Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Tripping Over Each Other

For the past year or so, my husband has worked through the dinner hour six days a week. That left me in charge of the household in many ways. It was a challenging balancing act, but one that I managed to deal with fairly well on most occasions. I really enjoyed preparing good meals for the family, tending to the chores, helping Chris with his homework. Brian would come home to a hot meal and a clean house. It fed my ego well to pull it off every night, and manage to get to the gym and take care of myself. A regular June Cleaver.

Earlier this month, Brian quit his job. He is now home before I am in the evenings. He is also home all weekend long. This is a good thing, right? Right. Then why do I find myself a little resentful and out of sorts?

It isn't easy to give up what you've taken over. I can't ask my husband who spent years as a cook not to make supper. He has the ego, desire and time to do it. It makes no sense whatsoever to wait until I get home to start the process. Even though I am convinced I serve healthier food. And I definitely am neater in the kitchen. I think we are going to have to sit down and talk about this so that we both feel like we are moving in the same direction.

All summer long I missed having Brian around. We couldn't go on family road trips as we had every other summer. But I became accustomed to doing whatever struck my and Christopher's fancy. We fulfilled all the required duties such as grocery shopping, chores, errands and the like. Then we were free to venture into the city to browse, go to museums or Central Park. Now, I have to consider what Brian wants to do. Or, as is more the case, doesn't want to do. I could pretty much MAKE Christopher move around. I cannot do that with Brian. So, I wind up getting irritated about sitting around, and guilty doing things without him. GRRR.

I know this is not rational or healthy. I also know that I need to wrap myself around the fact that we are a family unit, with all members accounted for. I actually am glad for that. The year or more that Brian worked odd hours, there weren't that many days that we were all home together at the same time long enough to enjoy each other's company. By the time Brian came home, Christopher was either in bed or getting ready for bed. Brian would have supper, talk for a few minutes, then fall asleep. So while I ruled the roost, I was also a bit lonely. It's like when your spouse goes on a business trip or something. You stretch out and take up the entire bed. Then they come home, and you have to retreat to just your own side. Takes some getting used to, in both directions. But over time, one can't imagine how it was before. For the control freak (did I mention that is a personality quirk of mine?) the transition is never easy. Sigh.

r.

6 comments:

Kate said...

I had this problem in my marriage at one point. My husband had to work in Wyoming for a whiole summer, and I missed him SO MUCH! However, I got used to doing things my own way, and there was a lot of friction when he got home. we re-adjusted, though. It took a month or two.

SOUL: said...

i could adjust if i didnt have to do dishes :))

Rebecca said...

Kate, good to know :) I know we just need to establish a new routine...

Soul, I don't mind doing dishes. Never did. Give me a kitchen radio, and I'm all set.

Maria said...

Neither Bing nor I are great cooks, but of the two of us, she is better. But, she is messier too.

I am a clean-as-you-go person. She is a make-a-big-sloppy-mess person. And then she has the gall to ask ME to be the clean up crew since she made the dinner.....

And I know what you mean. Bing travels a lot. The first few days she is gone are agony for me and then I adjust and by the time she returns home a week or so later, I am resentful of having to give up sprawling in bed....

Bridget said...

My husband travels a lot too. I had to laugh at you saying you had to get used to being on your side of the bed again. I totally do that too. I sprawl out when I have the whole bed and when he does come home I forget to retreat totally to my side.

The Real Mother Hen said...

I'll do anything to get husband stay out of the kitchen, that includes going to McDonald's 6 times a week!