My Heart My Nest

Whenever I get in a conversation about the difficulty of moving or in-laws who visit for too long, I inevitably inject the theory of the "nesting instinct." We've all heard about women having this need to set-up "house." Like a robin and her beakies. Don't think that I mean every female has a basic instinct for Corelle and chintz valances, all the while holding a babe on each hip. I do get the sense however, no matter what kind of woman you are, there tends to be a special protective sense about your domain, in a different way than men. The adventures of moving can wreak havoc on a woman and visiting in-laws disrupting the routine can make a woman lose her mind. Add children and you're in for some Shakespearian fury.

For me, as a stay-at-homer, our home is my domain, my protectorate. . . my nest. I happen to like stainless steel and abhor chintz, but I define for our family what is "home." I always pictured myself as the robin with Boo, my beakie, raising him for the day he will fly off alone. My nest, my realm of responsibility, goes beyond my house proper, and involves everything to keep Boo healthy, happy, safe and successful which has not been typical, natural or normal. And for me, momming has been harder than for some. Now that Boo's 7, at the cusp of boyhood, emotionally healed, it's only recently I've been able to look up to get a better, focused look around my nest.

And I wondered, where is the daddy robin? Is he just flying back and forth, merely bringing home the berries?

What have I been doing to keep my HH healthy, happy, safe and successful? What have I been doing to make the nest sweeter and softer for him? The answer I came up with: not enough. I tuck my yellow bill under my wing in shame. I have been doing the bare minimum to keep the house running for him, but not much more. Since then, I've made a point to do the following:
  • stop and smile when he comes home from work
  • wait to tell him of my day's trials
  • have his laundry ready
  • rub his shoulders more
  • massage his forehead more
  • pull myself off this dang computer to sit and read in bed with him more

It's not a lot, in one sense. It's not that I've merely made more room in my nest, but I have made more room in my heart: sweeter and softer for him.

How about you? Have you been nurturing your husband with the care you nurture your child(ren)?


Lora said...

I'm just now starting to.
I hated the idea of having to take care of a grownup when I have the responsibility of taking care of my child but after he proved himself completely capable of taking care of me when I didn't even know I needed taken care of, he deserves a little bit of coddling of his own.

Smiles, kisses, cuddles, treats, and so on

mamawhelming said...

Your HH is a fortunate fellow.

Anonymous said...

Grace- I needed to hear this today. Right now. This moment. Beautifully written my friend! Christine xoxo

rosemary said...

Such a great post! I love the line "I define for our family what is home." The hubs and I have a rule that we are always each other's first responsibility. It's worked out pretty well but we've only been married for 5 years and I think we are still learning how to best help each other on rough days. I usually need to be alone and he usually needs to be fed. ;-)

melaniet42 said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog and recommending the Love & Logic book! I'm going to order it from Amazon this weekend! As for your post, I try to take care of my husband well, but I know I come short of the mark that I've set for myself. I keep the house relatively clean, the laundry done (most of the time), etc. The thing I've been trying to do more is get back into the swing of cooking for us every night here at home. I find that dinner together, even with a toddler, gives us a nice break from tvs and computers, to be able to chat about our days and reconnect.

Rebecca said...

I just love this post. So true.

BTW, I realized that since I've been keeping up with you through Google Reader, I haven't been commenting as much. Wanted to pop by and say hi, and that I'm enjoying your blog as much as ever. Even though lately, I haven't been posting too much - I'm still keeping up with my "girls" and their blogs. I suppose I've just been lazy and enjoying this mild summer outdoors.