The Sexiest Thing My Husband Has Ever Done
This past school year was a rough one for me as both a teacher and a parent. For much of the spring semester, I eagerly awaited the summer and a much-needed break, but as I started to plan for the summer, I realized I wasn’t going to get much of one. My summer was quickly filling up with trips, activities, family obligations, and professional development. June was especially busy, as we planned a whirlwind trip home for our high school reunion, I was scheduled to attend a week-long workshop out of state, and the very next week, we were going on a family vacation. I actually only had about 36 hours to get home from my work trip, do laundry, and pack everyone up before we planned to leave for our family vacation.
As I wrote everything into our family calendar, I felt myself growing overwhelmed by the logistics of it all, and I hadn’t even looked at the month of July yet.
On top of this, I consider myself to be a prepper, not a planner. Give me something I need to be prepared for, and I am on top of it. I can make sure we have all of the supplies and materials we need to be successful. If I know where we are going and what we are doing while we’re there, I can pack like a champ: I’ll find multipurpose items, I’ll cram ten days’ worth of clothes into a carry-on, and I’m the queen of trunk Tetris if we’re road-tripping it. But please don’t ask me to plan the trip in the first place. I have friends that love planning so much that they have side hustles as travel agents, but that’s just NOT me. I get caught up in researching all the possibilities and thus struggle to make any real decisions, and the unknowns and the unfamiliar give me anxiety.
Trying to figure out how to fit everything we needed and wanted to do into the summer, especially with several things still up in the air, was starting to suck the joy out of summer before it really even began.
Our family vacation especially started to stress me out because, while its only real goal was quality family time and fun, it required research and planning on a level not required by other summer obligations. Before I left for my workshop, my husband and I made some decisions about what activities and attractions we would visit on our vacation, but we did not make a detailed plan. I thought for sure we’d end up playing things by ear, and ultimately wasting a lot of time on our vacation, trying to make decisions in the moment since we did not have a detailed plan. I anticipated the frustration and tantrums this would cause during the trip, but I knew I wasn’t going to have time to worry about it while I was attending my professional development workshop. I’d just have to deal with it when I got home.
To my great surprise, however, when I returned from my work trip, my husband presented me with a complete and detailed itinerary for our family vacation. He had fully planned out each day, including purchasing advanced tickets for attractions and making reservations for restaurants. He had even figured out where we would stop for lunch on our travel days. Having this itinerary made packing a breeze, but even better was the fact that I didn’t have to stress about any of the details of our trip – I was able to just enjoy myself and my family. And while our kids still whined during the vacation because, well, that’s what kids do, we didn’t have any major hangry episodes because the restaurant reservations allowed us to walk right up and be seated; we never had to put our name on a list and wait an hour for a table.
Planning every aspect of our family vacation was one of the sexiest things my husband has ever done.
It’s not uncommon to hear women complain that it’s not that their husbands don’t help out, it is specifically that they don’t take the initiative. It’s not that they won’t take care of the dirty dishes or the laundry, it’s that they have to be asked to do so. And sometimes, husbands will find an obscure and unnecessary task to do, like power-washing the driveway, when there are clearly more immediate and pressing issues. The reality is that the thinking and planning for everyone else is more taxing than the doing for everyone else, and I know other moms often feel the same way.
While my husband often takes initiative, especially with our kid’s schoolwork, he has also been guilty of such selective blindness, so when he planned our family trip, what he really did was say, “I saw something that needed to be done and I did it.” It was a task that was causing me a lot of stress, and he didn’t need to be asked to help with it; he just did it. He recognized that my plate was overflowing, and he didn’t just lighten my load by taking care of small or irrelevant tasks; he removed the heaviest item and helped me balance the rest.
I can’t speak for everyone, but I think many women would find such initiative from their husbands very attractive, and it doesn’t just have to be planning a whole trip. Taking care of dinner, making sure the kids are ready for the school week, or planning a date night, including arranging for a babysitter are all great places to start.