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Honoring My Husband By Getting More Sleep

Sometimes honoring my husband can be as simple as taking his advice when he wants what is best for me.

Andy has been telling me to get more sleep ever since we first got married. I agree with him. I need more sleep. I often stay up late prepping the house for the next day, writing lists of things I need to get done, or reading other people’s updates on the computer. Then I realize that there are more dishes in the sink, and I get to work in the kitchen to make sure everything is “perfect.” Finally, I brush and floss my teeth, shower, and wake the kids to go potty one more time so they don’t have an accident. There might be laundry that I forgot about, sitting in the dryer, so I fold it before I go to bed. By then, I am so delirious that I take forever to finish folding.

Andy sees it more than anyone else does. I don’t take good care of my own needs. I don’t know how to stop doing things that are on my mental to-do list.

How many years are going to go by before I honor my husband in this area? How many years will I get 3 hours less sleep than everyone else every night? I have a sleep deprivation of 20 hours per week, 80 hours per month. That is just crazy. I’m going to die before all of you good sleepers.

Tonight, I am going to end this post early, because Andy is really concerned for my health. These are the last days before I give birth to my 5th baby. Soon, in November, I will be waking up for feedings all through the night. Of course I should be getting as much sleep as I can right now.

I’ve loved writing for the past few days so I could stick to this commitment to post all 31 days in October. But tonight I am going to honor Andy and finish quickly so I can get to bed. I want to be a morning writer, not a middle of the night writer. Maybe God can change me. I can’t wait to see how much more productive I can be if I get more sleep. I think I will be more patient with my kids. And it will make Andy really happy.

Pray for me, if you can. I want to become a morning person. I feel like it is impossible for me. But I know that God can do anything.

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Appreciating Our Husbands

Appreciating-Our-Husbands-imageRemember when I mentioned in this post a few days ago that marriage and motherhood have taught me that I am innately selfish …

Today I am writing about the importance of appreciating our husbands–especially while we are pregnant.

 

3 Reasons Why It’s Hard to Show Appreciation

10 months of pregnancy are some of the most trying times in our marriage, even if we don’t realize it right away.

Part of the reason might be because…

1. I have to be pregnant and he doesn’t. It seems unfair sometimes … if I focus on the difficult and negative things about pregnancy. Why do I have to go through all of this and he doesn’t? But our poor husbands have to put up with us being pregnant and we don’t have to put up with them being pregnant. Can you imagine? What if they were the ones complaining about every strange smell and demanding food cravings for 10 months? Yikes! Pregnancy is a lesson in patience and grace for all of us.

2. I don’t feel like myself. I don’t feel like the same person anymore. Sometimes I don’t feel attractive, sometimes I do. Sometimes I want to have sex, sometimes I don’t. At times, my emotions are all over the place. Other times, I feel really calm and collected while other people lose their patience. Today I might feel like being alone, tomorrow I might be desperate to get out of the house. My husband has to put up with all of these changes as well. How is he supposed to make plans if he doesn’t know what my mood will be that day?

3. I go into survival mode. All these instincts kick in that tell me to take care of myself: eat food. sleep. don’t overdo it. take it easy. eat more food. no, not that food. eat protein and vegetables. drink water. drink more water. cold icy water. cold icy water with lemon. You’ve been there too?

It could be that if I don’t take care of myself, I will be totally and completely sick and useless for the rest of the day. It could be that if I don’t eat the right food and drink enough water, my ankles will swell up and I won’t be able to walk–or take care of the kids–for the rest of the day. So there is an urgency to the messages my body is sending me during pregnancy.

Even in my 5th pregnancy, I have not learned to think of my husband’s needs at the same time that I am in survival mode.

I Appreciate Andy So Much

Thank God my husband is extremely easygoing and loving, because he has to put up with a lot! Like when I ask him to pick up something from the grocery store after he’s already in his pajamas. Or when I ask him to give the kids a bath (which is every night!) so that I can take some time to write. (He’s getting them out of the bath right now … what a sweetheart!)

I think the trouble comes in when I expect or demand him to help me, rather than asking politely. Sometimes I have to check myself and ask, “If this were my friend instead of my husband, would I ask her the same question in the same tone, with the same wording? Or would I ask the same question in a different way, with a kinder tone and without the demand that she say yes? After all, she is an adult with the right to say she can’t do it, right? Well so is Andy. In fact, he is even more valuable. He is my partner, my beloved. He has to put up with me every day! So I want to be a loving partner that he looks forward to seeing every day, not a nagging wife that he wants to avoid as much as possible.

Man, it took me 5 years of marriage to learn that. (We’ve been married over 11 years now, and the second half of our marriage has been much better than the first 5 years. Andy agrees!)

Last night I was thinking about how much I appreciate Andy. He has been loyal and encouraging through all 5 of my pregnancies. He has taken over parenting and dirty dishes when I can’t take it anymore. He has coached me through labor and delivery 4 (soon 5) times. He’s been there to cut the umbilical cord and hold each sweet little miracle, and he has been there for us every day of our kids’ lives, protecting, providing, loving us. What an amazing guy!

As wives, we are better off focusing on all the positive things about our husbands, and forgiving all the little hurtful things, or the things we have no control over. Choosing to be content, positive, and joyful is an easier way to live–for everyone. Keeping an appreciative attitude is especially important when we are pregnant and/or have little ones to care for. We are a team. Once you have kids, you are a team forever, whether you like it or not. By appreciating our husbands, we help the team succeed.

 

What Do You Appreciate About Your Spouse?

In honor of appreciating our husbands, I would love for everyone who reads this post to comment below (scroll down to where it says “Leave a Reply” or, if you are reading this as an email, click here) and write something you appreciate about your husband! Don’t be shy … just click and leave a quick note. Watch how love grows in your heart toward your husband today. Other comments are welcome as well. Any guys reading this? Comment with what you appreciate about your wife!

xo,

Chelsea

 

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My Husband’s Teeth

my-husbands-teeth-01

Andy Rotunno, college days. Probably 2001.

My Husband’s Teeth

I wanted to keep a piece of the wooden entryway floor—the piece with Andy’s teeth marks in it—but my in-laws tore out the hardwood floors right before Christmas and replaced them with beautiful tiles. It happened so quickly that I didn’t think to ask for that piece of the wood floor until it was too late.

The high school girls at church who had read my book and knew the love story between Andy and me said, “No! You have to get that piece of the floor and frame it! You have to keep it to show your kids and grandkids!”

My husband Andy almost died when he was nine years old. He fell from the second story of the house when he was playing a game with his brothers. He leaned over the railing at the top of the stairs, and fell head-first, landing on his face on the hard wood floor below. He broke his two front teeth and his wrist, which was a miracle. His spinal cord was fine.

I wrote the story in my book Goodnight to My Thoughts of You. Here the character of Miriam (Chelsea) learns why her new friend Charlie (Andy) has front teeth that do not match his other teeth. It’s because they are fake.

From Chapter 26: New Year’s Eve

After midnight, when everyone over 21 left, the real party started. We went in the hot tub, roasted marshmallows over the fire pit, and told ghost stories. Half of the group went out with a video camera to find a haunted house where a lady wanders outside looking for her dead husband. Charlie and I stayed back and talked.

The group came back with a video of the woman in a white dress coming out of her house, going into her garage, then running back into her front door. Everyone was screaming as Jack replayed the footage over and over.

Later, Jack asked Charlie to show us a reenactment of how he fell off the banister when he was little.

“What? What happened?” We all wanted to know.

“Well, first let me show you the teeth marks in the wood floor,” Charlie said. Everyone got down on their hands and knees by the staircase. Sure enough, there was an indentation in the floor that was shaped like front teeth.

“When I was in fourth grade, after my parents’ divorce, my brothers and I were home with a babysitter, and we were chasing each other with a rubber snake. I had the snake upstairs, and my brothers were downstairs. I leaned over the top to throw the snake at them, and I leaned too far, too fast. I fell face-first, landed on my teeth, and broke my wrist. I should have died, pretty much. My teeth saved me. They took most of the impact. So ever since fourth grade, I’ve had these false front teeth.”

Jack had his camera ready. “We have to do a re-enactment.”

Luke directed the photo sequence:

1.     Charlie at the top of the stairs

2.     Charlie leaning over the banister

3.     Charlie falling (with the help of his buddies hanging him over the banister)

4.     A close-up of Charlie’s face on the floor

5.     A close-up of the teeth marks in the wood

6.     Charlie lying in the dead man’s pose on the floor

We were laughing and crying at the same time, making light of something we knew was very serious. The weight of his near-death experience was upon us, and even though we could not stop laughing, we spoke about it with reverence in our hearts.

“God wanted you alive,” I said, giving Charlie a side hug and leaning my head on his shoulder.

We decided to take a group shot of all of us on the stairs. I sat next to Charlie. Right before the camera flashed, I linked my arm in his.

Here is the real photo sequence from our first New Year’s Eve, when we were “just friends.”

leaning-over-banister1

falling1

falling-on-your-face-1

he-knocked-his-teeth-out

It’s more important to keep the story alive than to keep a piece of the wood floor, right?

my-husbands-teeth-01Andy is so hilarious. He likes to give himself this look whenever he eats this kind of gum.

Goodnight To My Thoughts of You by Chelsea Rotunno … coming soon!

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