Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Nurturer in Me

One thing I quickly discovered upon having an empty nest is, just because there are no children here to cater to take care of, the need to nurture does not stop. It's a wonderful gift this nurturing spirit we mothers possess.  It is one of the best innate gifts we have been blessed with.  It keeps us going when we are exhausted from chasing little devils our precious little ones around; allows knowledge we didn't even know we had to kick in enabling us to handle situations our babes get into; it enables our healing nature when the sweet ones are sick; it guides our disciplinary actions with understanding, fairness and a gentle manner. We may have to let our children go do our best to raise our precious ones to go out into the world, but our need to nurture does not end when the young ones leave us stranded venture out on their own.  This stripping of the motherhood stripes almost automatically leads to a huge tidal surge of love and nurturing washing over husbands like a tsunami.  Immediate effects?  Nurturing nature satisfied.  Long term effects?  Husbands become SPOILED ROTTEN and can no longer do anything on their own.  I, personally, have, because of this blasted evil nurturing spirit, created the proverbial MONSTER.  Overnight.

The last 26 years have found every second of my time occupied with the raising of our four daughters.  When they were babes they had to have my nurturing care 24/7 at least.  Hubs was very good during these years not only with the changing of diapers, but he would also get up, fetch a crying baby, change her and bring her to me for nursing.  He was able to get himself up in the mornings for work without disturbing anyone's sleep (and by anyone, I mean mine), get himself dressed, make his own lunch and head out the door with ample time to spare.  As the girls grew older and became involved in their various activities, Hubs was there to attend the events or stay with a younger daughter or, really, whatever I needed him to do.  And he did it quite well.  Oh, I might have had to leave him with instructions, but he followed them and no one was ever hurt or left wanting.  Point is, he was quite capable. 

Now that our nest is empty, however, Hubs has quickly developed a helpless sort of nature.  And, at fault, is my nature to nurture.

Hubs:  "Are there any jalapenos?"
Me: "Yes, in the fridge." 
Hubs: "Where?"
Me:  "On the door." (And, under my breath: "Right where they ALWAYS are because I know you love them and I never let you run out of them you moron wonderful man") 
Hubs: "I don't see them."  Followed by me going to the fridge, opening the door (very key step when looking for something located in said fridge), securing the jalapenos and handing them to Hubs.
Hubs:  "Oh, I didn't see them."  (Really? Oh geez...)

Or, this senario:
Picture the bedroom, bed covered in just washeddriedfolded laundry that I haven't put away yet.

Hubs:  "Did you do laundry today?"
Me: (holding breath and quickly counting to five MILLION before answering) "Yes, I did."
Hubs:  "Did you wash my under armor?"
Me:  (in my mind: WTH? Can you NOT see right in front of you freaking face?!) "Yeppers.  Sure did."
Hubs:  "Where is it?" 

Yes, I created that MONSTER.  Though I do wonder that, since God gives mothers this nurturing spirit, can He be blamed? (After all, Adam DID blame God for Eve's indiscretion---The woman you put here with me...) 

I would NOT under any circumstances ever wish any kind of pain on any of my daughters.  But, today, DoodleBug had to have her wisdom teeth taken out and, just for today, I was able to nurture her and Birdie, who isn't sick or anything but came to sit with her sister.  I made mashed potatoes and served it to them.  I made homemade, triple chocolate milkshakes and served them.  I slaved over homemade mom's-heal-all-chicken-noodle-soup and served them.  Whatever they needed, I got for them and, when they wanted me to play Wii tennis with Birdie, I did and, it was pure pleasure.  AND, not one single time, did I have to speak mentally or do any counting at all. 


  1. It's just a man thing. I swear my dear hubby couldn't find something in the fridge unless it jumped out and bit him on the nose!

  2. I too am an empty-nester, you totally nailed it...I just LOVE this post!


  3. Isn't it interesting how we're more than willing, more than happy to do anything and everything for our kids, but when it's our husband asking (and acting) the same, we mutter and moan -- under our breath, of course -- at their helplessness. I chalk it up to us wanting to be their PARTNER, not caretaker. And the fact that a little nurturing from them to us would be nice now and then, too. Sheesh ... men!

  4. Great post! You've left a knowing smile on my face.

  5. Great post!Your hubby sounds very like mine, and i smiled at how great he was with your kids, and the fact that he's now mopping up all your nurturing juices!
    Can I move in with you? every bit of the comfort food you list sound delicious! And nurturing? Yeah, I could take that too!

  6. You are a smart lady. You can totally reverse this one on him. Jeff Foxworthy says that women train men all of the time. I will look for the specifics, and if I can find it, post it for you this Thursday. So, I know that you are up for this challenge. He won't know what hit him!

  7. Thanks for the warning. You know it's not that much longer and that empty nest will happen here. No hurry but we both know it'll happen. I'll do my best not to spoil him terrible. He is pretty independent now, will it stay that way?
    Take care and have a great evening. God Bless you my friend.

  8. It's obvious that you're not only nurturing but really funny as well. If I'm around our daughter (25) and she's feeling ill, she loves to lay on the couch and have me run my fingers over her scalp and through her hair.

    My mom did it to me and her mom to her. Life goes on...

    I do not think you have created a Monster...I think God is testing our patience!
    last night Hubby and I had the same conversation except he was looking for mustard! I told him it was on the third or 4th shelf on the door of the fridge.
    Hubby: : No it is not there."
    Me: Yes, it's there because I just bought a new jar."
    Hubby: " No, it is not in here."
    I get up, go to the kitchen, look at the 4th shelf and by darn there it is..MUSTARD!
    Hubby: "OH"
    This is the man that lived by himself, for TEN years, before I met him...How in the world did he survive????
    My Hubby is 71 years young and he can not find the mustard but he can rebuild a car from the engine to the body work???!!!! He can talk about history for hours but always asks the ratio of water to oatmeal!
    God is playing a joke on me but I can not figure out the punchline!
    I will say, Hubby and I have a great time together and I can not be mad at him because he makes me laugh all the time!

  10. Shawn, you're so right! I've often said that God has a sense of humor! LOVE IT!

    Thanks y'all! It's nice to know that I am NOT alone in this! LOL

  11. I think my husband is trying to get an early start. Our baby birds haven't left the next yet, but The Husband seems to be losing all ability to care for himself as quickly (if not more so!) as I'm getting the girls trained to do their own laundry, cook their own food, etc.
    This regression is driving me nuts!
    You are NOT giving me hope for the future!!

  12. I hear you on the husband stuff!
    So glad you got to take care of your babies today. We are mothers, not husband sitters!

  13. LOL! From the comments, I suspect this is a universal 'man' thing. It's nice to know we all have a place to hide something - behind any jar in the refrigerator!

  14. Not only did I enjoy reading the post, but the comments also! Good grief, it sounds like an epidemic out there. Maybe you all get up too quickly to go rescue them. Remember that phenomenon called 'selective hearing'? It might come in handy here. :-)

  15. Men are just a different breed ;)
    No kids here and he ain't totally spoiled rotten, but we have the helpless part from time to time.
    Maybe it comes with age?

  16. LOL...the jalapeƱo convo sounds a lot like many I have with my own husband. :)

  17. I only have two children and the youngest went off to college this fall, I am struggling more than I ever thought I would with the empty nest syndrome. I swore I would be absolutely fine and FINE is far from what I am (LOL) but my husband is just dandy, isn't it funny how that works!!!

  18. This is soooo true.

    When we lived in the Bahamas, we had caller ID on the phone, but instead of someone's name showing, their phone number appeared on the phone. My husband would pick up the phone and the next thing out of his mouth was "who is 4105 ?" He expected me to be his caller ID identifier.

  19. "Did you was my under armor?" Does your husband know my husband?

  20. "Did you was my under armor?" Does your husband know my husband?

  21. Throughout our married life, my husband has exhibited these same traits. He was and is a great father and husband, but can't find the "jalapenos." lol. I, too, do the same mental battle, but have, in the last year or so, (coincidentally during our financial difficulties) realized that some day he may not be there for me to serve. And love and laugh with. I tell myself I'm not being pessimistic, just learning to serve with a loving attitude. It's an on-going struggle, but I still hope to "arrive" and hope, too, that our children will witness the tenderness between us.
    On this, the first day of the new year, I'm thankful to read this post cuz I hear your love for your dear hubby, not just frustration. I'm reminded that I'm receiving the gift of more time with my DH. I look forward to reading your adventures in the New Year! blessings on your day. *hugs*


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