Last week I was speaking with a lady whose husband owns a dairy farm. This woman is around my age, and I felt comfortable asking her personal questions. Of course Michael asked her if they drank their own milk. She made a very disgusted look, and said "NO WAY"! I then asked her if she helped her husband much in the barn. I was hoping that she did so I could then ask if I could come one morning and share in the milking experience. She smiled, and told me the advice that her grandmother gave her right before her wedding day. The advice went something like this: "Don't ever start doing a chore that you don't intend on doing for the rest of your life". She promptly made the decision that she didn't want to commit to barn/milking chores everyday so she doesn't go to the barn with her husband. I have to say I was a bit shocked.
I then had a conversation with another dairy farmer's wife. She is in her late 50's, and I asked her if she helped her husband much with the cows. She said that she did for a short period of time, but the more she did in the barn for him, the more he wanted her to do. She decided quickly that she wasn't having any part of that so she even quit carrying her cell phone so he couldn't reach her to ask for help!
I have to say both of these scenarios puzzled me. First let me say, I do enjoy being outdoors any chance that I can. I know this helps me when I am working with Michael doing farm chores. I find them very pleasant usually. However, for me enjoying the work that I do with Michael isn't my criteria for helping him. I do it because first of all, I want to be his help meet. But it is even more than that...I ENJOY being with him. If I can help him with work, it gives me more time to be with him. Often times I get a double bonus...first, I get to spend time with him while we are working together, but then the chore is done quicker with both of us working together so I get to spend more time with him after the chore is completed. I see it as a WIN WIN situation.
There have been many times in our marriage that I felt like I couldn't help him because I just wasn't qualified to do the job at hand. However, I find if I offer to help him , he is more than willing to teach me the skill. I have been taught to properly sand and finish cabinets. I have learned about laying tile as well as wood floors. I have learned how to paint, and I have learned how to garden all at the hand of my husband. I have learned many skills right along side of my children. I can put together bee hives with the best of them. But you won't find me out with the bees!!
My husband runs a consulting business with a partner. When he started this adventure, I felt for sure that I wouldn't be able to help in any way at all. He assured me that I could learn the computer again. I wasn't so for sure. However, after much teaching I am now becoming a technical writer. I work with him some, and I love being with him. I enjoy knowing and learning more about his business. I find it very rewarding, and I get the double bonus of spending much time with him.
I feel like this is a key to our marriage being successful. We each take time to learn and experience the things that the other person likes or does. I can't imagine being isolated from the things that Michael does. I will admit there are a few things that I do not participate in, but our kids enjoy doing them with him. I don't want to hunt, but I will go shoot guns. We just enjoy being with one another doing whatever...as long as we are together. I don't want to sit on the sidelines while he goes and does all of the things that life requires. I would much rather be at his side whenever possible.
grace and peace,
grace and peace,