I mentioned to Paul that there are women who think it is just great that he is taking care of the children. They usually say, “It will be good for him” and “He will really appreciate what you do by the time you get back.”
When he is asked how he is doing in raising five boys and doing the heavy lifting of creating a new venture startup simultaneously, he says, “If I had known it was this easy, I would have asked Jenny a long time ago what she did all day!” I guess you have to know Paul. With a smile he says that he wants the names and phone numbers of these women.
More than feeling satisfied that he is learning to appreciate me, I am spending a great deal of time in awe of my husband who is managing a challenging situation with great capacity and courage.
This weekend I had a jail break and travelled to Monterrey to see Paul and my boys. (Don’t tell my doctor. I swear I wore a mask ALL the time!) It was a heavenly weekend with the favorite men in my life. There were family dinners, a special dinner with friends, watching the kids jump on the trampoline, church, naps and stories, snuggle time, hugs and normalcy. It filled me up and was the most perfect weekend I could have imagined.
My husband plays with the boys, tells them original nightly stories, and listens to them. He does have support there, thanks to the loving help given by Tami, Angelica, Cecia, Justin and our many friends in Monterrey, but Paul is a father, a mentor and a friend to these boys. Paul has been walking to school with Neal every day, listening to his chatter about his friend Jose and his teacher, and helping him pick flowers for Mom, Tami and Angie. The new foosball and air hockey tables look like an extended father/son outing to me, but Paul knows this is a time for the boys to bond with one another.
The weekend confirmed that we had made good decisions both for my health and for the family’s emotional needs. The boys will miss me, but they will spend a unique time with their dad that can never be replaced. Paul’s high emotional I.Q. serves him well. He leads kindly and knows the importance of letting the kids make decisions and mistakes which become powerful personal lessons.
As a father and entrepreneur, there will always be a struggle to balance the split between work and home. The day-to-day decisions like when to come home, when to attend a child’s event, when to take a work call and when to listen to a child will always be a juggling of priorities for any parent, especially one with two full-time jobs. But in all of these efforts at both work and at home, he is supporting his family physically, spiritually, emotionally and mentally. I am forever grateful for all he does for his family. I am lucky to have such a husband. These boys are lucky to have such a father.
He says that he can never do all that he has seen me do for the kids. He says he handles the situation by telling the kids to “wake up, get dressed, get your own breakfast and run to the OXXO and pick me up some milk!” I know better. These kids are in good hands and they will be just fine.