Is This Your Wake Up Call?

If this picture doesn’t seem quite right, then you are on to something. If it causes you to laugh, squirm, or look away in disgust, that is completely understandable. Yes, this picture is an adaptation of the cover photo for Adele’s #1 hit song “Hello.”

Adele original

C’mon, you know the chorus “Hello from the other side…”

Almost everyone I know has belted it out in the car, in the shower, or in their head via their workout playlist.

“Hello” had a record 1.1 million downloads in its first week. What caused this song to be so powerful? Let me tell you why it has been so powerful for me.

If you can stomach looking at this picture again you might notice a certain blue eyed, red haired, freckled nose right in the middle of Adele’s eyebrows, lips, and hair. Yep, it’s me.


Because the first time I heard this song I realized that I was hearing some of my story right in the middle of Adele’s song.

For seven years I came home almost every night to an amazing greeting from these little girls.

The Girls

When I walked in the door from a long day at work these girls came running with planet-sized hugs and Grand Canyon-sized smiles. I was their hero.

My amazing wife was home, balancing work and being a full time mom.  A truly impossible task if you feel alone.

This past August when we moved our family across the country, Araya (my wife) and I decided to switch roles. She would be the primary worker while I cared for our four kids and finished my last term of graduate school.

This was my “Hello from the other side” moment.

For the past 5 months I have been a full time stay at home dad and a full time graduate student. A truly impossible task if you feel alone.

In the midst of blow out diapers, a whining dog, a kitchen full of dishes, arguing kids, snacks to be packed, breakfast to be made, laundry to be done, basketball games to coach, homework to check, hair to brush, teeth to brush, and… well, you get the picture. Adele’s song just kept playing in my head.

“Hello from the other side...”

Being home with our young children is the other side. This is what my amazing wife has been doing for the last seven years! I get angry, irritable, sharp-toned, and want to hide in the bathroom after seven days.

She was the hero and this was my wake up call.

 I woke up to the reality of Philippians 2:3,

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourself”

Did she feel alone everyday? No. Do we have a great marriage? Yes. Could I do a lot better? Definitely. This week I asked her for five things I could do to value her more. Here is what she said;

1-Check in with me during the day. Unexpected texts and calls mean more than you know.

2-Jump right in when you walk in the door. Fold some laundry, empty the dishwasher.

3-Thank me for the specific things I do. The dishes, the laundry, cleaning the house.

4-If I want to go out with my friends just say yes with a smile.

5-Be gracious and speak tenderly when the house is a mess, and “nothing got done.”

Is this your wake up call? Do you know how your significant other is really doing? Maybe it’s time to have a “Hello from the other side” meeting this week.

Next Sunday is part 2 of "Is this your wake up call?". Find out how this journey has changed our family dynamics, and made me a better parent. My hope is that it might help you to.