Forgive me if I sound like Oprah for a moment but I believe in every good relationship, each partner should bring at least one strength to the table that the other may not possess.
And by strength I don’t mean an emotional or intangible strength (you know, all that love stuff that, as an Englishman, I’m not comfortable talking about)- yes all that is of course vital; but I mean a practical, measurable strength.
And no I don’t mean “can down a pint of lager in 5 seconds” or “good at spelling”, I mean something that genuinely helps you and your partner to function more easily in the wider world. You know, the boring but ultimately necessary stuff like “sensible with finances” or “remembers to buy food” that can help a relationship from self-imploding or overdosing on pad-thai.
When you have a kid, those strengths become even more important because now those strengths have a ripple effect that allow your family to function more easily in the wider world.
From my perspective, and let’s face it, from everybody else’s perspective too, it’s pretty easy to recognize what Alex brings to our family’s table. I admit that I ‘occasionally’ whinge to Alex about singlehandedly keeping Amazon.com afloat but I know that if it wasn’t for her, our kids would be sitting naked around a table eating take away thai food. Actually, that’s not entirely true, she bought the table from Amazon as well. So I suppose if somebody asked me what Alex brings to the table- I’d have to say, the table.
But what is my strength you ask? I had to really think about this, especially as I can barely drink a pint in under 10 seconds, but I think I’ve found it: timekeeping. Yes, I believe I am the official timekeeper of my family. Admittedly more of a Casio than a Rolex but the official timekeeper nonetheless.
Quite a bold statement coming from a man who procrastinated all evening and now finds himself writing this post half-asleep at 1am, but I’m sticking to it. My strength in this field is accentuated by Alex’s total lack of time management ability. Outside of work at least. At home she is 100% reliant on me to keep us all on schedule. Playdates, reservations, school drop-off, movies (or at least when we went to the movies); I must spend half of my life holding an effing elevator door shouting “Alex, are you ready, we’re going to be late?” Which she thinks is adorable obviously.
And yes, losing an hour to bloody daylight savings yesterday was really fun for everyone involved. It was like herding cats.
So while it is true that without Alex their wouldn’t be a table, without me their wouldn’t be anybody sitting around it.