This blog post is a PSA for all you significant others out there. Do NOT ask the question, “Did you get a lot done today?” Especially don’t ask this question on day 5 of the teacher walkout in Arizona.
Of course, my husband asked the question.
I know his heart was in the right place. I’m trying to work on my novel and be better about writing in general, on top of making time for exercise, eating right and keeping the house less chaotic (to ever call it clean is to dream).
Oh, and then there’s also this little thing called work. I am extremely blessed to have a work-at-home gig that’s super flexible since I’m mostly a behind-the-scenes writer. But it still exists. I still have deadlines to meet and calls to discuss projects.
And on day 5 of the teacher walkout, I was behind on all of my “to-dos.” That’s simply a fact – not a commentary on what teachers were/weren’t doing or if it was right/wrong. This is not that blog post.
So…back to my story…The husband asked the question.
“Did you get a lot done today?”
He asked the question to a woman wearing the same yoga pants and t-shirt from the day before. A woman who clearly hadn’t showered or put on make-up. A woman at the end of her rope.
I wanted to respond with a “LOOK AROUND…WTF do you think!?!”
But I maturely answered with a firm “NO” and walked away mad as hell. And it got me thinking…why do they always ask this question? And then I realized, maybe it’s because they truthfully don’t understand how idiotic their question is, and they need to be straight up told…
DO NOT ASK THIS QUESTION.
Instead, try an empathetic phrase like, “I know it’s gotta be crazy with the kids home, do you need some time to accomplish what you want to do today?”
I mean, come on. There’s times I go to the store for an hour and come home to all hell breaking lose. The kids had two make-up snow days before the walkout began…meaning, yup, I was more than halfway through unplanned-week #2 with the kids home when he asked.
Or if you can’t muster an empathetic phrase, try offering help, “Is there anything you want me to do?”
Like – look around. We’re at the threshold of hell. It snowed/rained so I have muddy dog prints all over the tile and hardwood floor, the pile of dishes has again crawled out of the sink and onto the countertops and I’m wearing the SAME yoga pants and T-shirt from yesterday (which sadly, gets less acceptable as your children age).
Or you could ask me about a specific goal you know I’m working toward. But you damn well better muster up an empathetic phrase or offer to help me get it done (even if it’s giving me an hour to go exercise). Forget those important elements and you’re still putting yourself in harms way.
The safest bet? Keep your damn mouth shut.
Come home to complete chaos and wrap your un-showered wife up in a hug and kiss, and ask how her day was…not if she got a lot done.
Much Love – H
(originally published on LifesETC.com 5/4/18)