Friday, June 25, 2010

Some whine with my cheese

When Rich is home, there is more eye-rolling, heavy sighs and foot stomping around here. No, there is not an addition of a hungry young performing artist doing dramatic monologues in our living room.
I don't know why it is, exactly, but I find it so much easier to be whiny around Rich when it comes to parenting. On days like today, when he's away at work for at least 12 hours, I make my game plan, set it and match. Abby and I get errands done, prepare and eat meals, play outside, cuddle, run and goof around. We both meet 7:00pm exhausted but satisfied with the accomplishment and celebration of the day. It is much easier, on days when I'm alone, to face Abby tantrums, cat throw-up and dinner prep explosions like a challenge: I grit my teeth, inhale sharply, and press on, as if dared by the universe. I thrive when it's just Abby and I. I become the supermom I know I am. I grow extra arms, find extra patience, and laugh things off rather than get all bent out of shape.
But then Rich has a day off, and all of a sudden I'm reverting back to 18-year-old Sarah, the one around whom the earth rotates. Every parenting injustice (socks don't fit her! diaper-changing tantrum! milk explosion down the stairwell!) is a reason to sulk, to express how unfair it all is, to expect my knight in shining armour to swoop in and fix it because, hey, he's here, isn't he? And why isn't he hopping to it?
I forget that it's his days off. His weekend. His break from drunkards, car wrecks, sexual assaults and robberies. I forget that he enjoys time with his family, but notsomuch when we whine and sulk and pout. I know as a stay-at-home mom I don't get weekends. But I also get breaks (naptime! hurrah!), backup from my husband when he's here, and the chance to be on the frontlines of Abby's formative years. And that's the best job in the world.
So why is it I feel entitled to whine about throw-up and boogies just because Rich is home?
Either way, this mountain chick needs an attitude adjustment. (But don't tell Rich I know this. I like him to think I am always right). So next week we have my brother visiting the YT for the first time, and then a family trip to Juneau for some R&R, where we can tackle parenting injustices and celebrate Abby's toddlerhood and Canada's birthday in a new locale.


  1. Oh yes, Winslow could definitely relate to poor Rich's situation on this one...he hears his fair share from me, poor guy. ...
    buuuuuuut.....on the other hand you have to give yourself some credit. You are doing this solo. No family around to help. No one there to relieve you from the work. And often times a husband who is away or sleeping more than he is there and helping. You have a right to complain about the endless mess and stink diapers.

  2. You have just described our household! Matt asks me how the heck I get stuff done when he isn't home because I seem to need him to help with everything when he is home.

    Johanna is right. Doing this solo with no family to help is hard. I have not had a night by myself in three years (to the day today).

    I am dreaming of my weekend in WH with no kids coming sometime this fall I think. You had better have time to join me for a hot chocolate and muffin while I am there for it!

  3. Thanks ladies. And you're right: the game does change when there's no family backup. Schlepping Abby off to grama's for a Saturday would be GREAT.
    And Kara, I will for SURE help you celebrate your kid-free weekend!

  4. I can totally relate!!! I also find on James' days off we tend to dink around and not get anything done, or take forever to finally get out of the house, and then I whine that we wasted half the day ;)

    I agree that it's extra tough when you don't have that family support around. My sister is close but she works so much it's so hard to get a night/day away. I get so frustrated on days when James ends up having to work later than planned...but yet if he has to go away for a few days, I turn into supermom (like you described) and find it easier being a "single mom" lol.


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