So let me get the greeting out of the way. It’s out of the way. Excuse my curtness but this is one of those interaction like when you call your BFF like “girrrllll.” and then just get right into it, so here it goes.
I’m depressed AF because I’m not getting enough support.
Let me tell you, beautiful readers, about what my day looks like as a stay at home mother who has 4 kids. Be ready because it’s a long one. I get up between 6:30am and 7:30am most days, on a lazy day closer to 8. Sometimes I get up earlier to make my husband lunch. Hopefully I get some journaling time in. Then I help the kids get ready, sign papers, find lost sweaters and socks, and make sure they feel loved before they make their way into the world, even on days when I myself do not feel loved or in a good mood. I do this with a baby on my hip (lately he’s let me put him in the back carrier for up to an hour, woohoo!), who happens to be the needy type. There are some days that I do this after caring for the baby or one of the other kids who have been up all night sick. Even if that’s not the case, I still nurse baby twice a night which takes calories and therefore energy. After the older kids leave for school, I cook breakfast for the little ones, help them brush their teeth, wash their faces or take a bath, and get dressed. Many days I don’t change them because we aren’t going anywhere and I’m just too tired. I then play with the baby because trying to get anything done with him clinging to my legs is just too difficult. He cries in the play pen so that’s pretty much just for bathroom, fedex guy, or animal emergencies. It’s definitely handy (no I don’t let my baby cry it out, it’s a personal choice and I’ve done my research on the pros and cons). I try to get some reading time or singing time in with my 4 year old, sometimes we bake together with the baby on table and me trying not to let him pour all the salt into the bowl. Other days we go to preschool activities at the library. If the weather allows I take them outside for a walk. I also let the dog out to go to the bathroom, have snack time for the kids, make necessary calls and appointments, pay bills, and try to put things away that are easy to get to. Once the baby is down for a nap, IF he naps that day, I do the dishes and whatever else I couldn’t get done with him awake, sometimes I start on dinner. Whenever the baby is occupied enough for me to read for 5 minutes I’ll do that. By the afternoon, hopefully the house is somewhat clean and dinner is halfway done, oh and the kids are happy. My baby doesn’t nap well so if I want him to nap longer I have to keep putting him back to sleep every ten minutes or so. He runs around and falls a lot at this age so there’s a lot of soothing him and rocking him. He also gets into everything and likes to be in my constant presence. By the time my husband gets home I’m happy to see his car pull up. Even though I’m used to what he does by now, some part of me feels relief and has this glimmer of hope that he’s going to swoop through the door and say babe, go shower or take a break. But that’s not what happens. I’ll get to that later. After I miraculously finish dinner and serve the kids and my husband, it’s back to helping the kids– finding lost socks and sweaters, discussing and calming their fears and listening to their joys, having a family activity and keeping an eye on the baby while the kids play video games or do chores.Then it’s time for the bedtime routine: making sure they brush their teeth, refereeing the fights, and bedtime story. Then I make my husband lunch if it’s on my list. I tell myself I’ll put the baby to sleep and have a hot shower and “me time”, but I usually fall asleep with him and even if I get up I’m too exhausted to enjoy anything and then can’t sleep till 4am. Also the baby wakes up every few hours if I’m not next to him (yes I co sleep and not planning to stop, so don’t even try). I should mention this is on a good day and we are not even going to talk about the bad ones. It isn’t unusual for me to not have even an hour to myself for the entire week, including weekends. I love my kids obviously, but a break would be nice. Not having to beg and explain myself in order to get one would be better.
Now let’s talk about my husband’s day. He gets up early, anywhere between 5:00am and 6:30am, gets ready and leaves for work as a journeyman electrician, mostly indoors in new commercial construction which is pretty cushy for being in the construction industry. As a man with a stay at home wife (and even when I worked), he enjoys hot meals prepared for him at dinner time and often times I make home-cooked lunches for him to bring to work, if I don’t cook he makes enough money that we can go out to eat whenever we want to. He gets to take long, hot showers after work with no one bothering him. Some days when he gets home he says he’s going to get a haircut or to the store and there’s no one to complain about where he’s going or what he’s up to, nor does he bring any of the kids with him. When he gets home he works hard on the house he bought for our family, a dream of his. He also feeds his pet pig and pet birds, including chickens, roosters, and peacocks. This helps him to decompress after work, his words not mine. It takes time and he sometimes doesn’t come inside for well over an hour after getting home and often goes back out after dinner. It probably bothers him a bit that I never wanted a house and so don’t really seem to appreciate the work at times but for the most part he’s happy because this was his dream after all and he has accomplished it. When he comes in he plays with the baby for awhile so I can finish up cooking, until the baby needs a diaper change or cries, then it’s mama time! In the evenings after our family activity, he lays in his room and watches tv. Sometimes the kids and I all come in to sit with him but he gets annoyed after about 20 minutes so he kicks us all out so he can enjoy the rest of his shows and then get some sleep. Once in awhile he’ll join us for bedtime story and posts on facebook about how he appreciates me. He’ll wait up for sex but I usually fall asleep and so does he. This isn’t always the way things were, there were days when he was very invested in spending time with me, but as the baby has gotten bigger and more of a handful, the more he makes excuses for not helping out and stays out of the house longer. While I try to be there for him as much as I can, if I say I’m going to do anything alone or ask for help it’s always a hassle for him to help out and he belittles me for even asking. Does his life ever get stressful? Absolutely. There’s the pressure to provide, things go wrong with the house, his wife gets bitchy, and he never gets enough sex. That’s why he takes the time he needs to destress. You might think I’m jealous that he gets to spend his time as he wishes on things that are important to him AND gets the rest he needs. On the contrary, I want my mate to be happy and enjoy himself. I just wish he wanted the same for me.
Since the day I was born I’ve been taught that whatever my husband needs it’s my job to take care of him, no matter if I’m sick, starving, or otherwise. And he’s been taught the same- that I’m here to support him no matter what and he is here to support himself. His needs come first and mine are frivolous, a luxury. That when I say I need support he can ignore it and my needs just magically disappear. But you know what? It’s 2020, I’m 32 years old, and I’ve been married 13 years. I’ve done a lot of forgiving and understanding and working through it-more than is healthy for one woman to handle, and I’ve grown stronger. So believe me when I say the time of the cutting of slack is over my friends. And guess what? if things don’t change, my needs will disappear, when I disappear-FROM HIS LIFE. Yes, I’m THAT pissed. In fact I’m currently writing this at my mom’s house where I went to get the support I needed and I plan on being here awhile.
After all is said and done, I can’t even blame my husband for his shortcomings. Though I can and will expect him to take responsibility for them. Because you see, as women we are taught that martyrdom is love, and we are taught to embody that and if we don’t we aren’t “good women”. But for a man society teaches him that cherishing your wife, is just a meme you share on facebook.