Monday, May 12, 2008

Sweet Sweet Empathy

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?

27 comments:

MandyMom.com said...

Hahahahahaha, ohhhh, sweet understanding.

Marie said...

Brad's always saying that he's love to be the SAHP. I laugh every time. This from a man who asks me to go downstairs and heat up leftovers for him so he doesn't have to get up from his video game.

Becky said...

"snicker" Yuh-huh! It does!

Rachel said...

Ha! That's awesome.

I like that, since I've gone back to work, my husband is sort of forced to share the household stuff.

Little Miss Sunshine State said...

How could you stop yourself from saying "Welcome to MY world".

I spent a few years when my kids were young working a medical job only on the days my husband was home with the kids. Unfortunately he didn't do much housework on those days.

Nancy said...

"Jen, you have no idea ..."

Bwa-hahahahah

No idea? NO IDEA?

Oh yeah, that's 'cuz you've never experienced situations like that.

Bob needs more time in-service ... he'll never say those words again. *wink*

Mr. Fabulous said...

Yeah, whatever. Now get in the kitchen and whip me up a tasty meatloaf, woman :)

Katrina said...

My response to Bob would have been (and has been to my dh MANY times):

"Welcome to my world!"

Sass E-mum said...

Ha ha. Looks like he's coping great. Just make sure he doesn't start up his own blog - those things can suck up good cleaning time.

painted maypole said...

ha ha. sounds like a regular day at home to me. ;)

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

There's nothing like walking in a mile in someone else's shoes.

Don Mills Diva said...

I so GET this post. My husband took my son to the park the other evening so I could make dinner in peace (what a relaxing break eh?) and when he came back he went on for an hour about how tiring it was. Normally I take my son to the park 5 days a week and cook dinner when I get home!

Kate said...

This post, in every way possible, is why I'm very apprehensive about the possibility of ever ending my childless status. I love how you're real about this stuff and you make me laugh at the same time. Thanks! :)

trinity67 said...

LOL!

Beck said...

HAAAAAAAA!

BOSSY said...

So funny. So so funny, in a really unfunny funny way!

Fantastagirl said...

LOL... I understand, believe me I understand.

Magpie said...

Ha ha ha - poor dear.

BetteJo said...

Even wonderful husbands need the chance to see how the other half lives. The other half being his better half, that is.

sara said...

One of the greatest things about my hubs (not to brag, OK, a little, I guess) is that he DID stay home fulltime when our two older guys, twins, were a year & remained their main caregiver for the next 2 1/2 years. Now that I'm back as the at-home parent, I have to say he gets it in ways that folks who have never done such a job can....

Jennifer said...

Nope, I have no idea what his morning must have been like. No idea at all... ;)

JCK said...

That's great that you've found some work for yourself. He's in the trenches part-time now, too, so maybe he'll get it a bit more. Maybe? But, then he did say... "You have no idea."

Domestically Challenged said...

Hehehehe

What goes around....

Circus Kelli said...

Oh, yes, verrrry important. Wow. Such a busy, busy man... how does he do it? ;)

andi said...

Ya, no matter how much you try to explain what life at home is like, they really do have to experience it for themselves. Ha!

imbeingheldhostage said...

oooh, can I live vicariously through you?

Flea said...

That. Is a beautiful thing.