Traditionalist Bird

On Family Meal Time and the Long Hour Husband

This is a good read for those who have husbands who work long hours, which is seriously becoming more and more the trend these days due to technology. Even once a husband makes it home, if he is on salary, many employers expect you to keep working if something urgent comes up and from the employers point of view everything is urgent. There is no excuse now with smartphones and emails to not be on call when you are at home. I’ve seen countless women write in forums about how their husband took a job that said it was from 8:00-5:00 only to quickly find out he was often working till 10:00 pm (be it at the office or once home). Employers also provide employees laptops to further take away any excuse you might have as to why they can’t continue on working once home. Just like how kids get “homework”. Men do too. The end of school day and the end of of the business day doesn’t mean much more than simply that. Its simply the end of work in that environment. Many a conversations and family meals can still be interrupted with work and this is a topic I don’t see the traditionalists who have their heads up their 1950s ass ever care to discuss.

This specifically is what I want to zero in on:

“Being a wife and mom with a husband who works 12-14 hours a day, five to six days a week is a big deal, and it requires a lot more than others realize. Most of my friends’ husbands come home before dinner is served. I simply don’t know what that’s like! I always think about the family studies that have been done showing that families who eat dinner together every night are stronger, stay together, and send happier, smarter kids out into the world. Of course, as a child of the King, it would be foolish of me to believe that my God cannot rise above this statistic in our situation, but it still hurts my homemaker’s heart to know we do not have a lifestyle that allows for that type of daily family time.”

It is this sort of Norman Rockwell imagery which sets so many wives up to fail. We go into marriage with this sugar coated visions of our future family all sitting at the dinner table, talking about our day, saying prayers, etc. Not only are wives told this is biblical (if you don’t have family meal time together you must be an evil career feminist mom) but yes study after study is thrusted upon us saying if you don’t do these things such as have dinner together your family will surely face certain doom.  It puts so much pressure on wives to  live up to an image and have expectations that often lead to disappointment.

I don’t know many couples anymore where the husband comes home around 6:00pm and they all have a healthy home made meal. Its not like the families I knew growing up in the 1980s. And this isn’t because mom is working and there is no time to cook, its just technology and the hours of the modern working world very much foster an “every man for himself” environment for meal time.  The kids generally start to get cranky if not fed by 6:00, plus they need to start the bedtime routine and can’t wait much later than that and if dad isn’t home, the show must go on. Sometimes the wife will hold out to have dinner with him, but if 8:00 comes around she too will have to eat or hanger sets in.

It can be frustrating too when you make a fresh, healthy meal only to have the kids reject it and because the husband is home so late he often just comes in saying he wants a bowl of cereal. So much for all that talk from the godly women about how husbands crave home cooked, healthy meals at the end of a long day! Its just not the reality for many families and taking this traditionalist advice as if its “one size fits all” sets up too many expectations. Most days for the  modern family are about survival and getting shit done and not living out an idealistic image.

The guilt I have felt over not having family meals together most nights and living out other check items the godly traditionalists push on you is one of the reasons I had to just walk away from all of their advice and figure out what works best for my family. Otherwise resentment and anger starts to grow. This is not because I personally cared how we ate together as I only started to care about it once I started reading godly blogs and realizing this is how its “suppose to be”. That you all need to be huddled around the dinner table sharply at 6:00 and saying prayers or else the children will be ruined.

I remember once when I was neck deep in my “know it all” godly days how I judged and turned up my nose at a friend when I saw she had no dining room table in her house. They all ate around the coffee table with the TV! The horror, right! And then the reality hit that often that is what my home was like too. I had the good godly appearance of a dining table, but out of necessity would eat whenever, however made sense given the circumstances. More often than not its eating standing up while multi-tasking.

So, obviously the lesson in all this is –do what works for your family. Period. This is not the 1950s. The work schedules of men are vastly different and you can kill yourself trying to create an image, especially when your husband doesn’t even care about that image in the first place.

Advertisements

59 thoughts on “On Family Meal Time and the Long Hour Husband

  1. So, obviously the lesson in all this is –do what works for your family. Period.

    Yup, and it also shouldn’t matter to others if the food is leftovers, if it’s frozen, prepackaged, etc. Sometimes that’s what it is. The people who come up with these “this is the way a traditional home should be” aren’t doing families a favor. These kinds of ideas and teachings create more division, stress, and resentment in a marriage. If these people were interested in helping the families have more family time together, where are their posts on how to help husbands get jobs with shorter commutes, shorter work weeks and more regular hours? There’s a lot of nitpicking but few solutions.

    The best solution is to do what works best for your marriage and your family. Why care about what other people think? They don’t live in the same house.

    Like

  2. All those jobs are government jobs or trustfundian jobs. Or they are low paying. Or various combos thereof.

    And even as late as the 1950s, a lot of middle class women still had cooks or cook/housekeepers. And, well, we all can look up some pictures of how astonishingly terrible a lot of 1950s cooking was, and part of that terrible food quality was in fact a way to meet the requirement of having a hot meal ready for the husband reliably.

    I agree that it’s pointless to advocate family dinner if you don’t mention how it’s supposed to be traded for against higher income, more or safer living space, and so forth. I know some family dinner people. They make a fraction of what our household does. And they have other things they can’t do as a family because of the financial pinch, even though shorter work hours and short/no commute are pluses. We took a different set of tradeoffs, because after all, alternatives exclude.

    Like

  3. We do a family dinner almost every night (with a few exceptions–daughter at youth group, husband on business trip). My husband is generally home pretty early and he even has a walking commute to and from work.

    HOWEVER, I don’t normally cook that dinner. We usually eat at our excellent college cafeteria (very affordable for us), and only cook routinely during school breaks. Then it’s husband, me, and Big Girl taking turns, and I hope to add Middle Kid to the rotation real soon. We also use stuff like frozen meals and fish sticks with very occasional meals out (because of the expense).

    When we’re at home all day and doing real cooking, the dishes are absolutely horrific. It’s routinely two full loads a day, and occasionally we’d need to run three loads to wash all the dishes–even though we use paper plates.

    Like

  4. We took a different set of tradeoffs, because after all, alternatives exclude.

    That’s the thing– a lot of families have to make tradeoffs, and for some families certain tradeoffs aren’t worth it. These decisions don’t make the family any better or worse compared to another, yet somehow that is a prevailing idea with a lot of the submission and traditionalist bloggers. It’s been an idea floating around the Christosphere since the late 1990’s from what I recall in chatrooms and forums, and it still hasn’t gone away. It’s gotten more entrenched in different ways, yet the solutions or alternatives aren’t there.

    Like

  5. Because of the modern time it can make the older Titus 2 women not in the best position to relate. They often stay stuck in their ways about how it was to raise a family in the 1970s or 1980s and just assume costs and routines haven’t changed much.
    My grandma never was able to figure out what all the fuss was about. She said in the course of day there is 8 hours for sleep, 8 hours for family and 8 hours for work. If only it were that evenly divided and simple. Really in best case scenarios work is about 12 hours when you factor in “get ready time” and commutes on both ends. Plus you are at work 9 hours, not 8 because of a lunch break. So, you are left with 4 hours for family (or possibly divided up with more sleep) at the best and often those hours for a man are after the kids are already in bed.

    Like

  6. TPC,
    I imagine though wanting to be in a career with higher income or a more executive position, will be seen as selfish. Traditionalists can just whip out one of those families that supposedly raised 6 or more kids on 30K a year. The traditionalist promotes the same “you can have it all” gig.

    Like

  7. Stone said:

    “I imagine though wanting to be in a career with higher income or a more executive position, will be seen as selfish. Traditionalists can just whip out one of those families that supposedly raised 6 or more kids on 30K a year.”

    Some of those “model” families raised their children in dire poverty. Cattle feed keeps coming up as an economical go-to.

    http://nogreaterjoy.org/articles/corny-ten-different-ways/

    You’ll notice that protein doesn’t really feature in Debi Pearl’s menu–an egg (which costs maybe 20 cents) is a luxury.

    Like

  8. Stone said:

    “Because of the modern time it can make the older Titus 2 women not in the best position to relate.”

    Also, the relative price of different things is different than it was 30+ years ago, so budgeting advice may not be very relevant.

    How often have we seen the suggestion to go without cell phones–when that’s almost certainly not the central budget problem? There are a lot of cheap cell phone options, and there really aren’t any pay phones now, so going without a cell phone is different than it was in 2001.

    Like

  9. My take on it is that you should have family dinner (or breakfast, or lunch, or late evening snack) as much as possible. What “possible” looks like is going to differ from household to household. The spirit of family dinner is that there is a deliberate effort to connect as a family, to share what each is struggling with or what acheivments are being made or being worked toward, to get and give advice and support, to work through and debate moral questions and current events, to unplug from social media and interact IRL. If the idea is abandoned altogether because you can’t make it match a certain image, then that is just playing into the individualism that has taken over our culture.

    Research shows that family dinner is important and I think it’s especially important in the second decade of family life when the oldest kids are hitting their teen years. They are really trying to figure things out and being able to regularly connect with the whole family is so important. Most times they will just grunt and not participate all that much but there are those times when something is really on their minds and that regular or semi-regular family time may give them the opportunity to open up. The first decade is the training ground and habit formation and that will always look messy and chaotic but with perseverance, it will begin to look more like the vision you had in the beginning when you first made the committment to it. Soon those squirmy, messy toddlers are teens who desperately need that connection, even if they pretend they don’t.

    If dad isn’t home, then mom should sit down at dinner. Later, when dad comes home, maybe the kids can have a little snack or drink while dad eats dinner. If it’s too late and the kids are in bed, see what you can fit in on the weekend. Sat or Sun breakfast? lunch? Dinner? I don’t believe that if you don’t have a homemade family dinner with everyone present every night at 5 pm that you can’t reap the benefits of “family dinner”. I think as long as you try to accomplish it in some way or in whatever way that works for your family, then you are on track. The important thing is to not give up. It really is beneficial for everyone.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. “How often have we seen the suggestion to go without cell phones–when that’s almost certainly not the central budget problem? There are a lot of cheap cell phone options, and there really aren’t any pay phones now, so going without a cell phone is different than it was in 2001.”

    You mean like how a few years ago Lori boasted how she has gone 50 some years without an iphone and then in a recent post casually mentions getting her iphone fixed. Funny how things change. I don’t really ever see internet suggested to be cut from the budge because then the ladies couldn’t host their blogs.

    Like

  11. I can’t relate to dinner with teenagers yet, that is a long ways still down the road for me but I certainly imagine, not only is it more important, but perhaps easier to coral everyone together. At least the kids can stay up a lot later and probably works out better anyway as there will be plenty of sports and afterschool events to to keep busy with until dinner time, even if that isn’t until 8:00pm. Its funny too how everyone was raised with a different concept of the proper dinner time. Some are hardcore 5:00 and then some are not till 8:00 or 9:00. Typically the older a man marries and is use to being a bachelor the more he is on the late side and use to eating when he gets hungry rather than when the family needs to.

    Like

  12. Stone said:

    “At least the kids can stay up a lot later and probably works out better anyway as there will be plenty of sports and afterschool events to to keep busy with until dinner time, even if that isn’t until 8:00pm.”

    Yeah. That comes with certain issues, too:

    a) sports/school activities that practically necessitate fast food dining

    and

    b) teenagers that don’t get sleepy until 11.

    Like

  13. “I can’t relate to dinner with teenagers yet, that is a long ways still down the road for me but I certainly imagine, not only is it more important, but perhaps easier to coral everyone together. ”

    It is NOT possible to have anything but organized chaos when your littles are under 6. They are whining, can’t sit still for long, spilling things, dropping things, sliding off the chairs and all that happens in about the 10 minutes you can manage to keep them at the table. That’s fine. Let them leave while you or anyone else who is above the little beggar stage connect on more of an adult level. It’s not important that they participate as this age so much as they are able to observe the older people of the house, and maybe that’s only mom, keeping the tradition. They will grow into wanting to do what the big people do eventually. It’s enough that they participate only as much as their age allows and that they observe everyone else.

    Ages 6-10 gets a little better. They sit for longer, they participate in the conversation somewhat, their messes aren’t as big, they can help clean up.

    11 and up is where it can really start to hazily begin to look like the picture of what you were hoping for in the beginning. (if you’re squinting really hard). We’re talking about a decade and a half long process here. There’s no rushing the thing.

    It doesn’t matter what you eat as long as it’s the best that your time and money can afford (and that it’s not cattle feed, shudder). It’s the being together, in whatever form you can manage, at whatever time you can manage, that’s important. If there’s a dinner time for the kids and another one later for the adults, then great. If mom has a cup of tea and the kids have a cookie and some milk while dad eats, fabulous. If you can only manage Saturday morning pancakes with everyone at the table in whatever capacity their age allows, that’s good too. None of it is doing it wrong unless you’re not trying to do it at all.

    Like

  14. There was a long stretch where we were thrilled to have kids sleep through dinner. (As I recall, one of ours had a very convenient 4-6 nap at some point.)

    It took a while before the little kids actually ate dinner with us, because either they’d be asleep or their meal times were out of sync, or they just weren’t going to eat what we ate.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. There’s also an underappreciated developmental aspect to what foods kids will eat.

    My teenager has lately been blowing my mind by eating all sorts of grownup food like cream-of-veggie soup or onions. It’s like a switch flipped and she suddenly wants to eat this stuff.

    That gives me hope for the 4-year-old, who is on the pancake-and-Nutella diet (did you know you can BUY bags of frozen mini-pancakes?).

    Like

  16. I agree that getting family time in somehow is the key. This will look different for every family and its the idea that family time has to always be huddled around the dinner table I disagree with.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Oh, I’d be ashamed too if it were my first child.

    But first child is eating ridiculous stuff now like cream of asparagus and food with garlic in it, so I have a lot of confidence that Baby Girl is eventually going to eat real food, too.

    Like

  18. Big Girl was just saying over dinner (not of something I made), “This mushroom soup is AMAZING!”

    File that under stuff children under 5 don’t say.

    Like

  19. Yeah, I remember the first (and only) time my mom attempted to serve liver when I was about that age.

    I never saw liver again at home.

    Like

  20. All of these comments are taking a load off. Man. Thank you. We have eaten so badly compared to what I did when I just had two (now four) that it has made me feel very badly. And yes, definitely being compared to a 1950s mom makes the stress of this all the worse.

    Ha ha last night I made frozen pizzas with some added green pepper on them, thank God my non-bread-items-eater didn’t complain, and I told them how my own family NEVER ate dinner together except at Thanksgiving. Us 3 kids sat at the counter and ate by ourselves, while our mom and dad ate on TV trays in front of the TV. We ate very late compared to most people and I’m still trying to get to where I can serve dinner at 6 p.m.-ish, but honestly, when my husband comes home around 5:45, I just wanna chill for a bit or rapidly take care of things I didn’t get done during the day, or I’ve been in the kitchen half the day ad don’t want to go back there yet (shudder).

    Anyway, I’ve made eating meals together a big focus for our family, and guess what? It has cut into other areas of life so that we aren’t on time for things, or my oldest takes FOREVER to eat because she loves to talk to us during meals, and it ends up giving you less time for all the other things society expects you to do. I think I need to adopt more of the give-and-take mindset I see here to help relieve some of the guilt. ANd thanks Two Cents for the point about Organized chaos under age 6. I really look around me and believe 100% that everyone else has it together somehow and we don’t. But everyone is cutting corners somewhere, or cutting something out in favor of something else, and doing what works for them. Getting ready to leave the house in less than 2 hours just isn’t in my ability with 3 6 and under.

    Like

  21. My littles love raw veggies. My five year old is eating a red bell pepper as a snack now. They are weird kids though.

    I refuse to eat organ meat. I hate the taste even as an adult.

    We have family dinner 4 nights a week and I usually cook something fast. Like a sheet pan of chicken thighs and veggies. I also use my crockpot and my pressure cooker a lot. If I have time to cook on the weekends then I make something more involved. But I enjoy cooking.

    We can eat together so often because it takes my husband 10 minutes to drive to work and he usually leaves by 4:30. He does more work at home sometimes. He also plays with the kids when he gets home so that I can cook without someone bugging me.

    Like

  22. Nicoustical said:

    “And yes, definitely being compared to a 1950s mom makes the stress of this all the worse.”

    Have a good look of one of those 1950s cookbooks–you’ll feel WAY better.

    Like

  23. Well, it is all about image, isn’t it? Although there are studies reinforcing the idea of the family meal, I wonder if those studies took a tally of how often a 4 year old threw a tantrum at the table, how often a 5 year old got up and walked off, or how often a 2 year old tried to excuse him or herself from the table and then threw a tantrum. Of course, this is all happening during the family meal, and a lot of these ideas of the respectable family meal are more likely to do having older children where it’s possible to have a conversation without a tantrum. People tend to overlook nuance.

    When I grew up, we didn’t really follow a “sit down together meal time” because I lived in an inter-generational household for a while in childhood, and then later on my parents worked opposite shifts. I wonder which one the trads would shame my parents for– the fact my grandma was the one having meals with us kids, or that my mom worked outside the home? Oh, we also weren’t Christian, so we would’ve really been going to hell in a hand-basket. We didn’t eat “proper” things from the Betty Crocker cookbook either, and I grew up on organ meats and still like some of them to this day (mmm, curried liver). My takeaway from all of that was mealtimes were important, but the way meals go varies.

    You know what is funny about this? I was watching an episode of The Middle where Patricia Heaton’s character daydreams about the respectable family dinner, and they end up standing around the microwave LOL. I think that show pokes fun of a lot of the ideas related to the way families “ought” to be.

    Like

  24. Nicoustical said,

    “I’ve been in the kitchen half the day ad don’t want to go back there yet (shudder).”

    That’s a big issue, that by the time 4 PM rolls around, one has already fixed 3 or 4 meals or snacks.

    Like

  25. I really look around me and believe 100% that everyone else has it together somehow and we don’t. But everyone is cutting corners somewhere, or cutting something out in favor of something else, and doing what works for them. Getting ready to leave the house in less than 2 hours just isn’t in my ability with 3 6 and under.

    People who actually have it all together usually have a lot of helping getting it together and keeping it together.

    Like

  26. Nonya said,

    ” He also plays with the kids when he gets home so that I can cook without someone bugging me.”

    That’s really important.

    It’s often not feasible (or safe, for that matter) to do real cooking with small children around. Kitchens are really, really dangerous for small children.

    Like

  27. It’s often not feasible (or safe, for that matter) to do real cooking with small children around. Kitchens are really, really dangerous for small children.

    Everyone knows that small children are always docile and obey 100% when mommy tells them they have to sit and play, and they know what danger is and don’t ever bother adults and HAHAHAHA JUST KIDDING, anyone who thinks that is outta their minds.

    Like

  28. Kitchens aren’t safe for me either! I have had a life long phobia of knives and a steak knife is the most I can handle. Needless to say, makes cooking tricky. Cutting an onion, forget about it. See how can I be a good homemaker if I can’t even cut an onion! Oh yes many tears over that. But, my husband does so gladly, in fact, he is quite the chef and insists on doing all the holiday meals himself as he finds it incredibly relaxing, where it just stresses me out and I get anxiety build up over the knife issues.

    That is why slow cooker is my friend. I love just putting a lot of meat in there to cook, especially love making lbs of shredded chicken, beef, or pork that you later can do so many things with.

    Like

  29. “Everyone knows that small children are always docile and obey 100% when mommy tells them they have to sit and play, and they know what danger is and don’t ever bother adults and HAHAHAHA JUST KIDDING, anyone who thinks that is outta their minds.”

    Lori thinks that! She has said she only had to discipline/spank her kids once and they all just fell into line! Just like that! So of course if your kids don’t do the same thing–well its all your fault, you are doing it wrong!

    Like

  30. Stone said:

    “Lori thinks that! She has said she only had to discipline/spank her kids once and they all just fell into line! Just like that! So of course if your kids don’t do the same thing–well its all your fault, you are doing it wrong!”

    I have heard people say that, but I think a lot of them are lying/have bad memories.

    Like

  31. Cutting an onion, forget about it. See how can I be a good homemaker if I can’t even cut an onion!

    I dislike chopping onions too, which is why I requested the Vidalia Chop Wizard as a wedding gift. You might like mandolins (though they are sharp), or those guides for slicing onions and tomatoes. That chop wizard makes making mirepoix a snap, and mirepoix is really nice because it can allow more variety to basic foods. It’s good for the slow cooker, too, and smells nice.

    Let’s be honest, who cares how the chicken soup, stew, or casserole was made as long as it’s fully cooked and you put in the effort? Real onions in the slow cooker are still real onions.

    Like

  32. That Instagram post is perfect. It illustrates the whole image and facade thing, and most people don’t want to admit their children weren’t that helpful in the kitchen, or they were irritating.

    Like

  33. OMG thank you AGAIN–it IS dangerous to cook a real meal and just let the children do whatever!! My goodness, the amnesia!! Am I right?!

    My MIL has admitted she had a large playpen to stick the kids in when making meals. Kids also were spaced 4 years and then 10 years apart. She got a lot of free babysitting out of the two older ones when my husband was little.

    And the spanking–I mean really? That’s why I gave it up. Cause it DIDN’T WORK. Plus, the “Biblical way to do it” promoted by Dobson-esque folk ISN’T BIBLICAL. There is no outline in the Bible about ‘how to spank properly,’ and with further research, it appears none of the places people think refer to spanking a child actually mean hitting a kid on his butt with your hand after having a nice talk about why with him, but rather hitting an older teenage boy with a stick of some sort for gross error. So much for that.

    Like

  34. Speaking of spanking or “smacking” (perhaps the Australian way to say it):

    AnonM says:
    February 7, 2017 at 1:00 pm
    That sounds awesome. Would love for him to come out to australia to preach, but im pretty sure he would struggle to get into the country because there is a preconcieved belief that he tells people to abuse their children. Which couldnt be further from the truth! I had a government worker try and tell me last week that it was illegal to smack your children here in Australia. Poor girl, she didnt know I had done my research and shot her down like a ton of bricks. She then said well, smacking doesnt work anyway. Ha! I quickly corrected her on that too. So glad that people like the Pearls are willing to stand up for the truth.

    So, see for those who find spanking doesn’t work, you’ll just get a snarky “Ha!” from the godlies and be quickly corrected! It worked for her kid so it MUST work for ALL kids and if you say it doesn’t work you are lying and/or lazy is the implication.

    Like

  35. Two Cent Woman said:

    “I’ll slice onions if I want them raw but I grab the chopped onions in the freezer section if I’m cooking them.”

    Look at you, Titus 2ing!

    I’m going to try to incorporate that into my repertoire. 1) It’s a pain to deal with raw onions and 2) 9 times out of 10, we wind up with half an onion in the fridge that gets thrown out.

    Pre-sliced frozen onions are genius.

    Like

  36. Nicoustical said:

    “My MIL has admitted she had a large playpen to stick the kids in when making meals.”

    And even then, there are issues with them getting big enough to escape.

    For a while, I had a fantastic system where I’d stick Baby Girl in a Pack N Play and take a shower–but then she started being able to vault out of it. Ditto the baby gates.

    “Kids also were spaced 4 years and then 10 years apart.”

    Oh my.

    “And the spanking–I mean really? That’s why I gave it up. Cause it DIDN’T WORK.”

    Yeah, I’ve often wondered–what kind of weak-willed wimps are these kids that spanking works on the first time?

    “Plus, the “Biblical way to do it” promoted by Dobson-esque folk ISN’T BIBLICAL. There is no outline in the Bible about ‘how to spank properly,’ and with further research, it appears none of the places people think refer to spanking a child actually mean hitting a kid on his butt with your hand after having a nice talk about why with him, but rather hitting an older teenage boy with a stick of some sort for gross error. So much for that.”

    Those are all very interesting points.

    Like

  37. AmyP “Look at you, Titus 2ing!”

    Nah, I’d tell a man the same thing so I guess that doesn’t count as Titus 2.

    The frozen chopped onions at the grocery store ARE a genius idea. It seems like the majority of soup and entree recipes requires them so it pays to stock up when they are on sale.

    The onion and gr. pepper mix comes in 2nd. You find that duo in a lot of recipes too.

    And, yea, anytime I’m not using the whole onion raw, I do finish chopping it and then freeze it. Otherwise, it may, like you said, end up thrown out.

    Like

  38. Two Cent Woman said:

    “Nah, I’d tell a man the same thing so I guess that doesn’t count as Titus 2.”

    Uh oh–you’re not teaching men, are you?

    We can’t have THAT.

    Like

  39. AmyP,

    Yeah, my 3 older kiddos are cool if I shower, but the sticking the kid in the Pack-n-Play right now is a dangerous undertaking at this point. He’s just about ready to fall on his head desperately trying to get out. His separation anxiety right now is INSANE.

    It’s good to know we’re not alone, if anything. I had a good cry this morning because I am so overwhelmed and have no idea how to do all of this.

    I may not be Titus 2-ing when I’m older (just thinking about doing that at this point in my life right now is kind of heart-breaking, I’m so clueless) but I have decided I am going to look around for other moms that need help and just freaking go and help them. They might think I’m a complete weirdo, but I have vowed that my eyes will not be closed to the needs of the younger moms around me when I have the resource of time available to me as an empty-nester.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. Ugh…Nicky, you are reminding me of the days with littles when even a shower seemed impossible. Mostly, I would save my shower until hubby was home. If he wasn’t and I really, really wanted to feel clean but didn’t want to worry about what I would find happening in the rest of the house if I showered, I would take an old-fashioned sponge bath (with a nice washcloth, not an acutal sponge) at the bathroom sink.

    Get naked then put on a bathrobe open in the front.

    Wash your face.

    Fill the sink with hot water, lather up your cloth w/ soap and wash just the important parts top to bottom and front to back while rinsing your cloth and yourself and re-lathering it as needed

    Towel dry, add deodorant and put on something that makes you feel human again.

    Sanitize the sink and counter.

    The benefits are that you feel better than not showering at all. You can leave the door open if your kids are little enough to take mama’s lack of clothing as a matter of course or you can shut it but be ready to run in a second if you hear something concerning or if it’s TOO quiet, which is often worse. This is also the time for mom to not be a prude about plunking the kids in front of the tv for 10 min if they have any shows that mesmerize them enough to keep still. Another option for an older baby is you can lock them in with you, put a blanket on the floor with a small plastic container or two of water and some water toys to keep them busy while you are at the sink.

    This situation may not be ideal or very pretty but it is the reality for the young mother who lacks help and who has the sole responsibility of vulnerable children for long, long hours at a time.

    Liked by 1 person

  41. nicoustical said,

    “I may not be Titus 2-ing when I’m older (just thinking about doing that at this point in my life right now is kind of heart-breaking, I’m so clueless) but I have decided I am going to look around for other moms that need help and just freaking go and help them. They might think I’m a complete weirdo, but I have vowed that my eyes will not be closed to the needs of the younger moms around me when I have the resource of time available to me as an empty-nester.”

    CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP!!!

    Like

  42. Two-Cent Woman said:

    “This is also the time for mom to not be a prude about plunking the kids in front of the tv for 10 min if they have any shows that mesmerize them enough to keep still.”

    Awful fact–there are some small children that can’t be glued to the TV.

    We’ve fortunately gotten into the glued-to-show stage, but about half a year ago, I couldn’t persuade Baby Girl to watch for an hour a day at a time.

    Like

  43. “Awful fact–there are some small children that can’t be glued to the TV.”

    For sure, it all depends on the individual child. Moms have to be very, very creative in finding what works for their kid and sometimes that changes daily. Oy!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s