Suzanne Hadley Gosselin: My husband was superdad while I was on a trip—That’s why this shocked me

Not long ago, I took a birthday trip with a girlfriend and left my husband, Kevin, home with the kids, ages 1, 3, 5 and 7. As a former barista (and now family pastor), he excels at handling the crazy chaos of our home and caring for the kids.

Still, I was a bit apprehensive about leaving for four days during a work week when the kids had school.

I shouldn’t have been concerned, though. He totally crushed the whole single-dad thing. Every time I checked in via Facetime, the kids were obviously thriving. He got the older kids off to school each morning, took them to swimming lessons, and even took all four to the grocery store (something I avoid doing at all costs).

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When I returned home, the house was clean and four excited children stood on the porch ready to greet me.

After many hugs and kisses were exchanged, Kevin said: “We make a good team.” “Oh yeah?” I asked, lifting the baby to my hip.

“Yeah,” he said. “I don’t think I could have held on for much longer without you.”

Sometimes meeting all the demands of raising young kids can seem pretty impossible. But most challenges in life—at least the ones worth going after—are a process, not something we quickly attain.

His words surprised me. I was utterly impressed with how he’d managed everything while I was gone. From appearances, it seemed he’d actually surpassed my normal level of productivity, which admittedly slows to a snail’s pace on some days.

His affirmation that I was important to our family warmed my heart.

I am so aware of my shortcomings. My inability to complete projects that have been sitting undone for months. My lack of patience with my kids (especially on Sunday mornings). The never-ending battles with my kids over eating nutritious food, not just another bowl of cereal. I’m painfully conscious of all the areas where I could be doing better as a mom.

My husband’s words reminded me that the ways I’m daily investing in my children and being a grounding force in our home is vitally important. The loads of laundry washed, the simple instructions delivered over and over, the meals cooked, the hugs given—these small gestures add up to something big—something beautiful. 

Sometimes meeting all the demands of raising young kids can seem pretty impossible. But most challenges in life—at least the ones worth going after—are a process, not something we quickly attain.

When my role as a mom feels unimportant, I need to remember the goal: I am raising children to know God and become adults who make a difference in this world.

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I was delighted that my husband noticed my contribution to our family, but there are many times where not a living soul notices all that I’m doing—the laundry, the scrubbing, the wiping, the snuggles, the dressing, the driving.

In those moments, I can be sure that my Father in heaven notices. And He’s cheering me on as I do this important work. I never have to doubt that what I’m doing matters.