If you are a working wife, chances are you are still going to the office, leaving the whole house to the “old man”. 🙂 (What else to say about a retired man?) The only change you will find is entering into a not so clean house, which is a very small price of his retirement as compared to the upheavals in the life of a stay-at-home wife or work from home professionals like me.
I remember a very unusual advice from my mom, when I told her about my decision to marry the man, I was dating. He was 10 years my senior. He didn’t look 10 years older than me. We both looked good together. I remember, whenever we entered any get-together, people always turn their necks to bestow admiring glances on us.
But mom, my girl Friday warned me about the future. My mom told me, you will find it very difficult to handle his retirement as you will still be working, fully independent,free from household juggleries and a free bird. That would be the time, when children must have left the nest to find their own place in the big world. A prophecy from someone who was dreading her husband’s retirement after few years.
I didn’t see it coming the way mom saw hers and also warned me too. I didn’t give it a thought then. It was still few decades away, I thought. Anyway, when one is in love, the thought of spending lots of time together is nothing but more love.
The decades gone by in a jiffy and it’s time for his retirement. I am writing from my own experiences of seven years now.
I have opted to work from home from 2007. Market in online education was nascent then and there were many opportunities to choose from. I had my fingers in both the pies of being a professional and stay at home wife. The boys had flown away almost around the same time.
As a stay at home mom or homemaker, the whole household is yours the moment children and husband go out to their “daily outings” of school/ college and office at least five days in a week. This is the time when one feels being the real “ queen of the house”. You can do any changes at home without any interference or approval from anyone. Least of all the master of the household for the simple reason that he spends most of his waking hours outside and when he comes back, there is nothing much to be done in the day to day running of the household. I loved this situation as it gives me total independence and control on household affairs.
The first casualty of his retirement was the freedom, solitude and my “me time” at home. I was working as a freelance professional and strictly followed my office timings. With him at home, “chalo Yaar chai peete Hain” sessions were affecting my time schedule of the day. My evening walks had gone for a toss and were replaced with evening long drives. They were somewhat romantic when we started but after a few rides, they became a fertile ground of starting a fight. The only solace was that it was a new one every day. Repetitiveness bores me to death.
Wise men or women have rightly said that “too much intimacy brings contempt”.
The tussel of keeping a clean house started the moment maid rings the bell and he gets up from the ringing of the bell. The daily bone of contention is to stop him from walking on the freshly mopped wet floor. But his belief in “ chodte chalon nishaan” is killing my belief in a clean shining floor.
It has been ages since I saw a neat and clean bed throughout the day. The moment it’s cleaned, he takes the newspaper and then perch himself there, slipping a little with time and then falling asleep. To counter the wrinkles on my bed sheet, I opted for fitted bedsheets. It has saved me at least to make bed every now and then.
Another fertile battle ground for us is the selection of plants and placement of pots in our small balcony garden. Our plants now grow on our fights and not on fertilizer. It was decades ago when Dr. Jagdish Chandra Bose proved that soft music helps in keeping plants happy and healthy. I can prove that a healthy fighting atmosphere around the plants helps them grow healthy.
- Everyone will make their own bed tea.
- We have divided the plants and took full ownership in the assigned area.
- Each one will take full responsibility of one meal complete with planning, inventory and guiding the cook.
- We started doing a lot of individual stuff.
- Developing creative hobbies.
- No interference in the household styling because I am too good at it.
These simple rules have sorted most of the issues of having a retired husband at home.
I have learnt my lessons over the years but now life is good.
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