Sunday, August 20, 2006

Time out question explained, plus much emotional hand-wringing that you can skip because it's not the least bit amusing

So the other day I solicited some advice from you helpful mamas out there and said I'd tell you why I asked later. It seemed like a big damn deal at the time, but not so much now. The issue that particular night was that Husband tried to put Bean in a time out in the corner of the family room for throwing food from her high chair. It's something we're trying with mixed success to make her understand is a no-no lately. Husband warned her that she would go in time out if she did it again, she did, and he pulled her up screaming from her high chair to go enforce it. She's 16-months old so naturally she wouldn't stay put and I don't feel like it's quite time for this particular tactic to work with her. I'm willing to go along with it if Husband wants to give it a shot though. After all, it will eventually start to work.

Anyways. On this particular night, what also happened is that Husband got extremely pissed off at me for trying to fix Bean's sliding off diaper while she was supposed to be in time out. Having actually had her poop on the floor while her diaper was off for a mere 20 seconds once, I do tend to hustle if I see diaper slippage. I in no way meant it as undermining Husband's authority, which is how he took it that night. So I received a ridiculous lecture in which it was hard for me not to respond with, "What the fuck are you talking about?" But I let myself be lectured and just tried to cool off on my own when he took the girls up for a bath shortly afterwards.

Husband and I are having a hard time communicating lately, though, and to me that is a big deal. He has this way of talking to me that makes me feel like either a complete moron or like an out-of-control emotional freak. I am neither of those things. I've tried explaining that he makes me feel stupid when he's talking to me in a particular way, but he brushes it off completely, just denying that that could possibly be true. Fine. But I suspect that I'll continue to feel this way until I go back to work at some point and don't feel quite like the unappreciated domestic drudge I currently do a lot of the time. Nothing like a "reminder" about how to wash his running clothes made of "special moisture-wicking" fabric from Husband to make me wonder why I ever signed on for this SAHM gig. I swear, I hear shit like this far more than I ever did when I was working a paid job.

The other mode is harder. I do tend to get emotional when I'm angry or upset. 'Cause those are...you know, emotions, right? I have a quick temper and was raised in a household where it was normal to express your emotions if you were feeling them. Having an angry expression on your face means you must be mad. Talking more loudly than usual means you're feeling strongly about something or you're trying to be heard because someone's talking over you. These things don't mean you're about to throw something or lash out physically in some way. In short, arguments are o.k. and are a sometimes necessary means of clearing the air. They don't mean that a divorce is imminent or that someone's about to be punched.

I dunno. Sometimes I wonder how long I'll be able to stand feeling this demoralized. Sometimes I feel like all I need to do is get a few nights in a row of good sleep. Sometimes I think counselling would help. Sometimes I'm just dying to be totally alone for a day or so. Some days it seems like I'll rip my hair out and go screaming down the street if someone says one more rude, ungrateful thing to me. Some days I think my life couldn't possibly be any sweeter. Lately I wonder if it's really such a good idea to have one more baby and put off being in the emotional clear for that many more years. But I also long to be pregnant and nursing just once more and to give Bean a sibling that doesn't leave for half the week.

I got divorced once and was raised by a woman who was married 3 times before she finally got it right, so I'm no expert when it comes to knowing what's normal in marriage. I do want to stay married this time, though. I know that much.

8 comments:

beth said...

Hmmmm...this all sounds really hard, and yet totally normal. I really identified with that second to last paragraph. Sometimes so happy, sometimes want to run screaming. I don't like the way my husband and I speak to each other when it comes to our parenting either...

Glad you are back! I didn't realize you had re-entered blogland.

Stacie said...

Complicated issues... the SAHM gig SUCKS! There, I said it. Thankless freakin job with childish people for bosses! And taking care of hubby is the biggest chore! I think of the good money I used to make, and the time off.. This job has no breaks, vacations or sick leave! But it's good work, and it has to be done. Might as well have #2 and get it out of the way... that's what I did. Really hard for the first year though... take care!

Lori said...

I've been married 15 years and we've been through all that stuff. I have been a SAHM for ten years come October. Man can I relate to every single thing you just said. It took me years to get him to realize that how he talked to me and the way he said things had a direct affect on how I felt about my self and the situations we were in. You attract more bees with honey type of a situation....ya know...if you want to talk nice maybe I'll listen and maybe compromise. Maybe I won't act like I hate your guts if you would talk to me with dignity and respect. Yah, I'm sorry you are going through this. My dad always used to say, "control your emotions when you talk to him, he doesn't understand the emotions." So I tried that and it actually worked. He also used to say, "stand your ground," heard this one for years and really didn't understand it until just recently. See I always felt like what was I gonna do trade this husband in for another and start all over? Man, no thanks. You sound committed so I you'll do okay. I hope you and hubs can come to some middle ground.

Nikkie said...

I'm beginning to think its a man thing. Both my dad and Boo's daddy have "that tone" when they talk to me about things and it always sends me into a rage. Telling them that it pisses you off gets no where. I'm going to try ignoring it, see if that helps.

I'm sorry you and your husband are having a tough time communicating. The only thing I've learned from my relationship and its many problems that the communication is the key, but I always seem to forget that!

Yummy London Mummy said...

This all strikes a very loud chord...

The SAHM thing is so hard, which is why I went back to work. Respect seems to have a direct link to bringing home the bacon, in the man's world, and so when I started earning a wage again Alpha suddenly stopped being quite so unappreciative. Hang on in there, and as for baby number 2? Only you know the answer to that one (and you know, it's never the right time...)

Mommygoth said...

Oh dear. I have been getting some inklings of this from some conversations that we've had, and wondered how long before it rose to the surface. You need to assert yourself, my darling. You don't have to be a bitch to do it, but you do have to be yourself. The Sugarmama I know and love is a strong woman with a strong sense of herself. You are still who you are even if you're not working outside the house. Do what it takes to recapture that, be it therapy, a couple of good fights, whatever. But DON'T allow yourself to fester in your own resentment.

I love you.

"Grandi" said...

Yes, some traits are just genetically male and some we just own ourselves, but we can enhance eatch other and bring out the best with the right communication! You mentioned that you had considered counseling - - go for it girl!! You were raised in a background of getting out when the going gets tough, and sometimes the skills needed to turn that around have to be learned. You wouldn't think twice about taking a class to learn a new work skill, but your family is more important than any employer. Check around to see if any body you know has had experience with a good family/marriage counselor in your town, and make an appointment! You guys love each other - it just sounds like you need to learn how to communicate! It might make sense to do that before you jump into a hormonal bounce-house with another pregnancy!!
Oh - I have gone to preaching haven't I! Well - I just hate to hear of young families stuck in a place they don't know how to get out of. You can do this Sugar! and providing a stable loving home for Bean is a wonderful motivation!

Mama D said...

I think you and I are going through the same thing right now. I was laying in bed the other night thinking "I am absolutely nuts to even consider having another baby!" My husband and I keep having these riculous arguements and keep taking things the wrong way.

My parents split up when I was 13 and had a VERY disfunctional relationship so I can relate when you say "I'm no expert" Whenever things get a bit sketchy I think we're heading for a divorce but I honestly don't think that ever crosses his mind. His parents are still together and I'm certain he never worries about our marriage like I do. I have never felt so insecure about our relationship as I have since we had A.