Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Week 20 Derby wives and men

I had a baby 4 years ago. Then another one 2 years after that. I had a great job, but the pay was not enough to cover childcare when the second one came along. So I happily stayed home.

Staying home for some people can come natural, and I definitely settled into domestic bliss with little complaint. But the bits that are lost when you no longer maintain a constant relationship with the outside world can be disheartening.

I'm not a park mom. I don't take the kids in the stroller on walks. I don't go to the zoo and I'm not the kind of mom to get together with other moms and swap recipes. I drink coffee on the couch and watch cartoons.

This is totally fine with me. But by reducing my social life from work and family, to just family it changed my relationship with my husband. He became my adult world. The only one who really spoke english. He could help me with the kids and give me a break from the chaos. I went from somewhat independent and worldly to scared and shortsighted.

I longed for the moment he came home, I hung on his every word. When he wanted to go out at night to play poker I would be sad and obstinate. I hated that I was stuck at home and after only an hour or two of relief he would leave again. The weekends were the same, he would fish and again I would stay home, resentful of his life outside of home.

He was living a normal life while my horizons shrank smaller and smaller. This may sound kind of lame, but I don't think it's such an unusual story. The first year or two of childhood is very demanding. I had two kids so I had to sink into my small version of parenthood for three and half years.

Once my daughter turned 18 months things changed. I wasn't so exhausted. They didn't hang on me constantly, they didn't even notice me as much. My time, chained to the house, was over and my life was going to begin again.

Enter derby. Now I go out a few nights a week. Every other weekend or so I have social outings or games to go to. I have made friends with an unusual and surprisingly cool group of people. I have a normal life again. But my time locked away had done it's damage.

My husband had grown used to years of me hanging on his every word. He had been the center of my world and now my world had grown out away from him. Had I not stayed home for so long, or had continued normal social interactions during early parenthood, this may not have been a problem. But I didn't, that wasn't me. Now he has become the derby widow and derby has become my new wife.

The concept of the derby wife is all about supporting each other. Helping each other through the rough bits, being there. I have to wonder how many derby wives provide the support that you wish could come from your significant other. My husband wants to be supportive, and he tries. But it's hard to be completely OK with your wife's new mistress who consumes her thoughts and time, when you used to be number one.


  1. This is my favorite entry of yours thus far.

  2. I'm feeling very connected to this post. Thank you.