The Hapless Househusband Reflects On The Good Things...

Finding The Positives...

I have to admit it, househusbanding is not all bad.

It seems lately that I’ve done rather a lot of complaining, which is both dull to read, and not really an accurate picture. There are some great things about being at home, and I don’t just mean in comparison to standing on a street corner with a cardboard sign.

One of the best is that I get to listen to music all day long. I am a Pandora addict, and I can indulge my strange electronica passion, listening to Ulrich Schnauss and Royksopp, without a single “what is that?” (and not in a nice way), from anyone.

I can also go to the bathroom any time I like. Which is fairly often, as I can also drink tea whenever I like. In my previous life, going to the restroom was like being a participant in a bizarre game show, where you have to dodge moving objects and stay upright. Everyone needed “just a minute” of my time, and the chosen minute was too often during my dash to the loo. I was less than twenty feet from relief, but it could take a good half hour to get there. I once had an irate parent follow me into the restroom. When I turned and asked her to excuse me, her response was, “why?” I really do not miss that, so being at home is a genuine relief…

I can also control what I eat much better. I had a habit of delaying lunch until way past when I should have eaten, and then I would go into the staff room and Hoover up every morsel of left-over food, no matter how inappropriate. At home I have a fridge. It has things like fruit and vegetables in it, as well as, my nemesis, cheese. (Is it wrong to love cheese?)

She-who-is-adored got on my case a little while ago, remarking, albeit kindly, that I had left cuddly and was well on the way to gross. I responded with actually doing exercise instead of thinking about it, and being very careful about the quantity, and type of fuel being taken on board. Being home lets me make that a priority, not an afterthought.

Oh, and no bells. For twenty years my day has had a significant Pavlovian component, including getting there before the first bell and leaving after the last bell. Not an actual bell you understand, more a loud annoying unmusical tone that effectively punctuated the day into fifteen-minute segments. Different pace at home entirely. One bell per day, the one that helps me roust She from her cozy nest in the morning. I’d forgotten how stressful those darned things were.

Now it is true that there is always something that needs to be done around the house, but I have the freedom to move the pieces as I see fit, including carving out time for writing. I don’t think I’m the best at time management in this unstructured environment, but the exercising helps (apart from the recovery sessions from overdoing it every now and then), and by comparison it is way, way, less stressful.

The one negative of the househusbanding life I have yet to find a good solution to, is the fact that I sometimes don’t speak to a single person all day, except She. Talking all day, to literally hundreds of people, wasn’t always the easiest thing to do, but something in the middle of feast or famine would be nice. The upside, however, is that people are not shouting at me, calling me the devil incarnate, or asking me ten gazillion questions a day. The number of negative people in my life is down to precisely one family member and I can pretty much avoid her until the holiday season.

Now, it is true that it is difficult to feel particularly good about my situation, and other than the two of you reading this; it is not something I feel comfortable sharing.

As I explained to fellow hubber attemptedhumor, if you spend the day laying bricks, building roads or generally being employed in a classic manly pursuit, you can share your hard day with impunity in the pub in the dying hours of the day. You can sink a few beers with your mates and complain about life, with both the refreshment, and the moan, fully deserved.

Now picture the scenario after one of the said mates asks, “So what line of work are you in then, Chris?”

Different atmosphere right?

Not that I spend my evenings in pubs, but you get the point? I think I would have to go with, “I was a…” or “I’m looking for…” but I will admit to being a yet to be discovered writer, and even unemployed, before bolding stating, “I am a Househusband.”

And I suspect that there is not much in the way of a househusbanding support group out there.

“Hi, I’m Chris, I’m a househusband…”

“Hi, Chris”

“I haven’t vacuumed for three days and the darks are still in the dryer.”

Macho just left the building…

Which is a little unfair when you think about it. Fighting with a truculent vacuum cleaner is no walk in the park. It is certainly the physical equivalent of wrestling with an elephant, and much harder than standing at the water cooler complaining about the boss.

My female reader has made comments such as, “Now you know how hard it is,” and other statements implying that the duties of looking after a home can be strenuous. Damn straight, sister. And I have no under-fives adding to the merry mayhem. So, don’t take my unhappiness at the role as impugning women in any way. My hat is tipped to the domestic divas that choose this lifestyle. Eight months in and I really, really, want out.

Plan B needs to come into play; all the positives about being at home minus the negatives.

How does that work?

Oh yes, you make a boat-load of money…

Dear Hub Reader


If you enjoy this hub, please check out my book,

Homo Domesticus; A Life Interrupted By Housework,

A collection of my best writings woven into a narrative on a very strange year in my life.

Available directly from:

http://www.lulu.com/content/paperback-book/homo-domesticus/12217500

Chris


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Comments 29 comments

attemptedhumour profile image

attemptedhumour 5 years ago from Australia

Your complaining isn't dull at all Chris, your head might be though, now that you are imprisoned in that house of yours. I used to go to the pub after work with my head held high, but now i'm stuck on the couch reading your hubs and wondering what happened to those real mates i used to have. My ex-Brickie mates are not interested in writing and can't read very well either. Modern men such as myself have to work and do a list of chores too. My lovely wife cooked dinner (at tea time) so i washed up, cleaned up the kitchen, hung the washing out, folded up the washing i'd got in and built a gazebo. OK i lied about the gazebo. So i think you should go down the pub with your head held high and tell some very exotic porky pies about your day at the Pentagon. Must dash as the Queen need a cuppa.


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

AttHum,

I have a small boat and belong to very unswanky yacht club. It is full of sailors and fishermen so tale telling is the norm - It certainly keeps me sane!

I never thought how your workmates might react to you writing, especially poetry. I learned very fast when I was a policeman to wrap my real books and newspapers in the outer casing of 'more acceptable' reading (like the Sun), and if anyone asked what (or why) I was reading, I would simply belch, or fart, and let them see the cover...

C


dallas93444 profile image

dallas93444 5 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

After belching and farting, I enjoy your articles!

Flag up and entertaining!


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

dallas,

I love that you read my stuff.

How do you hide the fact that you reading on a computer, I wonder?

Have a keystroke that brings up a spreadsheet or a naked beauty, so no one can accuse you of intellectual pursuits?

Glad I keep you entertained, my pain, your gain, kind of thing :)

C


attemptedhumour profile image

attemptedhumour 5 years ago from Australia

I used to drink with an Irishman called Ricky The Brickie. He used to say. "Now you all know that, i don't tell lies." Followed immediately by a great big massive porky pie. He knew, that we knew, he was lying but he carried on regardless. His stories would have several different endings and would have us in stitches. I'll think about putting some of his outlandish 'lies' into a hub when i'm not up at the pub guzzling beer. As to my work mates, one or two would show an interest, but really only about five percent of people actually appreciate the subtlies of the written word and three percent of those are fellow writers. But we hubbers are preaching to the converted and our efforts are well rewarded. Cheers mate now go and vaccume that canoe out.


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

AttHum,

My mother used to start disagreements with my dad by saying, "You know I can't argue..." drove him to distraction!

Think I'd like Ricky...

C


sueroy333 profile image

sueroy333 5 years ago from Indiana

As someone who has been confined to housewifery by no fault of her own I say "Get out while you can!".

As someone who breaks up the monotony in her life by reading your awesome hubs, I say "Stay!!!"

I'm completely selfish.

Maybe you can get a job as a toll booth operator and bring your laptop. You could have change, and still write!

PS. I love reading the English Humor from you and attempted (successfully) humor. I feel all international and well traveled...


mysterylady 89 profile image

mysterylady 89 5 years ago from Florida

After enjoying your comments on sueroy's Walmart Wedding hub, I decided to check you out. I am going to start following you. Having been an educator for over 30 years, I can see we have a lot in comment. And I love your sense of humor!


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

Sue,

The whole international connection thing is awesome isn't it? AttHum is an expat Brit in Australia, I have hubfriends in Ireland, England and all over the US. It is fascinating to imagine where everyone is in their day in comparison to mine. (Great Geoegraphy/math lesson for Chelsea too...)

I have an interview on Tuesday, and yes I'm torn too...

C


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

mysterylady 89,

I'm very happy to have you on board, thanks for the read,comment and follow. I hope you don't have too much grading to do this weekend because you're 76 hubs behind...

I have no sense of humor at all, I only write incredibly serious stuff, but if I believe people are laughing with me it hurts less than if they were laughing at me.

If you think of laughing as an extra exercise program, there is a whole other benefit for you. I am after all, here to serve...

C


mysterylady 89 profile image

mysterylady 89 5 years ago from Florida

If I were still teaching, I wouldn't have time for hubs, I retired but then spent a year teaching for DoDDS on a military base in Misawa, Japan. I had 150 eighth graders with raging hormones - such a difference from teaching highly motivated students in elective courses in high school and college. I was happy to return to the states!

I especially appreciate a dry sense of humor. You might try checking me out.


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

mysterylady,

Will do...

Scientific Question; How long does it take for your olefactory memory of 180 eighth graders to fade...


sueroy333 profile image

sueroy333 5 years ago from Indiana

Chris- good luck Tuesday,

no wait, I think maybe you should just not go,

no,no, go and blow them away, by that I mean fart a little to accompany every answer during the interview,

no, no don't do that, be all English and posh and get the job

then say "No thank (burp) you".


mysterylady 89 profile image

mysterylady 89 5 years ago from Florida

If only I could forget - not only the obvious but also the odor of perfume, especially after lunch. I thought I had solved the problem by opening all the windows, but one of my students complained to his mommy that he got cold and the assistant principal forbade me from opening the windows any more. Grrr!


Lady Wordsmith profile image

Lady Wordsmith 5 years ago from Lancaster, UK

Oh Chris, I think your complaining is completely justified. Like you say, you don't have any under 5s at home with you to add extra stress and work to your life - but I see my little guys as a plus to this life that I've chosen. I think I'd be bored stiff if I didn't have the kids to look after - what would I do, housework ALL the time? No thanks. Well, no, I'd write all the time. But that would be in my ideal world, where money was no issue!

In reality, as soon as my kids are all at school (just under two years to go) I'm outta here! I'm not going to hang around the house, if I can help it, UNLESS I'm able to hang around the house to write. I doubt that will happen, so it'll be off out to work for me - even if it's only part time. I'm not surprised you want out - it's a blummin' isolating existence.

Good luck with the interview - although I hope it doesn't mean you'll have to stop hubbing. That would be a disaster!

Linda.


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

mysterylady,

A parent complained! How unusual, wonder what that's like...

Oh, yeah huh...


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

Sue,

All English and posh - that's me. And if I said Tuesday, I meant Thursday, so I'm off to a good start there right?

I need my unknown birth parents to have left me a huge sum in their will...

C


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

Lady Wordsmith,

The ability to write during the day is a gift I really treasure, I hope you get to do more of it. It would be incredibly isolating but for all these wonderful comments from readers - talk about a wonderful pick me up. Love it!


Truckstop Sally profile image

Truckstop Sally 5 years ago

I saw SueRoy and mysterylady talking about you, and I had to come visit. Glad I did. Fun hub!


Feline Prophet profile image

Feline Prophet 5 years ago from India

It's definitely not wrong to love cheese - you probably need the nourishment after all that hard work! :D


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

Sally,

I'm gladerer...really happy to have you here, and really appreciate the follow!C


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

Feline Prophet,

Tru dat...though suspiciously mousy style food, right?

Thanks for reading, leaving a comment, and my 99th follow!

Chris


Stan Fletcher profile image

Stan Fletcher 5 years ago from Nashville, TN

There are some parallels to our lives for sure. I kind of consider hubbing my job right now. It's like a real job only without the paycheck. I'm starting to figure out that the paycheck is a big part of the equation....Great read.


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

Stan,

$60.00 in five months won't keep the wolf from the door, but like all addicts, I can't give it up....

C


Lady Blah Blah profile image

Lady Blah Blah 5 years ago from South Carolina

Another great article! Gives me a whole new view of not just the househusband but the devil incarnate. Brilliant! My advice? Hang on to it as long as you can!


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

Lady Blah Blah,

Thanks, I will...


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Yeah Chris ain't it grand. Now you know precisely why I'm loco:-) get hard wood floors btw! Vacuuming sucks!


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

RH,

Like hardwood floors are any better, meet my new friend the swiffer wet jet...

The job will grind your soul to dust...

And then liberally sprinkle you in hard to reach places!

And you say loco like it's a bad thing:)

C


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Yeah - really living in reality would be worse:)

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