Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Confessions of a Stay at Home Wife

Jacek Mierzejewski: Portrait of his housewifeImage via Wikipedia
I never planned to be a stay at home wife. My plans for my future always included a career and working. So when I became disable by my multiple chronic illnesses, I entered new and unfamiliar territory: the land of the housewife.

Making this situation worse was the absence of meaningful pursuits to make staying at home purposeful and rewarding. We had failed in our family building pursuits to date and any further plans got put on hold when I became disabled. I didn't have the energy or know-how to start a blooming work-at-home business and problems with my hands made creating a handmade Etsy empire not feasible.

Quite frankly, there were, and continue to be, days when getting out of bed is the biggest accomplishment of my day.

I also didn't anticipate the huge impact staying at home would have on my relationship with my husband. This impact was most apparent at one particular time of day: the hour when my husband came home from work.

Over the past seven years, I have learned from experience and trial and error what NOT to do when my hubby gets home.

You see, I am at my best at the time of day my hubby gets home. This is my "get it done" time. I am raring to go and anxiously waiting for him to walk in the door and help me with the tasks that require his assistance.

This is a stark contrast to where he is. In all fairness to him, when he walks in the door he is tired, hungry and sometimes really stressed out. Which means these states of being need to be gently addressed and allowed to dissiapate before he can plug into life at home.

Here is what I have learned from experience:


  1. asking him to do something the minute he comes in the door
  2. subjecting him to my bad mood
  3. engaging him in solving problems
  4. listing all the things I need him to do before bedtime
  5. making him jump back into the car right away to run an errand
  6. telling him the cat barfed or the dog peed and then asking him to clean it up
  7. sharing any bad news received via email, phone or mail during the day, especially when I am still majorly upset about the news myself
  8. complaining when he comes home late
  9. carelessly making any comment that gives the impression that I don't value his work and its contribution to our household
  10. failing to greet him kindly when he walks in the door

Relationships are hard work, even under the best of circumstances. I find that if I follow these guideline diligently, my relationship with my hubby and his transition from work to home become much more pleasant experiences for both of us.

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Nicole said...

Excellent tips! My husband works from home, so I see him when he's on his breaks and lunch. But I agree, I can't bombard him when he's off. Just like when I used to work, I wanted time to unwind first thing when I got home. Great thoughts!

Felicia Fibro said...

Haha, as soon as you said "not to do when my hubby gets home" I was smiling. That was an adjustment for me as well! I think of all these things I want to tell him or ask about and I used to lay it all out at once. Now I try to wait until we're at least sitting down at the table eating. This was, of course, after The Helpful Hubby pointed out that saying it all when he got home made it stressful for him. Great list!