This post goes out to all of the women that experience loneliness to a greater degree. It's for the women who rarely experience any reprieve in their homemaking and child rearing. It's for the mother and wife of a husband that works very hard and very long hours. If I could just hug you right now, I would....and hand you a latte.
Our whole marriage my husband hasn't had your typical 9-5 job. The closest job he had like that was at the very beginning of our marriage when he only worked at one small hospital over thirty minutes away from home. Even then, when one chooses to work in the medical field, 9-5 doesn't really exist. It's work, until...kinda hours.
And then, there are emergencies. There are unexpected's. There are times when even your own child's birthday can't be an excuse to leave out and join the party. It just isn't a very forgiving field to work for.
Before you assume my husband is a doctor, I want to clarify that he isn't. But what he does do is very high stress and very vital to the workings of countless medical centers across the southeast.
He's very, very good at what he does. Troubleshooting is his natural gift. It's the way his brain ticks. He not only manages several employees, but he also works his own projects, attends every meeting, and is on the phone CONSTANTLY troubleshooting problems with the other techs over the phone. So essentially he does his own job and just about everyone else's job over the phone simultaneously, amongst other responsibilities.
When my husband comes home, he's done. But it doesn't end there. He then has to take calls and route everyone for the next day's work. This process can take an hour or more.
His hours everyday are "when we need you (could be anywhere from 3am-9am) until the job is done (anywhere from 4pm-1am or completely overnight).
I never, ever know when he's gonna walk through those doors on any given day; Or if he even will.
Its tough. Somedays I handle it better than others. And while I'm used to it, it's not easy, and I'm guessing it never will be.
Its really hard. It's hard to be thankful and grateful and supportive and loving and understanding. I battle all of those countless times a day, every.single.day.
Because, I would love, more than anything, to have a family meal every night. To sit around the table and converse and enjoy home cooked meals that were excitedly prepared to be complete the moment I can expect his presence.
I would love to not have to endure an hour or more of him taking phone calls and "tying up loose ends" when he gets here after the children are in bed. Because, I know he'd rather not do that either. That's not enjoyable to him.
I would love to share bathtime/bedtime/and nighttime routines with the best man I know. My best friend. To laugh, to experience, to tag team those last few hours of the day because I'm just as exhausted as he is...and receive no paycheck and experience no euphoric exhaustion. You know, the kind of exhaustion that one gets when they've successfully accomplished a hearty day of work and noticing results? Yea, no. Depressive exhaustion is more like it. The exhaustion that comes with just surviving all day.
I would love to know that my talking to him at the end of the day wasn't quickly sapping the rest of whatever energy he has left. His brain is fried and his "talking" card is fully hole-punched by the time I'm ready to get my first punch on my own card.
It's lonely. It's depressing. There is no break. And by the time the children make it to bed, I have no "extra" to tackle all of the stuff I couldn't get done in the day with two school-agers, two preschoolers, and a young toddler. None.
Add to that mix chronic fatigue, hormonal issues, and anxiety and fear and it's no wonder I'm ready to bound out of the door when my mother-in-law shows up to give us a couple of hours on the weekend. It's the only time during the week when I feel I can breathe a little. If it wasn't for that...I tear up thinking "what if she didn't offer that"?...I seriously do.
So, for those mamas and wives out there who just are barely hanging on. Who endure a hundred or more hours a week completely and utterly alone. Give yourself some grace. So what if your house isn't a showplace. So what if you give your kids popcorn and apples for supper because you think "what's the point of making a fabulous meal?" when you know your husband won't make it.
It's hard. It's so very, very hard. But it's equally such a blessing to have a husband that does what he can to make a life for his family. When or if you discover the formula it takes to be more happy and supportive than frustrated and lonely, let me know, eh?
If you're a mama whose husband has a great 9-5 job and a predictable schedule with minimal travel, or can work from home, please recognize the blessing you have. I know a lot of you say "working from home" isn't always the blessing it seems to be, but trust me, to a degree, it really is.
It doesn't help that I happen to be completely crazy about my husband and love being around him. Completely.in.love. Miss him so much.
So I challenge you, wife, to make a little extra effort to love on your husband while he's away today. Send that text, make that phone call, send him a cute selfie of yourself that shows you're thinking about him a little extra today. He'll appreciate the love and not the frustration knowing that he is disappointing you again for not making it for supper.
And it'll warm your heart too as you practice unconditional love.
Oh, and Godspeed. 😁😳💗