This is a huge trigger for me. I don’t write these blogs to air our business, but I will say this is a fight that has been reoccurring in my marriage. My husband is an old-school man of the house kind of guy. His office is covered in mantras about how to make money and how to be successful. While I admire the fact that he wants to take care of our family by being the man, there’s a lot of tension about how much time we get as a couple, as a family and how much time we get alone. I can imagine that most couples with kids go through this.
I work 40 to 45 hours a week as a special education teacher and I don’t get to work at home at all because I don’t have an office and I really don’t have much space to get any work done without kids on top of my computer. I don’t really get to stay after work much because I like to schedule my running time but I also have to pick the kids up at day care at a reasonable time. I might teach Zumba once or twice a week and most of my runs occur with my kids on the treadmill or as I’m sneaking out of work to get 20 minutes in. I am never alone. I am with my students, my coworkers, my kids, and my husband, all the time. All the damn time. The only alone time I ever get is from about 9 to 10 at night when I’m trying to take a bath and watch mindless TV (friends, the bachelor, greys, this is is, million little things) so that my mind can just finally relax. And usually about two hours later someone wakes up and needs my attention. Hudson is still nursing so it has been difficult because my time is really dedicated to him at night. He needs soothing especially because we don’t want Juliana to wake up. The only alone time I ever get is from about 9 to 10 at night when I’m trying to take a bath and watch friends so that my mind can just finally relax.
When I bring them to day care in the morning which is only once or twice a week I am usually rushing because I have to be at work at a certain time. I know that everyone is different and I will be the first person to admit that my husband and I are completely different. Not necessarily in a bad way, but so far away from each other on the spectrum of parenthood and life values. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.
Howie is a firefighter for the state and retired military. He works 24 hours and then he’s off for 48 hours. He gets to sleep during his shift and obviously has to wake up for all the calls they get. They are constantly training and he’s in charge of scba masks. We worked out a system so that when he gets home in the mornings he can bring the kids to day care because he doesn’t have to rush. It does take him a little bit longer because he likes to enjoy his time with them, but also struggles because they can be crazy. I really wish I got to enjoy my time with them but most of the time the kids don’t get up til 7 or 730. Miss “high on life” / Juliana doesn’t want to get up til 8 or 830. I usually will let them sleep in until the last moment because both of my kids are pretty hyper but once the morning starts it’s on for me- the rushing, panicking, spilling coffee. I am on all day long. By the time Howie finishes dropping them off at daycare it’s around 930 or 10 and if you guys know him, he is the most hard-working, dedicated father and husband ever known to mankind. Some would argue it’s a little bit too much. Me included. So when he’s late at dropping them off at daycare, half his day is “wasted”. He owns a shop where they fabricate and weld cars, sell parts, and deal with customers a lot. He’s also building a 2000 square-foot barn in my backyard for his own personal use. That’s another whole story, but in a nutshell I initially did not agree because it takes up half my yard. I also didn’t really think that a 2000 square-foot hobby was fair. I had many questions such as how much will this cost us? Do we still have equity in the house? Will we be able to sell our house in the future? We talked it out and it’s all good now, but I can’t help but think what about me? What about an office for me? Time for me to do work from school? Time for me to be alone? Time for me to enjoy my hobbies? But no he has to say- you don’t let me work. Ouch. Cue argument. Cue the kids watching because again, we never get a minute. Cue crying mama.
As a full time working mama and wife of a nonstop working husband, I am tired. I want to lock myself in the bathroom and cry. I normally do this once a week because I just need to vent to God- I usually end up in my bathroom with the door shut and locked, get on my knees and thank Him for a husband who wants the best for us and has the best intentions, thank Him for 2 healthy and loving children who love me even when I’m yelling at my husband about life not being fair, and thank Him for my unconditional family, house and job. Then I cry because usually the fights my husband and I have are- me asking him to stay home and have family time. Him- we don’t have any money/what can we do with 2 active toddlers? Me- let’s just drive around and go to Starbucks and pray one of them sleeps/ let’s go buy a new mop for our disgusting floor that needs to be cleaned and waxed because we have spilled milk and dirt everywhere. Him- we need money and you don’t let me work. Me- triggered, crying, yelling, Juliana usually internalizing it all up and then me leaving the room. Jules- daddy daddy daddy daddy daddy daddy.
Here I am now in my bathroom reflecting. Because in that moment I get so unbelievably mad. No, It doesn’t mean I want to throw the towel in and get divorced. But I just need to step away from that moment and reflect my feelings before I say something that I regret. My thoughts are that he gets time off. He gets 48 hours where he is allowed to manage his time however he wants. He is the boss of his own time. He can work in the shop, he can work on customers cars, he can go to therapy, he can go running, he can go sit in the sauna at the Y, he can go get an iced coffee, he can take a shower… And the best part? Is that it’s all without kids. It’s usually by himself. And I think the trigger about this whole thing is that I don’t really have any alone time. Yes, I teach Zumba on Saturday mornings and then I usually run 9-10 miles home every weekend. Some Saturdays I don’t get to because Howie works. And I am OK with that. I am able to reschedule my runs and we keep a synced calendar so that we know when we can schedule things. He is going away to Dallas this weekend for five days. So of course being a woman and being a tired mom, I just keep thinking what about me? How the hell do I not give you time to work? He has an office, a shop, a barn in the works…he can manage his time without any distractions of me or the kids. On the weekends or maybe one day of the weekend, I just want a little family time. I think in his language, he just wants to keep working so that we can do fun things- like a viscous cycle of work work work to make money money money, but actually forget to live your life and enjoy the simple things.
Yes, this was a vent. I needed to let this out because maybe other mamas feel this way too. It’s not just because I work full time because stay at home mamas probably go crazier. Yes, I picked my profession and yes it’s high burn out. Yes I wanted kids and yes it’s high burn out. Yes I love my husband but he drives me crazy.
As a couple, we need to communicate and understand each other’s love language. I wrote a blog a few months back about love language. Mine is clearly quality time while Howies is acts of service and probably a few more secondary.
Really though, it all comes down to the fact that we both have good intentions. He wants to be the man of the house and provide for us financially and emotionally. He doesn’t want me to work so I can stay home and take care of the kids so they don’t go to daycare so we don’t have to pay so they don’t get sick, etc. He loves learning and is constantly striving to complete the next thing on his hot list. I am more of a free spirit- let’s be spontaneous and feel every single moment because we won’t get them back kinda girl. I am a hopeless romantic and I usually analyze everything. I like to practice self care and I don’t think it’s selfish ever.
When you add stressors to a marriage like kids and money, you are bound to battle. When he says- you don’t let me work, it literally rips through my soul.
To all you mamas who just feel like life isn’t always fair, you’re right. To all the mamas who sometimes hate their husbands, it’s okay and it’s normal. To all the mamas who want to runaway or lock themselves in the bathroom, you’re allowed those feelings. And do it- lock yourself in there and do whatever you want- pray, pee, scroll insta, drink, cry, breathe. Yes, I’ve done it when both my kids are pounding on the door cry crying to see mama. To all the mamas who just want a hug and and a simple “Everything’s gonna be okay,” I want you to know that everything WILL be okay. To all the mamas who just want their husband to say- go get a pedicure and don’t feel guilty, communicate clearly that you need that once in awhile to be a good mama. Howie is an amazing husband and father. He loves his kids and he loves me unconditionally. He’s a military man so he shows it different. He has said to me to go out and get a massage and do things for me, but today I am just sad because of what he said. Those words shot through me and I only write this blog to let all those mamas know this is all normal. It’s all part of the game. ALWAYS remember your significant others’ intentions. ALWAYS remember that no matter how suffocated you can feel by your kids (which I am feeling today since I currently have eggs in my hair and Juliana smacked Hudson in the face) they love you in every state.
Let it out. Cry. Have your moment. Seek God. Talk to Him. Write a blog. Then get back up and go hug your family…no matter how stubborn you are. Then if you have to, try to talk it out and explain why you feel overwhelmed or hurt.
You got this mama. It’s okay to let it out.