1.18.2008

Breathe

First I was Alone. Then I was Silent. Now I can Breathe.

We finally had the conversation we should have had days ago. I hadn't planned on it. Really, I had given up. But, it was a long day yesterday and I fell apart at the end of the night. I gave both girls a bath. He helped get Big J dressed and then took the baby downstairs while I read her a story. When I got downstairs, I started folding laundry and he fed the baby. Then, he plopped her in my lap and asked if I minded if went into our office/playroom to get some stuff done. I hesitated.

I wanted to answer, "No, I don't mind." I wanted to answer that way, honestly. But, part of me wanted to say, "Yes, I mind. I'm tired. I want to relax. Why can't you put the baby to bed?" The other part of me, the part that is overflowing with mommy guilt, says, "I didn't get to put the baby to bed for two nights in a row because of work, just shut up and do it."

Long story short, I put the baby to bed. When I got downstairs, I went in to the office and asked if we could talk. As soon as I got the words out, I started crying. I'm such an idiot. I think that's part of the reason I don't want to talk all the time. I always end up crying.

I told him everything that I've been wanting to say. That I feel jealous of his role in this relationship. He leaves the house at 8 a.m. and comes home at 5:30. The kids are in bed by 7:30 no later than 8:00 p.m. When the both of us are home, most of the responsibility lies with me to clean, cook, dress, bathe, feed, and play. I tried to stay as positive as I could so he wouldn't feel like I was attacking him. He DOES do a lot to help. He's grown so much since our first child. When we had Big J the split was about 90/10. Now I would say it's about 70/30 and sometimes more when I'm working. I want him to know that I notice his effort, that I appreciate his help.

So I continued, telling him that I feel so guilty to even be having this conversation. That I should be grateful to be home with the kids. I shouldn't be complaining that playing with my children is exhausting sometimes. That I don't want to wake up sometimes because it's the same thing over and over and over again. To tell the same stories, to watch the same videos, to play the same games, to change diapers, to clean up the same mess.

All in all, it was a good conversation. He attempted to understand. He asked what he could do. The hard part is there's not much he CAN do. This is my role, for the most part. I feel like I just have to grow up and accept it. I'm a mom, for pete's sake. The baby is still so little, which makes it difficult to do a lot. I felt the same way when Big J was born. I felt like I wanted more, but it wasn't the right time. That's when I started feeling resentful. Why do I have to put my life on hold? His didn't change at all.

So that feeling is back, now that I have another baby. The difference is, this time I really have something I want. I have a reason to want to be on the computer instead of watching "The Little Mermaid." I finally have a passion, other than being a mom. Something else that defines me. Something else that makes me feel alive. If you've been reading this blog for a little while you might have noticed the change. I've been posting a lot more pictures, taking part in the Thursday Theme over at The Land of K.A. and Best Shot Monday at Tracey's blog. I've been obsessed with taking pictures and I've been so inspired by all the blogs I've found. I even contacted Maile at Relish about an OpenBook Workshop. Yesterday I got a catalog in the mail for adult classes at a local college and they are offering a Photoshop class. I am so taking it.

So, hopefully I can dig myself out of this funk I've been in for a while. I think talking to my husband helped. At least he knows where I'm coming from now. When I get frustrated I won't be so afraid to tell him why. Hopefully, he'll respond by continuing to help out.

Thanks to everyone who left a comment over the past few days. Your support means a lot. I'm so glad I've gotten back into blogging because I really feel like there's a community of women out there who just want to help each other. I love that!! Thanks again!!!

9 comments:

Stacy said...

Stacy, glad to hear that you had that conversion. I think it really helps to get things out instead of holding all the feelings inside. I'm a crier, too, so I know what it's like.

Finding your outlet of creativity, your photography, is fantastic. We all need something that gives us joy, that gives us passion and makes us want to learn and grow. It's a challenge, so glad to hear that you are on your way in this journey. :)

Anna said...

I hear you--I have so many things that could fill my hours, and the balance is so hard. Why cook or clean when I could be learning a new photoshop technique or practicing with my flash?

And are you going to do a workshop with maile? That is my dream, lucky you!

And no idea how they found me, I wish more folks had said hi---so glad you did!

carrie said...

So happy that you're persuing something for YOU! And that the lines of communication are open between you and your husband.

I hope you feel like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders.

Ms. Porter said...

I'm glad you got to clear the air. I love that your husband asked what he could do. Hang in there, it's not easy...I personally found the first year with two children really hard.

Melinda Zook said...

You really encapsulated how I feel sometimes being at home too. It is hard to be torn between loving that we are home with our kids but missing our own passions. It is nice that your hubby is understanding and willing to help. It is really important that you both know how you feel.

carrie said...

Oh, honey...so been in your exact spot. I think every mom has. It sounds cliche, but it really does get better. When Baby is a bit older and they kids start playing together and you get a little breather - and the added bonus of having something you love doing...it all does come together.

The monotony of the days never really goes away...but it does get better.

PixieVonAzia said...

Hi.. I totally understand where you're coming from.. My husband has two jobs and he leaves @ 646am when our daughter is sleeping and comes home @ 1245am when our daughter is sleeping. Sometimes I feel like a single parent because on his days off he doesn't want to help in any way either, but communicating and letting your tears fall lets him know you're feeling alone and need his help too. You're not the only one that conceived your children. But having a hobby like your photos will definetly be a big help to you. Good Luck! =)

Arizaphale said...

Yes, glad too to hear that you pursued the conversation. When my daughter was small I had lots of 'groups' to go to so I could at least talk to adults when the kids were playing. There was swimming, gym, music, even baby massage!! While you were doing things with the kids you still got to chat to other parents and it kept me sane!! :-)Good luck.

Colleen said...

I've just caught up on your posts. Oh... how I can relate. My husband and I have such similar problems. And, I have such a hard time bringing up any conversations because I feel like being the stay home mom was my choice to continue. I do love it.. being home with my daughter. But, my husband just really doesn't understand how exhausting it can be. I think he truly believes that all we do most of the time is sit around and watch tv. I could go on and on... but mainly... I just really relate.