A while back I was watching a show on E! of the celebrity fitness trainer,Just Jilian and I felt like I was watching myself on the reality show in the form of Jilian’s partner,Heidi. She didn’t come off cheerful,interesting or even as having a charming and attractive personality.
Heidi came off to me as the perfect homemaker. She was fixing the house,redecorating,taking care of toddlers,calling her partner and telling her how much she misses her;telling her about the kids and the dog (was there a dog on the show?) Anyway,I hope you get the point. I didn’t watch it for too long but the little I saw was enough for me to conclude that everything she did was for her partner and kids. Or maybe that’s how the editing made it look.
Seeing myself in her bothered me,bigtime. She did not look happy or even fun to be around. I had just quit my job and moved to Nairobi after years of my husband and I trying to run and grow a family with distance between us. I was on my third pregnancy after having had a stillbirth and at the time and I was coming down heavy on my partner about him spending more time at home,and us going out as a family to do fun stuff with our toddler,yada,yada,yada! I was not taking being a SAHM (stay-at-home-mom) graciously.
I was a whiney wife, basically is what I’m saying. In relationships there are expectations and rightly so,but the whiney undertones present when reminding my partner that he needed to spend a little more time at home was simply sending out the ‘validate me because I’ve forgotten my own value’ kind of vibes. It wasn’t his time away that bothered me,passe. It was that I felt like he enjoyed being away from us. I wanted him to want to be at home! A tall order for the family’s sole breadwinner!
In a relationship,when one partner is winning at what they do out in the world and getting lots of props for it,they will naturally want to spend more time out there and they will do it alot! I know I would! You can’t change that. So what do you do when your partner’s life is like a popping celebrity party at midnight and yours is like a toddler’s birthday party after they’ve eaten the cake and are now overstimulated,cranky and sleepy?
Honestly,there isn’t much you can do to change your partner’s attitude and desire to want to be away without sounding like a killjoy reading out to him from the book of obligations. You can however embrace this time in your life as one that is passing by. Life is afterall made up of seasons. You can also change your perspective on the situation. And here’s how:
- see yourself as a seed that has just been planted. It might be dark right now but if you do your time faithfully, you might never have to do it again.
- buy those mats,and throw pillows,and new curtains,and potted plants and redecorate all you want but do it for YOU. Do it because beautiful surroundings help us into a better mood. Don’t do it in the hope that he will stay at home more or validate your role as a homemaker.
- learn something new. A new skill maybe. Like dancing,playing the guitar… whatever you like! You don’t even have to go out of your house. Just get on youtube and let the learning begin. It will make your spirit lighter and more alive.
- prepare for the next season of your life because it’s coming. You will have to step out at some point when your kids are more independent.
- Write your vision down right now and do little things in pursuit of it until you can go all out in it’s pursuit.
- stay in touch with your support system outside your relationship.
- last but not least,be quiet about your endevours. Here’s why: you need something that is just for you. You already are sharing yourself with your kids and your partner and you need to give yourself to yourself!