold the laundry and actually put it away. As I am doing that Joel comes in and says something to me and asks me if I am in a bad mood or something. Me? Of course not. I simply say no. I close my eyes and pray that I can let this go and try to have an enjoyable evening together. I find some food and come to the family room and Joel is watching tv. Really? TV? Now? He is watching a show I care absolutely nothing about. I decide to check my email. He comes in a few times to see what I am doing. He is probably annnoyed that I am on the computer.
I decide to try to make the most of it and get over what I am feeling. Maybe we can still make it to the great sex. We get the kids in bed and I suggest watching a show together. Joel makes popcorn and we sit on the couch together. Collin won't go to bed. At this point, I just want him to get some sleep. I tell him he can sleep on our floor, thinking we could move him when we come up. Well, we didn't move him and we didn't have any kind of sex at all. Oh well. Maybe tomorrow night. Monday morning. Getting the kids off to school I get their backpacks ready. I go through the new boxes of homework and school papers and ask why Joel wants to keep all the worksheets that I normally throw away as soon as the kids come home from school. I am getting annoyed again. My system doesn't work for him, for some reason. I try to let it go and make the kid's lunches. As I am loading up their book bags, I notice that a lot of my magazines are missing from the table in the hallway. I can feel my heart beating faster. I don't think I can let this go. The kids are all ready for school and Joel comes downstairs. I casually ask him what happened to my magazines. He says he got rid of a bunch of them. That was it, the last straw. I don't want to yell at Joel in front of the kids, but I do, and I cry.
Why does he always feel the need to change everything when I am gone and throw MY stuff away? I made an extra effort the leave a clean house, no dirty dishes and no dirty clothes. This must not have been good enough, because he couldn't wait to go through my magazines and throw them away. How is it he couldn't fold the basket of towels and put them away, but he could go through my magazines and buy and label containers for the kids school papers? I feel like a failure and wish I hadn't come home at all. Joel dumped out the papers from his containers and took them away and brought my magazines back into the house from the trash.
I am just sitting here thinking about what to do next. Do I apologize? For what? He will never apologize. My stubborn heart doesn't want to apologize or forgive him if he won't admit he did anything wrong. But I do want to have a healthy marriage and I do want to have great sex tonight! I realize that this is what happens every time I come home from the conference. Why? I am going to take time to pray today and ask God to heal my stubborn heart that is hurt from unmet expectations and unexpected changes. I love my family and that is why I went to the conference. I wonder if this happens to anyone else when they come home.
Monday, March 14, 2011