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True Confessions: I'm a Wimp

My blogging buddy Terry posted recently on some of her new homeschooling escapades--she's new to the homeschooling world--and part of what she's doing is educating herself. She writes:

I’ve been learning some things too and I’m pretty excited about it since they’re things I never envisioned myself learning to do. I changed the oil in our Suburban this past weekend. If that doesn’t impress, I also changed the brakes! If my husband hadn’t hurt his wrist recently, I probably never would’ve taken the time to learn how to do such a thing, but I’m glad I did. The older I get, the more I appreciate how important it is for women as well as men to be well-rounded and equipped to handle whatever the task at hand may be, rather than tagging every chore as “men’s work” or “women’s work.” We saved our family some of the money my husband works hard to earn with my willingness to step outside my comfort zone and do what needed to be done. Now that I’m done bragging on my awesome womanliness....

(I don't know why I left an incomplete sentence in there (the rest of the sentence isn't relevant for my purposes here), but I just like it. :)

So here are my true confessions: I'm scared to check the oil, let alone change it. Air machines, where you fill up tires, scare me, too. I can't figure out how to do it without getting dirty. And what if I put too much in? What if I can't figure out when it's actually full? I don't actually think I know how to lift the trunk on my car. I just travel with CAA Plus (the equivalent of AAA), and a cell phone.

My husband has showed me how to check the air on my tires countless times, but I still can't do it.

We have a tent trailer that we use to go camping with, and about four years ago a friend and I decided to go camping without the men, who needed to work. Do you think we could get that stupid dining tent up? My friend Susan is much less wimpy than I am, but even there we had major trouble. Her husband showed up and got the thing erected in three minutes flat.

Now, it's not that I'm a princess. I'm really not. I don't mind hard work. I like to exercise. My nails aren't done. It's just that figuring out how to put things together or how to make things work scares me.

I'm not proud of it. I felt horrible that week that we were camping and we couldn't seem to fix stuff. You're helpless. And I've realized that if something happened to Keith, I'd have to quit camping. I've tried to have him teach me how to put the thing up before, but I just don't seem to have the strength or coordination. I'm even scared to drive the van when it's pulling the trailer!

So I'm very proud of Terry for changing the oil and stepping outside of her comfort zone! I totally believe that women should know how to do these things. I just don't want me to be next. You all can go next. I'll continue to wait on the sidelines.

I'm not like this in other areas of my life. For instance, I think it's absolutely ridiculous and dangerous to not know anything about the family's finances. All women need to know how much money the family has, what the net worth is, where the insurance is (and what you have insurance for), how much coverage you have, where your investments are, etc., even if you're not the one to look after them. I've known women who were left by their husbands who were swindled out of tons of money because they didn't know they had it.

I've known others who had their husbands suddenly fall ill who didn't know how to look after any of the bills.

I'm good at all that stuff. I used to take care of it (Keith took over about three years ago), but I could step in again if I had to.

I just still can't top up the air in the tires. Or change the oil. Or change a tire.

Does that make me a bad person?

What are you scared of learning how to do?

Labels: ,

10 Comments:

At 11:29 AM , Blogger Mary R. said…

Mowing the lawn and plowing the driveway; anything having to do with car maintenance; income taxes; supporting myself if anything happens to him, and not having anybody to talk to. I'm well-taken care of, and I guess I'm kind of wimpy. The "man-ladies" that I know make fun of me. I think they're jealous. (I could not ever put up my own tent...)

 

At 1:36 PM , Blogger Tessa said…

I feel like most of the things I could probably figure out but I do rely on my husband for things like car maintenance (he was a mechanic when I met him) and plowing the yard. We have done a lot of things with teamwork though because we were young when we got married and had to figure stuff out together. I probably should learn how to milk the cows or feed them just in case but that's tough with two little ones. I don't know a ton about the physical work on the farm and that is definitly sonething I'm scared to learn. I'm not great with driving big machinery and don't want to get kicked by a cow while milking (though that doesn't actually happen a lot).

 

At 1:38 PM , Blogger Tessa said…

One last thing, I'm scared of going to an airport and travelling without him to navigate the security and gates and tickets and luggage. Road trip I could do, but not flying anywhere!

 

At 2:18 PM , Blogger Terry @ Breathing Grace said…

Awwww, tha thanks, Sheila!

For the record, I was very afraid at first. Sliding up under that SUV was intimidating. I could brag after the fact because the job was done.

I'm still afraid of the weed whacker for some reason. Can't bring myself to use it. I'm not sure what that's about because I have no problem cutting the grass.

And I hate anything that requires I get on a ladder. Our house has vaulted ceilings so everytime I help paint, my heart beats double time.

@Mary: I suspect you're probably much more capable than you give yourself credit for. And if not, it's never too late to try new things!

 

At 2:25 PM , Blogger Sheila said…

Tessa, I could totally navigate airports! I love airports! I've even led missions trips where I have to lead dozens of adults through airports. Airports I can do. Tires I can't.

But I bet you could figure out how to milk a cow way faster than I could!

And Mary, I bet you're more capable than you think, too!

I posted this on Facebook this morning, and one of my friends said, "yes, but imagine all the stuff we do that he can't do!" That's true, too. Most men can't do much of what we normally do.

But I still wish I could drive the trailer. I've missed out on camping trips because I couldn't. Should I accept my limitations, or try to learn?

 

At 5:49 PM , Blogger Mary R. said…

I probably COULD do some of those things -- just have never had to, so they intimidate me. I actually drove cross country (well, from the Dakotas to central California) myself, which I didn't think I could do. Actually, we caravaned, with my husband driving the pick-up ahead of me (we dropped it off with our son who is stationed out there) and navigating, but still. I was driving 14-hour days, and never would have thought I could do that.

I can navigate in airports, but we used to live overseas, so I can get myself around. The key is to ask people for help if you are stuck.

Most of us are probably capable of more things than we think. I thought I could never learn the computer, either, but I did.

 

At 7:09 PM , Blogger Herding Grasshoppers said…

For me it's computer stuff. I mean, I USE the computer, but installing/downloading, etc... I'm afraid I'll screw something up and either lose everything and/or it will be expensive!

I don't mind the getting-dirty stuff (like camping!), it's the fidgety, fussy stuff I'm all thumbs at.

Julie

 

At 7:50 PM , Blogger Renee said…

We don't have a tent trailer, so I have no idea if I could set one up. But I took my three girls (17, 14 & 12) wilderness camping last summer, and we did great! I was so proud of us. Our main challenge was throwing the rope high enough to hang our food out of critter range.
I also learned to fly alone in order to join my husband occasionally on business trips - twice I've had flight cancellations, etc. while flying alone, and have learned that I can handle that.
But I do not do our finances or insurance. My husband has his way of doing things, and it is not my way! (He's much more detailed, and I do look at his spreadsheets.) But I figure if anything happens to him, I'll manage to figure it all out eventually. There are always going to be some things that we "specialize" in, that we will miss if either of us isn't there.

 

At 10:26 PM , Blogger Jen's Busy Days said…

I am scared of the whipper snipper (weed wacker?) too and even have to resort to using big scissors to trim the grass along the fence or around pots. Just cannot get how to use that thing!

I am pretty confident I could do the rest of the jobs he does if I could call a local hardware store or the like. My main concern is I don't think he could do what I do. It scares him it seems. May have to train my older children instead.

Best wishes
Jen in Oz

 

At 11:27 PM , Blogger Tessa said…

To those afraid to use the weed wacker, "Worx Cordless Grass Trimmer" is an awesome one. Easy to use and not scary at all. You just click the battery into place and push the button. It's not super high powered (i.e. is doesn't cut down small trees like the industrial one that my huband uses) but it gets the job done. I even use it in shorts and sandels and with my toddler running around!

As for men not being able to do things" my husband probably could not fold a diaper for the life of him!

 
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About Me

Name: Sheila

Home: Belleville, Ontario, Canada

About Me: I'm a Christian author of a bunch of books, and a frequent speaker to women's groups and marriage conferences. Best of all, I love homeschooling my daughters, Rebecca and Katie. And I love to knit. Preferably simultaneously.

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