Men Need a Break, Too

men-need-a-break-tooI hear women whining all the time that they need a break. (I’m sometimes one of these women.) But seriously, as a homeschooling mother, we have all the freedom in the world. We can drop everything and go to the park on a sunny day. Or we don’t even have to get out of bed if we don’t feel like it. It’s the truth. My kids get their math done whether I get up or not. Of course, at some point they get hungry, but if you have at least one kid who can reach the cereal, you’ve got it made. (If you have babies and toddlers, disregard this first paragraph.)

So my friend dies and my head feels thick and I can’t think straight. I take the day off. I rule. I’m the boss. I’m the only adult in the house on Monday morning, and what I say goes. If I want the house to be quiet, I throw on a DVD. I can lie down whenever I want. I live the ideal life. What pressure is on me, I put on myself. I’m accountable to God and to my husband; that’s it.

Men can’t do this. They have to go to work even when the world is against them and is bashing them against the wall. Even when there’s so much to do at home that they’d almost rather be at work. The work is relentless for them. Wake up early, go to work, come home, work, sleep. Rinse and repeat. Their lives are miserable compared to ours. And we have the audacity to tell them that WE need a break, and good-bye; don’t forget to put the kids to bed. We begrudge them when they want to play on the computer or watch TV, just to rest their weary minds and bodies for a second. No, we’re nagging at the back of our minds, wanting them to “do the next thing,” whatever that is, and the list never ends.

One time a drawer in the kitchen busted and fell apart completely. My first thought was to hide it so that my husband wouldn’t see one more thing he had to do. Eventually when he found out it was broken, he asked how long it had been that way. “It doesn’t matter,” I said.

Even with no list in the back of my mind, the home is no oasis for my husband. I don’t know what it is about 5 o’clock, but kids start screaming for no reason. The kids are happy and productive (by and large with many exceptions) during the school day. But when their daddy comes home, within five minutes, it’s “AAAaaa!” Then he feels like he has to shepherd the children biblically, and he has nothing left. (But he does it anyway.) He just walked through the door, for crying out loud. It makes me want to run over and put my hand over the mouth of the screaming child. “Don’t you love your daddy?” I ask them, and get a perplexed look in return.

As a homeschool woman, I want to do everything in my power to grant refreshment to my husband. But some things are simply out of my control. Just the physical house itself breaks down faster than my husband is able to fix it, and I can only hide things for so long. I try to do a lot of things myself and mess them up worse.

Yes, men need a break. Let your husband rest. Erase everything in your mind and think, as your goal, “I want my husband to rest.” This way maybe he has a fighting chance at surviving.

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6 Responses to “Men Need a Break, Too”

  1. Anna-Marie says:

    HI Susan,
    This post speaks to me so much right now. My husband’s job is so busy right now that he is working 12 hours a day and working 6 days a week. When he is at home I am trying to hard to make sure it is peaceful and relaxing for him because I know the stress he is under. His work schedule requires to step up even more on the home front and it is exhausting. My kids also seem to fall apart at 6 pm so I am struggling with that as I want Daddy to come home to a quiet house with out all the chaos. It is a struggle.

    I saw the highlight on Lynda’s blog and watched your home schooling video ans was impressed. My house is never that quiet and I only have two:)

  2. It’s hard to save someone else when your drowning. So. How to get above the water…

    • Susan Evans says:

      I take breaks whenever I need them. Like I might call a friend on the phone and chat for an hour, and I feel like I’ve had a break. Or I go to Zumba. I actually look forward to that, and I feel better afterwards. Or I lie down sometimes during the day. That way I’m not (usually) drowning by the time my husband comes home.

  3. Adrienne says:

    It’s all about balance. It’s important to get time away from the kids too, but yes, that freedom to take the day off is SO nice!

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