Saturday, June 7, 2008

The Mamas and The Papas

I thank God for my husband every day.

Okay, not every day. I sometimes take him for granted, and that's not being thankful.

But MOST every day, I appreciate him.

I know there are writing mothers out there who do not have supportive spouses. I know there are writing mothers out there who have no spouses. I know, and I understand that I have a lot to be thankful for.

Lest you think we're over here living in Nirvana, U.S.A., I will remind you that no husband is perfect, and even supportive husbands are not supportive ALL of the time or in every way you would wish them to be. My husband doesn't follow me around the house asking to see what brilliance I have written that day. He doesn't care how I conjugate my verbs or what I think ending a sentence with a preposition is good for. But he's supportive in a lot of ways.

I'm going to list a few ways my husband supports me in writing, and I'd be very interested in hearing how your husbands, if you have them, support you.

1. He is liberal with his expertise. My husband is a contractor by trade and roasts coffee as a hobby. I've written a few articles for construction companies, and his help has been invaluable. Plus, because we've been married for 12 years this month, we have that great kind of shorthand that lets him know what I'm asking even if I don't say it right. (Example: You know that board that hangs down? You mean fascia board? Yeah, that's the one.)

2. He helps eliminate distractions. We've made a lot of progress here. He often reminds our daughter not to ask me a bunch of questions when I'm working. It took me a long time to tell him that even interruptions from him can cause the precariously balanced pile of sentences I'm holding in my head while my typing fingers catch up to crumble. But now I have, and he's careful. One important point to make here: to my family, surfing the Net to find facts and statistics for an article looks very similar to surfing for fun. I need to remember to tell them I'm going to be working, or they won't know.

3. He listens to me read draft after draft. After draft. After draft. My husband is a great sounding board. He doesn't usually make a lot of comments other than "Sounds good," but at this point I don't need much more than that. I should note that just as I ask him to respect my writing time and give me some uninterrupted time, I also try to be aware of what he's busy doing before I even ask him if he can listen to me read. It's only fair, and it's considerate.

4. Sometimes he'll read the final draft out loud to me so I can hear any mistakes, or take note of someplace where he stumbles or looks confused. This helps me so much when I've worked on something until my eyes have crossed and I don't have time to set it aside for a day or two.

5. He supports me (and the family) financially. Sure, we both contribute gobs to the family, but he works and provides for us financially. I do more of the traditional chores, but when I'm on deadline some things don't get done. He pitches in and helps.

Yeah, he is a jewel, isn't he?

Happy Anniversary honey!

How does your spouse support you?


Serenity Now! said...

That's wonderful! I do think that husbands can be worth their weight in gold. I've heard so many women complain about their husbands, and maybe they have something to complain about... but if you look hard, you can find something to complain about anyone.

I try not to talk too much about DH, mainly because he's intensely private. But here are somethings I'm thankful for:

1. He is proud of me and my writing. He once told me that I inspired him to do better. (The old 'you make me wanna be a better man line' gets me all the time!)

2. He gave up a lot to move to another country and marry me. He had to sacrifice a lot. Sure he got a great family out of it, but every once in a while I am reminded of how much he had to change to be the man he is today. It wasn't easy. I couldn't have done it.

3. He is SO calm and SO logical and SO relaxed that he can see his way out of almost any situation while I'm still running around in circles.

4. He's honest and tough... you know how some men can be convinced to change their mind or go against a promise... because the small ones don't matter, right? It's just five bucks over budget, it's just an extra half an hour, it's not a big deal... not my hubby. What he says is what he does. Period.

Good topic. I could go on and on! I am thankful for my husband, too.

Marijke Durning said...

My husband is very supportive in that he sits and listens to my ranting, rejoicing, complaining, whining and celebrating. Now, whether he *hears* what I'm going on about is something else. :-)