I got up at 6am on a Saturday morning to do my morning routine (prayer, meditation, reading scripture, etc.) After I finished, I jumped into morning chores because we were expecting guests. My husband and I host a brunch potluck for a small group of young married couples in our home a couple times a month. That meant the house needed to be cleaned, a dish needed to be made, and our discussion questions needed to be solidified by 10am.
After my morning routine, I stared cleaning in a quiet house. No kid asking me a million questions. He was still asleep. No husband making beats while he worked. It was just me and my thoughts. I did that for a little while until I realized my kid was probably awake. I opened his door and told him to start his wake-up routine. He and I cleaned around the house until 8am. Then I started feeling stressed.
My husband was still asleep, and there was still a ton of work to do. Our son got up in the middle of the night to “go to the bathroom” and didn’t. So, he woke us up for no reason. My husband didn’t go back to bed immediately, so he was trying to make up for the lost sleep.
I had a decision to make. Let him rest and prepare for the group myself, or disturb his sleep and ask for help. I chose the latter. “Babe, hate to disturb your sleep, but it’s 8:00am, and we have guests arriving at 10:00am. I really need your help.” His response, “I know babe.” He was a little frustrated. I walked out of the room and got back to work. He came out and said, “You know I didn’t immediately go back to sleep after the boy got up?” My response, “I know.” I walked away and kept working. He was frustrated, but I was relieved. I asked for what I needed and didn’t have to prepare alone. No anxiety. No guilt.
We’ve been married for six years now. Early in our marriage I used to spend most Saturday mornings angry. I would get up early and clean around the house without help. My husband would sleep in and wake up with a smile on his face and wonder why I was frustrated with him. This was before we hosted a small group and before we had a baby. I used to do so much work, never ask for help and get mad when he had the audacity to let me do all that work alone.
First of all, there’s no rule that says you HAVE to get up early on Saturday mornings. I do that because I enjoy it. He doesn’t have to. Second off, we never pro-actively discussed who was responsible for each chore. We just assumed that if someone saw something that needed to be done, they’d just get it done. I’m a little more of a neat freak, so guess who normally ended up cleaning first? Me. Lastly, the hardest grown up lesson I had to learn is that a closed mouth don’t get fed. I have to ASK for what I want. If I don’t like something, I have to ask for less of it and ask for more of what I DO like.
So, instead of playing the “good wife” role and letting my husband sleep in (while PISSED OFF on the inside) I asked him to wake up and help me. And he did. He was a little ticked at first, but I let him have that. I didn’t need for him to have a good attitude. In that moment, I needed help, and I got what I needed. Eventually, he got over it, and he was really happy that I was happy. No hostility. No emotional distance. I was good, and normally that’s enough for him to be good as well.
We don’t have this moment every Saturday. Most weekends we both kind of move at our own pace, and that works for us. But we have shared responsibilities, and I’m grateful that I’ve grown up enough to ask for what I need in confidence and truth. AND I’m grateful to have a partner that gets it
About me . . .
I'm Cyrah Hill. I'm a woman of faith, an actor and an everyday black girl.