My husband is an avid duck hunter. He loves the water, being outdoors, the preparation, and the sense of accomplishment after a hunt. He doesn’t mind getting up early, putting in all the work, and cleaning up afterward. I know he works hard at it, but he loves it.
Accepting life as a hunter’s wife wasn’t as easy in the beginning. It felt like another scheduling problem to deal with, the time my husband was away from the family, an activity that was a burden to me, as his wife.
I probably complained about it often and, admittedly, didn’t always make it easy on him. I was sometimes annoyed when he would leave or less than thrilled when he came home to begin the clean-up process. This caused tension, of course, and made his hobby a lot less enjoyable for him. After several discussions about his hunting and some soul-searching, I decided to change my perspective on the entire experience.
- Soul-Serving: I thought a lot about what soul-serving activities I have in my life, the things that I cherish and want to continue to be able to do. I reminded myself that we all need time away from the family, from the house, from the day-to-day, and I want my husband to have that break too. I also work out a schedule to get special time to myself (before hunting season starts) so that I don’t feel resentful when we’re in the season.
- Time Management: It’s a big thing for us, and we plan ahead as much as possible. I think we’ve both gotten better at communicating expectations so I know in advance when he’ll be away and how long it will be. Then I can plan accordingly by scheduling other things for myself and the kids, getting babysitters if needed, or just planning to have lazy weekends (which are also amazing!). I also try to mark the calendar way in advance of any must-do things my husband should be home for so that he knows to plan to be home.
- Me-Time: I’ve found all the shows on Netflix that my husband doesn’t want to watch and I binge away! On the weekends my husband is away, and I spend my time reading or visiting family, or taking more naps. I also paint my nails and do art projects with my daughters that take time and make a mess and usually don’t happen on a normal weekend. I’ve found ways to invest in myself and my children so that we all feel valuable quality time even if we’re apart.
- Finding Joy: In all things, you can strive to find joy. I have a much different perspective now about hunting season. I appreciate that my husband is spending time with his son and training him on safety and sportsmanship and boat operations. I appreciate that he has a hobby that is wholesome and high-activity and soul-serving for him. I appreciate the opening of time that hunting season allows me. I appreciate that we are different and can enjoy different things. And I honor the calendar to a fault so that expectations are clear and no one is disappointed.
A hunting wife’s life isn’t always the easiest. I don’t eat duck, and I don’t appreciate the outdoors as he does. But I do want to be supportive of the thing he loves. We have a joke about how much I dislike camo, but also … I’ve never seen a more handsome man dressed like a tree.