Sunday, September 29, 2013

Dear God, He's Home!

Dear God, He's Home!

A Woman's Guide To Her Stay-At-Home Man

By Janet Thompson

Published by New Hope Publishers, March 2013

This is the sort of book which when you are first married, you cannot ever envision you might need: spending time together is a delight and eagerly looked forward to! How ever could it be otherwise, when you love each other so much?

One of the unspoken secrets of marriage is that after a lengthy period of time, you each get used to your own individual routine, quirks, ways of doing things, and you tend to fall into accepted patterns of domestic tasks.  This is particularly true if you have a situation where mum stays at home with the children and husband works outside the home, or if one spouse has to work away for extended periods, such as during overseas deployment in the armed services.

If the work or domestic situation changes for one reason or another and one spouse is then at home for an extended period of time, it can be very hard for both  to adapt to the new situation. I know I found it very difficult to adapt when my husband was made redundant last year and was home all the time, instead of working away for part of each week. I had a set routine of jobs to do and set times to do them, and it was all thrown into chaos. I don't know which was more stressful, having someone constantly trying to "take over" my tasks and show me ways of doing them better, or when he decided he needed a "rest period" of several months to recover from work and sat around at home watching movies  and playing video games when I was running round like a headless chicken doing all the household chores on my own. It was a stressful period of adaptation and I felt guilty for feeling a bit resentful that I seemed to be the one who was doing almost everything related to the house and childcare..... when was I going to get *my* rest period, I wondered?

This is the book I wish had been available then, filled with anecdotes about how the author coped when her husband was at home, extracts from her journal and prayer journal, Bible quotes and anecdotes from other women about their experiences. References to other useful and informative books and websites are given, as well as some essential appendices covering warning signs of depression, biblical steps to dealing with marital conflict and information about the stages of grief.   Although only a short book, a lot is crammed in and it made me laugh and cry at various points. Well worth a read if you are facing a significant change in circumstances.
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