Monday, August 11, 2008

Husbands do NOT babysit

I have always stood by that phrase. When we had our first baby and I would tell my husband some plans I had made with a friend or to just go out by myself he'd ask, "What about S?" I'd tell him she lives here, you live here, put it together. Eventually he got it. I understood he was only asking because my parents lives very close and sometimes babysat for us. Then when we had our second baby and we moved to a new house W took on a new roles: caretaker (to ill live-in great-uncle) and stay at home parent. His job was to take care of uncle and to go to school. When he was home he took on the responsibilities of parenting our oldest while I took care of the baby and tried to recoup as she never was able to sleep through the night. I've always hated when mothers would say their husbands were home babysitting. While I understand that can be an accurate description it burned me that they allowed it to be that way. When a mom is stay-at-home (aka SAHM) and the dad is working all the household and family management falls on the mom. Usually we're okay with that and often love it because of the control. The catch is husbands have to be willing to pitch in whenever asked. Mine was. It was wonderful. Would you give S a bath tonight? Thanks. Do you want to do the dishes or do baths? Dishes? Okay. We got into a pretty good routine when I was SAHM.

THEN the transition of me going to school started and it sucked. It really sucked because I felt that on my school days I shouldn't have to fix kid's lunches even if I was home for lunch. I thought about how it was when W was the only one in school. He came and went as he pleased. If he stopped home for lunch he ate and left again. He'd have conversation with me, but he didn't change any diapers or fix and lunch for anyone else. Often he ate lunch out with classmates. Now, when he was home at the end of the day he was available and took part in household chores and caring for the kids. Unfortunately W had a difficult time adjusting to being a SAHD for 2 days a week and 1 morning. He only had G who was 2 and we all know how 2 year olds are (finicky!). After a few weeks I asked him how he felt about being SAHD. His response: "I hate it." BUT that was only the first semester. He got much more adjusted for the second semester and eventually said he no longer hated it. I never really had anything to criticize him on when he was home. He cleaned the kitchen every morning so I came home at lunch to a nice kitchen. He dressed G, usually. He fet her when she asked. I was happy with his skills.

Today I was bad. I asked if he had fed G an egg as I had seen eggs on some one's plate when I was home for lunch. Of course, if I had thought about it I would have kept my mouth shut, but it slipped out without thought and he was very insulted because he knows she is allergic (we had thought she had grown out, but had a reaction after a few months of ingesting them). The girls had also been fed sausage. Now, remember how I said I wanted to go mostly vegetarian? Well, for me that means vegetarian at home 95% of the time and only eating meat out, at some one's house, or if we have a cook-out. W's response to my criticism of the food? "You said we'd eat what was in the house and make a slow transition." I reminded him that HE JUST BOUGHT the stupid sausage, though I didn't say stupid, and it's been over 3 weeks since we first discussed going veg. Truthfully it should be a very easy transition for the girls because they are already used to eating a diet of mostly fruits and vegetables.

The other criticism is where it's evidenced I treated my husband like a babysitter today. I reminded him I had told him about leftovers in the fridge for the girls and peppers and hummus that could be served for lunch. He didn't give it to them. He didn't even really remember the fact that I had gotten hummus and he didn't know what peppers I was talking about. So, I shouldn't have worried about what he'd feed them, and usually I wouldn't. In fact I DIDN'T! I went off to school today without thinking about him feeding them meals. He's capable. But then I was disapproving of his choices. I threw out some items in the fridge I no longer want S to have, G's already allergic. That will cut down on some confusion.

I regret treating him like he should have known better and that he didn't follow my instructions. I do get annoyed with his apprehension to dietary changes and his bringing food into the house he knows I don't want to eat nor do I want the girls to eat. He actually got a pizza Sat.

Today he made excuses for not going to the gym. It was absolutely annoying. He was adamant about going, but then when I got home at 4:15 he said we needed to go to the store and S needed to finish cleaning her room before we could go. We ended up not going to the store OR the gym. I fell asleep on the couch watching the news. If we had just kept to the schedule as planned, I wouldn't have slept, we would have exercised a half hour, we would have gone to the store and we still would have eaten dinner at 7:45 like we did anyway! Complete B.S. He insinuated that I am selfish with wanting to go out when things need to be done at home and that I did not back him up enough with S cleaning her room. See, I had brought home kiwi and wanted the kids to have a snack at 4:30 so they could go to the Y without being starving for dinner. But having her come have a snack interrupted her room cleaning.

What should I do? I know I can't MAKE him do ANYTHING. Usually I just grab the kids and go on days like today when he was already annoyed and stressed. But I couldn't because of S's room. I didn't want to leave him alone with any kids because the kids had been rotten all day and he was too stressed. So, I didn't get my work out in. I told him I need him to stop bringing food into the house that he agrees we shouldn't have, like pizza, fast food, take out, and that I wasn't going to let him bring me down anymore. Maybe he's hurt I told him he's a bad influence.

It's so difficult to stick to a plan when your spouse doesn't go along with you. Even though he said he was supportive he just keeps harping on taking it slow saying "You said we'd take it slow!" I'm not trying to control his eating habits, but just get him to not bring in tempting food and to be aware of giving the girls fresh fruit and veggies. It's difficult to change. I know that. I am ready. He's not. I know it will take time. I will try to be more understanding and forgiving and not focus on food. It's just very difficult with us both taking care of the kids and doing things differently.

1 comment:

saskia said...

Glad you found me, I think if you are finding raw food blogs, it's because your innner spirit is finding it's truth, and this is probably it. So keep on going on and don't get discouraged, it's a journey! I have five children, so maybe that is all the names. I will tell you that I never dreamed in a million years my family would go vegetarian. My husband has changed his life over this, he is off all his meds, has lost over 40 pounds, and he has energy! I am the only one that eats raw. We have no meat in our house (I gave it all away) we have a lot of raw meals, and then if I cook, it's with whole grains/food, etc. We have no milk in the house, or eggs, but I do have some powdered eggs from food storage. I don't use shortening. I use coconut oil, though it's expensive (you can get the best price at mountain rose herbs online.) My husband read Eat To LIve and that had a huge impact on him changing. If you believe in prayer, pray, it'll all come around the way it needs to. Good luck to you! Saskia