It's one thing to hear your husband tell you your job is the most important one in the world, then scamper off to the safety of his office while you actually do the work. Words of praise, however well-meant, do not help with the dishes, the toilets, the poopy bottoms and the chaos.
Being admired, being told how wonderful I am as a parent, listening to my dear husband mention how busy I am at dinner parties has always rung hollow with me. I am not ungrateful, but I just couldn't quite wrap my head around how he was always so spilling over with the kudos regarding my domestic duties, but when pressed - well, he was quick to admit that even if I could out-earn him, he would never stay at home. He just couldn't, you know, he'd go crazy. Uh, huh.
This has engendered a lot of bitterness on my part over the years. And I don't like being bitter. It's unattractive, feels rotten, and causes premature wrinkling. So when I decided to return to the workforce, I knew I wanted to alleviate those feelings while creating a balance within. A balance that allowed me to pursue grown-up interactions, earn some income of my own, and mitigate as much mommy guilt as possible by working when Bob or at times a close friend could watch the younger kids. I talked a lot about finding this job, and after a long time, I think I may have found it.
Although the job is stressful, requires a lot of new thinking on my part - it has given me a break from domesticity, made me appreciate my life, and created an outlet for me to have my adult time without any of the guilt.
As for Bob?
"Jen, you have no idea what yesterday morning was like. I couldn't find Jacob's other soccer sock, right as we needed to go to the game Jack had a huge blowout, while I was changing his diaper he knocked a box of lightbulbs to the floor with his foot and glass shattered all over the laundry room floor. On top of that, I had to get those flowers planted for you and take the kids to the store for groceries."
I have no idea whatsoever what he is talking about - but it sure sounds important, doesn't it ladies?