And no, I don’t mean I want him to move out. Allow me to explain; which is the whole reason I’m writing this because I am not quite sure I understand it myself.
My husband is a city transit operator. A bus driver. He’s been part of the union for a little over a year and thus has little seniority. As is usual with unions, he bids for jobs on a quarterly basis. Being of little seniority, he doesn’t usually get them and works on the spare board. Being on the spare board means he’s given 2 days off per week (and those days can differ with each week) which are set for the week and then works whatever shift they give him from day to day.
My issue with this is this: though he frequently gets weekends off, which is good, he works split shifts with random amounts of time in between runs so he is back and forth from home to work to home at random, never-the-same-twice times. For me, a person who needs to set a schedule and make a routine for every day in order manage my days and get things accomplished, this makes things quite difficult.
Today was the day that Brad could sign up for a shift. I was really hoping he’d get one. And he did! But I am really not happy with the shift he got. He’ll work 2 hours in the morning, seeing our 6-year-old for maybe a half an hour then, then he’ll be home for nearly 5 hours and then back to work for the late afternoon and early evening, not getting home till after she goes to bed.
He will have Sunday and Monday off, which is good when it comes to our daughter. But home for 5 hours is not good for me.
I’ve been thinking all day about why that is.
I sort of have an idea but am not sure if I can explain it.
I am a stay-at-home mom/housewife. By choice and by necessity; read any of my previous posts over the last few months and you’ll see why (by the way, if you have been reading them I’ll let you know that today has been a pretty good day, probably partly because last night was a fairly good sleep).
Have I been a stay-at-home mom before? Yes. Many times. More than I’ve been a working mother.
Have I been a housewife before? Well….define housewife. Do you mean a wife who stays in the house and cooks supper in the evening. Yes. If you mean a wife who actually makes a home for her husband and children…not so much. I mean, throughout my first marriage, I kept the children fed & relatively clean, arranged the furniture and kitchen, managed (poorly) the finances, attempted to pay the bills (not much money and I wasn’t very good at prioritizing or spending properly), and did laundry (only when I ran out of clothes) and dishes (only when I ran out of dishes). I was a lousy house cleaner, spent most of my time watching television while sucking down coffee and smoking pack after pack of cigarettes, and most certainly wasn’t submissive to my husband.
That was me as a housewife in what I usually refer to as my old life.
I’m quite a different person now. I’m certain I had my mental disorder back then, but I found God again and I’m a whole lot older. I’m a very different person now.
What I really want to do, and I’ve written about this before, is become a woman of Proverbs 31. I want to be a homemaker.
At first, I couldn’t help but balk at almost every aspect of it. Keep the house clean? Nobody cares if I do that. Nobody would appreciate it. So why bother? And that was and sometimes still is my attitude about everything. Why bake nice desserts when I will put in all that work only to have everyone pig out on it (as what happens when you have teenage boys) with no thanks or gratitude of any kind for my effort?
I guess part of the reason I feel that way is because my primary love language (besides acts of service) is Words of Affirmation. I need to be told well done, or thank you, or you look pretty. I need it very much. I seldom heard it as a child, I never heard it from my first husband and almost never from my current husband. I never hear it from my children, but since when have children shown gratitude to their parents for anything? I’m sure I didn’t, so I try not to let that bother me.
But I digress. I was explaining why I was a lousy home maker before and why I struggle with it now. I will get to what this has to do with my husband being out of the house, I promise.
Like I said, I didn’t want to do anything housewife-y because I felt (with good reason) that it wouldn’t be appreciated. There was also the matter that I was supposed to be some sort of brainiac and as such I often felt that being a housewife was beneath me. I also, however, had neither the inclination nor desire to put in the work to become any type of paid brainiac. I know the reasons why I didn’t try to fulfill my potential but I’m not going to say, except that part of it was that I was lazy and didn’t know how to work. School work had always come fairly easily to me, so with the exception of the mundane Saturday chores and cooking meals on occasion, I didn’t learn about the rewards of good, honest work. And that is something I still don’t really know how to do.
And now we’re coming to the whole point of this blog post. We’re not there yet, but we’re getting close.
God has been changing my heart. I’ve been reading tons of blogs and articles and books on being a good, submissive, housekeeping wife. Blogs and books like from Proverbs 31 Ministries, Roo Mag, and Glynnis Whitwer, just to name a couple (seriously, there’s a bunch more than that). There’s also Time Warp Wife which is a blog I don’t get that much out of, but her book, on the other had, is something else. I bought for my Kindle The Good Wife’s Guide: Embracing Your Role as a Help Meet by Darlene Schacht, the lady who runs and writes for the Time Warp Wife blog. I bought that book back on May 2, and I read it immediately. My thoughts at first were, Really? That’s a whole lotta work with no point to it or satisfaction from it. Like I said, that was back in the beginning of May.
I have prayed that I would find some point and desire to be a proper homemaker. And, in Sharon-type fashion, I’ve crammed as much information about being one down my throat as I could.
And God has been changing my heart. I reread a large portion of Darlene’s book just the night before last. I reread her house keeping schedule. And instead of feeling the usual balk at it, I kept thinking things like Well, I’ll have to change what she schedules for Thursday to Tuesday, but the rest of the week would work.
How wild is that?! It might seem like nothing to you, but seriously, that’s huge! Never in a million years did I think I would ever approve of a schedule, that I would set for myself, to clean my house!! Never. Clean house regularly? Me? That’s insane!
But the desire is starting to form in my heart. Even recently, it’s started to bug me when the bed was not made. My husband doesn’t know what to do with that. I’m the one that got him out of the habit of making the bed in the first place.
It’s starting to change within me.
We’re almost to the reason I want my husband out of the house.
I know and have resigned myself to the fact that I have to learn how to work. To work at maintaining my home and serving my family. I have been married and/or a mother for 19 years and have never really done that. If you’ve read all of my blogs or have known me for the last 20 years, you’ll know that there is some valid reason for not having been a very good housekeeper – I could barely walk, much less mop a floor, for nearly 10 years. Physically I’m doing much better now, and they make cleaning products so much easier to use that, with the exception of being allergic to a lot of cleaners, I don’t really have the physical excuse anymore. There’s bound to be something I’m not allergic to, or maybe I’ll just start cleaning with lemon juice and vinegar (I’ve been reading lots of DIY stuff and how to make homemade cleaners and such on blogs too – check my Pinterest or Twitter for the ideas I like – they both have the same username and you can click on the link to the right for Twitter).
I know this is dreadfully long, but at least it’s not morose, so bear with me. I’m getting to the point.
So, we’ve established that I need to learn how to work. And this is why I need my husband out of the house. Gimme a minute and I’ll tell you why.
I think weird. I don’t mean that I think weird thoughts (though, I guess I do at times) but that my process of thought is weird. And it’s gotten weirder as I’ve gotten older. In order to learn something new, I have to find my groove. That’s what I call it (got it from Pauly Shore actually). My groove. My method of internalizing something or just figuring out how to do something. I have no idea if this is disorder-related or not. Hmm, something to ponder sometime. But, in order for me to learn, I have to find the right way to learn it. And it’s not so easy to figure that out sometimes. I takes some real effort sometimes for me to be able to wrap my brain around simple things. That’s why I say about myself that I can figure out the obscure but the obvious with fly right past me.
I don’t know why I’m like this. Y’know, I think it probably is somewhat disorder-related. Perhaps with all the attempts to tune out the bad emotions and bad memories and such, as I am not even able to do anymore (which is why all my recent posts have been so horrible but on the upside how we found out what was wrong with me), maybe I just kind of tuned out everything concrete. Or turned everything that was concrete into soup or something. I mean, I’ll tell ya that on my bad days I can’t make sense out of anything. A simple recipe, even one I’ve made before, will confuse me. It’s been very frustrating and kind of scary. I feel like a stroke victim or something. I’ve written in previous posts about how I feel like so many things like dreams and ambitions and plans, have literally just fallen out of my head. And it still feels that way sometimes. I can’t remember anything unless I write it down. And I still won’t remember, because I won’t remember to look at what I’ve written. It sounds kind of humorous, but it’s really quite frightening.
Now on to the point…really, this is it.
I am embarrassed about this and fear that I will fail. A lot. Fear of failure is one of my biggest issues. But I’m also embarrassed by how out-to-lunch I am. I’m embarrassed by this disorder I have. I know, of course, that I shouldn’t think this way, but I do. And I am working on it. But I have a great deal of troubles trying to do new things under scrutiny. Even if I’m not being scrutinized, I can’t have the presence of another there.
I feel like a fool and a loser most of the time, but I feel safer trying new things if I know no one is watching me. I don’t feel safe as a fool and a loser when other people are around. Not even my husband. We have a less than ideal marriage, and with my recent breakdown and learning of this disorder, things are precarious. In my husband’s defense I’ll say that he has been much more supportive in the past few weeks. He let’s things go instead of arguing with me and humors me with my silly ideas. That helps keep the peace and makes it easier for everyone. But most of the time I feel that he’s only still here because he made a covenant before God. If he wasn’t a Christian, he’d be gone. It’s by God’s grace he’s still here. I’m not too sure love has anything to do with it anymore.
Can you tell that I’ve continued writing this the next day after another night of no sleep? Well, I had one good day yesterday.
But all that foolishness, on top of my need for routine and my desire to find some quiet time – and like we’re talking at least a 2 hour stretch – to do in-depth Bible study and work through some of the wonderful devotional books I have (like A Confident Heart and The Resolution for Women among many others) is going to be impossible to do with my husband home for 5 hours during the day.
So yes, I’d like my husband out of the house. Hopefully we’ll be able to figure something out.
If you have any ideas, by all means, share them with me.