Mountains and Molehills
I try to stear away from writing about my relationship with my husband publicly. There are a few reasons for this, but perspective is a large part of it. In my writing about it, you only ever get my side of the ‘story.’ Any perspective I may suggest from his side is still weighted with my assumptions.
With that being said, my relationship is obviously a huge part of my story, and not writing about it seems like a huge omission. For reasons I will explain in this post I think it is important to talk about it. So, I am going to write about it, but, please, approach with caution. His reality is inevitably different form mine.
What I want to say, in essence it this: being married isn’t easy. Being married with children isn’t easy. Even if those children are hard fought for, much desired and greatly loved, raising children is not easy on a marriage.
Take us, as an example. We don’t really get a chance to talk properly at any length, and the pressure of that time constraint often turns ‘talk’ into ‘row.’
We don’t often get to do stuff alone together, so it’s easy to forget what we have in common, apart from the children.
We hardly ever see each other at our best - that is saved for work or for Parkrun or for the stay and play. We only ever see each other in pyjamas or sweats, tired, hungry, on our last nerve and grouchy.
I am certain that I do not speak for everyone, I am sure some people have it sorted, and can balance everything and give time to their relationship to keep it fair, fresh and fun, but just at the moment, we are finding that balance hard to strike. I suspect we are not the only ones.
On a recent weekend away, on my own with a bunch females similar to myself, away from the children and The Husband for the longest I have been away from them since the children were born ( a whole 2 nights!) I talked a lot with other mums and wives about the stress these things put on a relationship. Everyone spoke of how much they LOVED their partner but how difficult it is amongst the chaos of school runs and feeding the dog and getting to work and running errands, to maintain the smoothness their relationship had before children appeared on the scene. We found, so often in conversation, that our situations were similar, or the feelings were similar. That finding time to be intimate is difficult with babies but presents its own issues as children get older. That finding time to talk about issues is impossible when the only time you get to do it is 11pm on a Wednesday night when your both tired and just waiting for the baby to wake up. That asking for a baby sitter so that you can go out for dinner alone, just to be together, for no reason other then that, seams somehow unreasonable.
In our situation, we find that the language we use with each other causes difficulties. Last night we fell out over a blind that hadn’t been closed. The Husband had been out late with work, meaning he didn’t actually come home until long after the children were in bed. When he did get home, I heard him mumbling away downstairs to himself, and when he made it up to speak to me he told me ‘you hadn’t closed one of the blinds and the dogs water was nearly empty.’ Hence the mumbling. This upset me. What I had done was pick the children up from childcare, walk the dog, put out the bins, feed the dog, feed the children, shower them, get them ready for bed, do bedtime for both of them, do a workout for me, shower, eat and then sit down for like 20 mins and stare at the TV wondering when I should go to bed. I had forgotten, in all of that, to close a blind that you can’t even see from the main living room (hence I hadn’t noticed that I had forgotten). Oh and the dog had plenty of water upstairs, I wasn’t trying to dehydrate her. Now, this is not a big argument, he mentioned it, I could have just ignored him and he probably wouldn’t have cared, but I was upset that this was all he could think of to say. It became an argument. It was 11 o’clock at night and we were both shattered, and when, the next day I pointed out that he had dropped a strawberry on the floor and he pointed out that I was doing the same thing to him as I had got upset with him doing to me the night before. We were in the middle of trying to get children ready so I could drop them at childcare before 7.45 and we could not discuss it, only say our pice without really taking time to think it through or listen to the other one before heading off to work in grump with each other. This is how it goes. This argument will likely rumble on for a while because we won’t actually discuss it, just snipe at each other and move on because there’s never time to do much else. The next time we will probably get to discuss it in depth we will both have forgotten why we were upset, and next time it happens we will not have taken the time to figure out how to deal with it, so the whole row will pop up again.
And so, it goes…
I know this situation is temporary. I know that many other similar couples have similar situations to deal with, however, my husband does not. What I mean is, I have spent time reading other blogs or watching instergrams’ of other mums who have the same issues. I speak to other mums and wives who experience similar, but The Husband does not. I am generalising here of course, but it seams to me that men do not get to chat to other men about this sort of thing, and they do not generally read the sorts of blogs women read, or follow other dads with the same situations (there are far less daddy bloggers then mummy bloggers, although there are some, and thank goodness for them). But is it any wonder that men’s mental health suffers because of this? My discussions with others tells me that we are not alone, and that things will get better, and that this is all totally normal, but does The Husband know this? I don’t know. I hope he does, but it wouldn’t be a surprise if he didn’t. It would be normal if he didn’t.
It seems a shame to me. Talking to other mums in this way pre ents me from feeling like I am actually going mad. It helps me get some perspective and appreciate other points of view. It helps me know we are normal, not the only ones and other phrases like that.
As a rule, I am not sure than many men get that privilege. It’s a shame. And potentially damaging.
The argument we had last night, felt like a mountain at the time - and might for a while - but it is really a molehill. Molehills arn’t as life-changeing as mountains, but you can still twist your ankle on one, so it’s better to avoid them if possible.