Saturday, January 5, 2008


Tonight is one of those evenings where husband and wife have limited contact and/or conversation in our home. No matter who says something, the other seems to take it the wrong way. We're both tired and a teensy cranky, which is when this usually starts to unfold. He's been working some extra hours and feeling pressure for a project at work. He went into the office to work today. Wonderful. He comes home in time for playoff football, and sits on his ass all afternoon/evening with the occasional moment with a child or folding of the kid's clothing. That leaves me taking on heavier house & kid duties. Waaanderful.

The thing that set me off this afternoon was him not wanting to take Ariana outside to play for 20 minutes. He wanted to watch football. (Football is a sore subject in this house at the moment.) I, of course, got bitchy and said I'm sick of football coming before other things. Like your children, who haven't seen you all day, and want to spend time with you. He suggest I take her outside. Sure, me who has no snow pants and has this beautiful chest cold. Thank you so much for thinking beyond yourself. So, I fall into my pig-headed stubborness and get Ariana dressed and then myself, at which point he comes over to put on his stuff. A small tiff ensues with me continuing to be stubborn and pissy, and him saying, fine whatever. He got to go to a f'in Packer game last week while I stayed home with sick kids. I had sick kids all week. On New Year's I got a couple of hours for myself. I said I was going to try out my new scrapbooking tool, a Cricut, some. Well, I spent a bit too much time of the computer for his liking and he comes downstairs with this f'in tone in his voice, "I thought you were playing with your Cricut." Um, if it's my time...shut the hell up. I can spend it how I like. It's just adding up this week.

I get that he's tired and stressed. I appreciate the fact that he goes to work M-F to earn a living to provide for us, I really do. And I know that he appreciates me being home with the kids and doing the majority of the housework. He is a wonderful help with the kids, most of the time. Hell, he's ten times more involved than some of the husbands I know. I went into marriage and parenthood knowing that our partnership would be as close to 50-50 as possible. I'm an equal opportunity parent. It's give and take.

But there occurs these moments when I'm pissy about doing 18 f'in loads of laundry over the last two weeks, shopping, wiping butts, figuring out what's for dinner, looking at the scummy toilet and saying, gee I better clean that...moments where I'm just tired of doing all that crap. He can say thank you for taking care of all the things I take care of all day for days, but there's this level of deeper understanding that I don't think he gets. Yes, I understand the constrains of a full time job with pressure and stress...I use to work full time. There's more to being a stay at home mom than playing with your kids and putting dinner on the table. Yes, I understand I perhaps have more time to clean and do laundry. But, if you've ever spent an entire day with our children, you know that the extra time isn't what it seems to be. I typically start to get pissy when he slacks off some. The slacking could be due to illness, work, whatever. I try to understand some of it, but eventually I'm so frickin' tired of keeping everything running that my mouth seems to shoot off. I attempt to keep things running smoothly so there are few bumps along the way. But that gets exhausting after a while.

We are different in many ways. We do lots of things differently. We worry about different things. One shining example is me going through the kids clothing, putting aside the items that no longer fit and pulling out the next size clothes we have. And making sure each child has enough clothing. I take care of that, I always have. And I made the moronic decision to work on that this week when I'm in a peaky mood. Not my best decision. So, of course, I get pissy and we have slight words about it. I'm pissy cuz he never has to worry about stuff like this and I ask what he'd do if I wasn't here to take care of that particular task. He laughs and says, well the kids would be wearing clothes probably way past when they no longer fit. Funny, very funny. This causes me to roll my eyes and slowly back into the bedroom again where my eyes start to tear up. These are the types of things that he does not understand. And unless I, for some reason, wouldn't be here to do it...he'll never have to worry about it.

We're both tired. He allows himself to sit his ass on the couch watching TV all evening. Me, I have problems allowing myself to do something like that. There always seems to be something to do, dishes to wash, clothes to fold, toys to clean up, etc. I have a more difficult time relaxing in situations like that. And I know it, it's incredibly frustrating for me.

I can appreciate our difference, but there are times when I loathe them as well.


Jen said...

Hey, Ms D,

Know that you ARE NOT alone. Someone once gave me some advice, which was to stop making up stories in my head and talk to my DH. At first, I wasn't sure what that person meant, but our brains are so creative that we jump to conclusions, make guesses, or plain old wrong assumptions.

You are a phenomenal mommy. Take time to heal from your virus, get more sleep, and you'll find a way to talk to your DH. I know it! We PE survivors are some of the strongest mommies, I've ever met. Sometimes adversity is the spice of life! Heck, maybe you can have some make-up fun! LOL ;)


Lori said...

Just wanted to send ((((hugs)))). I was nodding my head reading most of your whole entry. My dh can be the same way...I think sometimes he honestly thinks that all I do all day is play with the kids...and yes, somedays that is right..but not once in the 3 years we have lived in our new house has he ever swept the floor, or cleaned the funk out of a toilet...and this past week I also did the exact same thing in the boys drawers and closets...putting away Hunter's to save for Dalton and getting Dalton's ready to list on ebay or yard sale...I've always done this for them and I was thinking all the while is what would happen if something happened to me. I take care of so many things..the bills, the kids, etc etc and I wonder what in the world would happen to this family if I was gone. Anyway, know you aren't alone. ((((hugs))))

Allison said...

Ok, guilty... Denise, I have read your blog a lot but have never chimed in. Sorry!!! But after reading this last entry, just had to!!

I think it resonates with all of us SAHMs. God love them, but our hubbies will never TRULY understand. Never. I can tell you first hand what would happen about the clothes thing... When I returned from a 6-month deployment in May 2005 and greeted Evan (then 22 months old) and my hubby, Evan was wearing clothes that were way too small and his toes were hanging way over the end of his sandals. I remember saying, "Tomorrow we are going to buy you some clothes that fit!!" Guys just don't think about that stuff.

They don't think about the 1 million decisions we make every day: what are the kids going to wear, what to feed the kids for breakfast, snack, lunch, what's for dinner, what do we do today, what needs to be cleaned, what appointments need to be made, etc. etc. It's exhausting and very easy to become resentful...

Just wanted to say that I hear ya!! And also to say that you need to get out of the house and go treat yourself for doing such a great job. Go get a pedicure or a Starbucks. You deserve it!!

See ya on the Forums...

Amy said...

Hey Denise, just wanted to let you know that I too have the same issues with my DH. I too take care of the clothes and let me just tell you a little story about my DH and baby clothes. Not only does he not realize when clothes don't fit on Gracie, half the time he can't even put them on her correctly. He once brought her to daycare with her pj's on backwards (they were the kind with the feet in them and rather than realize they were on backwards and fix them he just twisted the legs around until her feet went in the right way). Our daycare provider (knowing how dads are way too well) just laughed at him and fixed it before he left to go to work. He was embarassed about the whole situation, yet he still puts pants on backwards or shoes on the wrong really does make you wonder though what would happen if we were not here to dress our children, clean the house, etc.

Anyway girl, I totally know how you feel. Go take some time for you... maybe a nice bubble bath and a good book would do you some good...

Aunt Becky said...

It's hard, isn't it? My husband is an excellent father but over 100% (if that's possible) lazy about doing any sort of housework. It's insane how little he does, and yet the messes he makes are worse than either of the kids.

Somedays, I get over it and get on with my life and other days I stew past the point of being ridiculous.

And of course, since he reads my blog, I can't talk about it there.


Oh well.

Could be worse, eh?

~Denise~ said...

You are all so sweet! Of course, things came to a head this morning with us having a disagreement. We're both feeling like the other doesn't understand each other's stresses, etc. But it's on the up and up now.

Becky, I have to laugh cuz Jason does read my blog so when he sees this he'll have some comments I'm sure. ;)

Anonymous said...

Hmmm...This is one thing we as women don't realize we bring upon ourselves. We do allow our DH's to be this way. I'm in NO way defending men, who DO sit lazily on the couch and watch TV or nap while we go about the million things we as Moms do to keep the house in order. I do get defensive when DH does it too. Here's the catch: We expect them to, but men CAN'T read our minds, and do not operate or think the same way we do! This was a huge revelation for me, but once I started asking more of DH-not because he wasn't doing anything (working a FT job for one), but he didn't understand I needed more equality, even if I was at home w/the kids. I didn't feel our household duties were balanced, and I was getting all the chores while he'd come home and play or relax.

I decided this had to stop! Otherwise, I'd resent him...and he'd well...nap.

What struck me was when you wrote "He allows himself to sit his ass on the couch watching TV all evening. Me, I have problems allowing myself to do something like that."
Of course he does, and we as Moms CAN sit our ass on the couch as well and do nothing. We choose most often not to. We go about doing all the chores, and build up resentments while DH's have no idea why we're so pissed (or passit off as PMS)

Negotiate w/DH about who will do what. No matter who's at home or what's going on. Each person needs separate chores. I do all the laundry, but DH does all the dishes. When I get pissed that I'm on my 5th load of laundry, I realize there's a dishwasher needing unloading, and I don't have to do it! If there's dishes in the sink, I can let them sit because they're not mine to do!

I vacuum the house, but DH cleans the toilets. It's a trade-off. He may not like it 100% of the time, but I'm not nagging his ass, and not carrying all the workload!

It doesn't matter who works in or out of the house. At the end of the day, the family/household chores can and should be shared. If not in the evening, on the weekend. Both can knock them out and get everything done before the day's activities.

Negotiate, make a deal, work it out. Just because you're a SAHM does not mean you're not in a position to do everything and he can't share responsibility. (Jason will hate me for that! ;) )

***One key to the whole thing: He will not do things the same as you, or as well as you'd like them done. DO NOT nag about it! If he's scrubbing a toilet, it's getting clean. PERIOD! If he put a kid's shirt in the wrong what? It's put away. (you can move it later) If you nag, he won't do crap. A gentle reminder is one thing, bitching about him helping is another. Men are like big kids. They drown us out if we bitch too much, then stop doing anything)

There are alternatives, but instead of assigning him things to do, make him feel like he's a part of it. Let him choose 2 things a week to do. You pick up the rest and go from there. Even if he vaccuums once per week, it's a start.

It's taken me years, but I truly have a good balance. It takes work and A LOT of talking (not complaining) with each other and working together.

(Sorry, this may not be what you want to hear, but just my 2¢)

~Denise~ said...

Dawn, we actually have some chores that we each are responsible for which has helped in the past tremendously. ;) I'm the toilet scrubber here.

Anonymous said...

Oh, sorry, I forgot to imput that our negotiations began after the recommendation of our marriage therapist whom we were seeing so we wouldn't get divorced!

(really, no kidding!)(not like I come to these revelations on my own for pete's sake!) ;)

I was the biggest B-I-T-C-H until I forced myself to let go for my own sanity...and our marriage.

Cassie said...

Thanks for your comment on my blog. Your "differences" post really struck me. I could have written it, so it made me laugh and I shared it with hubby, who only laughed a little, but oh well.

Anonymous said...

Damn, not so sure I want to post a reply ~ducking for cover a bit~

Got a great kick out of Allison's post about her kids showing up in clothes too small.

Dawn, I won't take anything too personally, I still love you. Besides, I can't forget how you stroked my ego the last time you called ;-).

Denise, I honestly don't know what I or our family would do without you. I've told you many times you are truly a remarkable woman and I don't know how you do it. I love you with all my heart and then some.

You're loving hubby.

Anonymous said...


Jason, you need to earn your keep for all the good sex I keep offering! ;) (you know your imagination is running wild) ;)

I wasn't trying to get you in trouble, just pointing out that I think most men would rather pick up a duty at home rather than hear b! least that's what Eric says.

Oh, and when you clean the toilet, don't use one of the toothbrushes that are by the bathroom sink...eew!!! ;)

Jason, p.s. "menage-a-tois" ;0
ok now, let your imagination run wild again!

Love ya'! :)

~Denise~ said...

Will you two stop lusting after each other on my damn blog! ;) hee hee

Anonymous said...

lmao ;-p