Monday, March 30, 2009


I mentioned last night that our trip had renewed my appreciation for what Daddies add to a family. I was specifically thinking about our trip to the beach Saturday afternoon. It had been raining nonstop with tornado watches and warnings for 2 and a half days. The pool at the house where we were staying had literally been overflowing for 24 hours. When the sun finally started peeking through the clouds it was 2:30 on our final afternoon so we RUSHED to get to the beach as soon as possible.

We left our lunch spot, dashed back to the beach house, ran in to change into adult swimsuits while the children waited in the car. As a result, the Mommies were hastily grabbing the children's suits, sunscreen and towels. When we arrived at the beach and unloaded the van I realized' I had forgotten my camera, kids' beach toys, kites and sunglasses. Yet, somehow, the Daddies were loaded down with boogie boards, paddle ball sets, a volleyball, noodles, etc. Leave it to Daddies to have recreation completely in mind! I admit, I rolled my eyes at the boogie boards. Afterall, we had four 4 year olds with us who weren't quite sure what to make of the waves...and yet, the boogie boards (with the help of their strong Daddies) were the highlight of their afternoon.

Melinda and I are capable mothers. As surgeons wives, we spend more nights putting our children to bed alone than we do with help. Yet, the ride home with the presence of our husbands was INFINITELY smoother than the ride down. It is good for me to be reminded that although I am capable, things go so much better with my partner.

I confess it is a real struggle of mine trying to balance my ability to function as a 'single mom' most of the time with my desire to partner with my husband and defer to his leadership when he is home. I respect him greatly and view him as head of our household, but practically, he is frequently unavailable because of surgery. I must be able to be 'in charge' in those moments. Flipping that switch (well) at a moment's notice is something I have spent years praying about. I don't want to ever forget the importance of team work and partnership. God created men and women with such distinctly different gifts and roles.

My third reminder of the importance of the male perspective came last night. During dinner, R announced somewhat out of nowhere that "Satan sometimes tells me I am a dumb boy at night."
I told him that I was so glad He knew that was from the Enemy because the truth is that God had made him a very smart boy.

Later that night as I was discussing it with my husband and lamenting the condemnation humans were subject to even as children my husband spoke some levity into the situation.
"Did you ever think that maybe he just wanted to say 'dumb' (a bad word in our home) and knew he could only get away with it if he blamed it on the devil?"

I am so thankful God made men.


HW said...

This post really speaks to me. When our children were little, my husband traveled a great deal - mainly to third world countries to establish power plants. I remember very clearly learning to find the balance you speak of.
Somehow, like your husband, mine also was able to be completely present for us when he was home.

In our house, it was no secret that Daddy was the "fun" parent yet I was confident our kids had a good time with me too. My fun was more "scheduled" while Daddy's was much more spontaneous.

Those were difficult years for me, yet I look at our kids now and feel certain they were not effected by them in a negative way. If anything, I think it's made our kids very adaptable.

Great post. And I'm also glad that God made men - especially mine.

Kris said...

Oh, I so relate to this post also! "although I am capable, things go so much better with my partner." That sums it up SO well and something I am constantly working on.

I love that third point too - Dads do bring levity!

A-and-Z's Mom said...

I love that about daddies- must have fun.
My sweet husband is the same. The kids are just so different under his charge. It is good, that God created man and woman, to be partners.

Scott and Stephanie said...

Thank you for sharing this. As a cardiology fellow's wife (with no kids yet!), I too find it difficult to flip the switch and defer leadership and decision making when he is home & available. But, I am so thankful for him and the way he takes care of us! It is so nice to hear other wives that go through the same struggle.

Christi said...

I love your husband's perspective on the "dumb" issue. Sounds just like something my husband would've said!

Kellie said...

I think that is a struggle MANY Christian women face these days... and I would have never thought about that "dumb" comment the way your husband did - God truly made us different!

Sunni-Nichole' said...

Thank you so much for this post. My husband is also in the medical field and I have the exact same struggle. My daughter is starting to struggle, too. She is making it very clear that Daddy is not around enough. I'm heart broken over it.

Amy said...

Excellent! I, too, am grateful for the dynamic and different perspective my husband adds to our home.

Lauren said...

I am the wife of a surgical resident and have meant to write you for several days. Your blog is a joy to read and it is refreshing to hear your Godly perspective on family, children, and life with a surgeon. We don't have children yet, but I often wonder what "life" should look like. Thank you for sharing with us! I would love to talk with you more sometime...