my husband went away and I have never been happier

filed under: I Am Mommy on September 22, 2014

If you know me at all, that title probably doesn’t make much sense does it?

Let me explain.

I married an outdoorsy guy. Chad likes to hunt most things and fish for everything, any time of year that it’s legal. He is just one of those guys that gets his soul refreshed among God’s nature and beauty. Sitting in a deer stand in silence and completely still at the break of dawn, that’s something he enjoys.  Me?  Not so much.

I knew this when I met him. I knew this when I married him. I have learned the lesson over and over again with each pregnancy, each new baby, each rambunctious toddler that I was inevitably left alone with just when it was most inconvenient.


Chad Bow Hunting

Chad (on the left) with his brother, Ryan

While I accept his passions and love to reap the benefits of it (having a buffalo fill your freezer for 2 years is a wondrous thing) I can’t say I like it. Dread it more like. Hunting season and fishing season always seem to come too quickly and I find myself getting more bitter every year. It just doesn’t seem fair anymore! Here I am at home with five kids, sacrificing my job and my time to meet the needs of my family, alone. He is out doing exactly what he loves, with not a care in the world.

Yes, I signed up for a husband who puts time and great energy into his passions. No, I didn’t sign up for parenting alone for weeks at a time.

I joke with friends and family and give him a hard time. I start giving him dirty looks when he talks about mandatory trips to Cabella’s and Gander Mountain. I tune out when he talks about the details of his excursions.

I fully realize how I sound like a really terrible wife right now. Here is my poor husband, doing what he always does, and I am giving him heck for it.

But we are not the same young independent couple as when we first married. We have much bigger responsibilities now. In addition to the kids there is a home, a property, chickens and guineas’, a dog,  my career. Everything suffers when he goes away, sometimes life is lost.  And frankly, I just don’t handle it well.

I was recently reunited with a blast from the past. It was a lazy Saturday as I welcomed an old high school friend and her daughter into our home with open arms.  I had not seen her in about 20 years, but it was like not even a day had passed.  My heart was truly delighted seeing her beautiful smile again.

After a few hours of us talking and catching up, we had really gotten to a comfortable place and I found myself completely opening up. Telling her things I saved for the closest of friends. I told her about my husband’s trip and that it is HARD when he leaves. Everything about it is just hard.

We were all standing there, in our kitchen and she said, “You know, maybe it would be easier when he went away if he didn’t do so much for you.”

We laughed. She went on her way. But that comment… it stuck around.  Lingered in my brain and started to eat away me.

For days, I was questioning everything. What did she mean? That I am lazy? That I depend on him too much? Was she right? Was it only hard because I was too dependent on his help? Did she look at me and judge me for being overweight and assume I sat around all day eating the cakes and cookies I blog about? Why did she think that I was not pulling my share of the weight around here? Did she have ANY idea what I had been through?

The more time passed the more angry I got. Really, really angry. How dare she? She didn’t know me, know my husband, know our relationship. How dare she assume that my husband carried the weight of our relationship. I decided to email her, or to confront her, or maybe even to gently persuade her that what she perceived our situation to be was actually far from the truth.

But I didn’t. I said nothing to her. After a long mental battle, I realized something that I can honestly say I have never realized before.

There was no point in my fighting this battle.

Her opinion, while totally valid and one she was free to have and keep, should have no bearing on the reality of my life.

If she was wrong, she would see it in my actions, not in my words.

My husband packed up and left, and I cried. I texted him that I missed him, that I needed him, and he was my partner. While that may seem like normal conversation between husband and wife, it is not for me. I rarely, if ever, tell people I need them. (not to say I don’t actually need people, just that I am too stubborn or embarrassed or feel too guilty to impose my needs on people, much less tell them. I can honestly say that nothing feels worse to me than feeling indebted to others. It’s a level of discomfort I have a hard time explaining.) He texted back that I would be fine, that he loved me and that I was stronger than I thought.

He was right.

A mighty work took place in me while he was gone. Something clicked somewhere and every single day started with Intention. I decided that even if my circumstances were hard, that was no excuse for me not living life to the fullest and giving my family my best. Every single day, every single moment, I was all-in. I gave my all at home with the kids, giving them my full attention and respect. I didn’t yell (much) and I tried to be as calm as possible when faced with disagreements. I did the chores around the house with a happy heart, feeling grateful that I was able to get them done and feel so accomplished afterwards. I made lists and stuck to them, and at the same time decreased my self-imposed work load in favor or putting out better quality work. I set goals, made plans, and finally figured out just what I want to do with my life and career. And while some of that I will keep private (as part of me is just a natural big dreamer who loves the dream itself and finds joy in thinking about it, not necessarily seeing it come to fruition) one part I can reveal.

I want my blog to be a true representation of my home and life. I love iambaker. I love baking and decorating and creating new things, so that will not change. But I also love our home, our property, our chickens and garden.  I want to share with you that fact that my family and I drink raw milk and that we make homemade ketchup and syrup and jelly and can tomatoes and pickle peppers and that I brush my teeth with baking soda and don’t ever use bubble bath because I try to not put any chemicals on or in my kids and that most things I buy are organic.  And still I love Oreo’s and box cake mix.

Bethel Sunrise

That I take thousands of pictures of the sunrise and chickens and birds. I don’t understand fashion and am totally comfortable buying clothes at Target. I don’t like to travel and have no desire to leave my family nor vacation without them. That I am simple.

Most of all I love Jesus.  And I love that He gave me this perfect-for-me husband who I never knew was so perfect for me.  (He has been a gardening and natural living guy all along, while I came along kicking and screaming.) I love that while my husband was away chasing an elusive Elk and walking the scenic and breathtaking mountains of Idaho, I was coming into my own as a wife, mother , homemaker and child of God.

My Kids and Cousin Inga

The kids with cousin Inga

I got just as much, if not more, from completing the kids’ laundry in an organized fashion as I did from finding out my book was a best seller. I found out that when all is right with me, in my head and heart, then I can happily and successfully run this home.  Not in spite of my husband, but for him.

When my husband did come home, he came home to a house cleaner than it had been in ages.  To happy children who had a happy and relaxed and attentive mom.  To a better listener.  To a schedule and a routine that made our home a place we all wanted to be.  To a wife that didn’t resent him being gone, but that loved him for who he is.

I can honestly tell you, I have never felt more domesticated in my life.  And I am loving it.  The idea of getting a cow and living off of the grid is really, really appealing to me.  Now remember, I am a big dreamer.  In those dreams, I forget how much I love watching Cedar Cove and playing Spider Solitaire and blogging and baking crazy desserts with snickers stuffed into every crevice.

Snickers Special K Frosting

I love my home and children and nature loving husband. I love spending time with them. I love my life and am so thankful and blessed to be living it. And since I didn’t know how long this feeling would last (although I can’t help but hope for forever) I just wanted to write it down so that I could look back and know that somewhere along the way I knew.

I knew that I am exactly where I was meant to be.

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  • Diane {Created by Diane} says:

    I love hearing how things all seem to work out… better than expected!

    • Amanda says:

      Yes, exactly! Thanks. 🙂

  • Kristin Smith says:

    Love this post and your honesty!! 🙂 {{Hugs}}

    • Amanda says:

      Hugs to you Kristen!

  • Kate says:

    I love you, you know that?

    I think I understand what your friend was trying to say. Ian does a lot for our family. Sometimes more than me, sometimes less than me, but he’s always so helpful. When he is away, I miss all of that extra help. If he didn’t ever do anything for our family then I wouldn’t miss him when he was gone, you know? But because he’s always right there ready to jump in to help, I rely on him.
    Hope that makes sense.
    Anyway. I adore your life, and I adore you.

    • Amanda says:

      Makes total sense! I dont think she said it maliciously at all, I think she was trying to lend some insight and maybe get me to stop complaining! But what concerned me was that she only had a snippet of our lives and that was the impression that seemed to resonate… that he did (does) more. Now, I have to agree with her… Chad does a LOT! We wouldn’t have a garden or chickens or 15 acres if it wasn’t for him and his strong work ethic. But at the end of the day… it’s a team. 🙂 Love you to!

  • Katrina @ In Katrina's Kitchen says:

    Oh I can relate! My husband and I are a team and we run our house as a team and raise our children together. We rarely even make decisions without one another. So when he’s gone I get overwhelmed easily and I whine a lot. It gives me hope that things are going so well for you though! Because my house is still a wreck and my schedule is pretty weak. 😉

    • Amanda says:

      Girl… this is how I cope when I am completely healthy! I cant imagine adding a long period of sickness to the mix. Hugs to you!

  • Heather @ Shards of Lavender says:

    Amanda, I haven’t been following you for long, but I have to say that I’m loving your transparent honesty more than your cakes in your cookbook. And I love them plenty! I asked myself why I was tearing up about halfway into reading this post and I realized that I can relate to so many things you were saying. A husband who is there for me all the time, but does need time to pursue his passions. Me feeling neglected and resentful of his need for time away. My love for Jesus and how I need to focus on that more. Thank you for causing me to evaluate and to reprioritize:)

    • Amanda says:

      Ha! Then I tear up reading your comment! We must be deeply passionate and sensitive creatures. 🙂 Its been great getting to know you better Heather. Thanks so much for the kind words. Be blessed!

      • Heather says:

        Deeply passionate and sensitive creature; I’m going to use that the next time I burst into tears and my husband is looking at me, confused. Have a great evening, Amanda!

  • Mary says:

    oh, my sweet, precious, wonderful friend! What a treasure this was to read tonight. I understand times a million. I look forward to watching your journey unfold as you follow the curve in this path. And yes, there must always be chocolate.

    P.S. This: “I found out that when all is right with me, in my head and heart, then I can happily and successfully run this home. Not in spite of my husband, but for him.” This makes me so proud to call you my friend.

    • Amanda says:

      Feeling pretty blessed to call YOU friend. 🙂

  • Kerry @ Kerry Cooks says:

    I love this post Amanda!

  • Pam, in NC says:

    I like my life and I’m pretty sure that I am exactly where I’m supposed to be at this moment, and I’m okay with where that is. And then I read blogs that make me feel like I am reading annual Christmas letters where every little thing is hunk-doory and everybody behaves and everything is dust-free and nobody has any doubts – and then I think I must be some horrible loser in this game of life!!! Thank you for keeping it real and reminding me that there is perfection in nothing for any of us… we can only do the very best we can with what we have – whatever that is. Sure we can strive to be better people and make better use – but we are all little children of God just trying to make the world a little better, and maybe even do our part to reduce WorldSuck – in our homes or our communities. Thank you for reminding me that no every cake layer will come out level!!!

  • Jennifer says:

    I think your friend was just trying to tell you that you have a great husband. It is harder when a great helpmate is away! Great post!

  • Marge says:

    I love this post. I have been through this, it takes a while to realize that the absence is a good thing. He comes back a better person, refreshed ready to tackle life. I did fun stuff with the kids when he left, the kids would start planning things to do before he left! That way no one dreaded the leaving time, we all looked forward to something that we could share when we were together. We did exciting things like make your own pizza night, pizzas dough, individual sized, lots of toppings, assemble hoewever you like it. Each kid would plan something, a movie, an activity. We made it fun.

    • Marge says:

      We each have defined duties in our families. My husband always puts gas in the cars and takes care of all the maintenance. My friend thinks I am spoiled and he does to much for me. It’s all perspective. He doesn’t do laundry. I still love my friend.

  • Jill says:

    I don’t think I’ve commented before, but I’ve been following you a while. And I have to say, I seriously loved this post. I too dream all the time and the dream part is almost more fun than the doing part. Our lives are a bit different (2 kids, work outside the home, no chickens, no 15 acres), but after reading this post I felt like we were more alike than I thought. Maybe it’s the upper Midwest thing that makes it that way too…I’m in Fargo. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

    • Amanda says:

      Hi Jill!! I grew up in Fargo… planning on coming back very soon for a visit! It’s nice to “meet” you and I look forward to getting to know you more. 🙂

  • Nicole says:

    Wow, this definitely put thinks into perspective for me. My husband does so much to help me when he is home, that I had learned to rely on it too much. This past year his job has been requiring him to work 72+ hours with only 1 or 2 days in between. I felt overwhelmed and resentful for a while and then realized that I needed to not be so selfish and just get things done. I’ve been able to keep my house alot cleaner on a more day to day basis because of that mindset shift. Thank you for sharing!

  • Mid South Moma says:

    I have been following your blog for several years. I do not read every post, but this one is by far my favorites from you. I enjoyed reading your story and hearing about the other aspects to you. You sound like a beautiful woman inside and out. I have taking some of your insights to apply to my own.

    • Amanda says:

      Thank you. 🙂 So nice to “meet” you!

  • La Chica Organica says:

    What a heartfelt and humorous post. Beautifully written.
    God bless you,
    La Chica Organica

  • Stacia says:

    There is comfort in knowing that I am not the only one that feels lost when my other half is gone! It’s hard to see “Pinterest perfect” moms/houses/parenting and feel like it’s impossible to measure up. Something must be wrong. But in reality, nothing is wrong. We are the perfect moms for our kids, crafts or no crafts. :). Thanks for the transparency! 🙂

  • Phi @ The Sweetphi Blog says:

    Wow, this post really resonated with me. Beautifully written and thank you for sharing! I can’t even image what it must be like to have 5!!!! kids, chickens, a house, dog, your amazing blog, and do it all by yourself. You are a strong woman, and that is just so impressive!!! I love that you make your own ketchup (I recently started doing this too and omg, the flavor is amazing) but then also have Oreos (without which I’d probably cry, at least a little lol). Can’t wait to see what you’ll be sharing in the future. Sending lots of love and positive thoughts your way 🙂

  • Wife, mother, blogger says:

    Hi Amanda,
    I read this post when it first came out and desperately wanted to reach out to you. You don’t have to post this but as another women, married with grown children now and a food blogger I thought I’d reply.

    I’ve been married over 30 years. I too was a stay at home mom, enjoying taking care of my kids, being the room mom, going to all the after school sports, having their friends over after school, cooking dinner for my family and being the perfect wife for my man. Who worked hard all week, in the office by 6 am and home anytime between 3-5. Spent the weekend mornings doing his thing, typically the sport of the season he liked best and spending the afternoons at home relaxing, oftentimes playing with the kids and enjoying time with me and the family.

    As the kids got older and more involved in sports, etc. and he with his weekend sports I found we were living parallel lives. When I’d bring it up he said we were both busy and everything was fine. By our 20 year anniversary intimacy seemed to be taking a back burner, it seemed to just get worse as the years went on. Men hate talking about issues and while he said everything was fine I knew better. Eventually I followed him only to see he was doing his sport with a women who he kept seeing alone, over and over.. While I never found them intimate he repeatedly lied to me about being with her until I told him I saw them together. We’ve been seeing a marriage counselor for a year now and honestly our life together is worse than ever.

    Why am I telling you this and sharing it with others out there who may also be stay at home moms? Because I found his biggest gripe was that he’s been working hard all these years to support us and feels I’ve contributed nothing monetarily. Yet, I raised our kids, got up in the middle of the night to deal with sick vomiting kids while he slept and still enjoyed his weekends, while I continued doing my wifely duties since he was the bread winner. I did work part time mainly bringing in $$ to buy myself things. My husband has routinely made a 6-7 figure income for at least 20 years so it really wasn’t that we were struggling at all. It was just that he was sick and tired of feeling like he had to keep working hard to give us everything he’d made us accustom to, nothing we required from him, but he of himself.

    I don’t think I’d change much of what I did, even knowing what I do know, merely because I wouldn’t want someone else raising my kids. But what I did learn is that I allowed him to do the things he did without really commenting. It wasn’t out of fear but I felt guilty since he was the bread winner in the house that he should have time to unwind on the weekends. I still did my chores with not much of a break. Do yourself a favor, when you’re feeling like you mention in this post, while he’s off having fun, let him know and tell him you deserve a break as well and as often. Carve out the time to do the things he likes to do with him, and he with you. Before you know it the kids will be gone and the two of you will be looking at each other not knowing what to do or say to one another.

    I cry daily, go to sleep feeling blue, wake in the middle of the night sad or with thoughts going through my mind of how he’s going to screw me if he leaves me. He’s managed all our finances to the point I rarely see them – my own fault. I’ve trusted him completely because I love him. There was no reason not to.

    I don’t want you or anyone else out there to find themselves in my situation. I’m in love with a man I don’t really know anymore or what he’s really up to. I catch him in more lies now than I care to share with him. It’s just his word against mine.

    I am smart, I’ve been supportive, raised wonderful, loving , intelligent, children but when it boils down to it, he really doesn’t see that. I know several other moms in the same boat so this apparently is not exclusive to me..

    Speak your mind now but not threatening or your husband will become defensive. Make the time to spend with him doing something he loves together to keep your bond strong just as you did before the kids. Then when they’re gone you both won’t feel like there’s not a connection.

    My gut is that our marriage will be over soon and that’s really hard to swallow, especially since I know we both still love each other. Somehow though I can’t see how we will be able to salvage the time we’ve lost and the distance he put between us. I’ve always been a happy, fun loving person, and now I find myself fighting back the tears wherever I am. Don’t end up like me/us.

    I’m not sure if I got my point across and the email address isn’t actually one since I didn’t want to reveal who I am. Just take it for what it’s worth, I’ve never felt so lonely as I do now living in the house with my husband.

    Best Wishes,

    A fan of yours and fellow blogger

  • Laura Maggie says:

    Greetings to every one that is reading this testimony. I have been rejected by my husband after three(3) years of marriage just because another woman had a spell on him and he left me and the kid to suffer. one day when i was reading through the web, i saw a post on how this spell caster Dr Lucas, have help a woman to get back her husband and i gave him a reply to his address and he told me that a woman had a spell on my husband and he told me that he will help me and after 2 days that i will have my husband back. i believed him and today i am glad to let you all know that this spell caster have the power to bring lovers back. because i am now happy with my husband. Thanks for Dr.Lucas,His email:[email protected] Website:
    Laura Maggie

  • Sarah says:

    Glorious be unto Dr.PETER the great man and ever, my name is Sarah from Taxes city usa. since 1 and a half year I have witness what is called heart broken. my boyfriend that promised me marriage failed me and impregnate me and leave,he dump me,he stop calling” he stop picking my calls,and he no longer respond to me. I have be looking for solution,I fall into the hands of fake spell caster,they rough me off and took my money without help.I have cried,I have weep”and tears runs out of my eyes. The silentness in my heart brought me to the deepest path of failure that I lost my job. Crying all day,because of my life was lonely. So thanks to PETER that came into my life and brought me the greatest joy that was lost. I saw his mail while browsing and I contact and tell him what I am passing through with no doubt because what saw about him,was enough to believe. And I was given words of solution on what to do. I can’t really help thinking about it I have tried to see what I can do, I manage to provide him some materials and he help me with the rest,after casting the spell, 3days later he came with rose on his hand and I was even about going out,i saw him in front of my door when he sees me he knee and said he is dying I should forgive him and accept him back he was crying,I can’t wait to let him finish I quickly crab him and kiss him, just then” he said he is restless without me, just as the prophet has said he will be. He brought out a ring and put it on my hand. Our wedding day was scheduled,1week after we got married. today makes it 2weeks and we are living happily I don’t know how to praise him enough, he has done me a thing I can never forget. And I can’t really share to myself alone, I want y’all to help me praise him because if it is wasn’t for him I already plan of committing suicide. But right now I am now so happy more than I was before. And you out there crying for help you’ve already got one,PETER is the man that you need in all rampart. contact his address if you need his service, [email protected] also contact him on his NUMBER +2348132537313

  • Williams Artus says:

    How i got my wife back: Thanks to Dr.kabaka for helping me get my wife back, My name is Collins and i have been married for 10 years. It all started in June, my wife started acting very weird, everything little thing, she gets angry at every little thing and then one day i suggested to her that we should go for counseling in order to make our marriage work but she bluntly refused and told me she wanted to move out. She finally moved out and i became very sad, i did not know what to do, a friend of mine at work told me of Dr.kabaka and how he helped him when he had problems in his marriage. I wrote to the [email protected] and told him what i have been going through. He told me my wife had another man in her life and he would ensure i get her back. I did all the Prophet told me to do, he told me my wife would be back to me in less than 3days. My wife came home 2 days later, we talked about all that happened, she said she did not know what got over her. I forgave her and now we are back together. Thanks to dr.kabaka for bringing my wife back. Please contact [email protected]. he is a great prophet and he is also reliable.

  • Raymond Carl says:

    After 14 years of marriage with my wife, She left me with our 2 kids. And I felt like my life was about to end, because everything was falling apart. I contacted Dr

    Eddy which i did explained my problem to him. and he was the only one who could console me and assured me that everything was going to be over after he has done the

    spell for me In just 48 hours of his spell. miraculous! my wife came out of the blue and called me to tell me how much he loved me, and she did apologized for all the

    pain she had made me and the kids to go through. Now we are even happier than we were before. Thank you Dr Eddy your spells are the best. I really appreciate the love

    spell you did for me to get the woman back to my life i will keep sharing more testimonies to people about your good work. Thank you once again Dr Eddy for helping me,

    i’m so pleased with your services. you can get through to him directly on his Telephone number: +23408160830324. also on his email: [email protected].
    Raymond Carl

  • Simona says:

    Beautiful and well written. You are a true kind woman , wife and amazing wife. God bless U!

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