What's a "Honey Do" List
So with Erin out of town last weekend I had to pick up some slack on the chores around the house on top of watching the kids. It just so happened that an old friend from college was passing through town and he stopped in to say hi Friday evening. Once I got the kids settled into bed for the night, he followed me around while I started laundry and took care of the farm for the day. Towards the end of this little adventure, he made an offhanded comment about not envying my "honey-do" list. For those of you unfamiliar with the term it refers to a list of tasks that a wife gives her husband on a regular basis, as in "Honey, could you do this?" As a bachelor, he doesn't have anyone to give him tasks and seemed to be poking fun at me for it.
Now I had heard the term honey-do numerous times growing up but since getting married I honestly had not given it much thought. After thinking about his comment I set my bucket down, took him by the shoulder and we retraced our route back to the pig yards behind the barn. There I said to him, "There are roughly 100 T-posts and 500 feet of fencing that make up these two yards. How many hours do you think I spent putting it up?" He thought for a moment and guess around 15. "Zero," I said, "Erin put up every foot of this fence by herself." Erin does not sit around and think of things for me to do in her spare time. If she comes up with something that needs to be done, she does it.
My father once told me that "A functional marriage is two people taking care of each other and asking for help when they reach an obstacle they can't overcome on their own. When you see something that needs doing, you do not stop to wonder if your wife will do it later, you do it yourself." These words are one of the fundamental principles that Erin and I have built our very happy marriage on. If there is a task in front of you then you do it. If your spouse does something because they saw it needed to be done, you thank them. When there is something that you can't do by yourself, you ask the other for help. It is as simple as that. Erin does more of the housework than I do, that doesn't mean when I come home from work she puts her feet up and watches me take over. After working the whole day if my wife is folding laundry I don't sit and watch her. I grab a towel and trifold it just like my mother taught me when she was preparing me for exactly that moment. Then once you both look around and decided that nothing else needs doing for that day, you are actually done.
When I get home in the evening, my wife doesn't read me a honey-do list, she reads me the honey-done list. As in this is what she has gotten done, then we work on the rest of it together. There is too much stuff to do when you own a home (especially one with 3 littles running around attached to a farm) to get worked up about who is responsible for doing what and is everyone doing their share. If you try to do a little more than your fair share and your spouse does the same then who cares where the line actually ends up at the end of the day. If you have enough energy left at the end of the day to worry about such trivial things then the only thing that is for sure is that you could have done more!
I hope this post finds you in good health and of a sound mind. I am just another confused father from Kansas wondering ...
How Did I End up Here?