October 14, 2014

You’ll Never Win


You know that game of back and forth? That game you may play, “one upping,” yeah…The game you usually play with your spouse after a long day, you may not even realize you’re playing! I like to call it the, “My Day Is Harder Than Yours and I’m Going To Be Passive Until You Give Me A Pat On the Back” game. Our game, that I’m rightfully forfeiting, goes a little something like this–

Here I am, at 7:46pm, just put the boys to bed and now as I’m typing I’m also simultaneously bouncing and nursing Ivy to sleep. And? The icing on the cake? Anthony is still at work. He’s been gone since 7am! I know he works hard, but I am exhausted. Up to my ears in messes, crazy tantrums in target over batteries, baby food pouches squirted all over the walls and rugs, whining, errands, dinner, baths, and pajamas (which is similar to chicken wrangling), etc! And this is all done in the wonderful haze that teething brings to us parents. But ah, silence now and a glass of wine. Relaxing? Should be! But if I turn around I have a pile of laundry I need to fold, and a kitchen to wipe down.

And during all of this, Anthony is at work. Going in and out of people’s homes all day, giving them the american necessity; cable, phone and internet. He deals with happy customers, angry customers, grumpy customers, rude customers… Each who are demanding a service from him. He works and drives non-stop, and on his small breaks he is updating customer’s info and leaving notes. He does all of this without a two-hour nap time break, and he does it all for us. Sixty hours a week.

After 8:30, we find ourselves on the couch. Both exhausted, and it’s so easy to want to have a pity-party for the bad day. I sometimes feel like Anthony gets to go out into the real world, have adult conversations, eat a lunch without having to share, he gets a full nights sleep without a baby on his boob, and then sleeps in on his one dat off! And he feels as though he’s missing out on spending time with the kids, and that I get to wear spandex pants all day, enjoy parks and zoos with the kids, or bake cookies and watch movies in pajamas. But, our roles are so opposite that it’s hard to even compare or think that one’s day could be worse than the other’s long day.

One upping is never fun (Oh sorry your day was long babe, mine was too. Did you know I was up twice with Ivy last night? And that Seb threw the biggest tantrum in Target and I had to physically carry him out while Ivy was in the ergo resulting in Grey pushing the cart into an end cap full of DVDs that landed on the floor? And that I broke the new butter dish I just bought to replace the other one that I broke?). As passive and subtle that this game is, it never ends well. The one-uppers can often lead to resentment which causes a strain on your relationship. When I hear myself start to play, I quickly tell myself that no one wins. He is working just as hard as I am, if not harder.  After all, we’re a team! A unit. No need to have a “worse” day. We’re both in this crazy season of parenting three children under five, together.


6 thoughts on “You’ll Never Win

  1. Anna

    I love this post. 1. It’s a glimpse of the real everyday struggle. 2. It’s a good reminder. I often find my husband and I do the same dance – just different moves. Ultimately it just pushes us further apart when at night, on the couch, we should be coming back together.

    On a totally separate note, I’ve been wanting to ask you if you nursed the boys to sleep when they were babes. I nurse my 12 mth old to sleep for every nap and bedtime (and through out the night) and I just want to know if and when it ever ends – to go to sleep without a boob?

  2. Julie

    This is so true! I was just thinking yesterday how I need to better support my guy at the end of his 10 hour day instead of resenting the fact that he’s at work 6 days a week. It’s so easy to get into a pattern of guilt-trips and one-upping but you’re right, no one wins!

  3. Elizabeth

    Just had this conversation with a girlfriend the other day. The hardest part is realizing that it’s EVERYDAY. The struggle is real, but the reward is sweet :)

  4. Leah

    Thank you for sharing this. I was so upset with my husband for not understanding how difficult my days seem with 3 kids to take care of. I need to remember that he works long hours and has a long commute. I need to appreciate that he works so hard and I am able to stay home. Soon my youngest will be in school and I’m sure I’ll miss having him home while the older girls are in school. It shouldn’t cause a fight between us. Thank you for reminding me and realizing that I’m not alone!

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