I'm writing this as my high-needs 8 m/o DS sleeps (on me) in his carrier. It's very long, so I thank anyone who has the patience to read it.
I've never contributed on this thread, but am glad to have found it. I feel the need to vent because I'm so unhappy right now. I'm not expecting advice (although I'm happy to hear it), but I do need to know if anyone else has ever gone through this.
DH and I agreed when DS#1 (now almost six) was a baby that we would homeschool. This was a fairly radical change from the original plan for me (the primary breadwinner at the time) to go back to work, but circumstances moved in that direction when I lost my job because preemie DS wouldn't take a bottle and I insisted on staying home to nurse him. Homeschooling began to sound like a great idea, especially when DS1 proved to be very bright and creative. So we've been doing that, and now DS#2 is here. We practice AP with both kids.
DH has not been fully employed since I lost my job almost six years ago. He's done various freelance jobs, written a few books (but made very little money due to a bad deal with his publisher), and attempted to start a couple of businesses which didn't get off the ground. We've lived off of the dribs and drabs DH made, plus money I earned with the tiny bit of freelancing I've had time to do, but that money barely scratches the surface of what we need to cover expenses. We've spent all of my savings (including bonds left to me by my grandmother), plus DH's inheritance after his father's death--yep, the money I would have dreamed of putting towards a house or college for the kids--on rent and bills. So I guess one could say there's been a fair amount of stress here over finances.
Although now it looks as if DH is finally getting a couple of businesses off the ground (fingers crossed), the same things that have upset me since we got married have only gotten worse--because we're BOTH home.
I'm far from a neatnik, but DH is a bona fide slob. He almost NEVER puts anything away, and he's a disorganized pack rat. Our apartment is, basically a place to keep all his stuff. He gets undressed, and his clothes go in a pile on the bed. Or on a chair. Or on the couch. Or wherever he happens to be standing at that time. The same goes for shoes, books he's reading, plates from something he's eating, his computer, bills and mail, business papers--pretty much anything. Subsequently, I'm constantly picking up after him (or trying to), and it's incredibly difficult to get our hands on important things when we need them. I clear up the dishes. I put away the laundry. I WANT to clean the apartment, but it's so hard to find time, and when I DO have a few minutes, I spend all that time de-cluttering. By the time I get through that, there's not time left for actual, proper cleaning.
DS#2, as I mentioned, is high-needs. He naps very infrequently, and, when awake, won't let anyone hold him except for DH or me. Babysitting from Grandma, aunt, or anyone, is out of the question. He's crawling now but I can't put him on the floors here because they're too dirty. I bring the kids (and myself) to my parents' more often than I would like, just so they'll have a clean, uncluttered place to play (both inside and outside). Of course, when I'm there, I feel like I should be doing things to straighten up at home.
I'm so unhappy with this mess around me, and DH simply doesn't care. He doesn't mind living this way, and simply doesn't get why it bothers me so much. I've tried everything to get him to understand, but nothing works. I restored an old steelcase desk to use in the room we designated an office when we moved into this apartment, but that room is now so filled with DH's junk, I can barely see the desk, much less get to it without breaking my neck. I can't count how many times I've dissolved in tears because I feel so cooped up and miserable in here. When this happens I get either a blank stare or an accusation of being "discontent" or a nag. This living space is for the family to share, and that means all of us. His lack of respect in this regard makes me feel unloved, and his habits (or lack thereof) are now rubbing off on DS#1.
I'm proud of DH for being a great dad and trying to set up a life that allows us both to spend time with each other and our children. I appreciate the ways in which he is helpful, which include doing quite a bit of cooking (although making a horrendous mess each time) and driving DS1 to his various activities so I don't have to tote the baby everywhere all the time. But I feel like I'm living in a dirty cage. This frustration makes me tired, depressed, and short-tempered. Half the time I feel like a nagging shrew and the other half I just feel so very sorry for myself. Pathetic, I know.
I've begged DH to go to counseling with me, because any attempts to deal with it between the two of us just lead to horrible fights. DH, however, doesn't "believe" in counseling for himself, although he fully supports it for me (i.e., I'M the one with the real problem in this scenario).
I don't know. Lately, I've been fantasizing about DS1 being in school and DH working a 9-to-5 job. This isn't what I truly think would be right for my family, but I just feel like the walls are closing in on me, and would so love some time when I can choose to do things I like, whether what I want to do is to clean this place from top to bottom or knit, or read. Right now, I feel like minding these kids (plus DH) and picking up after all three of them is all I'm here for. I don't feel valued, by DH or myself.
The joy I should feel with my family just isn't happening right now. I feel it sometimes, but so much of the time I just feel frustrated, and as if I'm failing on all fronts. Does this sound familiar to anyone?