I’m sure there are still more stay-at-home moms than those who have outside jobs. Husbands who are able to have a homemaker wife are very fortunate indeed. Those same, fortunate husbands should not slide into the belief that mom has an easy time at home while he sweats it out in the office or at the plant.
While dad is grinding out his daily labour, his wife might be imagining him chatting up the pretty stenographer. She might see them enjoying lunch together, perhaps with a pitcher of beer. She might be on edge for no reason, while she dusts the furniture, freshens the beds, shops for groceries and plans a week’s meals.
The husband, on the other hand, envisions his wife relaxing on the sofa, watching soap operas. He sees the young man that mows the lawn, asking his wife for a glass of water while he holds her close and caresses her back, toying with her bra clasp. He sees her at a neighbour’s home, sipping coffee, eating snacks and chatting comfortably.
There’s nothing the husband can do to change the wife’s visions of his work day, but he can learn more about her work day. For just one week, do the wife’s job. I share the household chores. Do you know what it’s like to wash the same dishes you washed yesterday. Do you know the burden of vacuuming the stairs yet again? Do you know what it’s like handling stinking socks and underwear, washing them, drying them and putting them where they belong? Do you know what it’s like to prepare fifteen or twenty meals per week? Can you imagine trying to stay on a budget while presenting a variety of meals to the family?
Mending torn jeans, ironing shirts, stacking dinnerware, sorting cutlery, might all be in a homemaker’s day. It’s not a roll in the hay, it’s a damn tedious, repetitive job, seven days a week and potentially 24 hours a day.
Forgive your wife her edginess. Give her love and gratitude. It will help both of you.