We are a very sports-oriented family and we live in a house where not everyone gets a trophy.
For years there was one game I was constantly winning, but getting ever increasingly mad about doing so. It was the parenting/chores game with my husband.
He Doesn’t Even Know a Scorecard Exists
The worst part? He didn’t even know we were competing. In his mind we were on the same team and I was the MVP. But in my mind I was carrying the team and doing more while getting recognized for less.
Do you have a mental tally of how many of the household chores are under your jurisdiction compared to his? Do you know how many diapers you have changed compared to his fraction of that amount? Do you ever see him sitting and get instantly irritated because you still have 101 things on your list to do?
If you answered yes or even maybe to any of these you are keeping score.
Chances are your husband, like mine, doesn’t know he is in the competition.
Maybe he isn’t the only one that doesn’t know a scorecard exists, maybe you are keeping score and you don’t even know it.
My advice: STOP IT.
Right now, stop keeping score, because here’s the deal: you will always be able to justify your “win” because we are the mother that carried them for nine months. We are the homemaker that has an eye for things in the home by default.
So, we will always have a longer “accomplished today” list than our husbands do.
Men are Created Differently
To top off the fact that as the mother we are already “winner”, we also have all these self-imposed tasks that, let’s face it, our husbands just doesn’t have hardwired in them.
This is definitely not to say the man is not important or a huge part of the family unit.
I could not and would not want to do one day of this life without my husband. He is an amazing father and he contributes tons to our family.
However, like most men I know, my husband just doesn’t put as much on his plate at one time as I do where the house and kids are concerned.
We as women are super stars at making ourselves think we have to get this gigantic list of things done and by a certain time, all while being super mom and wife of the year.
For me, I would see my husband not being bothered that the kids didn’t have a bath tonight or that the bed didn’t get made or the dishes done and I would automatically start up the score card in my head.
Then, when he would try to tell me to sit down and relax I would rattle off everything I had done for the past six months and question why he wasn’t helping. Needless to say, it never ended well.
Practical Ways to Stop Competing with Your Husband
The day I decided to purposefully stop keeping score was the day I was freed from that burden.
I was able to accomplish this by:
I had to (and still have to) pray for God to not let my mind slip back into that way of thinking.
Doing Less, Resting More
As I choose to focus on all that he does do, I also try not to expect as much from myself. Resting allows me to not become bitter when I see him relaxing.
Focusing on Partnership
When I see that we are in a partnership instead of a competition, I can recognize all the things that my husband brings things to the table that I do not. And visa versa.
As for the game, it isn’t over. He continues to be an amazing husband and father, and God is helping me see that we are on the same team. Some days I am still the MVP, but some days he is as well. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. Proverbs 31:10-11
Please change my mindset about my relationship with my husband. Help me to see us as partners and not keep score of our daily tasks. Thank you for him and all that he brings to our marriage. Help me to be a wife who lifts him up daily.
Jennifer Kincaid- full time mother of 4 and full time educator. My husband is a high school football coach and we are a sport-loving family. Whether we are on the field, at home, or anywhere else we are trying our best to do it all for the glory of God.