As part of the Silicon Valley Moms Blog July book club, I read What Happened to the Girl I Married? by Michael Miller. The great news is that it's a quick read. (Seriously quick. I read it in a day and I'm a WAHM with no childcare over the summer.) The bad news is that it hit a little too close to home. The book chronicles "one man's journey into his wife's life at home to find her and repair their relationship." In many ways I relate to the author's wife. I feel like an unappreciated, unsupported single mother during the work week. I never envisioned, planned, or expected my life to turn out the way it has. I was a successful workaholic, and now, not so much. So I resent it. No, not "it." I resent my husband for allowing this to happen - because I can't very well face blaming myself now, can I?
Though I have to think, if you get to a point where you're unhappy enough, you'll do something about it. As I read the book, I encountered the idea of women being perceived as victims trapped in their situations. When to me, being depressed from becoming a housewive is one situation where exit signs are clearly marked. Unable to find an hour to focus on you and think clearly in peace and quiet? Hire a babysitter so you can regroup or tackle tasks uninterrupted! Feeling like you've lost your sense of purpose constantly re-doing the same chores or carpool routes each day? Apply for a job! Donate your time and energy to a community service project or charitable organization to help find your "mojo" and reconnect with that feeling of defined accomplishment that you may be missing. Unable to keep up with the perpetual piles of laundry and dishes and toys? Then hire a cleaning service or better yet, don't buy so many clothes, gadgets or toys! Go through your belongings and donate some of these items away. It's easier to maintain control and organization over fewer things.
I've "manned-up" myself recently. Our living room and dining room have been notoriously claimed by my son's toys, practically since birth. In order to claim some control over the constantly scattered toys, I recently gave up having a private office/room to research and write in. The past two months we've organized all of my office equipment, documents and the like to box up for the basement and moved my computer to a desk in the corner of our dining room. The office has since been cleaned out, freshly painted and is well on its way to becoming a playroom fit for a prince . . .er, well of trains and dinosaurs and cars, etc.
Unfortunately, I've given up some privacy while I write, doing it now from the wide-open dining room. BUT, we've successfully removed all of the scattered toys from our living room and dining room floor and put them out-of-sight in the new playroom. The space and organization that we have claimed in the living room and dining room now that they're toy-less is priceless. It's as though we have a new home. We can actually see the hardwood! Of course now I can also clearly see the furniture. Which means I have our next house project lined up: purchasing new furniture. (After my husband reads this book, of course.)