Please offer advice and comments: my reflection on my first year back in the paid work force - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

Reply
 
Thread Tools
#31 of 57 Old 02-18-2010, 04:33 PM
 
GuildJenn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Toronto
Posts: 4,517
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
This conversation got really deep but I do have some thoughts, TIN.

When you have grown up in the adrenaline haze of just plain trying to survive, it really, really, really is hard to learn what quiet peaceful joy is. Because growing up, quiet just means the quiet before the storm. And you have to be ready for it in order to survive. Your whole outlook becomes focused on survival. And also not having enough becomes not being enough (feeling that way) and it's very hard to find joy when you feel like you are not enough. And of course you're being buffetted by that space that your family is still living in.

People talk about attitude but it's really not that. It's kind of like a clenched fist, emotionally. Just waiting for the next problem, trying to do everything "right" so that things will be okay. Until you can relax the fist, there just isn't room for the joy. And getting there is incredibly hard. However, I fully believe in you and that you can do it and whatever your therapist said about kids like you is bunk. You are the only kid exactly like you. I also agree that therapists do not do that well with joy.


It makes me sad that your partner seems to play into that more than leading you out of it and making little moments of connection & joy for you, but it is what it is and he is who he is.

The thing is, the laundry and the house and all that - you probably won't believe it, but once you're truly okay with the 'now' so to speak, that stuff does become weirdly joyful and it will not always be the mountain it is. Clean laundry from the dryer has the most wonderful smell. I am not claiming that I sing for joy to get to do the laundry. But for me what used to be an insurmountable burden is now a part of rhythm and occasionally I do really actually just like to smell the laundry. I get that rhythm because I'm not constantly off balance.

And when there is a ton of laundry for whatever reason, I know that eventually it will get done. And sure it bothers me, but it isn't that scraping nagging wound of "suck" that it was in my 20s. And the end of that scraping nagging wound is what gives me the energy to smell how nice it smells.

Anyways, all the things that your therapist was talking about that cost money don't bring joy without that element anyway.

The thing is - you ARE okay as a parent. You ARE okay as a worker. Even if your house is a wreck it is OKAY. It will sort out. You don't believe it I bet and I wouldn't have either, but it does come mostly-together and mostly-together is okay.

I think it's a bit too easy to say "if I were at home I'd be a better mother." Maybe. But over the course of your daughter's lifetime how do you know that wouldn't lead to other instabilities or issues? Don't go for the best - go for "is this week good enough, with a mix of work, chores, fun, time to be still and time to be busy?"

I see you trying to struggle and grapple and work everything out to 100% okay and I think that is never going to really stop on some level - but hopefully it will get to okay. Maybe rather than asking the macro question like Gilbert addressed you could ask what went right & wrong today.

I don't know; hope there is something helpful in there.

~ Mum to Emily, March 12-16 2004, Noah, born Aug 2005, Liam, born January 2011, and wife to Carl since 1994. ~
GuildJenn is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
#32 of 57 Old 02-18-2010, 05:22 PM
 
madskye's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 2,183
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by That Is Nice View Post
I posted a response to your post below, explaining some things.

I really would like to hear how you think you find joy in the situation I described. How would you, given this pair of shoes, find joy?

I have been to counseling and some of it is helpful, for coping, and some of it is just not helpful, the finding joy part. My therapist has said things like indulge yourself. Do things that you would enjoy. You deserve it. That sort of thing.

The thing is the small things, that I can afford, don't bring joy. They bring feelings of wastefulness and shallowness. One of my parents is homeless. Lives on the streets. Eats garbage. Gets beaten up, all the time. This is so hard for me. Yes, this parent did almost nothing for me as a child and I know I don't owe this parent anything, but I see a human being, a person I am related to, and I just cry and ache that the events in life have unfolded this way. I can turn my back and pretend not to see that my own parent is eating garbage and freezing in winter.

So, when I seek joy in the cheap sorts of ways (the sort of stupid and silly and meaningless ways) that my therapist recommended like going to get a massage or buying a pretty dress, I think that is $40 or $60 that could have kept my parent off the cold street for one night. I always think that way.

So, I try to find joy in either meaningful ways (like finally having a baby, which I put off for years to focus on career to stabilize myself financially and to be able to help my family who needed help) I have run into trouble because there just is no village to turn to when things get tough. My "village" is not a resource I tap. They are a drain that taps me.

I do try to find joy in simple things and cheap or free things like a good book (I read a lot) or the outdoors (also something I do a lot) because then I don't feel guilty about taking resources for silly, unimportant things that could be a real lifesaver to a family member, but obviously working and parenting constrains that greatly, and then things don't get done, and the whole operation gets worse.

It's difficult to find permanent or consistent joy with the permanent and consistent problems of the people surrounding me. One of the social service counselors I talked to said something that stayed with me. He said that it is hard for addicted people who end up homeless, but even harder for their loved ones who have to stand by and watch, who try to help them, but aren't successful in their efforts.

How about peace and acceptance? Your family situation is not going to change, and I don't think you'll be getting a divorce soon, so how do you best play the hand you've been dealt?

Telling someone who has deep emotional issues with their childhood, parents, and marriage to find joy in a pedicure is kind of stupid. But how about finding joy/satisfaction/peace in:

--your beautiful child
--that you have a job now that you do well
--your home
--the things that you have accomplished, and your dreams for the future

and I'll probably get flamed for this, but you are still married, and your husband has been making changes. I don't disagree that he needs to make many more changes, LARGER changes, but...is there any satisfaction in still being married? That he has been able to hear what you have to say in some small way, at least? You said above that just don't want to be married to him anymore, I don't blame you, but in that case--is there anything he can really do in short of changing into a different person that could make you love him again? Again, I just go back to the fact that, if you are not going to get divorced, and you cannot change your husband, the only thing you can change is your own perspective on the life you're living. On the one hand, I agree with the advice to live with him as though he's just not there but on the other...is that realistic for you?

I honestly think you need much deeper psychiatric help than you've gotten. You need someone to help you find effective coping mechanisms to deal with your family, and you need someone to help you set up clear and firm boundaries with your husband, and a someone who can help you take care of your self without feeling guilty about it. You have been through the wringer with your family and your marriage, and I think you're dealing with issues that are going to take a lot of work.

I have had bad things in my life too, so believe me, I am sympathetic to what you have gone through in life. I'm not comfortable detailing all of them online, but topline, they include divorce and poverty and abandonment and alcoholism and illegitimate children of my fathers that we found out about years later, lots of stuff that seems particularly crazy vs the life I am busy building now. They are not the same as your situation, but I did not have a charmed childhood.

I didn't end up with the medication I went in asking for, but I spent a year of my twenties visiting a very serious psychiatrist because I was overwhelmed by mistakes I had made, issues with my parents, had recurrent thoughts of suicide, and I was starting to get an ulcer that made it impossible to eat. There are doctors out there who will give you more help than a glib "take some time for yourself" and that may be what you need right now to find your way out of this. I still use the tools that DR gave me every day, and while my 20's were about surviving, in my 30's I really did thrive. I would like that for you.

Also, sorry that I offended you...obviously, you've overcome many obstacles. But, to me, you seem caught in a very negative spiral and unable to get out of it.
madskye is offline  
#33 of 57 Old 02-18-2010, 06:04 PM
 
blizzard_babe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Land of Beer and Cheese, baby.
Posts: 4,748
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by That Is Nice View Post
I don't know...does anyone ever really have work "firm in their heart"? Or do most people do it out of necessity, and find (hopefully) something they like and enjoy and our interested in? I mean, yeah, I chose the field I studied in college and turned into a career and I am interested in it, and enjoy parts of it, but mainly it is a job in a line of jobs in my career. I do not love it like I love my child. Working is not firm in my heart. It's a necessity. It's not a side hobby that I do because I want to do that and need a break from my kid.
I love my job. It challenges me intellectually, I work with a wonderful, intelligent, caring, and (dare I say it because no one believes ANYTHING good about teachers ) fairly AP folks. I get to geek out on things that are of great interest to me... things that DH has no interest in. 95% of the time, I look forward to going to work. When I'm here, I'm 100% here and I'm WAY into what's going on. I have been lucky enough to land a job in that nice crease where passion and paycheck meet. No, I don't love it like I love my child... but I love it. I get a kick out of helping classroom teachers better meet their students' needs, I love talking lofty Indigenous language retention theory with my weird-but-brilliant boss, I love when my office-mates get all the movie submissions in for the district multimedia contest and I get to spend a day watching student movies and giggling/marveling at junior high students demonstrating how to survive if you get stranded out on the tundra in bad weather.

My job is also also a necessity. Or, let me rephrase that. If we want to continue living our current lifestyle, it is a necessity. I am the "career" person in our family. DH has had "jobs." He's highly intelligent, well-educated, but his area of "expertise" is... historical archiving. He hasn't found a job in his area of interest, so previous to us getting together and having kids, he held jobs that paid his bills and didn't have to worry about much else. As a result, if we were to switch roles so I could be the SAHP (or, as it is right now, the mostly-SAHP), we'd have to move across the country, find him career-track work, and make pretty significant lifestyle changes. It may happen in the future; I'd kind of like it if it did. But for right now, our roles are slightly reversed. And... it's OK. It causes some weirdness. It causes some arguments. It causes sinks full of dirty dishes and hampers full of unwashed clothing. It causes all sorts of problems, but we're making it work and we're reasonably happy.

Me+DH+DS1+DS2+Dog=me and a house full of guys, which is really just peachy, thanks.
blizzard_babe is offline  
#34 of 57 Old 02-18-2010, 06:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
That Is Nice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 6,798
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuildJenn View Post
This conversation got really deep but I do have some thoughts, TIN.

When you have grown up in the adrenaline haze of just plain trying to survive, it really, really, really is hard to learn what quiet peaceful joy is. Because growing up, quiet just means the quiet before the storm. And you have to be ready for it in order to survive. Your whole outlook becomes focused on survival. And also not having enough becomes not being enough (feeling that way) and it's very hard to find joy when you feel like you are not enough. And of course you're being buffetted by that space that your family is still living in.

People talk about attitude but it's really not that. It's kind of like a clenched fist, emotionally. Just waiting for the next problem, trying to do everything "right" so that things will be okay. Until you can relax the fist, there just isn't room for the joy. And getting there is incredibly hard. However, I fully believe in you and that you can do it and whatever your therapist said about kids like you is bunk. You are the only kid exactly like you. I also agree that therapists do not do that well with joy.


It makes me sad that your partner seems to play into that more than leading you out of it and making little moments of connection & joy for you, but it is what it is and he is who he is.

The thing is, the laundry and the house and all that - you probably won't believe it, but once you're truly okay with the 'now' so to speak, that stuff does become weirdly joyful and it will not always be the mountain it is. Clean laundry from the dryer has the most wonderful smell. I am not claiming that I sing for joy to get to do the laundry. But for me what used to be an insurmountable burden is now a part of rhythm and occasionally I do really actually just like to smell the laundry. I get that rhythm because I'm not constantly off balance.

And when there is a ton of laundry for whatever reason, I know that eventually it will get done. And sure it bothers me, but it isn't that scraping nagging wound of "suck" that it was in my 20s. And the end of that scraping nagging wound is what gives me the energy to smell how nice it smells.

Anyways, all the things that your therapist was talking about that cost money don't bring joy without that element anyway.

The thing is - you ARE okay as a parent. You ARE okay as a worker. Even if your house is a wreck it is OKAY. It will sort out. You don't believe it I bet and I wouldn't have either, but it does come mostly-together and mostly-together is okay.

I think it's a bit too easy to say "if I were at home I'd be a better mother." Maybe. But over the course of your daughter's lifetime how do you know that wouldn't lead to other instabilities or issues? Don't go for the best - go for "is this week good enough, with a mix of work, chores, fun, time to be still and time to be busy?"

I see you trying to struggle and grapple and work everything out to 100% okay and I think that is never going to really stop on some level - but hopefully it will get to okay. Maybe rather than asking the macro question like Gilbert addressed you could ask what went right & wrong today.

I don't know; hope there is something helpful in there.
Quote:
Originally Posted by madskye View Post
How about peace and acceptance? Your family situation is not going to change, and I don't think you'll be getting a divorce soon, so how do you best play the hand you've been dealt?

Telling someone who has deep emotional issues with their childhood, parents, and marriage to find joy in a pedicure is kind of stupid. But how about finding joy/satisfaction/peace in:

--your beautiful child
--that you have a job now that you do well
--your home
--the things that you have accomplished, and your dreams for the future

and I'll probably get flamed for this, but you are still married, and your husband has been making changes. I don't disagree that he needs to make many more changes, LARGER changes, but...is there any satisfaction in still being married? That he has been able to hear what you have to say in some small way, at least? You said above that just don't want to be married to him anymore, I don't blame you, but in that case--is there anything he can really do in short of changing into a different person that could make you love him again? Again, I just go back to the fact that, if you are not going to get divorced, and you cannot change your husband, the only thing you can change is your own perspective on the life you're living. On the one hand, I agree with the advice to live with him as though he's just not there but on the other...is that realistic for you?

I honestly think you need much deeper psychiatric help than you've gotten. You need someone to help you find effective coping mechanisms to deal with your family, and you need someone to help you set up clear and firm boundaries with your husband, and a someone who can help you take care of your self without feeling guilty about it. You have been through the wringer with your family and your marriage, and I think you're dealing with issues that are going to take a lot of work.

I have had bad things in my life too, so believe me, I am sympathetic to what you have gone through in life. I'm not comfortable detailing all of them online, but topline, they include divorce and poverty and abandonment and alcoholism and illegitimate children of my fathers that we found out about years later, lots of stuff that seems particularly crazy vs the life I am busy building now. They are not the same as your situation, but I did not have a charmed childhood.

I didn't end up with the medication I went in asking for, but I spent a year of my twenties visiting a very serious psychiatrist because I was overwhelmed by mistakes I had made, issues with my parents, had recurrent thoughts of suicide, and I was starting to get an ulcer that made it impossible to eat. There are doctors out there who will give you more help than a glib "take some time for yourself" and that may be what you need right now to find your way out of this. I still use the tools that DR gave me every day, and while my 20's were about surviving, in my 30's I really did thrive. I would like that for you.

Also, sorry that I offended you...obviously, you've overcome many obstacles. But, to me, you seem caught in a very negative spiral and unable to get out of it.
These are both really good posts. Thank you. Really, thanks for taking the time to write a lot of food for thought. I appreciate that.

I really think my problem is that I've been in the constant here and now for 35 years of taking care of people...I'm not including my child in that...and that none of that care was really a choice of mine, or a role I was meant to play, or a role that I chose.

I chose to have a child, so that is a role of responsibility I chose. That is so different than trying to care for other relatives who are not your responsibility but for whom you feel responsible for, and who just have so many needs, and make your heart break if you even think of turning away for a moment because you don't want them to die on your watch.

I have given, and given, and given, and that was all fine and good (a little stressful and self-denying before kids) but now with a baby of my own and a faltering marriage, it's so much that is tapping me. I don't have much more to give, in physical terms and emotional terms.

And, I really think part of the issue is that I've been taken advantage of and people have taken things I wasn't willing to give, and that has made the situation all the worse because I have less resources for myself, my husband, and my child than we did when we planned to have a child.

And my husband takes that out on me a little bit and makes comments about where I've come from, my background, and why I'm so much trouble for him.

OK, I've totally gotten too personal here.

But DH has said he doesn't support me being a SAHM because he is not responsible for making up for my bad childhood. He has said I need to work because my parents never did. I think part of him really liked that I was a really driven, go getter and he was OK with marrying me and my background as long as I was bringing home a good paycheck and was the anomoly of my family. But when I wanted to stop working because we had a child he got freaked out that I would be like the rest of my family and he's just not taking that risk. He continues to make comments, here and there (less frequently now that I'm working part time and he knows I'm saving money) that I am trailer trash, white trash, and who do I think I am to want to work less than full time, a princess?, and he's my sugar daddy, no way, honey, that ain't flying around here. I hate when he starts talking like that and uses those terms because one, it just sounds ignorant and two, it's just so offensive to me.

When I was upset with him for not taking any paternity leave and helping out more right after the c-section and when we had a newborn, he said most new moms have their owns moms to help and it wasn't his fault that my mom wasn't there for me and I shouldn't take it out on him.

So, I really do think that my past and the family I come from influence how DH treats me. I hate to think it, but I really think DH is classist towards me. I think he takes out some of his own feelings of inadequacy about his own career on me and plays on issues from my childhood to make me break down and do what he wants. I really think if I had a good home to go to for the night when he calls me the female derogatory names that he'd feel much less brazen and like I could actually leave him. Because he never, not once called me those very specific names in many years of being married to him while I worked full time and didn't have a child tying me down and complicating things. When it was easy for me to leave him, he never treated me this way. It only came out during the pregnancy and after. But with my parental situation and the very bad housing market, he knows it's going to be a while before I can really do anything about this situation and I think that makes him empowered.

And there is no joy in that. But, yeah, I totally feel joy when I manage to work AND cook dinner. Or get laundry done. That is awesome. Yes, the smell of clean clothes is joyful. It's a rare accomplishment these days, but a great one to feel. So, I get what you are saying! Thanks!
That Is Nice is offline  
#35 of 57 Old 02-18-2010, 07:37 PM
 
lolar2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 6,403
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I think you are right that your DH is classist towards you. This is another example of how-- even if he is better than you have described-- the two of you appear not to be well-suited. He has been feeling this way for a long time and probably won't change, and unless time-travel is invented, your background can never change.
lolar2 is offline  
#36 of 57 Old 02-18-2010, 08:03 PM
 
*bejeweled*'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Texas
Posts: 4,339
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I was going to suggest a nanny and a cleaning lady also. If your husband won't give the support, then get it elsewhere and take it out of his check. I'd lay down the law with this one. We have a weekly cleaning lady and I always tell DH that she's cheaper than a divorce. If the shoe were on the other foot, believe me, he wouldn't be suffering. Men almost always make sure that they are comfortable. Women too often are miserable trying to make it all work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Megan73 View Post
Are you going to make the current situation livable by getting the support your husband isn't giving? A nanny would cover sick days and be able to do some errands, if you can afford it. A cleaning service would help. You could also drop off laundry at the cleaners to wash and fold and dedicate some time once a week to feeding the freezer.
You say you've tried without success to lay it out for your husband but he keeps blowing you off. Are you at the point where if he doesn't change in some concrete ways (for example taking on drop off or pickup or taking turns staying home with a sick child) you'd consider leaving?

Me afro.jpg reading.gif Wife and Mom to modifiedartist.gif cat.gifdog2.gif.
*bejeweled* is offline  
#37 of 57 Old 02-19-2010, 01:13 AM
 
meandmine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 927
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have to tell you... it is a h*** of a lot easier to go it alone than having to deal with the constant disappointment, frustration and work of being with a H, such as yours.


Amen to the above and to the below

If it stayed like this it will break me, heart and soul.

I have a much better working/parenting relationship with my stbx now than when we were married (technically still married). But, working ft as a teacher librarian (10-11 hours a day), commuting, being in required grad school and trying to parent -- see above about heart and soul.

So, I think you and I are both in a tough spot (rock, hard place and all that).

So, speaking of strategies -- we both need to find small steps we can take to ease up the pressure so we don't break.

It is too late and I am too tired (see above; and I just got home from grad school at 9:30 pm) to post specifics -- but maybe folks posting here can brainstorm ideas (and hiring help is not an option when we aren't making big bucks).

Let's all keep the constructive diaglogue going for That is Nice and anyone else who can relate!

M
meandmine is offline  
#38 of 57 Old 02-19-2010, 07:10 PM
 
LynnS6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Pacific NW longing for the Midwest
Posts: 12,447
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)


It sounds like you've always been between and rock and a hard place.

I just wanted to offer a ray of hope: My father grew up with a life where there was little joy and no play. His family were depression-era farmers and his dad came down with TB when my dad was a preteen. My dad had to take over the farm at about age 12. My dad knew only work. For several of his jobs, when he quit/moved on, they hired 2-3 people to replace him!

It wasn't until he reached middle age that my father learned to relax and play. But the ray of hope is: he learned to do it! As GuildJenn said: you have to learn to unclench that fist to be able to touch that joy. It took my dad a lot of time (50+ years).

You sound very aware and that you've done a lot of hard work to understand yourself. I have every faith that you will learn to find yourself. You will learn to give when you want to, and to find those things that give you joy. It doesn't have to be a $40 manicure or massage. Maybe it's curling up with a good book and a cup of tea. Taking a walk. Snuggling with your child on the couch while you watch the olympics.

Lynnteapot2.GIF, academicreading.gif,geek.gif wife, WOHM  to T jog.gif(4/01) and M whistling.gif (5/04)
LynnS6 is offline  
#39 of 57 Old 02-19-2010, 09:25 PM
 
mambera's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,320
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by *bejeweled* View Post
I was going to suggest a nanny and a cleaning lady also. If your husband won't give the support, then get it elsewhere and take it out of his check.


I don't think your problem is your job; it is your unsupportive spouse.

OK he isn't willing to share the parenting; but he is willing to bring home a paycheck. Since that is what he is offering, you need to take that and put it toward what you need, which is some help with your son and with the housework.

If he has issues with this or gives you the "that's why you work part-time" line, I would say that he works 40 h (or whatever) and you work 30; therefore he should be doing 75% as much domestic work as you are. Since he is doing none, you are hiring out his 75% of the domestic burden.

Quote:
Originally Posted by That Is Nice
I really think if I had a good home to go to for the night when he calls me the female derogatory names that he'd feel much less brazen and like I could actually leave him. Because he never, not once called me those very specific names in many years of being married to him while I worked full time and didn't have a child tying me down and complicating things. When it was easy for me to leave him, he never treated me this way.
This is unspeakably sad.

Me, DH, DD1 (2009), DD2 (2011), and DS (2015).
I'm not crunchy. I'm evidence-based.
Vaccines save lives.
mambera is offline  
#40 of 57 Old 02-20-2010, 10:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
That Is Nice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 6,798
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by mambera View Post
OK he isn't willing to share the parenting; but he is willing to bring home a paycheck. Since he is doing none...
He's doing some of the parenting and housework IF I ask and plan accordingly.

As I said earlier, the issue is he works longish hours (mostly by his choice and the way he handles his job, but also because I really suspect he hangs at work later to listen to his iPod and have some time for himself).

Also, he almost never uses sick leave or vacation. He just doesn't change much from his routine of work (his personality) and he doesn't like to be the person at work who isn't there and people might say something about his absence. He has said that there are a few people he works with who use sick leave and leave early for child related things, and they are generally not well thought of, and management looks at them in a bad light because they're not giving their all or something. As another poster pointed out, that often is the environment in corporate settings and if you take what is perceived as a lot of time off to achieve "balance" with work and family, you are seen as not competitive or hard working. I think it was a SAHM who pointed out that her husband see this in one of his co-workers and is thankful his wife is a SAHM so that he can focus on work.

DH uses the excuse that I work part time and so he feels that I can take care of all the things he finds too unimportant because, as he always reminds me, he's the lead employee on x, y, and z project.



As I also said, DH has two sides when it comes to me and working: he builds me up with false praise so that I'll keep working when things get tough (he'll use my son and say "you should be so proud of your hardworking mom, look at her, running meetings, doesn't she look pretty in her suit, tell her she looks pretty) to tearing me down (you work part time so you can take care of the things at home, you must not want to work, I thought a career was important to you, you are just like your parents, you have no work ethic, I'm not your sugar daddy) whenever I ask him to help like if DS is sick and I would like DH to take a sick day instead of me, since I have to work, too, that day.

99.9% of the time, I take all the sick leave, I do all the doctor's appts, I do all the field trips, and the inservice days.

If bill is late (rare) DH gets upset that I didn't managed my time better and doesn't care if I had 4 meetings that week (isn't that why you work part time?).

He'll take a day off if I give him a lot of advance notice, and if I really work on him to do it. It takes so much effort.

He'll do household chores if I ask him several times and give him lots of reminders and lead him through it. I used to think he was faking it, but now I really think it's real that many things don't come naturally to him. He sort of grew up with a mom who did pretty much everything for him, and he never really had to do chores, and really he doesn't know how and he also must have ADD or something because he retains no memory of things outside of his interest areas. This isn't going to change. It's been like this forever.

He always says I put him on the spot. He feels like if I have a meeting that comes up unscheduled on a day where we don't have day care, and I ask him to cover for me with babysitting so I can go to my meeting, that is putting him on the spot, and he gets really stressed by that.

A fever spiking at night and then DS can't go to day care the next day, and I ask DH to stay home? That's putting him on the spot because it wasn't planned and he basically flips out every time something like this happens.

The other issue is DH can sleep through anything. So, there have been so many nights where DS is sick with a fever, cough, whatever and DH just snoozes through the whole night and I can't wake him up for more than 5 minutes. Nothing we do is done in shifts. And if DH has his REM interrupted he's basically moping and dragging the whole next day so it's not even worth it.

But he does do some things so I don't want to give the impression he outrightly says he won't be bothered by parenting. He actually thinks he's a great parent and a great spouse. (he's better than his own dad was, most likely)
That Is Nice is offline  
#41 of 57 Old 02-20-2010, 10:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
That Is Nice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 6,798
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by mambera View Post


I don't think your problem is your job; it is your unsupportive spouse.

OK he isn't willing to share the parenting; but he is willing to bring home a paycheck. Since that is what he is offering, you need to take that and put it toward what you need, which is some help with your son and with the housework.

If he has issues with this or gives you the "that's why you work part-time" line, I would say that he works 40 h (or whatever) and you work 30; therefore he should be doing 75% as much domestic work as you are. Since he is doing none, you are hiring out his 75% of the domestic burden.



This is unspeakably sad.
Yes, it crushes me.

He once said in an argument "no wonder your dad left you when you were a kid...you're such a b-word." I don't think I can ever forgive him for saying something like that. He loves to bring up my dad all the time because I think he realizes he's hit an emotional gold mine that will bring me near or to tears every time.
That Is Nice is offline  
#42 of 57 Old 02-21-2010, 06:30 PM
 
*bejeweled*'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Texas
Posts: 4,339
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)



Quote:
Originally Posted by That Is Nice View Post
Yes, it crushes me.

He once said in an argument "no wonder your dad left you when you were a kid...you're such a b-word." I don't think I can ever forgive him for saying something like that. He loves to bring up my dad all the time because I think he realizes he's hit an emotional gold mine that will bring me near or to tears every time.

Me afro.jpg reading.gif Wife and Mom to modifiedartist.gif cat.gifdog2.gif.
*bejeweled* is offline  
#43 of 57 Old 02-21-2010, 08:52 PM
 
Ellien C's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: in the middle ages
Posts: 5,496
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
OK - THAT is beyond the pale. He said that to you? That is low, and completely untrue.

Don't you look pretty in your suit? That's what he says? That's his criteria for success? Seriously - is this really what you want? Is this really the model you want your son to have? That a successful woman, running meetings AND a household "looks pretty in a suit?"

I think you deserve SO much better than what you are getting. I think you are so sane, and grounded, and such a good mom and you just sound so reasonable online. You just don't need to live this way.

Third generation WOHM. I work by choice.
Ellien C is offline  
#44 of 57 Old 02-21-2010, 09:43 PM
 
_betsy_'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 4,615
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Have you told him you're thinking bout leaving? Have you told him how close you are to taking your child and leaving? Not in the heat of the moment, not in an argument, just to let him know where you stand? That you think it might be easier without him in your day-today life? I don't know if that's the best advice or a great idea (maybe check with the Single Moms board?), but it sure as spit would knock my DH for a loop and force him to really look at how I'm being treated here.

Marriage isn't 50/50. You BOTH have to work for it. Housework isn't always 50/50 either, though I'd say if you're working 30 hours and responsible for 100% of the childcare, then yeah, it should be close to 50/50 if not him doing MORE housework than you.

Can you make a couple's appointment with your therapist? So you can have a safe place to discuss this rationally, without him slapping you in the face with your past? And really, your father leaving you as a child has NOTHING to do with you/your attitude/your behavior/your personality, etc. That's on your DAD, not on you. Dredging up your childhood should be 100% off limits during a fight.

Your self esteem seems to need a boost. You seem like you have a good head on your shoulders, smart with a lot of common sense and the sense to realize your family of origin need not define you. But your DH seems to like to prey on any weakness.

I WOH FT, nights, DH is self employed and works days. We have 2 kids. Trust me when I say 2 made things waaaaayyyy more stressful. Getting to work on time is a huge achievement and not one I reach regularly. I'm always 5 minutes behind. I don't get to do the 3 loads of laundry that need to get done, but if I can do 2 loads, that's a huge help and an accomplishment. So maybe I don't get 3 loads of laundry done, run to the bank, take the girls to the library for story time, AND do a quick grocery store trip. But managing to get those 2 loads of laundry done IS important and it IS necessary. And DH does recognize and show appreciation for that.

I wonder if you just have to sort of mentally check out. Realize that you ARE alone with the childcare, the housework, and the financial stability aspects. Anything else you get from him is just a bonus, sad but true. You can and may someday decide to do it all on your own.
_betsy_ is offline  
#45 of 57 Old 02-22-2010, 10:21 AM - Thread Starter
 
That Is Nice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 6,798
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by _betsy_ View Post
And really, your father leaving you as a child has NOTHING to do with you/your attitude/your behavior/your personality, etc. That's on your DAD, not on you. Dredging up your childhood should be 100% off limits during a fight.
Thank you. No, I know this. I know DH is fighting with low blows. And he knows it too. He's said that...he punches where it will hurt the most. It's deliberate. I'm getting better at not even reacting because of just how ridiculous it is to suggest to an adult woman that they way they are acting now towards a spouse is why their father left them as a child. DH is just full of desperate hot air.
That Is Nice is offline  
#46 of 57 Old 02-22-2010, 10:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
That Is Nice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 6,798
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by _betsy_ View Post
Your self esteem seems to need a boost. You seem like you have a good head on your shoulders, smart with a lot of common sense and the sense to realize your family of origin need not define you. But your DH seems to like to prey on any weakness.
Thank you. No, I don't think my self-esteem has really suffered at all, or much. I know DH is wrong. I'm still very self-assured with everything about myself and who I am and my abilities. I feel the doubt about the marriage, sure, and about parenting and working balance, but not about myself and my abilities and my self-worth. My DH is just blowing hot air (yeah, it's mean hot air) and he knows this and I know this.

It's a desperate attempt by him to shut me up, basically, and to shut me down emotionally. In a way, he's attempting to distract from the real issues that pertain to him by focusing on other issues of mine from a bad childhood and attributing that as the reason for my feelings today so that he doesn't have to take a hard look at himself.
That Is Nice is offline  
#47 of 57 Old 02-22-2010, 10:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
That Is Nice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 6,798
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellien C View Post
OK - THAT is beyond the pale. He said that to you? That is low, and completely untrue.

Don't you look pretty in your suit? That's what he says? That's his criteria for success? Seriously - is this really what you want? Is this really the model you want your son to have? That a successful woman, running meetings AND a household "looks pretty in a suit?"

I think you deserve SO much better than what you are getting. I think you are so sane, and grounded, and such a good mom and you just sound so reasonable online. You just don't need to live this way.

Thank you. I don't think this is what DH really believes, deep down, but he lashes out and then he fumbles awkwardly for words to correct what he said, and rather than saying, I'm really sorry, I acted so inappropriately, and I will not do that again (because he knows that isn't true) he says thinks like "doesn't mom look pretty in her suit?"

I HATE when he tries talk to me and apologize without using the right words or even addressing the real issues and uses a an overheard conversation with our child to convey things to me. But that is just DH's awkward and easy way. DH isn't one to approach the hard route, even if it's the right route. He's a path of least resistence and little effort type of guy, when it comes to emotions and feelings.
That Is Nice is offline  
#48 of 57 Old 02-22-2010, 12:30 PM
 
maryeliz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 359
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm also a high achiever who grew up in a really messed up family. I have to say that what has saved me is learning to be selfish. I love my family and acknowledge that many of my family members have had hard lives that shape the way they behave today. As I see it now, they had seventeen years during which they tried to make me as crazy as they are, and that is all they get. I am now infamous for my ability to draw boundaries with people. I does take a lot not to engage when you know a family member is suffering. It is also hard to put up with snide comments about how I am not a good daughter, but honestly, nothing I could do would fix these people, and I am so much happier than anyone I know who does try to be a fixer and a good daughter.

I have also been in a relationship where my partner tried to play the "you're damaged goods because you come from a crazy family" card. I know that all those comments came from a place of fear and insecurity, but I left. I didn't live through my childhood to be with someone who would try to tear me down. The day I left that relationship I had the most intense feeling of freedom I have ever had in my life.

You seem smart and self-aware, so I think you can probably find more than one way to improve your current situation and I wish you all the best. It is not easy, and we all go through hard times, but I hope you know that you did not get this far to live an unhappy life.

Blogging at http://chronicladybug.blogspot.com

maryeliz is offline  
#49 of 57 Old 02-22-2010, 03:24 PM
 
*bejeweled*'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Texas
Posts: 4,339
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


[QUOTE=maryeliz;15099935]The day I left that relationship I had the most intense feeling of freedom I have ever had in my life.

Me afro.jpg reading.gif Wife and Mom to modifiedartist.gif cat.gifdog2.gif.
*bejeweled* is offline  
#50 of 57 Old 02-22-2010, 03:54 PM
 
crunchy_mommy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 6,460
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I didn't read all the responses & don't know all the details of your current situation but...

Could you rearrange your work schedule so you always have 1-2 days off a week? Might make it feel like you're more "part time" rather than working 5 shorter days. Then you'll have your days off to be a SAHM or to get things done.

Can your DH step it up a notch? You're working nearly full-time so I don't see his job as much more important or demanding than yours...

Can you WAH in the evenings when DH is home to watch the kid? Then you can get more done & have more time off during the day.

Are you truly enjoying this? Is there something else you might enjoy more? Maybe a different job, fewer hours, or a volunteer position in your field? It doesn't seem like the financial benefits are enough to truly make it worth it...

Co-sleeping is really wonderful when your child actually SLEEPS!! familybed1.gif
crunchy_mommy is offline  
#51 of 57 Old 02-22-2010, 05:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
That Is Nice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 6,798
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by maryeliz View Post
I'm also a high achiever who grew up in a really messed up family. I have to say that what has saved me is learning to be selfish.
How did you do this?

Not that I want to learn to be selfish, but I want to learn to, I guess, focus more on my own life without feeling guilty or like I've abandoned someone who needs help.

I am certain part of my feelings about not abandoning those in need come from the fact that I was abandoned and basically neglected, and it was awful, and so I just can't stand to see suffering. I'd rather work 80 hours a week, take new jobs that pay more, and earn more money to end the suffering, or at least attempt to, than feel that helpless and guilty feeling.

I have given so much in my life - financially mostly, but also emotionally - to a family of, well, ungrateful users save one or maybe two.

It's so tough for me to see how I put so many of my resources into these people and not one of them would do the same for me, if the life circumstances were reversed. When I had a baby, and needed help, and not one person was there, I just realized then and there that no one in my family really cared about me at all, and they would never have done for me what I had spent years doing for them.

And my DH is all too quick to point that out. Part of him is probably realistic and part of him is just trying to use it against me for some leverage, I'm sure.
That Is Nice is offline  
#52 of 57 Old 02-22-2010, 05:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
That Is Nice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 6,798
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post
or a volunteer position in your field? It doesn't seem like the financial benefits are enough to truly make it worth it...
Someday I would like to volunteer, and I hope to do that in my retirement. I feel it is very important.

However, now really isn't the time. Unfortunately. I wish I could.

But financially, I need to work. As I said, my husband is never going to support the idea of SAHPhood, and my marriage is just too rocky and my support system non-existent to even try to encourage DH to reconsider.

And I'm sort of a career person. I don't have a long term vision for myself to be a SAHP. I like working.

I'm just tapped from working and raising a child. I'm sure others are too if they are single parents or parents without true partners.
That Is Nice is offline  
#53 of 57 Old 02-22-2010, 06:04 PM
 
crunchy_mommy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 6,460
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by That Is Nice View Post
Someday I would like to volunteer, and I hope to do that in my retirement. I feel it is very important.

However, now really isn't the time. Unfortunately. I wish I could.

But financially, I need to work. As I said, my husband is never going to support the idea of SAHPhood, and my marriage is just too rocky and my support system non-existent to even try to encourage DH to reconsider.

And I'm sort of a career person. I don't have a long term vision for myself to be a SAHP. I like working.

I'm just tapped from working and raising a child. I'm sure others are too if they are single parents or parents without true partners.
That's what I was trying to get at, I couldn't tell from your OP if you really wanted to work or not. As long as you're happy working!!

I hear you about being tapped out... I DO have lots of help from my DH, he is wonderful, but we are both working full-time with no childcare for DS so we are perpetually stressed & exhausted!! I think it's just really really hard work being a parent. I have a whole new appreciation for my own parents now, especially my mom!!!! I'm sorry to hear that your marriage is rocky & I hope you guys are able to smooth things over, and that your DH comes around a bit. That's got to be so hard to have a partner but still feel like a single mom!

Co-sleeping is really wonderful when your child actually SLEEPS!! familybed1.gif
crunchy_mommy is offline  
#54 of 57 Old 02-22-2010, 06:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
That Is Nice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 6,798
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post
but we are both working full-time with no childcare for DS so we are perpetually stressed & exhausted!!
Wow, I give you a lot of credit. I can't even imagine doing that! You would have to have a pretty good partner, and be a pretty good partner, to pull that off!



In a lot of ways, I have it pretty easy. I'm pretty good in my career, and some days I slip and I have to focus on my kid, and yeah that sort of looks bad at work, and I'm not the ideal employee. But I always pull all nighters when I need to, and I pull off projects well. So, while I can't be on the ball all the time because I have to jump off for parenting things, I seem to be able to jump back on the moving ball - yeah, it's stressful and I have trouble managing the stress - but I haven't missed the ball yet so something I do must be OK.

It just doesn't really feel that way until I take a step back and say, wow, I'm pretty proud of myself for juggling all this. Even just keeping on the ball is an accomplishment.
That Is Nice is offline  
#55 of 57 Old 02-22-2010, 06:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
That Is Nice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 6,798
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post
That's what I was trying to get at, I couldn't tell from your OP if you really wanted to work or not. As long as you're happy working!!
Oh, yes. I like having a job. It's something I'm proud of. I like that I get paid well, I get to interact with really interesting, smart, competent people doing amazing things in the field. I like learning new things, and I find a lot of the work very stimulating and exciting. Yeah, there are the doldrum days, too, where it's routine and grind.

But I also like the model of a working woman I'm showing my son. Yeah, it's stressful, and yeah, we never seem to have clean laundry, and yeah I miss way too many of his activities at school, but I love that he knows where I work, and what I work on, and he likes talking about it to me. That will probably only increase as he gets older. He often pretend plays that he is going to work and he mimics me..."I have to write this report, mom." Or, "I have a conference call right now...let's see, what do I need to do to prepare. Mom, can you be quiet, please? I have a conference call." He cracks me up.

Sometimes he makes me sad, a little bit, because if I ask him to do something, he sometimes says "Sorry, I can't. I am very busy today." That's him repeating back to me what I often say to him. So, there are definitely two sides.

But, what it really comes down to is that we have no real support system and so the safety net I have in life for my son and I is my career.

But there are a lot of really great things about working. And some major not so great things now that I have to be a parent, too.
That Is Nice is offline  
#56 of 57 Old 02-22-2010, 06:49 PM
 
maryeliz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 359
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by That Is Nice View Post
How did you do this?

Not that I want to learn to be selfish, but I want to learn to, I guess, focus more on my own life without feeling guilty or like I've abandoned someone who needs help.

I think this is exactly the problem, that drawing reasonable boundaries is going to feel bad and selfish, but that is only because the people you are dealing with are selfish. You should be able to expect a reasonable amount of reciprocity in your life and at the very least you should be able to expect that people you sacrifice for will be there when you really need it. This suggestion may be hard to undertake since you have very limited time and energy, but I would suggest trying to take some of the energy you have been expending on your family and putting it into relationships that will have more payoff. A religious community, neighbors, a mom's group, a book club-these could all be starting points for a support system that will actually be there for you.

In my case, I realized a pretty young age that my parents were crappy parents. They not only gave me little emotional or financial support, but they actively endangered me. Throughout my teen years I worked, had money in the bank, and was ready to leave at any moment. So I think that is the point where I broke those bonds of guilt. After I moved away from home I didn't always call, I didn't always answer the phone or even open mail. After a few years my parents go the message that if they couldn't observe basic boundaries, I would not have any contact with them. In the intervening years, they have come to be doing a lot better, so I do have a decent relationship with them now, but they know not to call me in the middle of the night or drive hundreds of miles so they can rant on my doorstep, because I will not tolerate that behavior.

I think creating physical distance and screening your calls can be the first step to creating healthy emotional distance. I think you mentioned in one of the early posts that you have done some therapy. I think therapy can be really helpful, not to relive the past, but to work on these issues in a very concrete way, so you can start training your mind with exactly what you say to mom or dad or whoever when they start giving you a hard time.

Blogging at http://chronicladybug.blogspot.com

maryeliz is offline  
#57 of 57 Old 02-22-2010, 07:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
That Is Nice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 6,798
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by maryeliz View Post
I think this is exactly the problem, that drawing reasonable boundaries is going to feel bad and selfish, but that is only because the people you are dealing with are selfish. You should be able to expect a reasonable amount of reciprocity in your life and at the very least you should be able to expect that people you sacrifice for will be there when you really need it.
Thank you. It's helpful to discuss with someone who understands through experience.

Some of my family members are indeed selfish. But others, the ones I still help, are really not selfish and simply not in control of their actions (alcohol and drug addictions).

I have one family member (parent) who is homeless, chronically, and in very bad shape. There have been times where had I not been there to pay for food, hotel, or medical care, that family member would have starved for several days, slept outside in frigid, below freezing temps, and had a medical issue continue that could have been life threatening.

So, it's so very hard to turn my back because I know what I am providing is necessary.

It would be nice if at some point there was someone to help shoulder some of the responsibility.

Actually, this is a bit of a departure from my original point, but this aspect of my life certainly has framed parts of my work-life balance, my resources I have for my own family, and DH's and my relationship. I think DH harbors resentful toward me and some classism about where and how I grew up and my background in general.

He really looks at supporting me as a SAHM as "making up for my childhood." He has said that more than once. I really think - on some level - he thinks he needs to teach me a lesson about working and work ethics because my parents never held down a job...ever. He has said this multiple times in our marriage - that he does not trust my work ethic because my parents never held down jobs. And yet, I worked in a really great career for about a decade between college and having a baby. I also worked throughout college and often loaned DH money when he ran short. I put myself through college. And now I'm working part time professionally and parenting. DH is still suspicious of my work ethic. It's an issue in the marriage. I feel I have nothing to prove to DH and he feels I have everything to prove to him.
That Is Nice is offline  
Reply


User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off

Online Users: 12,739

36 members and 12,703 guests
antmuse72 , bananabee , beedub , BirthFree , bluejanuary , Deborah , eastbaymama , emmy526 , happy-mama , hillymum , Iron Princess , Jack Clifford , Janeen0225 , jcdfarmer , Julieamymom4 , kathymuggle , Kym5002 , lalalovely , LibraSun , lilmissgiggles , MeanVeggie , Mirzam , moominmamma , MountainMamaGC , NaturallyKait , plantbasedemma , RollerCoasterMama , sarrahlnorris , shantimama , Socks , Springshowers , StarJune , steffanie3 , worthy
Most users ever online was 449,755, 06-25-2014 at 01:21 PM.