A Letter to My Husband

Dear Husband,

I love you. So much! You are handsome, and sweet. Funny and talented. You get excited about cooking and about music. And you worry about me starting a fight at the hockey game. I will love you forever! But sometimes you make it hard for me to like you.

I know that you are going to take this the wrong way. Please try not to! It’s not that you are a bad husband – you are, in fact, a GREAT husband. It’s more about… giving you some areas that need improvement. Have I mentioned how much I love you?

I know that things aren’t how they used to be; we have a baby now. My body is marred and lumpy. My hormones are still all out of wack: I’m weepy and angry and anxious. I’m never in the mood, and I languish all of my affection on the new “man” in my life.  You feel left out, and I get it, I do! But please try to see where I’m coming from!

I know you say that you don’t, but I know that you secretly think I have it so great staying home all day with our wonderful son. And don’t get me wrong, I love it! There is nothing that I would rather do than spend my days taking care of him. But it’s hard. Like, really hard. I know I sit on the couch a lot… but I’m also breastfeeding. And it is both wonderful and 45 minutes of exhausting. And as soon as I’m done, and then done changing him, it’s time to nurse him again! And yes, I watch tv while I nurse. Maybe this makes me a horrible mother, but I can only gaze adoringly at our son for so long. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I gaze adoringly at him A LOT, I just can’t do it for 12 hours a day.

It is hard to get all of the chores done. I mean, it’s hard to get chores done in general, but with an almost-five month old in the house, it becomes almost impossible. I nurse, I burp, I change him, I lay him down. And he screams! And if he doesn’t scream, then he’s happy playing with his toys for, at the most, about 15 minutes. So I run upstairs and fold the load of towels that’s in the dryer and then transfer the load into the washer into the dryer. Then I try and shove a load of your clothes into the washer.

Well, by this time the 15 minutes of happy alone-play-time are up. But I’m on a roll, so I want to hurry up and get those clothes into the washer… only, I have to empty out all of the pockets. Of the 5 pairs of jeans, 2 pairs of shorts and 3 pairs of pjs. While our son screams his heart out at the bottom of the stairs. Did I mention that every couple of minutes, I have to run half-way down the stairs to glance at him and make sure he’s ok? That he’s just screaming cus he’s bored and not because he’s turned over/gotten his arm stuck/being stepped on by a cat? Then I run back up the stairs to continue emptying out your pockets of their never-ending crap all the while trying not to breakdown and cry myself.

When that’s done, I run downstairs and scoop up one sobbing mess of a baby and cuddle him even though I have had to pee for the last hour. I thought I’d get the laundry in first, you see. By the time I get him calmed down, guess what! He’s hungry again! So I sit down on the wonderful sofa and hook him up. (did I mention I still have to pee? Also, now I’m dying of thirst) So, we nurse and then we get changed and try for round two of happy alone-play-time. No dice. So, amidst the screaming, I run to the bathroom and try and pee as fast as I can. Then I run back to to the crying baby and scoop him up again.

He calms down quickly this time, so I decide to see if he’ll sit in his bumbo on the counter while I put some stuff in the crockpot for dinner. I plop him in, and place a myriad of toys on his tray. He seems happy enough. I am in the middle of chopping my first onion when all the toys are knocked off. Screaming ensues, so I pick them up. Chop, screaming, pick them up. Chop, screaming, pick them up. Chop, screaming, pick them up, still screaming. Great, he’s bored now. So now, every minute or two I have to bang on his tray with his spoon, or tickle his tummy or kiss his foot. By the time dinner is in the crock pot, the distractions are no longer working. But, as with the laundry, it has to get done so I power through it.

There is something about a baby’s cry that just pierces through a mom’s heart and into her soul. It makes me feel like such a horrible mother for not stopping what I’m doing and comforting him. So now, in addition to feeling overwhelmed I also feel guilty. When I’m done, and I’ve gotten him calmed down, it’s time for some tummy time. Some days he loves it, and it’s awesome. Most days he hates it and it’s horrible. Then, it’s time to change him again, and nurse him because he’s always hungry after tummy time.

Lots of days, yes, I make it to the pool with Misty & her kids. But that’s just because I am DESPARATE to get out of the house and for some non-baby interaction. And then it’s only for an hour, sometimes less. And sometimes I get to go into the pool for the whole hour, but lots of times, like Monday, he refuses to fall asleep and I don’t. I get to hold him in my lap – if I’m lucky enough to have shade, if not I push his stroller repeatedly – and watch everyone else play in the water. At least it gets me out of the house!

When I get back from the pool, it’s more of the same: change, nurse, try and get a chore done amidst the screaming. Try and keep him entertained. Try and keep myself calm when he whines for an hour strait for reasons I cannot for the life of me figure out. And then there are the bouts of gut-wrenching anxiety that come from out of nowhere at least once daily. And I want to just go sit by myself and calm myself down, just for 10 minutes, but I can’t.

Around 10pm you make it back home. And you want me to sit and talk with you, and I do, but not long enough because I still have to go finish the dishes I never got to. Or, maybe I will sit down with you for a couple of hours, then go up to bed when you do and leave the dishes. Then, I wake up with H from 3-330 to nurse. I manage to coax him back to sleep at 630, but I have to get up with him for the day at 830. I call a ticked off you at 10 to wake you up. It’s usually 1030 before you make it downstairs. Then, you want to have a cigarette, and poop. I’ve barely been able to suck down 1 cup of coffee! I snap at you, so you hold off on your cigarette while I eat some breakfast. Then you tell me, “I worked for 12 hours yesterday, and I didn’t sleep very good, so I’m taking a nap later.” You don’t understand why I’m pissed. And you tell me how exhausted you are/how you cut your finger/how you just want a day to sit on the sofa and relax and do nothing. And I have to nurse H again.

So now, I feel guilty for wanting some time away from my baby. And I feel guilty for making you get up “so early” when you are obviously so tired. And I feel guilty for making you run errands on your day off. And I feel guilty that you have to work 60 hours a week to pay our bills while I get to stay home and not work. And I feel mad at you for getting to sleep in.  And I feel mad at you for getting to take a nap. And I’m jealous of you because you always get to eat out for lunch at work, and without a baby on your lap. And I feel guilty for being mad and jealous. And then I feel anxious. And I’m overwhelmed. And I’m exhausted. And I definitely don’t feel sexy, and I definitely don’t feel like having sex. I feel like crying.

And, yes, I know that you are exhausted. I know that you are overwhelmed. I know that you are probably anxious too. But, on your days off you get a break from your job. I NEVER do. I still have to nurse. I still have to change diapers. I still have to comfort a crying baby. And while you’re watching H, do I take a nap? No, I do laundry or clean the bathroom. You watching H while I do laundry, does not equate to you getting a nap. “Well, you could have napped.” No! I couldn’t have!

Now, I’m not trying to say that you don’t ever do anything! You do, I know you do! You changediapers, and watch H. You will sometimes do a load of laundry or wash a sinkful of dishes. I’m sure that you are way better than lots of husbands, and I don’t always say ‘thank you’ as much as I should. I’m also not saying that staying home is harder. I know working a million hours and putting up with an asshole boss is hard. And I know leaving H to go to work all day is hard. Just the fact that you have to leave H to go to work probably makes it harder. The point I’m trying to make isn’t that my “job” is harder, but just that it is hard and I deserve a break too.

So, here is a list of 4 things you can do to acknowledge that my job is hard too:

  • When I let you sleep in til 10, try and get up and be downstairs before 11, 1015 would be really great. And try not to make me feel like a douche for waking you up, it makes me hate you a little. And, you know, occasionally you could get up with H, and let me sleep in until 10.
  • Maybe, you could do something nice for me before you take a nap. You know, fold a load of laundry without me asking. Clean the toilet. Maybe give me a back rub. Promise to take me for froyo after you wake up. And, occasionally, you could offer for me to take a nap. Understanding that I won’t be able to unless the house is reasonably (to my standards) clean.
  • When you don’t have to be into work until late, you could get up a couple of hours before you have to leave and spend some time with H and I. It would do wonders for my mood!
  • On the (albeit, rare) days when you get off early, you could say “run upstairs and take a shower (If I haven’t gotten one yet) – here’s $20, now go and do something FOR YOU.” Or, you could say, “I’ll help you do one chore, and then let’s go out to eat/go on a picnic/go to the pool/stay home and watch a movie.”

If you do these 4 things, I assure you that I will be in a better mood! And me being in a better mood = more sex for you! And me being in a better mood makes me more likely to do nice things for YOU!

So, in the spirit of compromise – and marriage is nothing if not for compromising – you should send me a list of 4 things that *I* can do that would make *you* happier. Just know that if “let me sleep in as long as I want” is on the list… I’m probably going to kick you in the balls, compromising or not! 😉

And just remember that I love you! And that marriage is hard and having a kid together is harder but that it is all so very worth it! ❤

Love,

Your adoring wifey

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