His Help

Image result for messy house

When I was first married, I had a certain mental image of myself in my mind: not just a wife and mother at home, but a wife who does absolutely everything in the home, which is her exclusive domain, with no help from anyone. It was a nice image, but it was unrealistic. The truth is, I was unaccustomed to housework, I was an inexperienced cook, and I soon had two small children. I was under stress.

It took me a long time to realize that my husband, in fact, is quite capable and willing to lend a hand in order to promote the things that are important to him – such as cleaner floors and more diverse dishes – and what’s more, actually enjoys doing some of the cooking and baking. His pita bread is famous around the neighborhood.

It took me even longer to let go of the feeling of inadequacy when my husband takes over some of the household duties – another of my unspoken convictions being that, since he works such long hours, when he’s finally home he’s supposed to have perfect liberty and leisure. Somehow, it never seemed to work. Eventually I realized it takes both of us to finish the Shabbat preparations at a reasonable hour, not because I’m lazy or disorganized, but because even though I am, in fact, busy doing my duties at home every day and all day long, there are things I just don’t get around to soon/often enough, through no fault of my own.

Now, there are many things around here which are my exclusive property, such as dishes, laundry and diapers. There are, on the other hand, things my husband does on a regular basis, such as grocery shopping and fixing things around the house. And there is what I normally do but what he lends a hand with, such as washing the floor and cooking.

There are women in my neighborhood who would rather invite their mother or sister over, or hire household help, than accept help from their husbands, the premise being that there is women’s work and there’s men’s work. And you know what, in some cases it might be true. I, however, have come to terms with the fact that I’m not just a stay-at-home Mom, but a SAHM who gets a great deal of help from her husband – and grateful for it. I realized that well-functioning arrangements are better than idealized expectations, and that pride leads to unnecessary stress. It took me a long time, yes, but I finally got there.

Today I know that, the nature of work in and around the home being constant and never-ending, there will always, no matter what, be more than enough left to my share, even deducting anything my husband can reasonably do. Therefore, I accept whatever help I can get with no qualms and with a lot of simple gratitude.


Author: Anna

An Orthodox Jewish wife and mother enjoying a simple life with her family and chickens, somewhere in the hills, in Israel.

9 thoughts on “His Help”

  1. This is a great post and good for you working as a team with your husband. Maria and I both work outside the home and she says that sometimes she doesn’t want to ask for help. My response is that it never hurts anyone to ask for help. She doesn’t expect me to see it on my own because I’m pretty much a slob in my own right, but as a Marine I follow orders really well and don’t mind taking instruction. We believe that a marriage is a team, so, let him help, lead him, and let him take the lead…I think that’s what its all about!
    All the best,

    Liked by 2 people

    1. “as a Marine I follow orders really well and don’t mind taking instruction” 😀 this made me laugh.

      With us things are even messier as we both work *from* home and homeschool. But yes, the principle is the same.


  2. This is a second marriage for both of us, and one of the many, many things I love about The Squire is that he recognizes housework when he sees it. I seldom, if ever, have to ask for help; he is right there with me.

    It took me a while to discover than dishes put in the dishwasher in a different arrangement will get just as clean, and underwear hung by a single clothes pin will get just a dry and if they were hung up with two. During the summer, he is busy taking care of two acres of ground, so I seldom ask for help, but if we have guests he if in the kitchen chopping onions and peeling potatoes without being asked.

    It is his house as well as mine, and his children as well as mine, and it’s not so much “helping” as simply doing his share.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re so very lucky. 🙂 That’s all I can say. And yes, letting go of little perfectionisms frees up time and space for bigger and better things!


  3. Shalom Anne:

    What came to my mind when I was reading this blog is that not only are you a SAH…M; but you are also a
    SAH…W (Wife)! Your husband married you first of all to be his wife and spiritual partner! Secondly, to be the mother of his children, desiring the qualities he admires within you, to be passed on to the children! He hoped he hadn’t made a bad choice and picked a wife that couldn’t cook, clean nor do laundry, however, even if you couldn’t do those things, those are things that could be hired out if needed.

    It sounds like your husband values the woman you are, as well as the qualities you possess in your character! As long as you care for the children and take the time to also take care of yourself, the other things you do during time that isn’t needed by either him, the children or yourself! I went through this same thing when I was a young mother raising 4 boys! I quickly learned that it is impossible for any woman to get
    everything the way she’d like to do it once children start popping onto the scene!

    It sounds like you have gotten your priorities set to where they need to be now! Kudos to you and Kudos also to your wise husband who is humble enough to be a real man and help out around the house with chores! Enjoyed your post a lot!


    Liked by 1 person

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