Sunday, June 25, 2006

Rainy day pity party

It didn't take long for me to remember why I don't like staying home all the time. It's the never-ending-ness of it. It's not like work, where you clock in at 8 and leave at 5 and get an hour for lunch.

I'm having a hard time explaining this to TCBIM. He wants to come home from work, maybe putter around the house a bit, fixing this or that, maybe (big maybe) load the dishwasher and then he wants to just veg. He can always find something else to do when it's time to feed Boo or give her a bath or put her to bed. I need to figure out a way to say that I need help. Not much help - I don't want him to do everything every night (well, I do, but even I'm not that delusional), but I would like it if he could just give Boo a bath. It's gotten to the point that she doesn't like him to put her to bed, she just wants me. I don't want to be the only parent, the only one she'll let do things. TCBIM has to be able to do those things, too. It hasn't become too bad yet, but toddlers are stubborn little buggers and it doesn't take much to get them set in their ways.

I can understand that when he comes home, he wants to relax. I get that. He's a plumber. It's hot and muggy and it's hard work. However, I've been working all day, too, chasing around a very active toddler and trying to amuse her and her older sister. I've been doing laundry and dishes and sweeping and vacuuming and making meals and running errands. Then, when he comes home and putters, I make dinner for Boo, give her a bath, put her to bed and then make our dinner. I clean up after dinner. Meanwhile, he's been sitting in front of the tv for an hour or more. There's always so much that needs to be done. O helps, a lot, which is great. But I'd like him to take the initiative and just do things. I don't want to have to ask every single time I need some help. He can see that the rug needs vacuuming or the kitchen needs sweeping - why should I have to point it out to him and ask him to do it? I'm not his mother. I keep saying that to him, but he doesn't get it. He just keeps saying "All you have to do is ask." Thing is, I shouldn't have to ask. Not for simple things like that. Not for mundane, day-to-day chores. And I'll be damned if I'm making up a chore chart. Then I really would feel like his mother.

What I'd really like is a break. Problem is, I don't know where to go or what to do to get that break. I don't want to start volunteering for anything because I'm due in 7 weeks (ack!). I keep thinking about joining the library book group, but can't seem to get organized enough to get down there, get the book, read it and then show up for the meeting. I was thinking about learning how to knit, but again, it's the time to do it. I feel like I don't have time. The days are flying by - it's almost July and I have nothing to show for it.

To his credit, TCBIM keeps telling me to get out and do something. Thing is, I want to do things with him, without the kids, and that never happens. I think we've gone out alone twice in the last 12 months. We have no money anyway, but still. We used to go out all the time. We used to have fun together. And now it seems like we have to have our fun separately because of the kids. It's depressing.


Joke said...

This is a tough call.

We'll assume for the sake of discussion he is not passive-aggressive.

You want X done, you'll pretty much have to ask. Forever. Not pretty, not fair, just the way it is with 90% of us. It's as simple as "ask or it doesn't get done."

Now, you're going to have to peg him to with what tasks he is willing to help you. Bathing? Feeding? GET IT IN WRITING. Explain to him how you get tired too, how your energy levels are super low because you're due in 7 weeks, etc.

Make one thing HIS thing to do. Bathing or feeding or flossing the toddler or whatever...that's HIS to do.

And see how it goes from there.


Anonymous said...

Sadly, you will have to tell TCBIM what you want him to do. That's a fact of life that I've had to live with too. Sucks, but there it is. You'll have to give him one (or more than one) specific task and make it his to do. Every day, or once a week, or whatever, that's HIS job.

It also sounds like he needs to understand how hard it is to be home. Maybe when you're in the hospital with the baby and he's home with the kids, he'll get it. It took my going away for an overnight with friends before my hubby got how hard just being "on" with a toddler all day and all night could be!

As for getting out, take your book to the library or the coffee shop or something for a couple of hours and let him deal with bedtime. I don't know what to tell you about together time. Hubby and I still have trouble with that. We finally instituted "date night" that consisted of a Netflix movie after the kids are in bed, with optional wine and dessert. That way, the movie is paid for, and we don't need babysitting. And we get to snuggle, at least!

Sorry for the enormously long comment, but this is one of the continuing battles that I fight too! Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Okay, this is what I have learn about men. You DO have to ask and most don't get offended by it. Men don't see what needs to be done. My husband is a great helper but the first few years of our marriage I was pissed that I constantly had to ask him to do this, do that. He finally said to me "just ask" and I replied "I don't want to have to ask, I just want it done" and he explained it just doesnt' work that way with men. So, now, I ask. Yes, I still inside get grumpy at times that I have to do it but on the other hand my load is lighter and things are getting done.

Good luck and don't feel bad about asking.

Willow said...

you could try having one or two nights a week that he is in charge of the kids - putting them to bed etc. we do that here - my 3 yr old still often wants mom to put him to bed on dad's night - but we just say it's daddys turn b/c he wants to read to you too - we both like to put you to bed... etc. baths are a tricker beast...

i hope something works out here - it would drive me insane (really) to be "on" all the time. I just don't have it in me.

SUPERMOM said...

Afetr 14 years of wedded bliss (ok I couldn;t even say that without giggling), I have found out what we all have. Ask or it won't get done. I have never been able to figure out how men cannot see dirty dishes, chores that need doing etc. But a couple of big t#ts come walking their way and they are all eyes. I used to feel like his mother when I had to issue chores too. But it came down to ask. I agree with him having somethings that are his responsibility. Like bathtime etc. My husband is in charge of cars, washing, waxing, vacuuming. Also to include putting gas in them. I don't pump gas. If my car needs it I tell him and he goes out and does it. Garbage is his too. With me working now he is doing a few more things to help but I have to ask. It must be prewired in most men. Sad but true. Hang in there. try it this way, agree on what is his responsibility. Oh and don't expect his response time to be the same as yours. If you ask him to vacuum it may not happen within the time period you would like. But if you ask and he says sure then let it go until he does it. If you jump in and do it out of frustration he will give up trying. (I learned that one too) Good Luck!!!!