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…”
“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.
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