Do you ever have one of those moments when you realize that your internal dialogue just a bunch of of BS?

Mr. Nine to Five was out of town last week. These absences have been pretty standard procedure for us over the past three years, so a week alone with the kids doesn’t even prick the waters for me.

You might think that losing your spouse for a week here and there is lonely and sad and difficult, especially with four little children ages seven and under. But there are some serious perks.

First, if the house isn’t pulled together by five-thirty on Monday night, who cares? I can wait until the kids go to bed, or until Friday rolls around, whichever.

Second, I’ve learned that it’s okay to have pizza four nights in a row. Throw out an apple and a plate of broccoli (or some cookies and root-beer), and pizza suddenly becomes a well balanced meal.

Third, as long as the kids have clothes to wear, I can take a laundry break. Since laundry is the bane of my existence and creeps into every working day like a rogue ivy weed going after the mortar, organizing it into one really big mountain and covering it with a blanket is a great way to take a mental laundry vacation (cause anytime you throw a blanket over something it is automatically cancelled out; this doesn’t really work with screaming children, I’ve tried).

Fourth, after a week of fast food and hotels, or a lonely house and four kids, you look pretty darn good to each other.

So this morning my man finished unpacking. “Sorry babe, I’ve got a ton of laundry for you.” He smiled and mounded it up by the door. “But, I guess that’s your job, isn’t it?”

This last comment was made with the sole purpose of sending me into a feminist-inspired huff. Normally, I jump at this kind of bait and spend the next five minutes monologuing to him about how brilliant I am, how valuable I am, how I could be out making millions–no billions of dollars if it hadn’t been for my selfless, sacrificial choice to stay home and tend the sheep. He does it on purpose, because I’m so predictable and fun to be married to.

And just as I started in on my lecture, I stopped. He had been up since six, gone in for his mandatory exercise regiment, returned home, showered ,shaved, and was buttoning up his shirt and strapping on his gun, and there I was, lounging in bed with the baby watching him get ready. Which one of us is really making the sacrifice here? He was late for his extremely boring Monday morning meeting; I am the boss of my own universe who can sometimes lay around in bed until 7:30 am, thanks to Spring Break and PBS.

It’s so easy to be a mental martyr, certain that if only this were different or that hadn’t happened we would be more successful, more happy, more better. Would I really be happy with anything else? Maybe I’m finally starting to grow up, or maybe I got lucky and took a step outside the box for a second, but either way, I’m not complaining.

I get to spend my day casually folding laundry; hallelujah.




  1. I’m with you on this one. I think I have the good life compared to what my husband does all day. And well, the laundry really IS my job. I get to do and go and enjoy so much because my husband works hard to fund my existence. I’ll fold his pants, no trouble.

  2. You really are a good wife. But I realized this last week too, when I had asked Adam to do something around the house and he was dragging his feet. He had worked a 9 hour day, and then took a 300 question test for his fire certification. I let it go. I feel like a grownup!

    Miss you!

  3. Very true. I am glad that I can recognize that although I can get pretty crazy during the day and feel overworked and underappreciated by all involoved…I have the best and easiest job in the world. I am on my own schedule and really? if the house isn’t put together when hubby comes home he has never once complained. Not about dinner being burnt, or lame, or late. Not about loud and messy and annoying kids. Not about a grumpy, frumpy wife. We do try our best to keep things sweet and pretty and clean (cause that’s how mama wants it!), but when we fall short there is no big boss breathing down our necks. My husband doesn’t have that luxury.

    Sometimes I feel badly that I have the easiest part of our marriage. Then other days I want to stomp out and get a part time job! Loved the post-so true and you have a great way with words.

  4. Sometimes its so easy to lose focus. Keeping the kids happy and the house put together and clean laundry is our job. One we took willingly so that we can be home with our children. I’ve desperately tried to find a job since Megan’s death but nobody wants to hire someone who has been at home since 2003. The guilt I have by feeling like I’m not doing anything beneficial to our family is hard sometimes especially when I get angry because he wore something for 2 minutes and instead of rehanging it just tossed it on my dirty clothes pile. I get so angry and then sometimes that lightbulb just clicks on. I’m the one stretched out in bed when hes up at 4am getting ready for work. I’m in bed or just getting up and starting my day when hes already been at work for a couple of hours, done Pt etc. This is my job, to make his life easier because he’s doing his job to make ours easier. The annoyances will always come, I just hope that I can remember this more often. eeck sorry for such a long post.

  5. Love the blog redesign!

    As far as internal dialogue goes, I think the important thing is that you never lie to yourself . . . this is tough. Always make sure that whatever you’re telling yourself is actually really true. And if there is a tiny tiny chance that it isn’t true – change it. Think the thought that brings you peace, empowers you, puts a smile on your face. Like, “You Rock, Annie.” That’s a true thing you can think to yourself everyday.

  6. Annie, I freakin’ love you. I have had these same thoughts many a time. We really are lucky, huh?

  7. What a nice post. And particularly appropriate for me since I went on an “I’m the only one who does anything in this family” tirade just a few days ago. You put things in great perspective! And I, too, am glad for a man who doesn’t complain when the house is out of order or supper stinks.

  8. My husband travels a bit for work too, and has been working and in school for the past three years. So, sometimes I just bite my feminist tongue too, because it doesn’t really get me and him anywhere except for arguing on a perfectly good day when we are both in the same city. Also, I don’t want him to find out that I can put on Sesame Street at anytime and have one quiet hour to myself. Plus, there is still nap time in my house which can be up to 3 hours on a good day. It is better for him to believe that the house is clean and we eat nutritious home cooked meals every day that he is away.

  9. it is great to find happiness in what we have, and our lives as we live it…….cause rarely are things “more better”
    and it is always great to RULE your own universe

  10. My husband leaves most weeks on Sunday morning/afternoon, and gets back late Friday night or in the wee hours on Saturday. You’ve pretty much pegged my feelings about him being gone. It’s not the situation any of us would have chosen, and it took a lot of getting used to. But it works for him so we all deal with it, and my slovenly housekeeping shows just how far behind I can fall by Fridays.

    I am, by the way, totally jealous of your farm! Wahooooo!!!! That’s wonderful!

  11. I love this post!

  12. After typing in all my information I forgot what I was going to say now. See what happens when you get a little older? Just a little. Did you mention sleeping in? That was my favorite part. 😀