shared decisions and blame

I’ve been a grump-a-lump* the past two days. 

I’m not certain what started it… It could be the overwhelming weight and privilege of being a mama to one (and hopefully soon, THREE) adopted sons. It could be that our lives remain in a continued state of uncertainty as we wait for news about Theo and Elliot’s adoption. Or it could be this post-vacation discontentment I always get. Whatever it was, it all came crashing out at Dan.

Yes, you’re right. Sinful and stupid, isn’t it? I’m sharing because maybe you’ve experienced this, too, and maybe you know how to put the brakes on this yuckiness.

I feel overwhelmed that I am the wife of a medical resident who sometimes works lots of hours and has infrequent shifts. I feel overwhelmed that I am a friend to women who are experiencing real hurts and tough situations. I feel overwhelmed that I am a mama to a biracial son in a rather scary world. 

And then, on a more shallow level, I feel overwhelmed with the amount of laundry we have. I feel overwhelmed with the amount of money we spent on this thing or the other thing. I feel overwhelmed with putting a baby to bed who just doesn’t seem to want to sleep.

When I feel overwhelmed, I get stressed and upset. And I want to place blame for decisions we made together, because blaming myself feels yuck. So I blame my husband. Example: Why didn’t Dan think about how it would be really challenging for me to do bedtime alone with two boys who may or may not have a lot of grief and anxiety stirred up at bedtime and an infant who kind of really likes his bottle and rocking and singing? Why didn’t he choose a career path that would ensure he is home in the evenings every day, 100% of the time?

Funny how the addition of a child makes you start to do yucky things and see yucky things in yourself, right? (Not funny at all!)

It started looking like we needed to turn up the communication dial once again, and we did. I laid on the couch and cried, and Dan gave me permission to “get it all out,” and I did. We talked about the need to evaluate how different aspects of our lives are working and the need to share the blame when something just doesn’t work well. Dan reminded me to find joy in all the really awesome, good gifts we have truly been given by God, and I agreed. 

My independent little self still often forgets that my husband is my teammate and that we have the privilege of making team decisions and coaching our boys in life. 

And God reminded me He is even more on my team than Dan can or ever will be. He considers me His masterpiece, and He created me for a purpose. He has equipped me to share decision-making responsibility with my husband, and He has equipped me to thrive.

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*This comes from a form of chunk-a-munk, a nickname that formed itself for Milo. He is occasionally a grump-a-lump, but he’s mostly just a chunk-a-munk.

  • MeandMySoldierMan

    I think all us marries folks need this reminder from time to time.