Sunday, July 16, 2006

I can't handle the truth

So you know how I was bitching and moaning the other day because Lance gets to do whatever he wants and I'm just a slave taking care of every last thing? It's not really like that. Sometimes it may feel like that, but it's not actually like that.

Really, whenever Lance goes out with friends, or is gone for whatever reason in the normal "after work" hours, he makes it up to me by giving me a night off. This generally means that the next night he'll handle all the kid duties while I blog to my hearts' content in the other room. The time last week when he went out to see some stupid band for two nights in a row? He arranged for a babysitter one of those nights and called her to make sure I'd have something fun to do (we went out to dinner with Trent, which was fabulous).

As a matter of course, on the weekends and evenings after work, he takes the kids to playgrounds or to the beach or for walks, giving me needed down time. When we go out to dinner, etc, he knows what we need in the diaper bag, and he gets it together much of the time. (No, not most of the time, but still.) Usually, he makes dinner reservations for us and arranges for the babysitter. Every now and then, he comes home from work early and sends me out for a pedicure. He rarely works later than 5:30. He is always in charge of baths, is equal partners in the going to bed routine, cleans up the dishes every night, picks up toys, and so on. It is not as if he is playing video games or watching TV while I'm slaving away. (Except when he's surfing. And honestly? He hardly ever surfs anymore.)

So you see? There is really no reason for me to feel so resentful. He is doing all I can ask of him--he is doing more than many husbands I'm told, so I should feel grateful. Some days I do. But some days I still feel angry.

I emailed with Phantom a little bit after that last post, and in writing to her I think I may have stumbled onto a nugget of truth: my feelings of resentment don't feel valid, because Lance does help out so much. So instead of communicating to him that I need some more help or whatever it is, I just get bitter inside. I sigh passive-aggressively and slam things around and insist that nothing's wrong. I can't admit why I'm upset because part of me doesn't believe I have a right to be upset.

Then, I was e-mailing Mommygoth about the same thing, and I stumbled on this nugget: it is not that I feel alone in my resentment of my husband. I think that many women feel this same way (to a lesser degree, of course--most women do not, presumably, have to resort to marriage counseling, but then again, I could be wrong); I think that feeling this way is a symptom of motherhood. I honestly believe that being a mother is hard, hard work. Harder than any 9 to 5 job. I hear all the other mothers out there singing that song, and I join right in. I feel justified in my resentment. Who cares how much Lance helps, this shit is hard.

Right, the complete opposite of my previous truth. My feelings of resentment are not valid; my feelings of resentment are justified. Which is it?

Finally, I was talking to my good friend Susanna, and she reiterated to me that my feelings ARE valid. "Just look at all the comments you got on that post," she said. "Obviously you struck a chord with other moms out there," said she. She is right, of course. Just as all of you who left such inspiring, reflective comments on that post are right. It is no wonder we are all resentful. But then again, since Lance is such a stellar husband and father (isn't he?), maybe I should be able to harness that resentment a little better.

I'm not sure where all this leaves me. Except in the need of some counseling, immediatement.

Tell me something, though. How much does your partner help out? Is Lance doing more than his share? Is that even relevant to my feelings, and should it be? And if my feelings ARE justified even if Lance is doing all he can, what, exactly, am I supposed to do about them?

1 comment:

isimsiz kahraman said...
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