Boiling point

And no, it’s not about my family….yet.

Last week, hubby and I finally had our first little breakdown over our new family life.    He’d come home from work, change, take the dog out, take business calls, then take over baby care while I made dinner, then blitz out over TV or  and snacks before collapsing into bed.  Rinse, repeat, day after day.  I’d do the usual dog/baby walk, laundry, feeding dog, feeding baby, bathing the baby, changing, playing, trying to cut his nails, blogging,arranging Buddhist meetings,  occasional auditioning, phone calling, try to eat, pee, AND no, I still haven’t done my taxes, my mum’s taxes, opened the mail, called that person back, forget about chanting, I just want to find a pair of pants that fit that aren’t yoga pants….. and he came in and said the dog doesn’t get enough exercise!  And I remind him that I just took the dog on a 2.5 km run/gasp/walk on the seawall with the kid.  And then he says, well, that’s today, the other day you JUST walked around the lagoon and that’s not good enough. By the way, that takes at least 35 minutes at a brisk pace.  This dog gets more than adequate exercise.  Even on a bad day.  There are millions of people in this world that don’t do as well as our dog does.

Cue smoke billowing out of my ears.

I had scored free movie passes and he elected to stay home with the kid cause he had been quite fussy around bedtime and didn’t want to inconvenience my friend who was willing to babysit.  What if he started crying?  What if he wouldn’t go to bed?  I was already upset that he had turned down a couple of hours to get out with me.  I ended up asking my friend to come with me instead.  Cause make no mistake, I was going to see a movie and eat popcorn.

I told him he could take the kid AND the dog if he really wanted to help as I had just had prepare for an audition with the kid crying and whinging the whole time I was showering, dressing and attempting to put on my makeup AND get us out of the house.  But then he complained he couldn’t possibly play with the dog cause the kid whined  when he stepped away from the stroller to throw the ball.  Seriously.  So I said no, forget it, I’ll take the dog to the park, you stay home with the kid.  Fine, as long as he didn’t have to hear me complain.  Fine.

Then I complained.  Loudly.  Hey, I’ll go toss the ball with her, it’s not like I don’t do take care of her AND the baby every single day Monday to Friday.  God forbid you have to do two things at once!  You get the picture.  I was getting a little sick of his tone.  Sick of the dog’s needs being put above my own. He starts beaking back, blah, blah, blah.   I stomp out with the dog and by the time I get back, I realize that he’s just as worn as I am and that he never gets time to himself either.

He gets up early with the Precious on the weekends so I can sleep in and we often have to split up to complete errands and tasks on the weekends.  We’re obviously both feeling worn out and unappreciated.  He’s staring at me with those eyes so I sit down and actually apologize to him.  I apologized because I had not taken into consideration that sometimes he needs a break too.  He loathes to ask for help (including babysitting his son) because he feels we should be able to DO EVERYTHING ourselves.   I know him well enough to know that he will always do things the hard way first before learning his lesson.  I also know me well enough to know that I have no intention of losing my natural mind so that’s why I insist on a dog walker when he’s out of town and the occasional house cleaner and I have every intention of getting a babysitter.  I can’t wait for his mother to come to town all the time.  I am willing to pay for this because my time is precious and there are other things I’d rather be doing. I would rather play with my son with my full attention rather than try and hold him while sweeping, cleaning or attending to other things.  I REFUSE to drive myself over the edge to prove my worth.

In turn, he let me know that he does put me first, does his best to please me and does appreciate everything that I do.  So we both talked it out and  I think my point was made.  Let it be known that in this part of my life, I will not be the martyr my mother was. I will also let DH know that daddies deserves a day off every now and then, too.

11 thoughts on “Boiling point

  1. Ah yes – been there, it’s normal and it WILL get better. You guys are still trying to find your groove.

    BTW, just when you think you’ve found the groove, it’ll change. LOL.

  2. I am struck by how early in your new roles as parents you had this conversation/confrontation. A lot of couples would have let this fester for years until the relationship was beyond repair. You once again showed your wisdom in how you handled it.

  3. Stick to your guns, Deathstar — you can’t do this all alone & there is no shame in asking for help, or even paying for it, if you can afford it.

    I find it so funny/strange that we (women) are usually the ones knocking ourselves out trying to keep all the balls in the air, & it’s the guys who don’t or won’t ask for help. Example: My mother can’t understand why I don’t have a cleaning lady (she does, & she’s retired!!). I’m generally too exhausted after an 11-hours day of working & commuting to do much during the week, so I inevitably spend all day Saturday cleaning & doing laundry (dh does the vacuuming, & mows the lawn in the summer). I’ve brought up the subject over the years, but dh objects: nobody in his family has ever had a cleaning lady. What would his family think??

    So I’m at a family gathering a few years ago & the subject of cleaning ladies comes up. What do you know, all the girl cousins think it’s a fabulous idea. All the guys (most of whom don’t help out nearly as much as my dh does) don’t think it’s necessary. (!) One cousin’s dh says, “That’s money we could be spending on our daughter.” Responds his wife, “Yeah, but it’s also TIME I could be spending with our daughter too.” Potato, potahto…??

    • I know my DH thinks I’m horribly spoiled, but I have ceased caring. He thinks it’s laziness because back in the day HIS mother DID EVERYTHING with no help and worked as well. So did my mother. And she also hated her life and had a couple of nervous breakdowns. I know he’s seeing the light cause when things gets hectic at his work, caring for the baby, the dog, etc, I see he’s just as tired as I am and can’t bear of one more thing on his “to do list”.

  4. Wow. Where the hell were you when I needed to have this talk with my husband 20 years ago?? I sure could have used the coaching.

    He never has, and I doubt ever will, do anything to help with any of the child/house/food/laundry etc etc tasks.

    I can’t wait till the day he retires and I retire TOO! HA…it will be hilarious to watch his little brain try to figure out how he will eat and wear clean clothes. Cuz, I am certain he thinks that stuff “just happens”.

  5. Transitions are so hard, particularly this kind. I hear things get better. Babies are a lot of work.

  6. finding that balance is SO hard. it can take a toll even on the healthiest relationship. one of the reasons we didn’t get another pup while we were waiting for baby J to be born. and now, well, if we ever do sleep through the night again, I’m not sure he’ll be willing to go back to crate training a puppy!

  7. Getting used to this is just like every renegotiation in marriage: hard. Hang in there. It will be bumpy, and the sleep deprivation doesn’t seem to get much better, but you’ll figure it out!

    Happy ICLW! #149

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