In another life I set my alarm early, for 8 am, so I could get up and not rush to get to Crossfit at 9. After my workout, I zoomed home to get lunch ready for my husband by 11:30. My goal was typically to be showered and have my eyebrows drawn on. The afternoon was spent doing chores. Dinner was ready around 6, and Spencer and I hung out for the rest of the evening.
Now my day isn’t so simple. I wake up at 5, go to the gym, get ready for work for an hour, possibly do chores, drive there, be there NINE hours. Come home. Somehow dinner is ready when I get there around 7:30 and then I’m dragging myself off the couch to get ready for bed around 9:30.
“I miss not having to go to work,” I told my husband. “I bet you do,” he replied. I knew I would miss it, and thus tried to embrace my joblessness. Being a stay at home wife with a college degree and no children is an anomaly. I loved it more than I expected to, but not having control over being unemployed also made it an unpleasant experience at times.
As I described above, my day to day life has drastically changed. I have 45 less hours a week to take care of my house and my husband. I have 45 more hours a week that I have to be socially acceptable to others. That in itself wears me out. I have to say this transition not been easy. I can’t keep my house like I used to and my emotions are now affected only by things within the walls of our home. I used to feel like some sort of domestic hero and now I’m a working woman who needs “help” around the house and things like “a break.”
I have had to work hard to achieve some sort of balance so as not to break up my marriage. One of the first issues was the chores. It was hard to transition my husband into helping when he hadn’t really had to help for a year. I tackled that in phases. It was still strategic, but still kind of a trainwreck. I didn’t immediately want to give him a list of things to be responsible for because I didn’t want him feeling like I was being his mom and telling him what to do. I started by asking him to do specific things, and then a general plea to address things that need to be done, like throwing away a used napkin that’s been on the coffee table for two days. Myself, I started trying to at least do dishes in the mornings, then push through and get some cleaning done after dinner before powering down for the night. Other than that, I have to just deal with the fact my house isn’t going to be as clean as it used to.
I could have Spencer share responsibility for meal planning, but something about working all day and then being served canned chicken and Uncle Ben’s 90 Second rice doesn’t make me feel excited. Also, I do enjoy cooking. I haven’t gotten to the point of meal prepping on Sundays, but I do prep. In the beginning, I once found myself up at 1 am trying to cut the skin off a pork shoulder to put it in the crockpot. That was when I realized my life was spiraling out of control. Now, I prep dinner before work and give Spencer instructions for finishing it, I try to make something in the crockpot at least once a week, and throw in something for Spencer to grill since he’s home from work before me.
Next I had to reconcile the fact that I couldn’t attend Crossfit anymore. This was a loss in terms of opportunities to interact with people I had something in common with, and of course getting good workouts. I got off too late to go after work and was not about to hike 20 minutes down the expressway to attend a 5 am class. To be honest though, I was ready for a break from Crossfit, so I wasn’t broken up about not going, just inconvenienced.
Initially, I was trying to do Insanity or run before work, or work out after work, but one day I found myself dreading getting off work because I didn’t want to have to force myself to exercise once I got home. I eventually had to find a program from bodybuilding.com and commit to getting to the gym at 5:30am. This has actually turned out to be a great experience. I love how it feels to get my workout done before my counterparts are even awake. I feel like I have accomplished something with that alone, and also have finally been able to achieve results in my physique that I wasn’t able to attain with 5 days of Crossfit per week.
I mentioned having to be around people being a difficult transition. It can still be a challenge. I am an introvert. I enjoy solitude and feel drained when I’m with people too much. I feel I have to work hard to be understood. Sitting in a training room with 15 other people for 9 hours a day had me spent. Not to mention the fact that I don’t have much in common with my coworkers. Most have children, most are older than me, and few have any interests in common with me. They are nice people, but it is hard to feel included. Apart from having to try at life all day, I now have to get dressed and follow instructions everyday. After 9 hours of all of that, I’m tired!
Despite the struggles and the fact I’m no longer good at texting (or blogging), I have a paycheck now! AND best of all, I no longer have to LOOK for a job, which is THE WORST. I’m here and I will make the most of this opportunity. The days when I wonder where I will go next or if I will succeed, I just remember that the fact I’m even sitting in that building is a blessing. It still feels like it was a matter of chance that I got the job. I never want to forget that. “But for the grace of God, there go I.” Me stressed, tired, and over exposed is better than me at home on indeed.com with no bra on sitting in the same spot on the couch for 3 hours. Stay at Home Wife to Go To Work Wife has been an interesting transition, but as with everything else, I surely did adapt.