Chronic Migraine, Coping

The Daily Headache’s Anniversary & Life as a Reluctant Housewife

Today is The Daily Headache’s third anniversary! I’ve been blessed with caring, supportive readers who make living with migraine and chronic daily headache much easier. Thank you all.

To celebrate this anniversary, I’m sharing one of my all-time favorite posts and some current thoughts on it:

Being a housewife was never in my plan. I’ve tried and tried, but I always come back to the knowledge that I’m not good at it. My old standbys were there — guilt, blaming myself, etc. I’ve become more forgiving in the last two years. More important, I no longer believe I’m a housewife. Reframing my day-to-day life as a blogger and someone who needs to rest a lot has made a huge difference.

Not-So-Merry Kerrie Housewife
July 14, 2006

Major Messer of the Modern World is the title my mom bestowed upon me when I was a kid. Add to this my history of overachieving and desire to change the world and it becomes abundantly clear that being Merry Kerrie Housewife was not in my cards. Without being able to work and bringing home a paycheck, cleaning, gardening and cooking seem the only way to contribute to our household.

Doing at least one housewifely activity consistently seemed like an attainable goal. Cooking is a task that I enjoy, so making dinner regularly is naturally what I chose to do. (Getting back the not-so-good results of my cholesterol test in January gave me an extra push.) I felt like I was being realistic.

The reality is that I have no control over how much pain I’m in day-to-day or even hour-to-hour. If I plan and buy for a week’s worth of meals at once, I inevitably throw out the ingredients for at least one of them. If I plan day by day, which is really only three days a week because we always have leftovers, I’m lucky to make it to the store and have the energy to cook once each week. I’ve tried various permutations of these plans and still can’t figure it out.

When I do get dinner made, if my pain is in the moderate range — as it almost always is by mid-afternoon — I’m spent by the time we eat. Wiping down the counter is a stretch; doing dishes is an impossibility. Although Hart, who is totally exhausted too, is happy to help, I tell him to not worry about it because it’s my job.

To sum it up, I’m an overachiever who’s underachieving at a job that I’m so not suited for. I never get it all done, which nags at me constantly. I tell myself that it’s OK. I never intended to be a housewife, nor, in fact, am I one. I’m a woman with chronic illness who is coping the best she can. Too bad I don’t believe it.

I know how ridiculous it is to be angry with myself for being sick; I thought I was past that. But it’s perfectly normal to berate myself for not keeping up with housework? Hmm. Doesn’t take an analyst to see that I’m still blaming myself for my illness.

2 thoughts on “The Daily Headache’s Anniversary & Life as a Reluctant Housewife”

  1. Happy Blogiversary!

    I can really identify with the 2006 post you re-posted. I feel the exact same way about dinner, and it’s what I use for an example when speaking to doctors about my still-undiagnosed problem: “By the time I’m done with dinner, I’m in pain and shaking from the exertion”.

    It seems to be a good example to give them, but it’s no fun dealing with the reality of it, as you know. I loved cooking, now I can’t often manage it.

  2. Happy Anniversary to Kerrie and the Daily Headache! I think I’ve read every post you’ve made. What the grand total of posts (just out of curiousity)?

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