Thank god it’s Friday. Not that the weekends provide much respite, but at least I don’t have to wake up at 5am for two days. Of course we lose an hour on Sunday morning…
Yep, it’s finally light when I show up at work now, but after we spring forward it will be dark again at 6am. That is probably for the best. I’ve endured a few moments of complete panic when I thought I had looked at my watch wrong and was going to be late for work, all because it wasn’t pitch dark outside when I opened the garage door.
Things are looking up a bit at home, with my daughter. That really bad month was clearly her working through a big cognitive jump and now that she’s on the other side of it, things have calmed down. Her tantrums have been less intense, mostly in their duration, and she has even managed to pull it together to earn something she wants. We have settled on what I believe are developmentally appropriate dinnertime expectations–take one “no thank you” bite, share her good news and bad news, and listen to our good news and bad news, then she can be excused–and that has defused some of the stress in the evenings. She’s still having nightmares, but much less frequently. She’s also handling it better when I’m away, maybe because I’ve been careful to only go out once during the work week evenings.
At school she is eating her lunch again, and some days she even naps.
We saw our therapist at Kai.ser yesterday and even though my daughter was crazy hyper and bouncing all over the place, he felt confident that she wasn’t displaying any of the signs of ADD or anxiety, which is what I was most worried about (the anxiety, not the ADD). He didn’t really have any great tips for what to do at home, but I appreciated having a professional tell me that all her challenges fall within the realm of “normal.” I’ll be calling him to follow up next week but I don’t think we’ll be doing too much more at Kaiser. If things get really difficult again I have the number of a place that does kid/parent play therapy that is supposed to be really great. It’s expensive as hell, but at least we have somewhere to go if we need it.
Things at work are crazy. I’m totally underwater trying to get a million papers, tests and projects graded before the end of the trimester next Friday. It’s hard because I have to take time away from my family (or sleep) to get this shit done, and being away from my family is hard on everyone. I probably should be grading papers right now, instead of writing this.
I’ve been feeling really… unsatisfied in my marriage lately. My husband and I are just such different people, with such different needs. We were able to navigate those challenges well enough before our lives became so frenetic with kids and work. Now, when our daughter is finally done coming out of her room at 10pm, we have no time to even sit together before we go to bed. Even when we do find a moment to be together, my husband wants to sit with his headphones on, doing stuff on his computer, while I want to talk. If he does humor me by putting his computer away, he still doesn’t participate much in a conversation. I usually end up going to bed feeling lonely and angry.
We also have this horrible, underlying current of resentment flowing between most of our interactions because neither of us feels the other appreciates what we do. We’ve had an ongoing fight about who has a harder day, and I finally decided to be the bigger person and just concede that it probably is harder for him, even though he does less with the kids, because being with them is more taxing for him and leaves him feeling more exhausting. He accepted my concession, but said nothing about all the insane amount of shit that I do for everyone. It pissed me off and I’m not saying anything about it because I know I will sound like a total bitch if I do, and then he can just feel like he’s the bigger person. Maybe that is true.
I honestly can’t figure out why I get so upset at the idea of him not validating, or even acknowledging, what I do for our family. I know it has more to do with me than with him, but I haven’t managed to tease the many tangled narratives–social, cultural, personal–apart well enough to understand my own feelings. The truth is, he may validate me quite frequently, but he’s clearly not doing it in the ways I need. If I can’t figure out what I need him to do, how can I expect him to do it?
Of course, there are things I have figured out that I need him to do, like hug me every once in a while and engage in a meaningful conversation with me, and he doesn’t do those things either, even though I’ve told him over and over again how important they are.
I have been thinking we should go to therapy again, because I’m so SICK of having the same interaction over and over again when nothing changes, and now that it’s so hard for us to have a meaningful conversation, I feel like we almost need to schedule it with a third party to make sure that it happens. He would hate that idea, and so I don’t even want to bring it up. But then knowing that he doesn’t want to do it makes me think he doesn’t care, or that he doesn’t care enough to do the work. I know it’s way more nuanced and complicated than that, but when things feel this hopeless it’s hard not to see it in black and white.
This weekend I have a baby shower for a good friend and I’m going to be spending the whole thing not talking about how parenting has mangled my marriage and left me feeling a haggard mess at the end of each day.
Yep! Congrats on the new baby!
How are you feeling these days? Do you feel your marriage is negatively affected by parenting? How do you remedy, or avoid, that?