At 7am when he is still snoring strong, in the middle of the night when I am up for the 10th time with a teething toddler and he rolls over like a bear in hibernation, when he has a long hot shower while I give myself a ten-second sponge bath in the sink, when he tra-la-la’s off to work… these are some of the moments I hate my husband (just a little bit). Are you with me? Trust me, you NEED to pin this image! Husbands everywhere need to understand the very real problem simmering beneath the surface of their marriage…. husband envy.
Husband envy… it’s a real thing!
In all my conversations with other moms over the years, one thing has stood out: husband envy. Ladies, the struggle is real! We talk about the kids, share our birth stories, you know… the usual. And then we start in with the husbands. Now, let’s get one thing clear here to any men who may be reading this post… we love you! We really adore and appreciate and value you! But sometimes with a pot of coffee and a group of women, we can forget that for just a second. You see, we have our moments, our lapses if you will.
We see you roll over and go back to sleep when we get up at night to deal with puke, again. We hear you chat with the guys at work about who said what at lunch yesterday. I mean, that’s two in one guys! Not only did you EAT lunch, WHILE SITTING DOWN (slow applause happening up in here right now) but you had adult conversation at the same time!
Do you even realize that we hardly know what that means? By the time you walk in the door, we are so in sync with the baby babble around us that intelligent dialogue sounds almost foreign. Have you ever seen your wife stare blankly at you when you talk to her? You see, she can see your mouth moving but her human translator hasn’t kicked in yet! It’s best if you bring her a glass of wine or a double shot of espresso, I find it helps speed things along.
Now I’m not diminishing what you do all day. I’m not saying you’re out there living it up or even having fun! I’m not even going to compare the mental difficulties or physical demands of our respective “jobs”. Instead let us discuss what happens at quitting time. Now if you are a man reading this, you are patiently waiting to hear what I will say next. If you are a woman however, you are either howling in laughter or furrowing your eyebrows in wonder. Quitting time… what is that? Is that a real thing???? This brings us to the next point of discussion on the mom’s night out list… evening.
Husband envy: our “shift” should end in about 20 years or so!
Dad’s everywhere come home from a hard day of work and they are ready to relax. Their needs are simple and concrete… food, rest, then sleep. Perhaps you have been chillaxin’ with your TV remote and a bag of chips and you happen to glance into the kitchen (you know, looking for that hot babe you married). Instead of seeing her graceful smile lovingly directed at you… you see a disturbing glare that physically seems to emanate dangerously close to your chill vibes. You see after watching kids all day, cleaning all day, cooking all day… the house is yet again a mess, the kids are melting down and need to be put to bed and prep needs to be done so it can all repeat the next morning. While you watch TV or go to the bathroom, maybe even read a book we continue on. Even during the night we get “called out” repeatedly.
There are no “days off”, no coffee breaks or lunch breaks. We heat up our coffee 20 times a day until it is the equivalent of tar and we are forced to chug a coke. We can’t even sit to eat because the second we do child A is asking for seconds whilst child B is done and needs to be cleaned up!
Going to the bathroom involves at least 6 interruptions, and you’re lucky if you can deal with it from the toilet seat without having to literally PAUSE, I’m talking mid-action here, to get up and deal with the crises at hand!
Having a shower… HA! While daddy locks the door to have his shower, mom is having a shower with a toddler playing with the curtain, spraying water everywhere and the 4 year old filling the steamy, moist bathroom with aromas from their digested breakfast.
Do we hate our life? No! For the most part we love our life! We love our kids, we’re good at multi-tasking, we’ve got this! But when we have a poopy toddler in our arms smearing leftover breakfast on our shirt, kids fighting like gladiators in a ring, a house torn apart, cold coffee in our hands, pimple breakouts from eating chips and chocolate for breakfast and lunch for the last week (no time to eat, must…. find…. prepackaged….. goodness!) while you are dressed and showered and smilingly waving goodbye… in that moment dear husband… we hate you, just a little bit.
We wish we were you, leaving the chaos behind. We wish we got breaks and adult conversation and a sense of accomplishment (wait, what does that even FEEL like anymore?????). We wish someone noticed all the little things we did each day and appreciated us, gave us a bonus or recognition. We sip our cold coffee and smile and feel sorry for ourselves that we are doomed to another monotonous day of drudgery.
A note to the men targeted by husband envy: pay attention!
So, to our husbands, have grace. Know that underneath the outward hostility and ominous glares is a woman who just needs to be understood and appreciated for all she does. And maybe, possibly, do the dishes! And I’m talking right after dinner, not saying you’ll do it and then giving it a go the next morning. Wifey tip #811 We don’t like to go to bed with food crusting on the plates (your welcome).
Ask her how her day was, say goodbye with a little more sympathy in your eyes. Don’t share your “wins” of the day with us until the kids are in bed and we don’t want to hit you on the head with a frying pan. And for pete’s sake… don’t EVER, say one. single. word about the mess. If your kids are alive, it was a win up in here!
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