Thursday, January 24, 2008

Attitude problem

It was almost 12 years after JP and I were married before Fly was born.

Twelve years.

Most people don't wait that long.

Many people assumed we couldn't have children or had been trying, and some people even pointedly asked me what fertility method we used to "get pregnant" when I was expecting Fly.

But, nope.

It was just a combination of us having a good time enjoying being a couple -- and trying to get careers in place.

JP and I had counted on one of us (ahem, moi) staying home with any child(ren) we would have. His mother stayed home when he was a kid, and mine mostly stayed home (or my grandmother took care of me), and that was what we knew. I had hoped to work toward a point in my career that would allow me to work part-time from home, or to be able to set my own hours -- that kind of thing. JP had worked toward building a business that would, we hoped, cover our expenses, including a child's. That took time.

Now that we have Fly and I am able to stay home with him as we had hoped and dreamed, I feel blessed. And yet, sometimes I feel staying home with Fly is a burden. I don't know how I can feel both ways at the same time....

Today, JP has taken the day off work to go to a car race. He's taking off tomorrow, too, and there are events on Saturday and Sunday. Cars are a big obsession with JP.

But it still pisses me off that he can do these things -- which are just a hobby -- while I couldn't attend a writing conference last year that was important for my book -- my career.

This past weekend, I wanted to go camping, which has been our tradition every Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend. I need time outdoors, or I go nuts.

But we didn't go, basically, because JP didn't want to.

And so here I am, living the dream ... but sometimes quite grumpily.

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Blogger Bloggy Mama said...

I go through the same thought pattern as I am a working mom, but currently on mat leave. I wish that I could stay home forever, but I worry that I would miss the working world, and in all honesty, the money towards another maternity leave. We haven't found our solution bu I will be working part time when my leave is up... and hoping for another baby, I guess.

2:54 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Oh, my friend, the responses you will receive to this post! I think all us SAHMs and WAHMs will nod our head in agreement that being able to stay home with the kids IS a burden at times, just as much as it is a blessing. It's amazing how my career has just taken off, even more so than my blog readers are probably aware. I could easily work 10 hours a day, and yet I still have THREE kids to take care of. My husband helps. A lot. But he has the luxury of a clear division between work life and home life. There are times when I would love to get in my car and drive to an actual office and work. My husband doesn't really understand how or why I feel pulled in so many directions, and it's because he probably doesn't understand everything that I do on a daily basis.

I really hope you find a little time to do the things you need and love to do . . .

2:58 PM  
Blogger Awesome Mom said...

I can't tell you how many times I have fantasized about leaving for the weekend and staying in a hotel doing nothing but knitting and watching TV while my husband is at home taking care of the kids. Next time you want to go camping, go. Even if it is just you and Fly you can still have a fun time. Don't let your hubbie drag you down. When I threaten to just take the kids and do something when my husband is shooting down all my weekend ideas he usually caves in and comes along rather than be left out of the fun.

3:17 PM  
Blogger OhTheJoys said...

That doesn't seem fair to you or for you. How does he respond to this feeling you have?

3:26 PM  
Blogger Michael M. said...

Ah, marital imbalance. Ain't it great?

When my wife and were formulating the whole work/home thing with our baby, I ventured onto ivillage for some insight. Yikes. I had no idea the topics was so HOT.

Hope that you guys can find a middle ground where EVERYONE feels rewarded....

Good luck!

4:59 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

I hear you, and often feel the same way.

5:50 PM  
Blogger Kris said...

You absolutely can feel both emotions at once. Since Animal was born, I have been a full-time stay at home mother working part-time from home, a part-time working/part-time stay at home mother, and a plain old full time working mother. All scenarios played out with an imbalance of home load between my husband and I AND he does a lot. We are still the gender that can handle multi-tasking and sacrifice better. You are not alone in your feelings, that is for certain Hang in there.

9:10 PM  
Blogger Don Mills Diva said...

The truest advice I ever received when I was pregnant was "You will always do more than your husband - he will think he is doing his share but you will always do more..."

BTW - I tagged you on my blog - come see!

9:11 PM  
Blogger Jennifer Swanepoel said...

Oh sweety. I wish I had something useful to say.

I've got a good idea. Let's you and me go camping in a couple of weeks. Without the menfolk. Husbands and Kids can hang out together and see how they manage! (Maybe they can set up a tent in your backyard and "camp" with the boys there while we find a spectacular campsite somewhere in the wilds of our state where we can look from horizon to horizon and see nothing but wilderness...)

I saved some enchiladas for you!

9:34 PM  
Blogger Cathy, Amy and Kristina said...

I know how you feel. Because I react similarly when my husband goes on his hunting expeditions.

I work, he works -- the weekends should be shared or divvied up in my opinion.

Never seems to work out that way though.

No advice. Just commiseration.

1:13 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I sometimes struggle with the different roles that we each play in marriage. I am the children's primary caregiver. I get that. I am with them 24-7 and my hubby only sees them for a couple of hours each night.

What I don't like is that he can just take off as he pleases, go work on the computer upstairs or even take a shower. Whereas with me, I almost have to ask permission "Hey, is it OK if I go for a run?" or "Is this a good time for me to take a shower?

I don't think they quite get that we need this to be an shared responsibility when we're both home and also look for ways to give us a break, too!

8:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow most of these responses to your post I was nodding my head ... mmhmmm ...creepy we all feel the same.

I do like the advise to just go camping. I went camping with just my daughter (with friends but eh they were .. long story might as well been just her & I), my husband stayed to work at the time. It was AWESOME and I totally want to do it again this summer with the two kids! Camping rocks!

I totally always feel like I have to ask to shower, pee heck close the door when I do the above but what I have learned is I really don't have to. I just do. The first couple times, he was a little surprised to discover I was "gone" but then totally looked after the kids.

When we were more settled I had a planned morning out. Every Sunday I went knitting with a friend. It was good. Now that we are new here I do not have my own thing but I will get something ... soon.

Share your feelings. Quite often even though they are like totally our best friends, they just do not process the thoughts and feelings the same way. And if talking doesn't work, take care of yourself, they need you to be at your best :) Wow write novels much in comments?!?!?

7:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I stay at home with my 2 children, and someday I absolutely love having the one on one time with them, but somedays I just wish I could have an adult conversation, for more than 5 mins!

8:13 PM  
Blogger Kristi said...

You need to go camping. Even if it's just you, by yourself, for one night.

I completely understand the resentment. I feel it all the time myself, because trying to simultaneously work on a freelance career while chasing Isabella all day long is more often than not an exercise in massive frustration and exhaustion. I love staying home with her. I truly do. But it is also the hardest job I have ever had, by far.

9:38 PM  
Blogger Michelle Fluttering Butterflies said...

I totally get this post and all the comments that have gone along with it. Can't offer any advice, but I'm right here with you...

7:01 AM  
Blogger CG said...

Husband and I have been married for 12 years and have no children. When we meet people they think that something is wrong and we can't have kids until we tell them it's by choice. Funny how people just assume.


1:21 AM  
Blogger Smellyann said...

TJMaxx, that is frustrating!! I feel you. Thanks :)

3:53 AM  
Blogger A Peek Into My Life said...

We all have moments like that! I love my children & they are the light of my life. But I do admit that I have days where I can't wait for them to be off to college. ;)

The TJMaxx offer is very cool! Thanks for the entry!

8:58 AM  
Blogger Memarie Lane said...

Oh, I can totally relate. My husband works 12 hours a day, 28 days a month, and we share a car. So pretty much the only time I can leave the house is if my mom comes by and takes me somewhere. It really burns me when he complains about work or something, at least he gets to leave the house and see other people!

Thanks for stopping by my blog, hope to see you back!

12:35 PM  
Blogger Maggie Smith said...

I am glad that I found your blog! I seem to be able to relate to you-scary isn't it! Anyway, I too have an attitude problem....

Thanks for the TJ Maxx giveaway, that store rocks!

2:25 PM  
Blogger El Shaddai Ranch said...

Great post. I am the mother of 5 and I wish I could say these feelings you are having go away. They do subside b/c one day you look across the room and realize whatever you have to give up pales in comparison to what you are getting. That doesn't mean it's not hard - it is and it always will be. But, I'm betting in 20 years your son will be attending the car events w/ your husband while you are at (or teaching at) one of the writing conferences! It's just a blink away.

Thanks for the TJ Maxx giveaway - LOVE that store.

3:36 PM  
Blogger Deborah in Atlanta said...

TJ MAXX is a wonderful idea to 'gift'. Thanks dmj53(at)hotmail(dot)com

5:00 PM  
Blogger HAPPYHANERHOME said...

I'm a stay at home mom (once an attorney) so I know your joy (and sorrow). There are fabulous days and trying days. I pray fly relishes his (her?) precious time at home with you. You are obviously well educated and will offer him or her a great and loving upbringing. Visit my blog for my giveaway too:

12:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We waited forever too, enjoying DINK status! Now I'm blessed to be a SAHM to our 2yo daughter, and saw on someone else's giveaway blog this tagline - the days are long, the years are short - isn't that the truth!

TJ Maxx !!
Camille =)

4:31 AM  
Blogger Qtpies7 said...

Well, I can't say that we waited for an opportune time to have kids (unless you count right after high school graduation an opportune time) but I feel the same way sometimes.
I don't get to do all the fun things I want to do. Or even the things that I think would help me make money, etc. But now my husband finds that me going to things helps HIM. I am more relaxed and happy after getting away. I sometimes make money from them. AND I leave him the heck alone so he can sit around and do NOTHING if he wants to. And he wants to.

1:08 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

Great idea for a giveaway, thanks for entering my name! TJ Maxx Gift Card!

6:29 PM  
Blogger Tammy said...

It's ok to get grumpy.
TJ Maxx
Thanks for the contest.

6:48 PM  
Blogger Suz said...

I think it's wonderful that you are able to stay at home with Fly. My mom stayed at home with my brother and myself. I hope I am fortunate enough financially to be able to do so someday when I have children.


8:13 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

Don't most moms see parenting as a blessing and a "they-are-sucking- the-life-right-out-of-me feeling" depending on how the day is going? It can be so hard, but it is so worth it!

By the way, CODE WORD: TJ MAXX. I haven't been there in about 8 years, but hey, I'll give it a try! I'm glad I found your blog...I look forward to reading more.

11:16 PM  
Blogger Genevieve P said...

I have 4--the oldest is 4--and I think we all feel like that... concurrently chained and pulling our hair out, and so blessed. There is such joy, but it can be hard to see when you're just so tired and bored!

And, umm, TJ MAXX. : )

11:21 AM  
Blogger Erica G said...

I am pregnant with my first and we (me and my husban) have been going back and forth over how we are going to care for our baby. Are we going to ask my parents? Am I going to be able to be a stay at home mom? I would really love to be, but I see your issue. I am aware that it is hard work and that it is looked at from the outside world that a stay at home mom gets to do what ever she wants during the day. I am very happy that we were able to get pregnant, but the questions we thought we had the answers to now seem magnified. Rant all you want, we all need to get it out. Maybe a little TJ MAXX shopping will help!

11:27 AM  
Blogger ohAmanda said...

I hear you! LOUD and CLEAR.

It's not that I want to even advance my career. It's just that I want to breathe on my own every once in awhile.

Moms NEVER get a day off. NEVER.

That's all I got.

1:07 PM  
Blogger Krissie said...

I've enjoyed reading your Blog and I'd love to win your TX MAXX giveaway

7:59 PM  
Blogger theotherbear said...

I can really relate to this. What's scary is that I don't even have kids yet. I already feel the balance of work is not fair, imagine how much worse it would be when I have kids!
The last 6 months have been particularly hard - my hubby quit his job because he hated it. He has not bothered to get a new one yet. And still, I find that I do the lion's share of the housework and cooking and washing and all, even though I work all day and he sits at home and plays on the computer. Argh!
Anyway, it isn't fair, but it seems to be a woman's lot in life, eh!

12:10 AM  

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