Surviving LOTS of Quality Time

Hey, this just in: When your husband is laid off, he’ll be home a LOT.

Remember when you were newly married and you were on your honeymoon and were together 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and when you went to sleep at night, you couldn’t wait to wake up so you could spend some more quality time together and just be together talking and dreaming of all the talking and togetherness you would be doing for the rest of your life together?

Yeah.

Well, this is not at all like that.

Oh, wait. You came here for brutal honesty, right? ‘Kay. Just checkin. Carry on.

This togetherness is more of a learning that, no, I do not need help boiling water for the spaghetti, for him, and that there is a nice way and a not so nice way to communicate that no, I do not need help boiling water for the spaghetti, for me.

And re-learning that.

Every day.

Because I am a slow learner.

And because every day there is someone in my kitchen who used to be somewhere else. Doing important things. And now he wants to do important things where he is. In my kitchen.

Honestly, it’s not that I don’t want him here or that he doesn’t want to be here, it’s just that if we were really honest, we both wish that he had an important place to be other than the kitchen, making important decisions other than how to help get lunch ready.

But he doesn’t.

This layoff thing is draining in more ways than I first imagined it would be.

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Comments

  1. I’ve heard the same adjustment is made upon retirement, which is why Walmart has greeters. :-)

    I’m praying for the job that God is preparing to be brought to your husband’s attention very soon – according to our understanding of “soon” – and for your husband to recognize that it’s the job God has been preparing!

  2. My husband was let go after 18 years in March still trying to figure it all out ourselves. You have to get to know each other again on another level with kids! Not always easy! It is also hard because (HONEST) you still work your tushy off and he not as much. He is trying to find out how to fit in our everyday life! So when he sits watching the History channel you want to choke him=)! But I keep thinking it will all be over soon=) I hope! Then you almost feel guilt for wanting to choke him? I have felt every emotion and am struggling with each.

  3. I totally understand where you are coming from! We have only been married for (almost) seven years but most of those seven years were spent with him deployed and out to sea! The last three he has been here on shore duty, home almost every day, shorter hours and always under foot! It’s been a huge change for us because we are used to doing without. Now our three years are coming to a close and we will have to adjust to him being gone A LOT has he heads back to a submarine.

  4. I so know your pain, while dealing with my hubby’s 4th lay off in 2 years, I was beginning to wonder if I could grow old with HIM! Don’t get me wrong I love my hubby, but having him here did not send the right message to anyone in our household.

    It does get better, eventually, and your bonus is that it seems your husband wants to help out with things and if I understood things earlier, is somewhat of a handy man. Mine wasn’t and isn’t and really needed to get out of our bedroom for a purpose.

    Praying for you and your hunny.

  5. Oh this made me laugh!! I had a similar situation when our first child was born. Hubby was going to take two weeks off work – I sent him back after one!

    Praying that work will be released to you quickly, and that you will find good humour with each other during the wait.

  6. 13 years ago hubby was out of work for 2 years. With 2 children at home and no work in site, I went back to work and he stayed home and home schooled the kids. After me being out of the work force for 10 years (this was when computers were showing up in the office)
    The neat thing was that dad got to bond with the kids in ways that he couldn’t working full time. Dad got know his kids better and the kids got to know dad better.
    He finally found work in another field and I came back home.
    (All things worked together)
    PS: it sounds like hubby needs to be needed. :-)

  7. :-DDD

    I just have to laugh at these comments because I know how it feels.

    How sweet he wants to help boil water. Yet, I think it must be such a worthless feeling to sit at home all day, not sure what to do, because what you do know how to do…is no longer an option. Build him up Connie! I am sure you are in your own ways. Maybe you could let him bake a cake! It’s a long term task and you never know, he might enjoy decorating it. Any birthdays coming up?

  8. I can identify a little bit, I think. My husband works from home. His office is upstairs, so he’s out of circulation most of the day, but he IS around for meals. It took a lot of adjusting, especially at the beginning when he would ask a question about what I was doing. We got it figured out, and now he’s much more of an actual HELP than a hindrance. ;-) I hope you don’t have long enough together to get used to it – I hope your husband gets a new job ASAP!!

  9. {{HUGS}}

    Since Bill is a teacher, our summers are like that. Now he wants to learn to cook so he follows me step for step. What happened to personal space?

    Praying for your sanity.

  10. Elizabeth says:

    Thank you.

  11. Chrissy says:

    I understand about the quality time aspect of being together. My husband is a school teacher and is off all summer. So it’s quite a change for me to adjust to him wanting to help around the house. I just pray each morning that God would guard my tongue (because sometimes I can say things that are rather mean) and help me to be a joyful wife .

  12. I understand perfectly!! My husbands work is very seasonal–so during the winter he’s in my kitchen “helping” me too. Good thing about it is that you do get used to it after a while. :)

  13. This is the EXACT topic I have spoke to several people about during the beginning of a lay off. My husband was laid off and was home for just shy of a year. Looking back I can say now “it was the most AMAZING year of our lives”. That year tested us in every area of our marriage, our faith, our parenting….everything. We went from seeing each other 4-5 hours a day to 24 hours a day. I went from being the “full time” parent to sharing the role 50/50 and we went from believing “in” God to BELIEVING God. our marriage is now unbreakable…we made it through the lay off, we can make it through ANYTHING. And above all, our faith was so strongly tested and we were so rewarded. God showed us his grace in every aspect of our lives. He convicted us, and though it was rough, it changed us forever.
    Hang in there girly :)

  14. My husband would love to expand his home business so he could quit his day job, but I really don’t know how I would handle his being here all the time. When he is a work I rule, but with him here more, I wouldn’t!! And if he is here working I would most likely be frustrated by not having him available to REALLY be here. It would be a huge adjustment, but I am sure God would see us all through it. Praying that you will all be creative with husband’s helpful attitude and that he gets a job soon!

  15. Ever since my hubby went into business for himslef, he is home a lot more too. Unfortunately, the kids seem to think that if Daddy is home, well by golly it must be a holiday!! That is my biggest struggle…getting the little varmints to do something besides wrestle with Dad.
    I have been known to say, “Honey, darling, I love you and I love having you here. But you gotta find something to do!!” At which point he finds something to do. LOL!
    Other than that, we love seeing him more than we ever have during the day. And I will admit, when he walks in unexpectedly in the middle of the day, it helps hold us ALL more accountable with our schoolwork!

  16. My husband lost his business a couple of years ago when the economy was first going to heck. He was here for 11 months with us and it was SO nice to have him. He loves to cook, and I was more than happy to let him do it :o) It was a nice break for me. The only crappy part was that now that he had all of this time to get some household projects done, we no longer had the money to do them, lol!
    It wasn’t all roses though. There were days when I’d see the bills piling up and wished he’d apply for one more job, or make one more phone call. It did get frustrating. His downfall was that he was a self made man. He owned a multi-million dollar construction company, but didn’t have a degree. So when he’d apply for jobs that he could do, he didn’t have that little piece of paper to go with it. Then he’d apply for jobs that didn’t require the degree and they’d tell him that he was overqualified! Ugh!!! He finally begged Schwans to let him be a delivery driver and promised not to leave for at least a year. Now he’s been doing that for 1.5 years a loves not having all the stress. He works and comes home. He not longer lives on his cell phone 24/7. Their benefits are great, especially for big families, and the pay isn’t so bad either. We are very thankful for it :o)

  17. Oh, man. I feel like that every weekend, I can’t imagine feeling like that every day! Thanks for sharing, and I hope he gets a job sooooooooon!!!

  18. My husband travels for work. But when he is not traveling he is home. For the last 6 years both he and I have worked from home. I am not gonna lie…I look forward to when he travels.

  19. I LOVE this note! I laughed out loud. My husband has been underemployed (substitute-teaching and life-guarding) for 9 months, but for the first 4 months he worked very little. He drove me nuts! I’m very glad that he’s working 5-6 days a week again, while still looking for work. As we’ve adjusted to the new routine, it’s also nice when he can get out to hang out with his guy friends for a little bit or go running. I also gave him the job of putting our toddler to bed while I nurse our infant, and that has become a very special time for them. He’s always helped with the dishes and done the laundry, so no complaints there. Being productive helps us all keep our sanity. :)

  20. Natalie says:

    My husband is really good at folding laundry. With a bunch of little kids, we do 1-3 loads a day, so when he’s home, we’re actually on track!! I have to say, I love having him home when he can be home because the house ends up being clean, kids are busy showing him stuff, and I have minutes to myself. Oh, and though things aren’t done like I do them, it’s still so nice to look outside at a laundry line full of wash that I didn’t have to hang :-) (Even if they are crinkly-hung up! LOL) If you could find a few housework projects that your hubby can do (like dishes, laundry, window washing, sweeping, mopping), or even things that you’ve always wanted to have done (emptying out the basement, etc.) that don’t cost money, maybe you could just make a “honey-do” list for him, so he’ll have his own “schedule” to complete.

  21. Valarie says:

    Oh Connie – I can totally relate. When my husband was out of work, it took us a long time to be honest with each other. I wish I would have been “honest” earlier into the layoff. Too much frustration on both our parts showed to our kids, even though we “never” let them know our true feelings. I find out now, two years later, that our kids felt very scared that we would end up divorcing. (that never enter either of our minds, but kids think differently). My kids (the two still at home) were in high school and still thought that.

    A few things we will do different if this ever happens again…
    1. Tell him my boundries for him. The kitchen is my territory. If I want him to make dinner, lunch, breakfast, etc, I will let him know.
    2. He needs to tell me when he “needs” to be doing something, i.e. cook, laundry, clean, etc. Sometimes I took it as I wasn’t doing something good enough or quick enough, when in fact he was feeling really down and need to keep busy.
    3. FAMILY MEETINGS! Kids need to be able to share their feelings (more than the parent’s sometimes realize). Parent’s need to share expectations, money issues, food issues, etc.
    4. Lots of Family prayer time!

    Praying this time comes to an end quickly for you all!

  22. My husband works from home and has for the last two years. The first few months when he was unemployed and then starting up were very strange. It was difficult to get used to him being at home. The time when he was without work was worst as I often didn’t want him to help as I thought that he should be making applications not helping me. He was working hard on the applications but needed to do something else occasionally.

  23. Hi,
    I know where you are! A few years back my husband was laid off and fell into a bit of a stupor. His new at home schedule was not at all like our homeschool schedule! He would get up a couple hours after we had begun our day and want everyone to have breakfast with dad!! It was totally disrupting to our school day. It is a tough adjustment, for everyone. I hope your gets back to work soon. It’s more than just a paycheck coming in!

  24. My husband hasn’t been laid off, but we still have this “problem.” Five seconds after I’ve checked something in the oven, he has to look, too. And he can’t help stirring whatever pot is on the stove, regardless of when I’ve last stirred it. However, I must admit that having three little children has helped with all of this because now I can ask him very nicely to take the children out of the kitchen and entertain them.

  25. My hubby has been home for over a year now. At first it was wonderful to have him around all the time, but we totally reached the point where we just wanted our personal space and time again. We established rules for what is his job and what is mine. For instance, I can’t stand him loading the dishwasher so he empties it and I load it. He does the actual washing and drying of laundry and I do the folding. Every few weeks I make a list of things that need to be accomplished around the house, anything on that list is fair game for him to attack. I’ve found that just building him up verbally doesn’t do nearly for him what allowing him to feel accomplished and successful because he DID something does for his emotional well-being. I can remind him 12 times a day that he isn’t a failure, that it’s God’s timing for this unemployment, that God has a perfect plan better than ours, and that he’s my hero and I love him; but if I don’t give him anything to do other than sit on the computer and watch tv or play video games – he’s still going to FEEL like a failure. He’ll know the TRUTH that he isn’t but that doesn’t change the way he feels. Praying you find a balance so you don’t go crazy because it is a learning curve.

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