Saturday, March 15, 2008

I need to rant for a second

I try not to make this blog too too negative or rant-y or soapboxy, because all in all I have a very blessed and wonderful life and family and I am truly, deeply grateful for it and everyone in my life.


Remember over the past few weeks, when maybe I've blogged a few times about all the various maladies striking my family, and then striking me? I may have glossed over (to spare you the gory details) of just how sick I was, but suffice it to say I couldn't be far from a bathroom for about 3 days. And yes, M did step up to the plate and help me the ONE night that I was so sick that I literally couldn't get out of bed. But. Even that night, I seem to dimly recall staggering downstairs around 10:00 to clean up the kitchen, make school lunches and set the coffee. The rest of the time? By which I mean all day and usually at least 2 times a night? I was on call for the kids, trying to maintain a semblance of normal routine, cooking meals, grocery shopping, cleaning to keep the germs at bay, laundry, playing, homework, reading and comforting children as needed. In between those activities, I took my meds, ran for the bathroom as needed, cursed my luck and I might have cried once or twice because I really did feel horrible and I was so so worried about my mom.

M has had a similar bug for a day now and (here's the griping part) is he pitching in to help with the kids? cleaning the bathrooms to help keep HIS germs at bay? picking up the laundry strewn around our bedroom? reading a story between trips to the bathroom? No. He is upstairs, wrapped in cozy blankets, reading and resting on the couch in our sunroom. I love him dearly, really, but COME ON. Give me a break. I managed. I can't even imagine copping out like that. And I hate to sound ugly, but I can't help but think of it as a cop out. I have managed to somehow paint myself into a role in the household where not only does he not feel like he needs to pitch in, but when I do he acts like I'm imposing on him. Indicative of this dilemma is his referring to watching the kids as him "babysitting" -- I don't believe that when I ask him to watch the kids it's babysitting. Most would call that parenting. And God forbid he actually take the two of them somewhere - he won't. Can't handle it, doesn't know how to prepare for it, and would never offer to, let alone actually do it. He will actually complain that we "never" get to have a date night, but then fully expect me to coordinate a (real) babysitter, make plans, take care of feeding/bathing the kids before we go out, etc. Then I get to rush around, get dressed and go out for a few hours. We have had many, many conversations about it all of which revolve around the fact that he has to do his job (supporting the family) and I have to do mine. I have tried to remind him that he works set hours, Monday-Friday but my job happens to be 24/7 with no time off, lunch breaks or even a smoke break (if I smoked). But he calls that "trumping" him and then I'm left feeling ungrateful and whiny. His other advice is "you don't need to do that" which can apply to activities as varied as grocery shopping to laundry to cleaning to getting the kids to clean up their messes. But if I don't do it, who will?! Should I let the house fester on unattended to? Should we run out of milk? Toilet paper? Will that spur him on?

Am I bitter because we were supposed to be on vacation this week so it hits me doubly hard that it's just business as usual around here? Probably yes. I probably just need some time to myself, which I fully, selfishly expect to get in 17 months or so when A will start pre-school. But for now, the occasional vent will have to suffice. Anyone have any perspective on the situation for me? Am I just a whiner? Any good advice on how to get your mate to pitch in? Or am I fighting a losing battle?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I hear you. I know you do a lot of stuff. A lot of homemaking, errands, chores, parenting, etc. I am sorry for the tough weekend. I admire how honest you are on your blog.

I know a really good family therapist. :) There's a dual relationship though... so it can't work out.