Role Reversal

family-cataract “Try to understand men. If you understand each other you will be kind to each other. Knowing a man well never leads to hate and almost always leads to love.”
― John Steinbeck

It is funny that how I started staying home with my kids, was a disagreement my wife and I had about who had it easier.  We both thought we had it harder than the other. Both of us felt the other wasn’t giving enough credit for what we did. So I had reached a point at my job that I quit and we switched roles.  We both saw the other side of the coin.  Though with all its trials, I loved staying home with the kids. So even though it was intended to be a temporary thing, it turned into a permanent thing.

 After our third child, there would be days my wife would come home and all I would do was walk out and get in vehicle and go get a coffee. I wouldn’t be gone long, but just long enough to go to Quiktrip and get a coffee and breathe, then come back to start again. I think that is how my association to coffee and relaxing came about.  That would only happen on the days that the kids really pushed me. It also taught me to pay attention to needing breaks.  Taking a break allows you to function better. That is where I really respect a single parent, because they don’t always have a way to tag out to breathe.


“It is not easy in this world for one person to understand the next one.”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

There have been various role reversals over the years of our marriage. We will be celebrating 21 years on June 18th.   There have been reversals of noticing she was feeling left out and making her more a part of the kids life.  She joined the kids in karate class and got to bond with them that way, and we switched the way we did birthdays a little so it was fair to us both.

The most recent role reversal is the experience of me working a lot and her feeling the distance from that.  See I always hate year end because I lose my wife, especially during January because she works, comes home and works again.  Though it is better than years ago without remote access, where she did all that time at her office. So recently with me putting a lot of time in with work, she made the comment last night “So this is what it feels like”.   Like Sunday night while playing games, she wanted to be close to me because she hadn’t really gotten time with me.


“Walk with me for a while, my friend—you in my shoes, I in yours—and then let us talk.”
― Richelle E. Goodrich

Sometimes role reversals, even for a short bit, is a good thing. It allows the other person to walk a little in the other’s shoes. It brings a little more understanding and respect.  We can get into a comfortable spot in our relationships and start just expecting things from our partners. We expect they’ll just take care of things, things will just work out, or they should just understand.  We forget the heart and mind work differently. The head might understand something but the heart may see it differently.  Which is why it is good to have those reminders.

I also found it funny, because instead of me being the one wanting her to take a break or slow down, it was her wanting me to do so. It was her telling me I should do this or that, etc. I’m so thankful for role reversals they teach us lessons we may not learn otherwise, and give us that moment to walk a mile in another’s shoes.  Which in turn teaches us a little more understanding and respect for others.

Today I’m thankful for those lessons that help us understand others better.

Thank you for your time. I hope you have a great day.

“I don’t like that man. I must get to know him better.”
― Abraham Lincoln


“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”
― Elisabeth Kübler-Ross


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