Friday, January 31, 2014

No Offense - But It's MY Family, Not Yours

As I'm sure you're all aware, there are many different styles of parenting out there, and many different ways for a husband and wife to handle their families. But, what it seems people are not aware of is that unless abuse is involved, these different styles are no one else' business....

On Monday, I had to call 911 for my husband because he lost control of his legs, had been running 103 fever, and as a severe diabetic with many health issues, I knew something was wrong other than just a flu. The ambulance took him to the nearest hospital, 30 miles away... and from there he was transferred to another hospital, 2 hours from our home. His mom and I stayed with him until Monday night. Having received no answers, and knowing we'd know nothing until Tuesday, we went back home.

Long story short: infection in the foot, hand, back, possibly leg, blood stream, and possibly heart valves.

This isn't his first time in the hospital. 16 months ago, he had a partial foot amputation. 15 months before that, he had a kidney transplant. A few years before that, he had a toe removed. And the list goes on.

And, this isn't the first time I've been criticized as being a bad wife. I wasn't in the hospital with him when he had surgery. I wasn't staying at his bedside this week. (or his last hospital stay... or the one before that...). Instead, I was home with our children - only 5 home this time as one is in college.

What people don't seem to understand... this is what he wants. This is what he and I decided on when we first had children, and we discuss again each time he ends up in the hospital. The children must come first. Yes, they're old enough to stay home alone. Yes, even if they weren't, we could get someone to stay with them. But no one is a substitute for a parent when going through tragedy. My husband flat out told me that if I was at the hospital with him, and not with the kids, he would be too focused on worrying about the children, he wouldn't be able to focus on getting well.

I'm not staying home with my children because I want to (although, yes, I do want to... I just also want to be with him). I am staying home because I am honoring my husband's wishes. I am trying to be selfless - trying to put his needs and my children's needs over my own. Instead, I am criticized as being selfish... that my place is by my husband's regardless of his wishes and the children's needs.

Well, this is my family. Not yours. God gave this family - this husband and these children - to me... not to you. I am in no way criticizing those who do leave their children to be with their spouse. If that is what works best for your family, then by all means, do it. If that is the decision God leads you to, then follow Him.

But please, for the love of God, let me do the same. Do not harass my children about how their mom should be with their dad. Do not give me that "you're not going to be with him???" speech and look. Please respect our decisions for how to raise our family, and worry about raising your own. Please stop judging my family for how we raise our family.

Thank you and God bless.

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