Thursday, March 25, 2010

Chinese food shouldn't make you think this much

I’m having what’s known as a personal crisis. Since you’re human, I’m pretty sure you can relate. It all started when I read a father’s blog post about his wife going back to work. I found myself leaving this comment: “It gets easier, I promise.”

Afterward, I thought about the lie I’d just told. It doesn’t get easier—at least for me it hasn’t. If you want to spend time with your child and your situation doesn’t allow for that, you will contemplate calling in sick every day. You will cry in your car on the way to work. You might even consider letting your house go into foreclosure so you can see your child more.

It hurts more than anything has hurt before. You might find comfort in knowing that you are not alone. Or you might find comfort in copious amounts of alcohol.

This July, I’ll have been back at work for two years. That’s a lot of wine. When I first went back, Chuck hugged me on a daily basis and said, “I miss Junior, too. This is temporary.”

In December 2009, Chuck got laid off. He still hugged me, but now that he was a stay-at-home dad, he said, “I’m taking Junior to the children’s museum today.”

I bit my tongue. I stopped myself from saying, “Must be nice.” The poor man had just lost his job. Did he really need guilt on top of despair?

Even though I blogged about it, and wished he would get run over, a resentful tongue can only be restrained for so long before it thrashes out of your mouth and takes on a life of its own. I found myself saying crummy things to Chuck. He retreated. The more he burrowed, the more I unleashed. In a relationship, this is known as “Your yin is killing my yang.”

Over the next year, Chuck had job leads here and there, but nothing panned out. The industry he’s in—event planning—tanked. One of his former laid-off coworkers just took a job in bug extermination. Understandably, Chuck’s dealing with his own issues.

So here we are. Two people with issues. And now the weather is getting nicer and there are fun things to do, like look for seashells on beaches and picnic in the sun and take long hikes in the woods. And I feel like this last year is the equivalent of a Cialis-induced hard-on—you know, the ones that last longer than they’re supposed to?

I’m ready for a change. My inner wiener is ready to boff the crap out of change and finally assume a satisfied, flaccid position. I want my post coital cigarette.

But more importantly, I want to behave better. I mean, you know you’re acting like an asshole when your fortune cookie says this:

That’s right: "Avoid compulsively making things worse."

That was my fortune today. Jesus.

So to Chuck, I’m so sorry. You’re doing a wonderful job as a father. This situation isn’t your fault. You didn’t ask to be laid off. You didn’t cause the housing market or event planning industry to nose-dive. I hope I haven’t tainted your time with Junior. I hope when you look back you think of it as a special time in your life instead of the Era of Mrs. Mullet’s Wrath. My friends tell me I have Heather’s moments, and they only see me once in a a while. Living with me must be somewhat frightening sometimes. I’m going to work on that.

I hope you keeping hugging me. Not the kind of hugs where you pretend to hump my leg. But the kind of hugs that let me know you forgive me for over-attacking this situation in the way that a Wooly Mammoth might attack a one-legged, 90-year-old bunny rabbit.

I'm a Capricorn, but I'll do better. I promise.


The deMented Mom said...

It's such a juggling act. Trying to be a good mom, wife and employee. We all want to be perfect at all of them but unfortunately, that's just impossible. Even worse, it's the husband that gets the brunt. I can totally see where you're coming from and how hard it would be to walk out the door knowing your child and hubby are going to 'hang'.

I think it takes a wonderful woman to acknowledge when she may have stepped over the line...your husband is lucky to have you.


Keely said...

Are you SURE we're not twins?

We've been dealing with some marital...crap, too, in addition to all the usual stresses. I hope you guys can work it out.

Magpie said...

I kind of want to give you a hug.

My husband's been out of work for a year...

Lindy said...

My husband and I both work outside the home. I can relate to the crying on the way to work and wanting to call in sick every day.

My sister, however, works and her husband stays home with their two boys.

She has expressed to me exactly what you wrote here.

Good luck to you and Chuck!

Pricilla said...

I can't begin to relate.
So I will just send goat hugs.

Jen said...

Years ago my now ex husband was laid off and cared for my son before and after school. It was great for them because they were bonding but I hated it. I wanted to be home with my kid. And my ex wanted to be working. It's hard all the way around.

I think it's cute that Chuck humps your leg.

Mrsbear said...

Being a grown up just sucks sometimes. Especially when the options are nonexistent.

It's hard to bottle up that ire for long.


tootertotz said...

Wishing I could offer more than just "That truly does suck. I am sorry."

But it does suck and I am sorry.

For what its worth, you are doing what you need to do for the time being...may a winning lottery ticket find its way into your life and change it up so you, too, can be home with Junior and Chuck can hump your leg all day.

FoN said...

It gets easier, I promise.

When you win the lottery or just get old.

Until then....hang in there.

SLColman said...

I am sorry that things have been rough with this. I hope that things pan out!

Jenni said...

No one ever tells you how hard it really is. Not that I even know because two months into my maternity leave I told my boss I wasn't coming back. I'm so glad my situation allowed me to do that.

Hang in there, Momma.

Mad Woman said...

We're waiting for news on whether hubby will be laid off or not. And me without a job. It's a sucky place to be isn't it?

Hang in there!

Sheila Sultani said...

My husband and I are going through something similar - it sucks. No matter how hard I try to not get irritated that he hasn't found work it slips through at the most inopportune moments.

Catootes said...

It certainly sucks when one has to accept they've been a jackass.
My husband has been home on medical leave for almost a year due to back surgery. Sometimes it, he, irritated the hell out of me when I got home after working all effing day and he was lying on the sofa. Where the fuck is dinner? I would want to yell, You are home all damn day.

It's taken a few moments like that to make me realize I have been, at times, a completely unsympathetic bitch. And somehow, he has still not kicked me in the face.

Chuck gets it. And I hope he finds a job. But his time home with Junior? Completely worthwhile.

Brandy said...

i'm sorry you are having a tough time. I feel like I only have so much to give and it's usually my husband that gets the scrapings on the bottom of the barrel.

hope things balance out for you.

Lisa @ Boondock Ramblings said...

If I was in this situation I would have done the same thing. Dang that would drive me crazy to have my husband be able to spend more time with my son than me. I want to be home so bad at times that, you're right, I cry on my way to work, cry on my lunch break and just cry when my son says in the morning "You stay wit me. No go work."

I'm glad you apologized to your husband. It's something that would have been hard for me to do too!

The Mother said...

I've been staying home with my kids for years and I'm tired of it. Trade?

Katherine said...

Oh WOW. I could have written a lot of that. I hate hate HATE not being a stay at home Mom. I should have been born in a different era. I may be old fashioned... but I know I would flourish in a life of staying home and cooking/cleaning, volunteering at the school and helping with homework. I even tempered, happy and a darn good mom. And my kids are missing out. And it stinks. So yes, you are right. It never EVER gets easier. Even now, when I have one in high school. He would LOVE for me to pick him up after school, even at his age. It is the biggest regret I have in my life. That in order to keep my kids in a house, I have to work. Hang in there, you are not alone. AND... the great thing is you don't have to use daycare!!!!

Gina said...

It's hard. I've never been a stay-at-home mom (and - mostly - don't want to be - I'm lucky enough to have a job I really love). BUT I am usually the one that does everything with/for the kids. And I get resentful about it. But on the (sadly rare) occasion that my husband does something with them and I can't make it? Yep - resentful.

Suzi said...

If it's any consolation being a SAHM is over rated. I work 24/7 and don't get any financial benefits. It's the hardest job EVER, but I would rather do this thankless, nonpaying job than go back to work.

Texan Mama @ Who Put Me In Charge said...

Man, life sucks a duck sometimes. I wish there was an easy answer because, if I knew it, I'D TOTALLY CHARGE MONEY TO TELL IT TO PEOPLE AND I'D BE RICH!!! Then I could pay for you to stay home with Junior. But, since there's no answer, I just have to say, hang in there. Maybe there's something to be learned somewhere along the way. Maybe, if nothing else, it's helped you be more mellow in your relationship with Chuck. Maybe it's helped Chuck get closer to junior. Whatever. You'll make it. You're strong. You've got the Eye of the Tiger.

Otter Thomas said...

I wish I hadn't read this. I liked it better when you lied to me. I need to hope things will get better.

Kelly said...

that is the best fortune i have ever seen. and i'm slightly jealous!

The Kind Of Post — except the part where I don't "kind of" have 3 kids

I've been thinking about going back to work full-time instead of cobbling together my income with 7+ freelance jobs, part-time work...