Every year when the air turns crisp and the morning temperatures dip down in the thirties, my husband comes alive. Not that he wasn’t full of life before. But there is just something about autumn and the coming of hunting season that puts a lightness in his step.
And he’s not the only one. Men who love to hunt all have this excitement growing in them from the middle of August. Bows are taken out of the closet, arrows are made ready, and “equipment” is scattered all over. Little boys look with longing at Daddy as he dons his hunting gear and heads out. If only they were big enough…..
But what about the women?
What do we do when our men leave for days at a time, or simply go several times a week until they bring home some meat? And we’re left home with 3, 4, or 5 kids plus a home to keep functioning.
How do we deal with the “hunter’s widow” mindset?
My husband has went hunting all our married life, so this is something I’ve had to learn to deal with. At first it was easy for me to feel sorry for myself. Here I was alone, with the children, having to feed, bathe, and bedtime everyone on my own. While he was out having fun.
I also found that to be somewhat “accepted”, you needed to whine about your husband’s hobbies that were taking him away from you. But I have never found that whining makes me or my husband feel any better — quite the opposite. It only made me miserable.
|Lowell’s hunting departure note 🙂|
So how do we overcome this poor me mindset of the hunter’s widow?
1. Recognize first of all that there are some “hobbies” (hunting or otherwise) that truly can get out of hand and the father neglects his family. If that is the case – pray, pray, pray. And then speak to him. You both need to know where the line should be drawn to not let it become an obsession.
However, if this hobby is within reason and the man is not neglecting his family . . . .
2. Thank God that your man is healthy enough to go out and bring in meat for the table. This is one that was driven home very deeply in the past four years since Lowell’s accident. He still has some slight handicap from it and so cannot run fast. This limits his hobbies – no longer can he play basketball, volleyball, and can only bat in softball.
Hunting is an option God has left open for him and I am so glad he is physically able to do this.
3. Count the blessings in it. I love having a freezer-full of meat. Not just plain old meat, but 100% organic, 100% all-natural elk meat! Another blessing I can count is the extra time I get to spend with my children. When I don’t have “adult conversation” to look forward to when Lowell comes home from work, it forces me to converse more with my kiddos and take joy in the personalities that shine forth!
Plus, I don’t have to pack lunches for my man for a whole week and suppers can be minimal when it’s just the kids and I. Although that is changing as they get older.
4. Have fun! Ditch the “poor me” attitude and decide you are going to have fun. Hopefully whining is getting less popular anyway.
This is one I love! When Lowell goes hunting, my tradition is to go buy myself a BIG bag of Reese cups.
Don’t laugh. It’s true.
Way back on his second or so hunting trip, I decided then and there that if he was having fun, then I was going to have fun, too. Fun for me means chocolate. Or a good book. An English Toffee frappuccino. Going shopping. Or sleeping in.
It doesn’t have to be big, but pamper yourself so that you can say when he comes back in the door that you truly had fun, too!
5. Support his integrity. When you start to feel the gripes coming on, thank the Lord that this hobby is not instead a bad habit or sin such as pornography.
Be thankful that he is faithful to you and tell him so. Then let him go on his hunt – he will enjoy it much more knowing his wife will be cheerily waiting for him at home.
You notice how many of these have to do with our mind and not on our circumstances changing? We can view the same circumstance from two totally different perspectives with two totally different outcomes. But it doesn’t happen by itself.
It takes a decision.