Photo by Lisa Jay

If you think your beloved doesn’t do enough to help around the house, try this simple experiment: take a pair of gardening clippers and snip that delicate little muscle at the back of their leg known as the Achilles tendon.  Or apply a crowbar to your beloved’s kneecap with considerable force.  Or drop a brick from a great height onto a thronged foot.

It may sound as though I’m advocating torture, but I’m really just trying to say that when your better half is incapacitated, you suddenly realize how much they must normally do around the house without you noticing (or fully appreciating).  As I write this, my husband is in hospital recovering from an operation to his Achilles tendon, after it snapped during a routine bushwalk last week.  Fortunately, he hasn’t been in pain, but this operation has a 12-month recovery period.  This means that for the next few months at least, my husband can’t walk, can’t drive and more importantly, can’t take out the garbage!

So suddenly I’m noticing how much he normally does.  I’m feeling really physically tired just from doing all the physical jobs my husband normally does for me.  For example, I mowed the lawn this week for the first time in ten years.  You may be wondering why I’ve never mowed the lawn before.  It’s because when I was first married my mother gave me an excellent piece of advice:  She said, never start out doing any job that you don’t want to be doing for the rest of your married life.  Hence, I moved the lawn about three times when we were first married, and then we gradually demarcated our roles.

However all that has gone out the window, and now I’m doing everything!  When you’re on crutches you can’t even carry a cup of coffee over to your chair!  So I feel like some kind of 1950s housewife, serving my husband drinks while he sits with his feet up!   Although I don’t think 1950s housewives had to drive their husbands everywhere as well!

I can see there’s only one solution to this predicament.  I’ll have to teach Birdy how to mow the lawn, carry the groceries, vacuum the house and make Daddy’s coffee.  After all, we all have to pull our weight in this family.

Has someone in your family been temporarily incapacitated? Did you find yourself doing everything?  Did it make you appreciate how much they normally do?

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Photo by Lisa Jay