in which I admit…

March 8, 2012

I really hate to admit it, but I’m ridiculous and I thought that perhaps, if I should write it out like a somewhat humorous but also true confession, it may improve. I mean, maybe I’ll stop making no sense about this particular thing.

Ahem. Here it goes:

I have to stop myself from getting really mad at my husband for nothing. A lot.

It’s always about the kids. This insanity takes me over and I don’t know, I guess it’s because  I’m with the kids most of the time. I seem to have this belief that when Ryan’s home from work, he should be completely taking over everything and anything and all things related to child care at every single moment forever and ever amen.  I mean, until he leaves.

So…if he starts to make himself some food, I’m all, Why are you doing that? Now? The boys need a bath…or Elsie needs to be fed…or or or…Or, get this! If he sits down to set the timer on the DVR thingy to record something, not even to watch a show, I’m all HURRY UP. OR, if he dares go to the bathroom or take a shower, I stomp around for a little while. Until I remember that I’m being completely irrational and totally insane.

I told you I hate to admit it. (Please don’t judge, I’m in a fragile state. heh.)

Maybe this is because I’m a high anxiety person (especially lately). Or maybe it’s just the feeling that many stay at home moms have. The one that, even though we love what we do, we sometimes can’t breathe and so when another adult enters the scene we want every single breath we take to be set apart from doing all the usual things.

Whatever the reason, exactly, I find I’m all too often still martyring, even though I KNOW BETTER. I can’t seem to get it under control, at least not in the baby stage, when I’m awake way too much and needed even when I’m not awake. Elsie is (thankfully) very very attached to me and I love that, but it also means that she doesn’t like me to put her down and she finds her way to me no matter what. I mean, if the girl is in her walker and I go to take a shower, alone, she rams her walker into the door over and over. Not even kidding. And she knocks. She’s nine months old and she knocks at any door her mother is behind. This totally entertains me and also leaves me understanding why I need my breaths when I can take them.

The thing is, Ryan is not at all deserving of this craziness. He’s not at ALL one of those dads that just does his own thing, in his own world. So let this be a public apology to the man who is the most hands-on dad I’ve ever known. The guy who deserves all the credit for all the hours he spends with our children, feeding, bathing and playing and directing and carting around. He’s an absolutely stellar partner in parenting and I really should allow him to take a shower in peace.  One day, I too will shower in peace, and I will look back and forgive myself for my irrational ways because I’ll understand that this season was just plain hard. That’s why Ryan always forgives me when insanity takes me over, and for that, I’m forever grateful.


P.S. I would also like to publicly remind my dear husband (who I endearingly like to refer to as Taco Head) that this silliness of mine did get better as the boys got older. It will surely get better as Elsie gets older, too. You know, in like three years.  Don’t worry, Taco Head, you know what they say, it goes so fast!



Erin March 8, 2012 at 8:32 am

Oh my word. I catch myself doing this exact same thing. And then I’m all, WHAT. Because him getting up and going to work at THREE THIS MORNING wasn’t enough for you? Seriously, Erin?

Then I feel guilty and make cookies.

Which is why everyone in my family is going to use food to fix their problems for time and eternity amen. LOL.
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Alison@Mama Wants This March 8, 2012 at 8:37 am

Ack! I do this too sometimes. My poor husband. :) (Taco Head is an awesome nickname)
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Amanda March 8, 2012 at 8:42 am

Oh my gosh, Heather. This post is my twin post. I mean, I could have totally written this. The worst part is that, when my husband isn’t here, I can’t wait to see him. I always feel like, as soon as he is home, I’ll be relaxed and happy… but instead, it’s like as soon as I see him, I get all impatient and bossy and angry at him for not swooping in and magically making the girls stop calling me and following me around. If Louise cries for me while I’m going to the bathroom, I’m all like, “Kurt, you are home! Why is she bothering me! I’m supposed to be free when you are here!”
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Allison Zapata March 8, 2012 at 8:50 am

Oh man, I DO THIS TOO!!!! All the time!
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Jo@Mylestones March 8, 2012 at 8:56 am

I feel ya, sister. At least you’re self aware….that’s something, right? ;-) it will get better with more sleep and less infant clinginess. I know that feels a long way off, so for now I guess it’s just deep breaths and peeps to get you through.
Also? Elsies’s stalking/knocking habit? Wicked cute. And a very good explanation for why you need the Calgon man to take you AWAAAAAY a dozen times a day.

Brandi March 8, 2012 at 8:56 am

I do the SAME thing. I especially fly off the handle when he complains about not sleeping. I sleep with 2 of our children while he sleeps in a bed ALONE. I have no explanation why I do this. Like you, I got better about it as the kids got older, but now that we have another baby, it’s started again.
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Gianna March 9, 2012 at 7:43 pm

YES! I always! always want to yell, “Shut UP! about being tired! You don’t know what it’s like to be tired and be expected to be on! Because that is what you are doing to me! DO YOU NOT SEE THIS!!!!!!!” But I nod and silently seethe and then I try to find any ounce of gratitude I have for him at that moment!
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Jacki March 8, 2012 at 9:01 am

Oh, I think many of us (including those of us who did work outside the home) felt this way on more than one occasion. I do think, that no matter how good a father a man is, he doesn’t ever live and breathe the anxieties of the family like a mom does, just because our culture teaches women that their families should be the focus of their every moment while it teaches our fathers to go out there and provide. Even if we find this to be a bunch of crap, we absorb at least a little bit of it. Hard to escape.
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Sabrina March 8, 2012 at 9:01 am

I do it too! And I’m learning to just chill. Because I so often forget that he is the reason I get to stay at home with my sweet baby boy. So I’m learning to cut him some slack and let him take as much time in the bathroom as he wants after a long day at work. hee hee hee.
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Jamie March 9, 2012 at 10:14 pm

Great point!…that I have to remind myself of a lot! He’s not just away or sitting at a computer browsing away…he’s working! I seriously have to remind myself that he’s out providing the means for me to get to have my dream job (staying at home with my babies). But man, I can get all sorts of resentful and MEAN. He’s so patient and nice and understanding. Eventually, I get convicted and come to him with an apology/confession and a-ha moment, and he smiles and thanks me. But seriously, can you imagine being in the bathroom that long? :)

Krista March 8, 2012 at 9:17 am

Oh Heather, I do this too. And what’s worse is I didn’t even realize how much I did it until Craig started staying home and I was the only one working and when I came home he was “off” and I was “on”. Except, I just wanted five minutes to change into my sweats and use the bathroom first. Once I realized what was bugging me about him being home, I realized that that was EXACTLY what I did to him during football season, ‘Hi you’re home, good, this one needs fed and that one needs bathed and seriously are you using the bathroom, CANT YOU DO THAT SOME OTHER TIME.”
There’s no easy answer to fix it, it just takes time, takes the kids getting a little older and probably a little understanding on everyone’s part. I’m sure your husband understands that! :)
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Sarah @ This Heavenly Life March 8, 2012 at 9:24 am

It’s so hard to NOT do this. As I’m snuggled up, sleeping with the baby in the early mornings while my sweet husband gets the big kids off to school — lunches made!! — I try to HOLD on to the gratitude. Somehow, it deserts me by 5PM when I get bossy and demanding once more. It’s a process. We’ll get there :) And I’m so glad you admitted this today!
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Sarah March 8, 2012 at 9:34 am

I’ll admit it– I haven’t gotten over this yet, and my children are much older than yours!
Why does homework and extra-curriculars always fall to me? Why do the big, deep conversations all fall to me? Why do conferences and logistics always fall to me? Why do I find myself doing errands, laundry, and cleaning on my days off, and he can take the time to enjoy himself? It’s not as if I do it all and he contributes nothing– i can understand this rationally– but I still FEEL as if this is the case.
He always tells me that I do not have to do everything that I do (and when I do it); that no one expects this, but I cannot seem to accept that either. *sigh*
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Angela March 8, 2012 at 9:53 am

Me too! I especially used to hate Saturdays, because it felt like the weekends should be easier: Two adults! Help all day! My chance to take a break! Except that there are more dishes and more mess and just more everything on the weekends because everyone is home all day. Wrapping my mind around the idea that weekends are more hectic than the already crazy week is something I have still not fully mastered…but most of the time I at least recognize it.
I too have an awesome, helpful, considerate husband, but I still get irritated at the little things in a most irrational way!

Pamela March 8, 2012 at 10:03 am

Oh my. I’m that girl, too.
It’s one of the ways I know to keep tabs on my anxiety and depression.
Am I burning mad at my husband?
Then probs I need to have a break or adjust my meds.

Andrea March 8, 2012 at 10:53 am

I’ve caught myself saying to my husband when he gets home from work, “What? You couldn’t have used the bathroom at WORK? You have to come home and immediately use the BATHROOM?”
Yeah, in my perfect world he wouldn’t even take a moment to use the bathroom in our house. It is hard, and you are right, it will get better.
Mom to four (10,8,6,2)

The Mommy Psychologist March 9, 2012 at 2:24 am

Yep. Yep. These comments are seriously cracking me up! Especially about the bathroom. I get pissed that he pees. Or the fact that he starts coughing so he has to get a glass of water. What? Not in the middle of playing with your son! Choke!
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Rach (DonutsMama) March 8, 2012 at 11:00 am

Yeah I get that too. I become resentful b/c I feel like I’m on 24 hours a day and he’s not. I have to remind myself that he’s at work FOR us and has other responsibilities to shoulder. But yes, it’s still hard.
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Erin March 8, 2012 at 12:17 pm

Honestly this is the most relieving post I’ve ever read. I act in the same insane way torwards my husband and literally thought I was the only person with this irrational behavior. Thank you for posting this today. I needed the reminder that I’m normal, that raising kids is tough and sometimes we need a breath.
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Louise March 8, 2012 at 1:22 pm

See that nail? You just hit on the head. Thanks for the subtle reminder. I’m gonna let my hubby take a shower tonight :) Signed, fellow stay-at-home-with-the-kids-martyr
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Suzanne March 8, 2012 at 2:24 pm

I do this. I TOTALLY do this. Half the time I find myself huffing around snapping at him for not “doing more” but when he actually gets up and volunteers to do something I can’t think of anything that needs done. What is wrong with me?!
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lisa March 8, 2012 at 2:27 pm

I remember those feelings so well! You are right–it does get better, my youngest is 7 and I almost forgot about that stage. Although, even now I feel I am the one who has to maintain my finger on the pulse. My husand is great but it is not as if he remembers to call the dentist because it has been a year since their last check up or to send in the check for school photos. He will gladly and willingly do those things–if I ask him and on my cranky days I resent having to ask. I don’t know if all men are like this but he is much better with things that he knows he has to do every night. For instance he makes the kids lunches every evening and make sure they get into their backpacks in the morning. He is not great at just surmising what needs to be done and the multi tasking but responds will to regimented tasks. And I agree with the other poster, I work outsdie the home and I still remembr having all those feelings.
One thing that will happen a lot sooner than Elsie turning three is that the weather will warm up and the kids can be outside, and there will be no boots to pullon andmittens to find and babies to stuff into snowsuits and life always seems a lot easier when that happens.
Thanks for writing and sharing.

Stephanie Hanes March 8, 2012 at 5:49 pm

Oh my word…I thought I was the only crazy one!!! Thank you for your refreshing honesty and a reminder that it’s okay to admit we don’t have it all together. That’s what grace is for – and I need an abundance of it!
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The Mommy Psychologist March 9, 2012 at 2:23 am

Me too! Me too! Me too!
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Ann March 8, 2012 at 5:58 pm

Okay here’s the thing Heather, I know from reading your blog that your husband travels a lot as did mine when my twins were babies/toddlers. I was so jealous that he could just leave…for a whole five days! He could use the bathroom in peace, shower in peace, drink a cup of coffee when ever he wanted! I was even jealous of his time on the plane. C’mon 5 or 6 hours to just sit and do NOTHING…I was a deep shade of green. Then he’d come home and I’d think “well you just had like a whole five days to yourself doing nothing you should do everything now”. Never mind that he was working I viewed it as a vacation! Anyway, all this to say you are normal and your feelings are normal and at least you recognize it…not sure I ever did while I was in the thick of it :) I think I need to go apologize to my husband now.

Ann March 8, 2012 at 6:02 pm

Also, I may have once accused him of making up reasons to go to the west coast so he could catch up on sleep.

Jennifer March 8, 2012 at 9:05 pm

Thank you for your post!! You just described what I do almost every weeknight: nag my sweet husband. I am guilty too. It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one.

Love your blog.
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Elaine March 9, 2012 at 12:25 am

Oh I do it too, I SO do it too! And my youngest is almost 2.5 (ack!) and the oldest can do so much on his own. But I still do it. I do. yes, I admit it. I do it. TOO.

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The Mommy Psychologist March 9, 2012 at 2:22 am

I’m so glad to know I’m not the only one! Whenever my husband walks into the door, I seem to become possessed by the devil. Even though I’m telling myself to shut up in my head because I know I’m being completely nuts, I just can’t.
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Galit Breen March 9, 2012 at 8:51 am

Oh my, relatable, relatable, all too relatable.

I love that you drew this out. And I love that you call your guy Taco Head. How cute are you?
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Nina March 9, 2012 at 12:49 pm

Heather, I’m SO with you. Baby #4 is 4 months and I’m thick in the martyr stage. And like you said, I need to remind myself (and my husband) that IT gets better and I get less insane as time goes on. The baby slept through the night once this week . . . there IS hope!
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H-Mama @ Family Team March 9, 2012 at 7:35 pm

no judging here. i *giggle* because i can relate. by the time my hubby gets home from his frequent travels, i’m nearly crazy mama. ;) but you’re right… it gets better as they get older, and… it does go quickly. *sigh*
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Gianna March 9, 2012 at 7:40 pm

Yep exactly, and then he can’t figure out what’s wrong (those times I let him see how upset I am).
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nicole March 9, 2012 at 11:16 pm

Yep, me too. The fact that I recognize it as irrational but do it anyway makes it one million times more frustrating. I was doing this tonight. Even though last night my husband came home from work and cooked dinner and did dishes and shooed kids away from me all evening because I had a headache that wouldn’t go away. And here I was tonight all grouchy because I kept having to get up to meet various demands. Totally lame.
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Adventures In Babywearing March 10, 2012 at 2:22 pm

Oh gosh the things I should probably admit on my own….

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Robin March 10, 2012 at 3:06 pm

My husband and I work full time and this is still the case. It doesn’t ever feel 50/50 because I have to manage his list and tell him what needs done when. On top of that the way I ask has to be in a particular way or he feels criticized and that I am mad at him.

Somedays when the dishwasher is full and laundry is piling up and food in every corner of my home…. He will lay down to read a book. I want to.pull out my hair!

Bill Dorman March 11, 2012 at 8:06 am

It do get better…..been in hubbies shoes; we are empty nesting now and it’s as good as it’s been in 20 years. Just hang on and endure and enjoy, it goes by quick.
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christine March 11, 2012 at 3:09 pm

Oh, Heather. Thanks for admitting this. After our youngest was born I totally felt that way and we struggled for awhile. You know, until my husband finally had to call me on it and I had to work REALLY hard. But I still have the feeling sometimes and she’s turning two next month. I think (and hope) it’s part of being a stay at home mom. Because sometimes I really feel like he should just take over when he gets home because I’ve been doing it Even though he’s a wonderfully hands-on dad.

Anyhoo, just wanted to let you know that you are SO not alone.
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Heather March 12, 2012 at 11:46 am

Oh my…I’m so glad I wrote this because your responses are so…reassuring and validating and hilarious. I thought I was waaaay more irrational than other wives, but alas, as it turns out, we’re all so much more the same than different. Again :) I don’t know how many times I’ve had to stop in my irrational tracks and hug Ryan and say, “Sorry for the crazy, I just can’t seem to help it.” Then I do it again the next day. heh. :)

Jennifer March 12, 2012 at 1:01 pm

Heather: Beautifully said. My hands chap and crack and bleed all the time from the constant hand-washing. I smiled as I read your post because last night, in the bath, while reading Don Miller, I was actually thinking about writing a post about my hands. Stay tuned, I’m going to work on it.

But for now, I’m so glad you have such strength to stay sober. You are doing a phenomenal job. You are an inspiration, in so many ways.
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Jennifer March 12, 2012 at 1:02 pm

ooops – my comment posted on the wrong post. {embarrassed} I’ll fix this….
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