Sep 05 2007

I’m A New HouseHusband … Now What?

Published by at 2:14 am under Spirituality

Heck, this is only my third post, and I’m already struggling! I’m not stuck for things to write about, mind you – in fact, I got too many things to write about, it’s almost 4pm in the afternoon, the kids are home from school, the car is full of groceries waiting to be unloaded, the dishes haven’t yet been done, and I can’t pull myself away from the computer.

What I’m struggling with, is the big picture. Life, the Universe and everything relating to the fact that I here I am, 42 years old, married to a beautiful woman with three beautiful children under 8 eight years of age (I actually have another child, a daughter who is in her late teens, but that’s another story!), but also deeply in debt and wondering if the whole purpose of my life for now is to simply accept my role as a househusband and look after the management of the home and the wellbeing of my family members.

It’s not that I don’t see this as something not worthy of devoting oneself wholeheartedly to. As I read over what I’ve just written, thinking of the next line to write, I can see that just trying to manage a home and keep a family together is a massive undertaking for anyone. As my wife says … it’s “bigger than Ben Hur.” And I am far from succeeding at this task.

I guess the question I am struggling with, then, as a man, husband and father, is this:

Can a man born in modern times achieve complete happiness and self-fulfilment simply by aiming to become a more devoted househusband, a loving stay-at-home dad and an efficient home manager? Are we not wired genetically to want more than this? Isn’t the male ego simply designed to repel the idea of being a happy homemaker?

I am struggling with this issue, because I not only want to be successful in this role, but I also want to achieve certain business goals during this time, and both of these areas require a full-time effort, energy and attention. I can’t help thinking that I am really doing a half-assed job of both, because I am trying to do too much while neglecting important areas of my life, such as my health, and also while being severely under-resourced financially.

Could things be worse? Sure, I could have had this role imposed on me through unfortunate circumstances, such as the death of my partner, or a divorce. The fact that I have a great marriage and a very loving and supportive wife is definitely a great plus, even if we don’t have any immediate family (like grandparents, or aunts and uncles) to help us ease the burden of looking after the kids.

Before taking on the role of househusband, I earned a living creating business systems that allowed the business owner to step back from their business while their enterprise continued to growand function normally. Part of what attracted me to the challenge of becoming a househusband, therefore, is the fact that I know I can design and implement efficient systems to help alleviate the operational aspects of home management, like washing clothes, paying bills, cleaning the house and getting the shopping done.

The challenges that I am experiencing, however, are of a two-fold nature:

1) Although I am an extremely focused and goal-oriented person, I am also a compulsive and workaholic with an obsessive nature. I am currently struggling with following my own schedules and checklists and this gets exacerbated by the fact that the rest of my family seems to feel very comfortable living in a constant state of chaos and disarray. This depresses me to no end and if I am to succeed in managing despite the chaos and the unexpected crises that seem to pop-up almost on a daily basis, I have to learn to surrender to this situation and let go of the part of me that strives for perfection and that wants to control everything.

2) I honestly believe that, with a systematic approach and a great deal of planning, I can do everything. This might seem delusional for many people, but I think it can be done, and part of my reason for starting this blog, is to document the process whereby I am setting out to achieve the following goals:

– live a manageable and purpose-filled life
– get fit and stay healthy
– be a loving, caring and attentive husband to my wife
– raise happy, healthy, well-adjusted kids
– bring order to the home and to our domestic affairs on a daily basis
– help my wife manage, decrease, and eventually eliminate all of our bad debts
– help my wife create financial security for the family unit, then build it to a level of comfort and ultimately wealth
– enjoy life with the people I love

Some of the questions that accompany the big picture, then, are the following:

– what kind of environment do I need to help create at home for my family to thrive and grow harmoniously?
– how do I transform my life in order to assume my responsibilities as a househusband, stay-at-home-dad and homemaker to achieve the above?
– how do I prioritize my time and efforts so that my family’s needs and wants are taken care of?
– how do I prioritize my time and efforts so that my needs and wants are fulfilled too?

Let me go away and think about this …

If you have any comments, or ideas that you want to share, please feel free to add them to this blog.

The Lazy HouseHusband


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