“I don’t know how you do it!” a relative recently said to my wife when admiring our clean home. “You have two kids, you work nights, and you are in school. How do you keep up with it all?” My humble wife just shrugged her shoulders and said, “aww, it’s nothing”, dismissing the question. I know how she does it, though.
My wife is an RN in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit at a Hospital near our home.
She works nights so she can be available during the day to pick up a sick kid from school, or attend a field trip, or whatever else she may requested of by her family. She is there to collect the kids from the bus after school so we don’t have to worry about them coming home to an empty house. She is there to answer the phone when a family member needs medical advice. And although she works nights, her sleep during the day is often interrupted when she is called upon. Some days, she gets no sleep at all.
Other than her demanding and stressful job, she also has a family and home to manage. She does this with impeccable organization and time management skills, never missing an appointment or forgetting to pick up one of the kids from an after-school club. She has the usual household chores like laundry, dishes, cleaning, cooking and much more. I help as much as I can, but I’ll be the first to admit that she does more of it than I do. She also has two young girls that need help with homework every afternoon, and keeping up with their busy schedule is a chore all its own.
On top of it all, she is finishing up her Bachelor’s degree, so there are papers to write and books to read. She does this with the little time she has left in the day and still manages to get all A’s in her classes. Oh, yeah, and she finds time to run about 10-15 miles a week to stay healthy. Are there even that many hours in the week?
So, I said earlier that I know how she manages it all. It’s not sleep depravation – although, that does buy her some time. Where does it come from? Simple. It’s selflessness. Selflessness flows from her like a spring-fed stream. It never dries up. It never falters. She just keeps giving. She gladly gives her time – time she could easily spend on herself – to the rest of us. This self-sacrifice grants her the time to serve others. At work and at home, for family, friends, and strangers, she leads a life of service.
It’s not Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, or her birthday. It’s just a day – a day, like most days, that she has given up something to help others, and I thought it was a good time to recognize that the best way I know how. I’m glad to have her as my wife and the Mother of my kids. I surely couldn’t do it all without her.