This Shuts Me Up (Again)

Again, I stop yapping and yield The B-More Dad Blog to Bruce, the guy who unwittingly moved from commenter to guest blogger after I wrote about a guy at church who asked me what I do when the kids are at school.

Bruce works night shifts and keeps his 19-month-old during the day, when his wife works a high-pressure that drives her nuts. His post prompted my Lovely Bride to suggest Bruce’s wife work on the Working Mommy Guilt. And that they work on Mommy and Daddy getting some time together, too.

So without further delay:

Please thank your wife for the nice thoughts. They made me smile.

I don’t want to paint my wife in an unappreciative light in any way, shape or form because there’s a lot of things I left out that seem to add to the envy/anomosity she has towards me for being the primary provider.

She makes the higher salary and sustains the lion’s share of our bills and has been doing so for quite some years now. Her problem stems from feeling pressured to maintain our standard of living and feeling that she has no real back up in me financially to let her stop and recover from the past year and a half of:

1)   A 33-hour labor when our son was born.

2)   Having a short maternity leave.

3) Feeling like she is missing out on what every other mother seems to experience with their firstborns (reading too many blogs and listening to too many friends).

4) In the middle of a family feud with her parents—who live 20 minutes away—who haven’t seen or spoken to her or seen our son since Easter of 2009 over something extremely petty. (A whole other story!)

5) Dealing with an egotistical, bullying boss who is intimidated by her because my wife has more experience. (Fact, not hearsay!)

She’s been to HR & EEO about her boss—with no success. The pressure has manifested into physically getting sick because she has to go to work and deal with a narcissistic sociopath on an everyday basis.

She’s been told to just quit her job and move on. But in today’s economy, that a WHOLE LOT EASIER SAID THAN DONE!!

Imagine going from a combined $100,000-a-year salary down to 45,000. I can sustain our finances until she feels that she’s ready to go back to work after she been able to just relax for more than 2 days. But things will be tight, and some things may have to be eliminated. All she wants is to work in her field of 15 years without fighting unnecessary drama everyday—and to spend more than 3 hours a day with her only son before he has to go to sleep.

Now with all of that being said, when she finally does have the time on the weekends, it’s additional pressure to be able to run with our son to parks and the library, etc., just like I’m able to do during the week, and it never really works out the way she planned for whatever reason.

There’s not much I can do to help her out of her dilemmas but support her anyway that I can. But as you know, we as humans seem to always hurt the ones we love, and I seem to be the target manifested with the “stay at home” Daddy issues. My tolerance is growing REALLY thin, and I have a short fuse! I’m lashing out to her and I’ve done it twice in front of our son which obviously doesn’t go over well.

As they said in “Forrest Gump,” my wife and I are like “peas and carrots” when we’re in synch. But in the past 4 months, we’re turning into liver and yogurt!!

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One response to “This Shuts Me Up (Again)

  1. One thing I have noticed in my own experience that he mentions is his wife’s disappointment at “parent/child meaningful experiences” not going as planned. This may be because parents inevitably over-commit in that department and set their expectations unreasonably high. I once read an article in the New York Times on this subject entitled “The Nutcracker Syndrome” because so many parents fanstasize about the Christmas cheer they will experience taking their young children to the Nutcracker ballet and then the experience winds up being a struggle to get the children dressed up, out of the door on time, find parking and then the reality that the ballet is pretty long for your average child to sit through without the inevitable “I’m hungry,” “I’m thirsty,” “I need to pee,” so the disappointment when things don’t go as planned is pretty huge after paying big bucks and building up high expectations. Things that involve going places when the parent or child is tired are a recipe for disaster.

    The biggest fight my husband and I had came after a night when our 11-yr old couldn’t sleep and then woke us up multiple times throughout the night, then the next day we sat through two consecutive boys’ soccer games in pounding May heat with the other 2 sibs in the bleachers, not to mention the youngest is 3 and had to be watched every second.

    Sometimes ‘ya gotta divide and conquer these family obligations and lower your expectations about what you can achieve…

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