Ten-thirty rolled around, and I was still staring at my computer screen. My husband, drained from another long hot day working outside, dragged himself off the couch and said, “I’m going to bed, babe.”
Giving him a quick kiss, I turned back to my computer screen and said good night. The house was quiet, the kids were sleeping, and I thought I should work on. Maybe I was picturing the Proverbs 31 virtuous woman, whose lamp does not go out at night (verse 18).
A couple hours later, I crawled in bed, my head spinning with questions for my new bosses at a meeting in a few days. Although I was bone-tired (and seven months pregnant), I couldn’t go to sleep for another hour, my brain unable to stop its frantic list-making.
The next morning, I was still a zombie when my husband’s alarm went off, and when my eighteen-month-old toddled in. Desperate for a few more winks, I dozed while the baby played. When our four-year-old came in, I realized I really had to wake up, and a familiar clicking sound caught my attention.
“That sounded like mommy’s mascara,” I said in a sleepy mumble to my preschooler as I launched my swollen body out of bed.
Sure enough, our baby was squatted in the bathroom floor, her cheeks, ears, and pajama shirt smeared with black goop.
Groaning, I bent to clean her up. But as I did that, my mind was slowly waking up to a powerful message from that coveted mascara wand: “That trade-off was so not worth it.”
Yes, I had kept my lamp on late into the night, but in my attempt to be Wonder Working Mom, I had traded precious husband time and morning energy for my kids. This early-morning mess was as clear as a sky-message from God: Go to bed with your husband.
Last time, I mentioned the all-important daily Mommy Time: the hour or two that mothers of young children must set aside for themselves each day, for their own sanity and their children’s well-being. This time, God taught me about Daddy Time: those one or two precious hours after the kids are in bed and the dishes are done.
This is not the time for complete immersion in personal projects or pleasure reading. A strong, healthy relationship relies on daily contact, and with the husband and wife relationship, that contact needs to be physical and verbal.
Trade off on that contact, and you’re choosing to start the next day with a total mess, whether you can see it like I did with a misused mascara wand or not.
When God made women, it was because it was not good for man to be alone (Genesis 2:18). We were created to help him, and if we leave him alone during the only time he has for us in his busy day, we’re not fulfilling our purpose.
A man needs the security that comes from having a wife who gravitates to him at night, who wants to know about his day, to share about hers, and to laugh and talk about nothing together. He needs that time to not be in his work or dad roles, but to just be completely himself with his wife who loves him. That’s his Daddy Time: the moments to remember why he became a dad in the first place.
The Mascara Mess Lesson
Use your Mommy Time wisely: strive to reach a stopping point during the day, so that your evenings are free for your husband. God taught me this lesson through a mascara wand. I’m just thankful I didn’t have to learn it through an injury to my unsupervised toddler or an adulterous thought or deed by my husband.
Children need a well-rested mommy, and husbands need an attentive wife. No project is more important than these.
By Kimberly Mauck
Kimberly lives with her husband and two daughters in Durant, Oklahoma, where she is a part-time college English instructor and a freelance writer. She also writes for KatharosNOW, a webzine for teen Christian girls, and her own blog Virtuous Woman…Virtually.