“I woke up to dishes in the sink, left by my husband from the night before.
Sure, I easily could have been annoyed, upset, or I could have ranted in a mom Facebook group where I would be met with the, ‘Our husband needs to help more, wow.’
But I was happy to see dishes.
I felt grateful.
I felt happy.
Last night, I went to bed early. I wasn’t feeling well and had a long day with our two young kids. You know, one of those days.
My husband worked until six, so I waited until he came back home for me to sneak off.
I took a shower, while I could hear him cooking our children some dinner.
After the shower, I started the process of getting the kids to bed. As I walked past the kitchen to their rooms, I saw the kitchen. It was a mess.
I didn’t say anything to my husband about it. Instead, I stopped by the living room, where he was sending off some invoices, and I kissed him. I thanked him for taking care of dinner for the kids.
As soon as the kids went to bed, so did I.
My husband stayed up working, doing some laundry, and sending the kids back to bed, a thousand times.
I knew the kitchen was still a mess, but I went to bed smiling.
This morning I woke up at seven in the morning, to my husband kissing me goodbye for work. He leaned over me and said, ‘It’ll be another long day hun, and I am sorry about the kitchen.’ He kissed me on the cheek and left.
Half an hour later, I hear the kids getting up, and shuffling things around.
I walk out to the kitchen and see my kids eating the toast and oatmeal their dad had made for them and set out.
I walked over to the sink and saw the dishes from last night and this morning.
I felt a rush of happiness. Not the typical when you see a sink full of dishes, but I felt so peaceful.
In our earlier years of marriage, I may have looked at these dishes and I probably would have gotten annoyed. I probably would have sent a text saying, ‘Really? You left these for me?’
But this past year, as we go into our tenth year together, and our sixth year of marriage, my mindset has changed, and it’s something I wish I had learned a long time ago.
I decided to always be grateful for what my husband does, instead of looking for things he doesn’t do.
I was definitely guilty of this, years ago.
I would look at the laundry he didn’t help with, instead of looking at how much he did with the kids that day.
I would look at the trash he forgot to take out on his way to work, instead of looking at how early he has left in the morning to make our lives successful.
I would look at the dirty dishes in the sink, instead of looking at how much he had done the night before to help me.
So, this morning, when I woke up and saw this pile of dirty dishes in the sink, I felt happy.
I felt grateful.
I felt loved.
I have never felt more loved, and taken care of, by my husband.
Tonight, I’m going to cook him a nice dinner, finish all his laundry, and take the kids out so he can have a break.
Because the truth is, these dirty dishes in the sink, made me realize how much he does.
I’m so thankful for him, and these dishes.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Caitlin Fladager, and originally appeared here. You can follow her journey on Facebook and Instagram. Submit your own story here, and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.
Read more from Caitlin:
‘I started telling my 5-year-old, ‘I can’t wait to meet the boy or girl you bring home to mommy when you grow up.’ I always get shocked eyes.’: Mom says ‘I want my children to know I will always love them’
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