I don’t know how he does it but the minute his head hits that pillow, he’s asleep. A wild pack of elephants couldn’t wake him. He can sleep anywhere. In a bed. On the ground. He never complains about being uncomfortable. He always wakes up feeling refreshed and ready for the day. No dark circles or puffy eyes on this man!
Then there’s me. I’m the lightest sleeper imaginable. Breathing wakes me. The smallest movement of one of the kids in their bed will wake me. Sometimes I even dream that one of them is calling my name. Once I awake, good luck getting me back to sleep. Eight hours of sleep for me = only 4 hours of the good, deep REM sleep you need to feel refreshed the next day. Very rarely happens.
2. Entertain the children.
The girls love him. The girls prefer to play with him over me. Daddy’s more fun. He comes up with random games he makes up on the spot and they buy it. He has them training to be future soccer and basketball stars. He teaches them skills by making up silly games they just love and want to play over and over again.
Then there’s me. I plan activities for them like a teacher/mommy would. I bring home stuff for them for art and craft projects. I bring home new books to read. They like it and they amuse me but I’m no dummy. I know if given the choice, they’d rather play Daddy’s silly old games.
On the weekend, he wakes up and watches sports if his favourite team is on. He makes breakfast and lets the girls help. He’s never in any rush to do anything or be anywhere. He’s helpful around the house but isn’t bothered when things we have to do pile up. He’ll get to the stuff eventually but he never gets stressed about it. Spending time with his kids trumps anything else that needs to be done around the house.
Then there’s me. I try to be super woman. I want to be with the kids AND have a clean house. I try to do all the laundry and housecleaning on Saturday so that I can rest or our family can do something fun on Sunday. I never relax. I’m like a woman with a mission and a list of chores a mile long. I’m the energizer bunny without the energy. I never just sit around and chill unless I’m blogging and time for that these days is dwindling!
He never raises his voice. He doesn’t like to discuss anything when either of us is really angry or upset. He believes we should both wait until we are calm and have had some time to think before we discuss anything that is bothering us. I have never heard him raise his voice or yell at me as long as I’ve known him.
Then there’s me. I was born in an Italian family. We talk with our hands and yelling is considered talking a little loud. When I’m upset or angry, I want to talk about it right away. I want to express my feelings right away. I want to fix things immediately. I don’t want to calm down and think things through. In the end, I’m always glad when I do.
5. Maintain willpower.
He eats healthy. He plays soccer. He runs when he can. He does weights when he has time. He doesn’t have an inch of fat on his body. He can stop working out for a year and then start up again no problem. It takes him no time to get all toned again. He hikes up mountains like superman and snow camps in the middle of Winter. He has no desire for McDonalds, chocolate, potato chips or any of that bad stuff I love.
Then there’s me. How many times have I written about eating healthy and falling off the exercise bandwagon? How can I not love, crave and seek out chocolate? Who doesn’t love Nutella, potato chips, hamburgers, french friends, ice-cream, flavoured coffees, chocolate chip cookies and pizza? Seriously? I breath heavy going up a flight of stairs never mind hiking up a mountain! Willpower? I have it. It lasts for about two weeks and then it goes away. It comes back in spurts. A little here, a little there. What’s wrong with that?
6. Be spontaneous.
He flies by the seat of his pants. He can wake up in the morning and decide that the whole family is going sledding up in the mountains just like that. No planning. No prior packing. Let’s just get our stuff and go. Make a list of things we need to pack on our weekend road trip? Why? Just throw everything into the back of the truck. Snacks for the kids? We’ll get something along the way. Let’s just go!
Then there’s me. I need a list. I need a day or two warning so I can pre-pack to ensure we don’t forget anything we may need for the kids like … the whole house! Medicine, band aids, snacks, change of clothes, movies for the car ride, potty in case one of them has to pee while we’re on the highway. And you know what else? I’m never ready to just pick up and go. I’m always so busy getting the girls ready to go, I end up forgetting about myself. The ponytail has seriously become my best friend in the last six years. My saving grace.
What things can you stand to learn from your significant other?