I Took Charge When The Wife Was Sick (Now Where's My Reward!)

04/20/2015 08:32 pm ET | Updated Jun 20, 2015

If you got past the title without wanting to kill me or fire off some nasty comment, then read on. It was mid-week when the wife got the sickly tickle in her throat and I knew we were doomed. She's the rock. The family glue. And she was getting sick. We were so screwed. By the weekend, she was in full-fledged illness with the raspy Kathleen Turner voice and a waste basket full of tissues. An achy, feverish, sadness filled the house. And I knew we were going down in flames. Or were we?

I put on my big boy pants. I got the kids up and around on Saturday. We had some awesome and unexpected dad and daughter time going to "Disney On Ice." Totally unplanned and spontaneous, and it was cool. I made a couple of grocery store trips for soup and juice and stuff for dinner. I was able to successfully divert attention from the wife for a few hours so she could sleep in peace. One daughter and I even went to the library and scooted around on her scooter. I made dinner (OK, prepared food that the store had already prepared) and served everyone. Yes, I even got the dishes done. The girls went to bed without an issue and at the end of the day, I felt like a proud peacock. I had done it all. I deserved an award! Damn, I'm good. Boom. I'm the man.

This is the moment in the story where the dads and moms want to slug me. And the people who always read dadmissions are probably getting a good laugh.

You see, selfishly, I really DO feel like I did good this weekend. I really DO feel like I accomplished something. So WHY do I feel so entitled, like I deserve some sort of secret reward from the wife for doing what a good husband and father should be doing on a regular basis anyway?

It can all be summed up in one word: Blinders. Blinders. Yes, blinders like the ones they put on the horses so they don't get spooked in a race. I guess in my case, I usually have the blinders on regarding what it takes to really run the family 24-7. I work nights. My wife is with the kids EVERY NIGHT. She does the dinner routine and the bedtime routine alone every weeknight and then carves out five minutes of peace and quiet for herself if she has time. I only get to do it on rare occasions. Yes, I should be more than willing to step up when I can. Yes, I should do it without feeling like I deserve get some sort of secret reward. Yes, of course. Ahh, but that reward. Yes, I guess it is also nice validation that I CAN do it when I need to. I CAN be the parent who gets it all done. I can be that person. Maybe not all the time. But when I need to be, I can be. And that's a good feeling for me.

So it's the end of the weekend now and the wife is on the rebound of her illness. And secretly, I'm still thinking of some sort of reward I'd like to get. And then I smack myself back to reality and realize what I did for one day or one weekend... she's doing this every day.

She thanked me for all the work I did. I told her "no worries, it was nothing." And I smiled.

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