Monday, May 11, 2015

De-skilling or up-skilling

I have been made aware in the last few years how easy it is for married people to deskill, especially women.  If you have a husband who very competently manages finances, travel, online issues, phones and computers, servicing the car, and other details, you come to realise that you could easily lose the skills and confidence to do them yourself.

It is something I have watched newly widowed or divorced women realise - skills they once had, or confidence to try new things, has diminished over time.

I have also realised there is a risk that I could be the same.  Husband takes care of many things, something I greatly appreciate.  One reason I really enjoyed going to Dubai was the chance it was to prove to myself that I can manage on my own - international travel, bookings, metro systems, all the things you do while travelling.  I have also taken over much of the maintenance management in our home, so I am the one learning about how to replace locks, change tap washers, and restore and revarnish wood.

I suspect all of us should make sure we put ourselves a little outside our comfort zone, learning new skills and maintaining old ones.

It's not a particularly profound thought and probably a rather obvious one, but something to keep in mind as the years go on.


Naomi B said...

Hi Wendy

I smiled at this post. Only a few weeks ago I was joking with a friend who recently married about jobs we have "delegated" to our husbands now we are married. Joking of course as we work things these out together and hubby has delegated us jobs too!

Both getting married in our 30s (my friend late 30s) we agreed how nice it is to have someone to help us too with household tasks. I still feel I can do everything if needed as I did it all for so long....Interesting post though.

Naomi B

Meredith said...

I think there's a double whammy. Marriage certainly does this but getting older also does. As we age (and I generalize) we tend to settle into our comfort zone a bit more and that is not a bad thing, except that sitting around in the comfort zone for too long erodes confidence for trying new things (or taking on things long put aside.) It's great to be aware of this and while it's impossible to avoid it completely, take some steps to keeping up and maintaining skills and confidence.

Wendy said...

Thanks for the comments Naomi & Meredith. I agree Naomi that it is lovely to have someone to share tasks with, especially when one of the pair clearly has the skills to do it and enjoys it.

But I totally agree also Meredith, in fact I was trying to figure out how to include the 'age factor' in my comments. Not that either of us are by any stretch old, but I feel the beginnings of some of those hesitations already myself!