Sunday night was a difficult night for everyone in my home. Between one child's bloody nose and the other's endless chattiness, none of us got much sleep. Monday was rough on all of us. By the end of the work day both my husband and I were exhausted. We finished dinner and at 7 o'clock my husband wanders off and GOES TO BED leaving me to deal with the kids, laundry, and clean up.
I realize he goes to work 2 hours before me, but during that time I am readying myself for work and two kids for daycare. I've been run down lately from a recent illness, and while my husband has stepped up some to help out, I am so angry that he just assumed that since I wasn't bed ridden that I could do everything myself.
How am I supposed to get over it? How do I stop letting things like this get to me?
Tired & Ticked Off
First off, thank you for your question! I'll try to make this as fun and painless as possible. So where do I begin? Let's start with the kids.
You do know kids are pretty expensive, right? Do you know how much they sell for these days?! I'm going to guess (since you did stay up with them) that you sort of like them and have already grown attached. Chances are you're planning on keeping them. SUCKER! I did that and guess what... they are going to get chattier. Hell, half the time I can't get my 15 year old to stop talking. When they DO stop talking you'll stay up late at night wondering what they are thinking about and you don't get sleep then either. Pretty soon one of them is working in your office and you start to wonder if she's trying to steal your job. Ha, and you didn't want to sell them? Sorry, too much personalizing? What was I saying?
Either way, parenting, when possible, is a two person job. My first piece of advice would be to divide and conquer. When in a two parent home, there's nothing wrong with parent A staying up with the kiddies while parent B sleeps peacefully. The next day, parent B can take on the EOD chores and parent A can take a nice bubble bath with a glass of wine and a few laminated chapters of Shades of Gray, if ya know what I'm sayin'. Rawr.
**This process allows both parents to be equally screwed over by their decision not to sell the kids and live the life of horny wandering gypsies, free to travel the world, wine, dine, and sleep in.
Getting over it isn't as easy. Maybe. I like to try direct confrontation first. Try this. Tonight tell your husband that you're really tired from the late night Sunday and all of the crap you had to do when he left you hanging on Monday. Now do the following:
1. Kiss the kids and say good night.
2. Tell you're husband you appreciate him cleaning the house before he comes to bed.
3. Wink at him and smile.
4. Run a bubble bath.
5. Pour the wine.
6. Get your laminated chapters.
7. Soak your cares away.
8. Go to bed.
Now, if you don't feel better and over it at this point I don't know what will help. He needs to know that what he did wasn't fair. Explaining that you're still tired should give him plenty of indication that his going to bed early put you on a major sleep deficit. Not letting yourself get worked up over it in the future is different.
The best option here is to not take it to begin with. Too often we let ourselves be put in a position where we feel hurt or let down. Unfortunately, most of the time we don't stand up for ourselves at the onset and the behavior goes unrecognized. By that I mean, we continue to believe people will realize, eventually, that what they've done is unfair and they will stop doing it. That's usually not the case.
Allowing behavior to continue is self-imposed hell. You burn and burn and burn. No one will help. When people don't know that what they are doing is wrong or hurtful, they should be told. If they are told and still continue to behave in the same fashion they are inconsiderate. It's imperative that you tell your partner how you feel now. Anything less is just perpetuating the problem. Might I suggest the following:
"Dude, I know you get up at the ass crack of dawn, but I get up with you. You leave for work and I continue to get your spawn presentable for the public. After that I take a 30 minute ride full of pre-school songs, cereal throwing, and crying. Then I drop them off at daycare where they cry for a solid 5 minutes because "Mommy is mean and horrible and leaves them at daycare". I proceed to my job where I work an 8 hour shift, just like you, and then head back to the daycare to get the kids. From there it's 30 more minutes of them arguing, talking, throwing things, and sometimes throwing up. When I get home I hope like hell dinner is made. If it's not I make dinner. Would it be too much to ask that you help me with the kids so we can both get a decent night's sleep?"
See how that works.
Angie, your Fairy God Mother with no real powers