I have always acknowledged that it’s hard to be married to me. I mean, when you marry for the first time at 35 and haven’t co-habitated with anyone since basically your sophomore year of college, it makes you a little difficult to be around. Not only was newlywed Molly attached to her way of doing things, but also Type A to the nth degree.
God, in His wisdom, sent me a laid-back husband who was generally happy to go along with my decrees of the “right way” to do things. But when a Type A marries a Type B, there is inevitably conflict. How could he forget that I asked him to do “x” task? Why didn’t he write it down? How could he not be as laser focused as I was on the tasks at home or dinner prep or the shopping list? I was baffled. There were days I would just be in disbelief that his approach to getting things done was so different–inferior!–to mine.
Cue Baby Brain
And then I had a baby. And developed baby brain. I could NOT get my act together. I couldn’t remember anything that wasn’t written down, and I couldn’t find the list where I wrote the important things down. I experienced what I imagine is a bit like ADHD, minus the hyperactivity. And all of this was exacerbated by post-partum mental health issues. I was a hot mess.
Things have improved somewhat over time, but more than once I day I happen upon a task that I started earlier but did not finish. On one particularly difficult day, I turned in frustration to my gentle-spirited husband and asked, “Is this what it’s like to be you? You get mad at yourself because you forget so much but you can’t help it?” He gave me a sad but understanding smile and nodded. And suddenly, I was overcome by waves of guilt at my lack of empathy. I have such rigid expectations for myself and others, I wasn’t allowing any grace or gentleness to soften my edges.
Blessing in Disguise
Baby brain has humbled me, and in doing so, has not only improved my marriage, but made me a better human. I still like things done a certain way (because it’s the best way, obviously) and I will always want our house to be cleaner and tidier than it is. But I’m learning to extend grace and forgiveness and have been delighted and humbled to receive it in return.