I could complain about my husband. I sometimes want to. I have complained before.

The problem is he's a school teacher. Perhaps you think we're lucky. Andy finishes work at 3 pm every day and has 12 weeks holiday every year. Sounds fantastic, doesn’t it? All that time together. Except it’s not that great at all.

Andy is one of those teachers who is dedicated to his students and colleagues. He spends his evenings planning exceptional lessons. He goes to meetings before and after school. He’s a sports coach and runs after-school activities twice a week. He meets with parents and speech therapists and other professionals in an attempt to help the struggling members of his class. He has professional learning courses to attend. There is always something that keeps Andy from arriving home on time. His holidays are just as busy.

And I don't see as much of Andy as I'd like.

It is the evening. Sophie is putting mats and cutlery and glasses on the dining room table. “Will Dad be home in time for dinner?” she asks, wondering if she should set a place for him.

“I don’t know,” I reply. “He didn’t say he had anything extra to do at school this afternoon.” The phone rings. “I bet that’s Dad now.” I am right: It's Andy.

“Where are you?  I thought you’d be home on time tonight.”

“I’ve been closing down everyone’s computers. A teacher needed her light bulb changing.”

“Doesn’t anyone else know anything about computers? Doesn’t your school have a handyman who changes light bulbs?”

The problem is Andy never says no. Everyone brings their problems to him, knowing he’ll fix them.

I am all ready to start ranting and raving. I want to jump up and down and say, “Hey! What about me? When am I going to get some of your time?” But just as I am opening my mouth to begin, God knocks me soundly over the head with a thought that seals my lips instantly:

Look at the man you are married to. He’s generous and loving and kind. It doesn’t matter how tired or busy he is, he will never refuse to help. He comes home from work and then what does he do? He turns around and goes out again with the girls, taking them to their evening activities. There’s not many men like him about.

What if instead of Andy, I was married to a mean-spirited and self-centred man?

I decide I am very blessed.

It’s evening again. Just as Sophie is laying the knives and forks on the table, the phone rings. It’s Andy.

“I know I’m late but I’m on my way,” he assures me. "I’ll be home in plenty of time to take the girls to choir practice.” Then he adds, “I have something for you.”

Something for me?

“The assistant principal gave me some chocolates to thank me for all my help. They’re for you.”

I could complain about my husband. I sometimes want to. But I’m not going to. He is a wonderful man.


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  1. Maybe I have asked you this before, I can't remember. How does your husband handle the difference between what he needs to do for school like lesson plans, tests, curriculum and how your family home schools?

    1. Gina,

      We've been homeschooling for nearly 21 years and Andy has only been a school teacher for 3 years. As far as unschooling goes, Andy is very comfortable with that. It's what we've been doing for a long time. Sometimes I think he'd like to be able to do things the unschooling way at school but he can't. He does however try and engage his students' interest and refuses to use worksheets and rote methods of learning. This is one reason he is always so busy. He spends a lot of time working on his own lessons and doesn't rely on standard lesson plans at all.

      I wonder sometimes if Andy will eventually get frustrated by the school system, and want more freedom to do things an alternate way, but so far he's coping. I think he does to some extent go his own way. We often talk education which can be very interesting. We swap ideas and mull over educational philosophy.

      I have to admit I have the easier job. My students are much easier to work with than Andy's. He has a class of students, many of whom have learning and physical difficulties. His teaching role is very much bound up with his caring and loving nature. He also has a great sense of humour which he often needs!

  2. Oh my gosh, this is lovely! He is such a kind man!!
    (And you know what, Paul is a teacher too and ppl say, when he's still working at night or he's late to coaching one of the boys' sports practices, "I thought he was done by 3!" Sounds familiar to what you share!)
    You are so blessed, the two of you...Thank you for such a wonderful reminder of the gift of marriage and being selfless when our husbands are caring for others and not solely their own families.....
    This is really beautiful.

    So we just a rrived home from our trip up north to the Adirondacks Mtns late last night. As always, it tears at us to have to leave. we love it there....my brother lives in the town near our "spot" up there...We were able to spend some time together which was awesome....(It's about 280 miles away....)Anyway, there are fireworks every Thurs PM in town and so we met and went to a restaurant with a deck to enjoy the view over the lake. Terry's ( my brother) friends manage the rest....Bob is FROM Australia and his wife Sophie is from upstate NY...I was chatting with Bob abt his homeland...told him my friend lives in Australia!...He is from Melbourne though! You never know, small world...if you actually knew him or love in the same area.
    I wanted to stop in and tell you that and how perfect to get a "SEW" post in my inbox this AM! I was so excited to meet a fellow Australian! The couple goes back to his hometown in October when it gets intolerably cold and snowy for them upstate. Then in May, they come to live in Lake George again.
    I've more to post abt our trip but could not get online since Thursday afternoon upstate! oh well...frustrating but what can you do?
    Gotta unload the car, start some laundry going and get to mass now...WIll "see" you soon..have a lovely Monday, which is probably when you'll be reading this!
    Love ya

    1. Chris,

      Your husband is a teacher too? Then you understand! So many people think a teacher's life is an easy one. Teaching is definitely a vocation. I'm really proud of Andy. He's a great person, as I am sure your husband is too. I am certain they both appreciate our support.

      Thank you for sharing your friend Bob with me. Melbourne isn't near us, but my son Callum did go there last weekend for the wedding of a friend. He and his girlfriend drove and it took them about 9 or so hours each way. A long way for a weekend trip! Wouldn't it be lovely to live in different places at different times of the year, following the sun! By October it will be very pleasant here. It will be the middle of spring and warming up.

      I feel so special knowing you welcomed another SEW post in your inbox. Somehow I've been writing only one post a week recently, though there's a few more on my other blog. Life is busy!

      Is that the end of your travels for the summer? I know your school year is about to begin or has it already begun? It sounds like you have visited some beautiful places. I will enjoy your photos!

      It is Monday here. You are getting used to our time difference! We've been out to piano lessons and I've also given Imogen a driving lesson. Just wait until you have to do that! We call being a support driver for our teens extreme sports! It is a very exciting ride!

      Hope you settle in back at home quickly. I enjoyed chatting very much! xxx

  3. Sue he does sound Ike a kind man. Ive always admired that you don't complain about your husband or children or things and life. Your blog is a breath of fresh air in a critical blogosphere.

    1. Anabelle,

      Thank you for your kind words! I think everyone has times when they fail to look beyond themselves and feel like complaining, but if I am honest, my family could find many faults of mine to complain about... but they never do! Maybe it's helpful to share our own faults publicly because we all struggle at times, and there's comfort in knowing we aren't alone. But I could never justify exposing other people's faults and whining about them. I hope I never do this. I have to take care though because I have been known to be thoughtless, and sometimes do things unintentionally!

      I want to thank you for following my blog! It's a rare day when I see I have a new follower... very special!!

    2. Oops! I did write a story about how untidy Callum is... but he did give me permission and I wrote something nice about him at the same time. I hope that's OK. Usually when I want to discuss some parental struggle, I make sure my family approves before hitting 'publish'!

  4. Could be worse, at least you got chocolates out of the deal!

    1. Kelly,

      You are quite right! I'm sitting here nibbling on my chocolate Lindt balls and sipping red wine. What have I got to complain about? Nothing!

  5. Sue-

    Andy does sound like a truly wonderful, generous man! What a blessing he is to you and your children, as well as the other people he helps out. I am sure he know this, but he is also blessed- to have a wife who respects and loves him so much and who supports him in being the good, holy man that he is.

    Your whole family is an inspiration to me! Thank you for always being willing to share a bit of your life with us here and to encourage us, through your examples, to be have strong, loving families too.

    God Bless!

    1. Kari,

      Thank you for your kind words! I have to admit I struggle at times to remain loving and generous, just like everyone else. Andy is much better at that than me. It must be so difficult for men to balance their work life and home life. It can't help when a wife is quick to complain. I know Andy's work is important, and he does make sure we're not neglected. He does without sleep so he can spend time with us and do his school work too. I'm just pleased he has satisfying work to do that makes a difference.

      I think we all encourage and inspire each other. Sharing via our blogs is a good way to learn from each other and grow. Whenever I consider becoming an ex-blogger, I realise I'd lose so much if I no longer blogged. I do appreciate your friendship and encouragement too!

      God bless!

  6. Your husband sounds wonderful, Sue. I've always thought that you and Andy must be excellent parents - your kids are so sweet and helpful! I agree that you are blessed though I can understand why you would want more time with him. I think it's natural to want to spend more time with your spouse and family :)

    1. Mary,

      I do get lots of time with Andy. I'm just greedy wanting more! However I do like seeing Andy excited and challenged by his work. We all need rewarding work to do. Anyway, while he is working on his school stuff, I have time to write and blog. I can't complain!

      God bless!

  7. I also have a yes-saying and teaching husband. I think your attitude towards sharing your better half and his kindness with others is the rigt one. I have to give up my grumpy attitude when I think he - once again - is spreading himselt too thinly and putting family last in line. He is a wonderful and sharing person and thive in the company of others. Well you live and learn. Thanks for the kick in my behind. Much needed and appreciated. :)

    1. Uglemor,

      I've had a grumpy attitude many times! It is hard when we'd like to have our husbands home with us more often. But I'm trying to be understanding! I think God gave me a 'kick in my behind' when that He reminded me of what a wonderful man I'm married to. It is so lovely to know I have friends in a similar situation who understand.

      God bless!


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