I have a tough time keeping track of my two little ones just being home with no current work responsibilities. It’s fun, but a definite full-time job. I’m not really sure how my wife has worked from home in the past AND taken care of both kids while I was out in the field.
You’d think it’d be easy to get some things done around the house. That hasn’t been my experience over these past couple weeks. I shaved. Once. I mowed the lawn (well my older son did, but I weed-whacked and bought the mower). I did the laundry. Once. I cooked dinner, a few times. Nothing on the cleaning out the garage, closet, or car fronts yet. The bathroom is also still in the same position it was two weeks ago as far as cleanliness…Still on my list though.
My wife: I know there are all these reports about divorce rates skyrocketing during this. Doesn’t apply at my household. We’ve already had that battle. It didn’t take a quarantine. She’s been great. I already know how she is, now I’m just getting her in more steady dosages. I read something somewhere that said this pandemic is like cramming five years of marriage into one. That works well for me. I need to fast-track through a lot of the mistakes I’ve made in the past. What better way than quality time. I’ve found as long as I do a little more than half my part chipping in around the house, she doesn’t hassle me. The only problem is four kids banging their heads off the walls. Most of the time they lash out separately, so it’s not too bad, but every once in awhile they all come together and erupt. Usually when my wife is on an important conference call and needs it quiet. Overall I’ll say she’s been very supportive about me being home. She isn’t critical of the way I do things or what I say. We’ve had one serious conversation about alcohol intake. It was conflicting, but a very supportive conversation from both sides. Which is key. In the past I’ve always been disrespectful during arguments and things blow up. Biting my lip and doing my best to see things from her point of view, while also getting my point of view across in a firm-but-fair way, is an invaluable process. (Again, thank you therapy). Obviously with me being home all the time now the alcohol intake will raise up a touch. I’m not working 8-12 hour days at the moment. Leaves me a little more time in the afternoon. My point: I’m not drinking first thing in the morning, or at noon, or in front of the kids. Her point: You’re drinking more alcohol, just want to make sure there are no underlying issues. Once she confirmed I have been fulfilling all expectations in the marriage department the last couple of weeks, (checked every box) the conversation came to an end. In the past this could’ve been a dangerous zone and a potentially harmful and disrespectful argument. So I guess what I’m ultimately saying here is, in a marital disagreement, listen to the woman, calmly/firmly get your point across, and see where that takes you. Took me almost 3 years of marriage and 5 years of knowing this woman to figure this out.
Now I just wish I was good at it. Always easier said than done and always a work-in-progress. It certainly helps that she’s meeting me in the middle and we openly talk about all this stuff. I don’t have the feeling that I’m out on an island.
Also, my back feels a lot better being home.