Yeah, I was angry. Sure, I was having a super easy, relaxed day at work, but it was work. I was working. So he needed to be homeschooling. That was the deal. So why wasn’t he doing things like I thought he should?!
I had been homeschooling our daughters for three years, and I’ll be the first to say it; it ain’t easy. I just told someone the other day you need to have a calling to homeschool because if you don’t you’re going to have a very hard time. If the idea is just some passing folly then when the going gets tough you’ll be gone. When my husband and I decided that I would go back to work full-time, he agreed to take over 100 percent of the homeschooling responsibility. That way when I was off we could just all hang out as a family and enjoy time together. Perfect!
But there I sat on a Saturday morning at work, and when I asked my husband how their day was going he replied, “good. We’re just being lazy.”
Wait, what?! He should be educating the children!
“Have you done school yet?” I asked back quickly.
“Not a full day yet. But we will.” He answered.
Then I continued to question him about our 5-year-old, and what she had done so far, since I knew she was the more difficult one to keep focused because of age. In that moment all I saw was what I was doing, and I needed to make sure he was carrying his weight to my satisfaction. But also performing to my specific standards. You know, like how I would do it.
So as I continued to question his schedule and progress he finally responded back.
“You’re just going to have to trust me with this.”
And at that text, I realized fully what I was doing. I wasn’t trusting him. I was asking for frequent updates like I was his boss, not his partner. I was holding him to a higher standard than even I could maintain. I knew that our 2-year-old had been sick that very morning and threw up. He had checked in frequently with the progress of how she was holding down fluids, and how she was finally feeling much better. He had experienced a busy morning as Mr. Mom already.
Then there was the truth. How many times had I started school after lunch? A lot. How many times had he checked in on me while I was the one homeschooling and he was at work? Never.
I understood then that I was trying to micromanage my husband. I was expecting him to do everything exactly like I had done when in his position. Or worse; I was expecting him to be perfect. Not realistic. I was making him feel like I didn’t trust him with the task, and honestly, how would I have felt if he had questioned me on how much we did when I first started homeschooling our eldest? Homeschooling is hard enough without feeling like you have a “school board” breathing down your neck.
The fact was he had the calling too. We both wholeheartedly and strongly agreed that home education was what God had for our kids. He loved our children and wanted the best for them, just like I did, and he would do what was the absolute best for them. He was right, I needed to trust him in this. I needed to have some faith in his abilities, and for the benefit of our marriage, he needed to know I did. For the benefit of our children, they needed to see I did. He might not always do it the way I had done, but he would do it well. I knew that deep down in my heart. Now my actions needed to prove it.
He later, without my prompting, updated me on the great success our 5-year-old had done with her speech therapy exercises he went through with her. And when I got home I saw the day’s work displayed prominently on our dining room wall. I was proud of him, but not just because he had done things in a way I would have done. I was proud because he had done them in his own way. He had done them out of love and with a dedication to his children. It didn’t just show on the papers on the wall. It showed in the happy smiles of our girls, in the kind treatment they displayed to one another, and in the compassion and love for everyone they encountered. I knew he was teaching phonics, but he was also shaping young minds to lean closer to Jesus. I was abundantly proud of that, and I knew no micromanaging was required.