Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Disdain for the SAHM

Okay this has been what's happening since Hubby came back home.  I'm trying to speak about this nicely and from a forgiving place rather than to rage.  But I need to talk about this.  So I am.

When my Husband came home to find his wife dying on the couch and the children jumping all over her, the first thing that he said was not "gosh, I missed you guys." or anything to that affect.  It was and I'm loosely quoting "Wow.  I thought that the house would be cleaner."  In defense of my husband, he is not really an Ogre by decision.  He has no censorship; he usually says the first thing that pops into his head.  He once asked a friend of mine who had just given birth if her stomach felt like jello now.  I imagine he would behave in a like manner around people who've lost a job or a loved one.  He simply can't help himself.  If any kind of nick name could be assigned him to describe this lack of censorship, it would be Bonehead. 

Later, after I stormed off in both misery from feeling sick and from feeling rejected, my husband apologized for said Bonehead comment.

Now one would think that would be the end of it, but no.  My husband freely admits that in addition to being a Bonehead and saying Bonehead things, he's also selfish and an a-hole.  He called this A-hole attitude of his being "Alpha Male" and claims that if he didn't behave this way I would loose all interest in him of the attractive kind.  He gets this idea from this blog.  I've read a few articles and maybe because I'm female and a feminist of sorts and Catholic I find it revolting.  It may also be due to my husband using me as a some sort of social experiment since we met.  He read some blogs that said he should cut off dates early before the person gets bored in order to "leave them wanting more."  My husband is a scientist and I will kindly remind him now that he is not a social scientist.  Please, dear, leave that sort of thing to the professionals.

So what A-hole things has he been saying well....basically that anything I complain about is selfish since I choose to be a SAHM which is my job.  And he says this lately alot.  So to turn the tables on him, I drafted my resignation.  I resigned from cooking and cleaning.  I clearly defined my working hours and that my "job" was to ensure the well-being of and to provide child care to our children.  The rest of the time I would be a wife and mother and my duties would be split equally with my husband.  He didn't quite like this idea but he didn't disagree with it entirely.

In response he drafted a graph showing what we do during all hours of the day.  I reminded him that in his draft he allocated time to ready himself for work.  I don't have a space in his chart to take a shower.  This has been something I've been requesting for a long time.  Since I sleep with the baby, I think it's only fair that I get to take a shower alone just as he does.

Why don't I get a shower?  Well, glad you asked.  My husband goes to bed later than I do and I wake up slightly later than he does because I get up at night (and sometimes at 5am for an hour before falling asleep for another hour).  My husband would like to "put our child on a schedule."  I basically told him that to deal with a toddler was stressful enough.  Listening to my other child scream....well, he can deal with that.

Alright, well then why don't you just take a shower before you go to bed?  Can't.  My husband wakes up over any little sound.  Including the shower.  Even though there's a closet separating the bedroom from the shower.  Doesn't matter.  He will hear it and not go back to sleep.  Although his latest reincarnated agreement is to let me shower before he switches off to the couch for the night.  Not sure if that will be followed through.  The last agreement we had was I would take a shower before the kids went to bed.  That doesn't work because I don't like having to clean (and get myself dirty or sweaty) after showering.

Then there's the problem with division of labor.  I can multi-task.  I can breastfeed my baby and simultaneously wipe a runny nose and read a book to my two year old.  Ask my husband to bounce the baby on his knee while supervising a game with my toddler and my husband thinks I've grown two heads.  He is not a multi-tasker.  The problem then becomes that I get far more stuff done than he does.  And he just sits there and becomes literally a baby-sitter (not the sitting on the baby but sitting with the baby).  So after a rough start to our evening, my husband observed me cleaning up toys and supervising my toddler.  Amazement abounds.  Hubby declares that he can do that too as long as he is not responsible for the infant.  Fine.  I, the SuperMom of the Universe, can watch the baby and cook at the same time.  Will this plan work?  Heaven only knows.  We've yet to find a plan that has worked amicably long-term.

Then there's the free-time.  Hubby feels that he's being asked to much.  That he's being cheated.  His favorite line is "well, I see you on the computer all the time."  First off I do not spend my day trolling facebook.  I pick a few key blogs to read and if I'm lucky this may happen a couple of hours a day.  Normally not.  This can be further attested to the fact that I have yet to fulfill my weekly duties to the other blog in the past month.  My husband gets plenty of free time when he's about his business and when the kids are in bed.  I'm usually busy cleaning.  You'd think he would be moaning that I no longer spend time with him.  But I suppose now that we have two children, he doesn't care as much as he did before.

Secondly, I have no outside adult interactions apart from the following:  Hubby, church, women's group, and *gasp* the blog.  That's it.  If I didn't blog, I would explode.  I'd have Andrea Yates as my roommate.  Human's are social beings.  I cannot live without outside contact.  If I did that would be called imprisonment.  And at that rate, I'd love to go back to work.

Then there's the sleep thing.  This evening my husband declared that his job was more important than mine by laying the baby in the swing (who was awake) and declaring that it was 10 pm and he needed to go to bed as he has a presentation to give.  Never mind that I hadn't finished the dishes.  Forget the sheet in the dryer.  Oh, and still no shower and this was day 2.  My husband, I suppose, has gotten used to my BO.  Sometimes it's longer than that before I eek out time to take one.

That did it.  Forget my emotional need for adult human interaction.  Forget my need for a shower.  Nope.  This was all about his selfish need for sleep.  I hadn't had the kids take a nap together for six stinkin' days.  And my youngest has decided to wake up at 5am and not return to sleep for a while.  Did anyone care about this?  Apparently not.  Does my husband's job require him to get more sleep than mine?  If anyone thinks that I can live with less sleep I will remind them about the razor incident from when my dad was visiting and the chocolate pudding incident.   A SAHM needs sleep in order to function.  Otherwise my rational brain shuts down too.  So he flubs a presentation?  It's better than a trip to the ER.

So I let him have it.  He still insisted that I was not using my time wisely or the way he would.  I suppose my come back would be why can't he multi-task then?  But at this point my argument was "fine.  my basic emotional, spiritual (when was the last time I went to confession?), and physical needs aren't being well met.  But do not come in here going all Alpha Male on me.  This is about co-parenting and being help-mates."  And throw in a few "you're acting selfish" in there for good measure.  We both went off to let things cool and he came back declaring that maybe his "Alpha Male" to "Beta Male" ratios were off and that he needed to behave a bit more Beta.  You think?

So now he's slumbering with the baby and I'm typing away my frustration and anger.  You guys really are my only adult interactions on a regular basis.  I sadly have no best friend to call up at 11pm and say "I need someone to talk to" and expect her to understand why the late phone call.  So thinks for listening er um...reading.

6 comments:

  1. He's lucky you didn't throw anything. I would have been mighty tempted...

    I hope today's better and you get your shower! That alone would drive me insane!

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  2. Hi. I don't think I've ever commented before. I just wanted to say that after a while I started leaving the baby in her crib, even if she was crying, to go take a shower. it really helped my sanity.

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  3. I remember how tough those days were with my daughter. No family around, my friends dropped out of the picture, and I was exhausted all the time. Some days all I could do was the bare minimum, making sure there was food on the table and clothes in the dressers. Well, better go, my daughter just woke up :)

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  4. My husband pulled similar crap when I was on maternity leave with #4. Apparently he was under the impression that me being home all day with three kids under four (one of whom was a newborn) = shiny clean house. And then he had the gall to ask me why I couldn't clean as well as our cleaning lady (who, to save my sanity, comes twice per month). I responded that the cleaning lady has the luxury of cleaning without children around, and if I could have 4+ hours without the kids, maybe I could get something accomplished too.

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  5. Wow. So it isn't just me and my husband then? I hesitate to say "what a relief." I thought that I was the only one whose husband thought that way. I thought it was because my husband is an only child. He likes to bring up that his house growing up was always clean. But I've spoken to my MIL. She says it's much easier with one child and when they're older (when it's more likely the time he's remembering). She says otherwise you just have to set them down and let em' wail to get anything done.

    As for the "letting the baby cry thing", that worked for HB. But...HB gets into stuff if I leave him alone for too long. And if I waited until he was asleep the baby would cry and thus wake up Hubby. But he has at least agreed to using all sorts of methods of white noise (ie the fan) and ignoring him. Him crying for a short amount of time doesn't really bother me like HB did. He used to cry incessantly. I felt like crying at the end of the day too. Knee's actually a happy camper most of the time. It makes a little fussing way easier.

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