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About Eric’s Wife

Some may say I am a "Stay at home Mom," but that is not even close. I am Eric's Wife. I have exhilarating strokes of genius, followed almost immediately by paralyzing pangs of self doubt and, for whatever reason, here is where I blog about it - warts and all. I serve a merciful God with a clumsy hand and at the end of each day I go to sleep thankful to be His servant and Eric's wife.

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Advice: How to be Brave

May 22, 2020

I am rarely very brave. I guess I could give myself some credit and say that I sometimes become brave, but if there is a ledger on me, it will be heavily marked in the coward side. Any episode I could report to you of great bravery was a moment that came after tens of thousands of major failures and minor wins in bravery.

I am not a chronically anxious person, but I find I tic that way sometimes. Years ago I received a phone call from an authority figure in one of my kids’ lives. My heart froze. I looked up to confirm that the child in question was with me, so, safe, and then I let the call go to voicemail. I was certain that I had been found out. It was the call to let me know that my illusions of parenting success were void and I had failed my child. I had no reason to believe that is what the call was for, but it is just where my head went.

The person left a message and I let that message sit on my phone for two days. Every time I saw the notification on my phone, I felt a little sick. After two days of this, I finally put “listen to voicemail” on my to do list. This meant that it had to be done. There was no getting around it.

I did everything I could do from my generously padded to do list. I cleaned the bathroom, graded homework, straighten books on the shelf, cleaned out the fridge, dusted blinds… Finally, the list was finished except for that HUGE ZIT of a notification on my phone. It was time.

I asked God to guard my heart and make me brave, then I put the phone to my ear to receive the awful news I had been dreading.

“Hello, parents! Welcome to another school year at <local> high school! We are happy to have your son/daughter…”

I heard no more after that. I felt just as ridiculous as I felt relieved. I knew it was not bad news. I knew it, but it played on my fear. I am afraid of difficult things, hard talks, criticism, looking dumb, and not being recognized. When I get a whiff of it, even if I am dead wrong, it sets off all my alarms.

For me, bravery is when I tackle difficult things, have hard talks that I didn’t instigate, receive critisicm with grace, risk looking dumb, actually look dumb, and labor with no recognition. In a word, for me, bravery happens when I am humble.

I only learned this because of how often I have been humbled. Being humbled is a different animal than being humble. I know this, because I get humbled more often than I’d care to admit. So, I can’t really tell you how to be brave, but I can tell you how to fail at brave. I fail at brave when I get in the way like a toddler with a set of car keys. I need to stop pretending that I’m in charge. When I run the show, the end is cowardice of some kind. Every time.

This concludes my advice on how to be brave. I hope you find it helpful next time your phone rings or you hear, “Can we talk?”

Why Blog All the Sudden?

May 21, 2020

Way, way back in the olden days, when this page was and my kids were both in diapers, there was a reason and a rhythm to blogging for me and my pack of mommy bloggers. Blog writing has a style that is distinct from book writing, twitter or Facebook posting. It’s like a quick form memoir, with some serious, some satire, some snapshots of now, throwbacks to then. Blogging is it’s own thing. And I kinda forgot all about it.

Every year I pay the web hosting fee to the good folks at WebexMedia for this blog. I pay for it and then I think I should probably write something for it. But, what? I have a health related blog, so, that’s done. My kids are no longer toddlers and they own their own social media presence so I can’t mommy blog vampire them for material any more. (Even though, seriously, y’all, they still say the darnedest things. It’s a riot over here. But I can’t talk about it.) It seemed like any time I had a quick thought I wanted to write to share, it was easiest to just put it on Facebook so they could own it instead of me because they are just so precious.

Like a lot of mommy bloggers from my friend group, I eventually quit blogging and only Facebooked (the slightly younger ones went to Instagram, the pithy ones went to Twitter.) Facebook is like the mom jeans of the internet, so I fit in well over there. I enjoy writing quips for Facebook, though, I have come to realize that it, too, is a whole different writing form.

So, to answer the question nobody asked, “Why blog all the sudden?” Because blogging used to feel like the place where I pretended to be a real writer, but now I know that I am a real writer and blogging is its own kind of writing. I like writing and sometimes blogging it is the only long form writing I do in a month. I’m not a known writer. It is easy to think that your voice doesn’t matter because so few hear it and that is what I think most days when I hit “post” on just about anything. Blogging is my own personal exercise in writing and in being brave.

I don’t know how long I am going to keep up this run at it, but it has been fun and added a good deal of purpose to long and lazy days.

Advice: How to Help Your Husband Work From Home in Comfort

Obviously, this blog site is called “Life and Times of Eric’s Wife” and I am Eric’s Wife. I think it goes without saying that these titles and blog sites don’t just get handed out like candy. They have to be earned. I don’t demand respect, I just naturally command it on account of my obvious knowledge regarding all things wife or Eric related.

Now that I have established my extensive credentials, let me help you during this highly unusual time of super extra togetherness. Husbands come in all kinds of shapes, sizes, preferences, accents, and eyebrow thickness. A lot of people say that you can’t narrow them down to simple monochrome mock-ups for the purpose of public demonstration, but I am not a lot of people. My advice works for all husbands, not just Eric. You may have to change the pant sizes, but it is still pretty straight forward.

The first thing I recommend to all wives is that you make sure to wake up before your husband and make certain the coffee is ready and breakfast is being prepared. The smell of coffee and sizzling bacon is better than an alarm clock and you will have helped start his day in comfort. While he is enjoying his breakfast, quickly make the bed and dab on some make-up. If you wear make-up for Wal-Mart, don’t you think you should for your husband?

Because your husband is now working from home, it is important that you organize your household in a way that streamlines his efforts. Keep his work space clutter free and make certain to keep your children away from him. He should not be bothered with anything related to parenting during work hours. This is completely on you to make certain he is unbothered.

If your husband is like mine, he is likely accustomed to lunch being provided for him by a company paid for chef. Friends, you can not forget his lunch. Sure, you’ve spent years eating leftover cold oatmeal in the mid afternoon for your lunch, but now it is time to step up and give him daily lunches that rival the chef at his office.

When his work day ends, you need to make sure that he has time to unwind. Maybe he would like to change from his athletic shorts to some fresh pajama pants? Attend to his needs and make sure he is settled for comfort before you go to the kitchen to prepare his dinner. You will need the evening meal to be gourmet and colorful like the lunch meal, but it will need to be a completely different thing, or else his palate will get bored.

I hope my advice for surviving being cooped up with your husband is helpful. Being a blogger with tens of readers, my situation is likely different from yours and I don’t have time to follow my own advice anymore, but you can! It is midmorning as I write this and Eric is somewhere around here working. He was a dear and brought me a coffee so I could get this very important blog post written. As soon as I get this posted, I am going to change out of this bathrobe and go see what’s in the fridge for lunch, probably a frozen pizza, but I’ll put some apple slices out for balance.

Serve your husbands well, friends. This concludes my advice for how to help your husband work from home in comfort.