I think I strained my left eye this past weekend. After overhearing my husband complain to a friend at a party about how much work our kids are, we made eye contact, and I’m not sure my eyes could have rolled farther back in my head.
Let me start by saying that for all the complaining that I do (and I’m guilty of a lot of it), I’m thankful everyday for my husband. He’s currently outside, shoveling more snow, for probably the 18th time this week and I have yet to pick up a shovel. As I look over at the roaring fire in our wood stove that is warming our house and family, with the wood that he cut, stacked, and brought into the house and that saves us a shit load of money each winter, I am thankful.
When he lets me go to bed early and stays up to stay with baby, I am thankful. When I kiss him and our two beautiful babies goodbye in the morning as I leave for work, I am thankful because he will play with them, feed them breakfast, get them dressed and take them to daycare, all by himself, before he heads off to his own job. I’m thankful for a lot of the things that he does, and I don’t think he realizes how much I appreciate him. Maybe because I don’t tell him often enough. I probably don’t tell him enough because truthfully, I’m too busy being tired or pissed off at him for something else while I skate around our house like a bitch on wheels. He pisses me off a lot. Mainly because he says some stupid shit.
Which brings me to the party this past weekend when I walked in on him complaining about how tough life had been lately… I heard the person he was talking to ask “Well are you okay?” Which makes me think I missed some first part of the conversation and he was most likely unloading some mini pity party. “The kids… they suck the life out of you… with these snow days, I’ve been stuck at home with them- they have cabin fever and they’ve been running me ragged.” He made it seem like he had been slaving away by himself without any help. Um HELLO, dude, I was WITH YOU the entire time. You weren’t alone, and I clearly remember you taking some time to yourself on those snow days, just like I did. To make it worse, he was complaining to someone who has two kids of her own and has probably been dealing with the same thing at her house while we’ve been getting slammed with snow storm after snow storm here in the North East. This is every parent’s life… give me a break.
Kids are hard work. Becoming a parent has been by far the most rewarding and yet the hardest fucking thing I have ever done in my life. The one thing I wasn’t prepared for though, was how becoming a parent was going to change me as a partner to my husband, as his wife. I have found that it has been more difficult to try to navigate through our marriage in our new roles as parents than trying to figure out how to actually be a parent.
I’ve realized that somewhere along the way, I have forgotten who my main sidekick in life is- the guy who I love and married and with whom I wanted to start this beautiful family with in the beginning. Somewhere between being up all night, working full time and listening to endless hours of crying, I became a huge bitch and found myself looking at him as if he were the enemy at times. In a cloud of exhaustion, I forgot that I need to devote just as much energy into my marriage as my children, because without my marriage, our family does not exist. There have been days that I have turned my back on the one person who is standing there in the trenches with me. There have been days that I’ve forgotten that we are both playing for the same team. Why is it that we take out our frustrations on those who are closest to us? I finally decided that I needed to break free from my bitch haze and give the guy a break.
It’s not easy, and I am far from perfect. I am a perfectionist however, with slight case of obsessive compulsive disorder, but I simply need to remember to calm the fuck down. I started my quest to being a better spouse this weekend, on the ride home from the party. “I hope you aren’t mad that I was complaining earlier” he said, as we drove through the darkness. Despite my eye rolling, I wasn’t. Who was I to tell him he couldn’t complain? He was right, the kids had been driving us nuts. I think its easier for women to find an outlet to re-hash their day- we talk about this stuff all the time with co-workers and friends, even by posting status updates on Facebook just to vent. If he wanted to commiserate with another parent, I was in no position to tell him not to, or to make him feel guilty for doing it.
It’s a work in progress, but I’m working on it. Dear Husband, if you are reading this, I love you- thank you for shoveling all that damn snow, looking cute while you do it, and for all that you do. Most of all, thank you for putting up with me all of the time. xo