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August 06, 2007

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別の要因 クライアント のようでした するために本当に 考慮は すべての 見えます。 ハイエンド のバッグは 余分な と一般に 受信 オンラインまたは 中に、 他の割引 入れて。 デザイナーの bags.have に来る 仕事 典型的なステータス マーク。 フルレングス、緩く合う衣服 の方法で 長いまたは 小さな 袖を身に着けられて 近く 両方の男性 ビジネス女性。

Great blog here! Also your web site loads up fast! What web host are you using? Can I get your affiliate link to your host? I wish my website loaded up as quickly as yours lol

That's the kind of image that i really thing is super image like. If more images very real like this were out there we'd be super full of graet images in the world.

Being married to a pilot, I always feel the stress of being left alone. Doing the chores is easy, but feeling alone and empty is torture.

xo,
Edz
Aerospace test equipment @ AvionTEq

Parenting can be difficult at times. That is when couples therapy can come in handy, not only to strength the relationship, but over come problems that occur in everyday life especially with parenting.

I love what you wrote. It makes me feel less alone. As a working mom with two children and married to a corporate pilot that has no schedule, I am at the end of my rope. I am unable to plan anything and everything always falls on me. I understand that he makes the majority of the income (but he is able to do so because he does not have the child care responsibilities) and that he can not change jobs, but if he doesn't recognize the sacrifices that I am making my resentments will ruin everything we have together.

He flies his passengers to their destination and then he is done until it is time to come home. He will call me from the beach or a fancy restaurant or just relaxing by himself in his hotel room and I am home, having worked all day and now doing 'second shift' child care and chores and errands and I frequently end up in tears.

thank you so much for saying out loud what i was thinking. im a pilots wife and SAHM to a 3 month old. its hard but i do see his side of things too.she cries everytime he comes home from a trip and of course i get her when shes crying. oh well what can i say i knew what i signed up for when i married a pilot. right now its rough sailing but im sure it will smooth out for us once we get the hang of this.

That's known that cash can make us disembarrass. But how to act when someone doesn't have money? The only one way is to receive the mortgage loans or short term loan.

I am a pilot's wife and a SAHM. I live in Scotland, U.K. and my DH is lucky if he works a 3-day week. I feel very lucky that he's at home so much as he's not afraid to spend time changing nappies, feeding, reading, playing, bathing etc. I used to work for a huge American company (Jim Beam) and I noticed there was a difference in the hours employees are expected to work i.e. Americans work VERY long hours and get hardly any vacation time. However, you get paid a lot more than we do and therefor enjoy a higher standard of living. It's the price you pay for living in the 'land of the free'! My DH is earns a low wage for performing a highly skilled job, but hey, at least I get to see him.

I am new to your site. Found you by accident.

My husband has been deployed for four months. I can resonate with you about being a single parent. I was not prepared to do this. Now I am four months into a six month stint and I wonder how am I going to adjust back to the way things were.

My hubby misses our three year-old little girl so much. It's kind of sad, because the first two or so months she would ask if daddy's back. Now we've moved to daddy's never coming back and I miss my daddy.

It's good to know that I am not the only one who feels this way. I know that's a cliche, but reading your honest reactions, allows me to be free to have my own feelings. It is a lot of hard work. Having to adjust to being alone and then readjusting back to having a spouse.

I've got until mid-February to learn how to be a spouse again.

You write very well.

It seems you wrote this post a year ago, but it resonates with me even still. I could have written this. Why isn't there more support for those of us pilot wives who have to stay home? My marriage paid the price, and now I'm left without even an ID card anymore to show for all the time I stayed at home while he was on trips.

I hate that.

I could have written that post word for word. DH uses work and the fact he makes the money as an excuse not to get involved with his kids. I feel like a single mom on a trust fund.

I feel this way a lot. Although Mr. Chicken is at home physically, his work demands he is absent in other ways.

Over our "vacation" he spent every day holed up in a guest room doing his summer classwork.

I sometimes feel alone raising The Poo. I would like to believe it is for the betterment of our family, but after a 60-hour week of daddy away and mommy about to lose her mind, I wonder if it would be better if he had just stayed at his old job.

I think you are doing all you can, and I empathize with what you are going through.

If I ever get down to the ATL, you and Q and Drew are my first stop.

xoxoxo

I've nothing to add that hasn't already been said, but wow, did this post resonate with me.

Story of my life. The hubs just informed me he decided to stay an extra two days to "HELP OUT with the kids."

But then he added he wouldn't be back for five weeks.

Asshat.

My husband was a pilot until September 11th, when layoffs started and rising through the ranks slowed to a crawl and he got out. We only had one child at the time and have three now. And though his salary now, at his "second career", is nowhere near what it would have been if he'd stayed in, I'm thankful every night that he pulls in the driveway at 5:00pm that we got out when we did. It's a tough life, for the one holding down the fort.

Me too. I just got through sending my husband an email about our "long distance relationship." He will be gone every week this month and some weekends. Our son just turned six months and hardly naps at all. He crawls and pulls up and falls constantly. He is nearly impossible to put to bed. I feel like a single parent, and it sucks. Post-partum depression six months late? I hate this shit. We just moved in April (for his new job,) and I do not know anyone. We have been trying to travel with him for the last month or so; that also sucks. Every time there has been a La Leche League meeting I have been out of town. I feel like I am always waiting...for him to come home...for a routine...for relief.

If you find any solutions please let me know.

it's a bit like that at our house right now too. I try to be compassionate in understanding when my husband feels like he's an outsider, looking to me to assure him he's not. And that's hard, because lately he hasn't been home much... and so he is on the outside.

It's hard to be the one that's home, and I'm sure it's hard to be the one that's not. I think that one of the hardest things for me is to try to make my children's life the one I imagined for them - and doing that by myself.

Pollyanna here again... I think we also need to look at it from Dad's perspective. He's working to support the family. Doing something he loves, sure, but he worries about whether or not he's making enough money to support the wife and these new kids. He worries about college. He worries about weddings. He wonders if he could provide better by working more, but he knows that working more hours means more time away from the people he loves.

He has a bad day at work, and he comes home looking for some sympathy, and all he gets is, "You think YOU had a bad day?? The kids were awful..." and even though it sounds like a less-than-ideal day, it doesn't sound as bad as HIS day. I mean, how bad can changing diapers and wiping noses really be? At least she can take a nap, check her e-mail, and take the kids to the park. She doesn't have a boss chewing her out over stuff she can't control, etc.

Meanwhile, it seems like the kids are growing up so fast, and he's missing all the good stuff. He's at work while Mom is taking the kids to the zoo, the museum, the park. He doesn't get to go on field trips with the school. When he IS home, he feels like he has to use that time catching up on the yard work and house repairs before the neighbors start getting really pissed... He hears about the first words on the phone. He has to watch the first steps on a video instead of in person. He blinks his eyes and they're starting school, wearing makeup, driving, dating, leaving... and he wonders where the time went.

And on top of it all, the woman he loves, the mother of his beautiful kids, resents that he's gone all the time, and that he is mowing the lawn when he is home. She wants "me time" and he wonders (but he's not dumb enough to ask) "when do I get my me time?" He feels their marriage falling apart, he's growing away from the kids, and he just wishes there were 36 hours in a day so he could be there for all the good stuff, so he could be all things to everyone...

It's not easy to be a dad, either. It's generally pretty thankless, actually. Maybe the path to happiness is in appreciating what the other partner does, not resenting what the other partner does not do. I mean, really, when was the last time you thanked your husband for working hard to support your family?

Oh Kristen, reading through the comments, so much wisdom in there. Your reply about holding up your end of the bargain, that's the crux of it, that and the bravery to continue to voice these emotions. I think it's incredible you are able to stop short of drawing an impenetrable line in the sand and excising "1" entirely.

I wish I could fix it, but you seem to be doing a pretty kick ass job of fighting your way to the surface. So I just sned hugs and the hope that you all find balance.

I won't even pretend to know how you feel or how you are coping. I was a 3+1 as well and it is different for everyone. Your 2 little ones are surely cuties. Good Luck to you in finding the balance for your 3+1.
Sending some prayers your way and if you want to include Chicago in your trip I'd take them in a heartbeat! Yes, I do know that it isn't on the way, I'm just sayin'.

That's so hard lady. I had no idea my husband would be working the hours he works before we had children. The hardest part for me is then having to give his parenting wishes equal weight to mine. Cause he spends 2 hours a day with them. Gar! All we can do is keep trying to let them know how much daddy loves them so they won't end up on the stripper pole someday.

You've articulated your frustration so well here. Reading this transported me back (kicking and screaming) to Ben's toddlerhood, much of which my hubs spent seeking tenure.

It was a lonely time for me, and most definitely not a good time for us as a couple.

The good news, if there is any, from the other side is that when your kids are older they'll insist on playing with their dad when he's not away, and he won't be able to turn them down when they ask him to play with them. ;)

Oh? Most likely that's because you didn't graduate from the This is Not Acceptable School, like Bossy did. And you didn't major in These Are The New Rules Or Suck It. And you didn't minor in Demanding Butthead.

Bossy thinks you are probably better off, and she loves your sweet sad post because it makes you who you are and not insufferable like Bossy.

One thing that helps me from going too crazy is having my daughter (almost 3) in preschool/day care/whatever in the mornings. We've been doing that for a few months, and it (a) gives me time to spend with our 1 year old son, (b) gets my daughter the stimulation she needs. Also, it gives me free time while our son is napping in the mornings. Trust me, the break from refereeing the two kids is totally worth it.

As for the 3+1, that really sucks. Sometimes I get to feeling like that (or even sometimes 2+1+1, or the OTHER 3+1), and it's so strange because my wife doesn't seem to feel it at all - so I have to keep telling her over and over until she gets it. Annoying, but once we get back in the groove things are good. But, she's home every night too. All I can say is what others have said - communication is the key. Make him hear you somehow.

And you could always just let him know one morning (that he's home) that you have plans and will see him later in the day. Let him take care of the kids for a few hours at the last minute and see if it makes him appreciate you a little more...

We have 5 kids and I am the better parent, that is just a fact. He adores these kids though. I just do not work at all, Dont want to really. I just take care of them and it makes me feel good. Sure he doesnt know their sizes, but ya know what? The perfect mate is NOT OUT THERE>>

sounds harder than shit, lady, it really does.

but you are fabulousness itself, you know?

Funny, I started thinking this AM before reading this, how pilot wife life was going to work for you. That sounds more obsessive than it is, I swear, I'm harmless.

Before I became a parent, two things used to really bug, me: men who complained about "babysitting" their own kids, and married men at work who displayed pictures of their kids without one of their wife.

Reading your post and all of the comments and lots of other blogs, I "see" a lot of men who don't understand what they need to be doing at any given moment when they are home. The details of parenting too often fall to the mother and we are not always good about sharing them. There have been a couple of times when my dh has not done something I expected him to based on a conversation we had only in my head.

Communication is the only thing that's going to change the situation. The guys sometimes feel just as much at a loss not knowing how to contribute. Although some truly do choose to be obtuse.

Wow, Kristen. Your post just reminded me of what my life would have been had N continued shipping out in a 60 days on / 30 days off type of schedule. The lack of continuity sucks, to say the least.

DH is away now for just 3 days, and I can feel the difference. I look at moms like you and I'm often amazed at how much you're able to do w/out full participation of the other parent. I almost feel guilty to have just an involved dad who would even grow boobs if he could.

K, I'm sorry.

Hang in.

By far the toughest adjustment for us after having a child was as a couple. Expectations change so suddenly and so drastically, and while one wonders why the hell the other isn't instinctually understanding what she or the baby needs, the other retreats even further. And that's with dad coming home every night.
Hope things get better soon.

At the very least, you need a nanny -- or some kind of help. For the sake of your sanity. I wish your husband could be around for you more -- before (inevitably) you get more resentful. Hang in there....

I am so sorry that you are going through all this. I think that, at the very least, it would help him to acknowledge you and everything you're doing and how HARD it is to be a SAHM AND a WAHM. Sometimes just a little appreciation can go a long way towards feeling like you are a family unit and not a 3 + 1.

For some reason both men and women seem to buy into this idea that women are automatically the better parent when it comes to nurturing young children. A couple of years ago there was an announcement sheet read at our class at church calling for additional workers for the infant and toddler nursery. I promise you the sentence began with, "Attention ladies..." I was offended. I asked our church leadership, "What makes you think that a woman is better at taking care of kids than a man?" No offense ladies but I can hang with ANY of you when it comes to feeding, changing, calming and playing with kids. I volunteered to work in the nurseries and continue to do so. So why is it just accepted that men are slothful do-nothings when it comes to kids? Is this the conspiracy of low expectations? Just because I don't have breasts doesn't mean I can't do a bang up job with keeping kids. Oh, and while I'm at it, I have never heard the "attention ladies" phrase since. So there! :)

Wow, that "default parent" thing is so true.

My best friend and I go through that every time we plan to go out together. If we want to go out, it's a major overhaul, and a big deal. The guys get "stuck" with the kids.. or worse they are "babysitting" the children.

WTF?!?!

But if they go out "Oh honey, Bubba and I are grabbing a beer, be home later." (or more accurately; "Honey, we just bought tickets to a concert in -city- and we're staying there overnight. Kachow!!") Then we, the girls? We're just "home with the kids". It's bullshit.

Kristen,

I have argued with a million women regarding this subject. Shockingly, many women I've talked to in cyberspace actually prefer to be the "default" parent. One particularly short-sighted woman said to me "there's no way a man could parent as good as a woman." And to that I say "umm... what about single dads, or gay parents?!?!" Some women get offended when a dad is too good of a parent, like he might steal their job or something. Wow.

Anyway, everything in my house is fifty-fifty. Dad is just as involved in every moment of our son's life as I am, and there is no way I would put up with anything less than that.

IMO, what you're experiencing isn't fair to you or your children. But, if the two babies so far didn't change your husband into the kind of man who wants to spend time really parenting, then being gone 3 weeks a month isn't going to help the matter.

There was an article in a recent Parenting magazine about how to deal with daddies who travel for work. I just felt sorta bad for those families. It's too bad you've become 3+1, as you say, but I hope you can find a way to work it out.

M -- I'm not sure if it's selfish as it's the "if you haven't walked in my shoes..."

Empathy goes a long way in situations like this.

Also, I think the comment about polyparenting being a space of optimism is right, as I blame the nuclear family unit for a lot of the structural inequalities that emerge. Too bad it's not immediately actionable.

Fuck any and all suggestions about spending less time on the computer or sparing your husband from nagging or complaining. Truly, fuck that. He has no right to be spared from your discontent. And you are under no obligation to make the work of parenting more invisible than it already is. Precisely the opposite in fact.

Yea. Sucks to be accurate about something like that.

It's just so endless and invisible. It's the mental labor that really drags me down. The knowing that if adjustments need to be made in childcare schedules, I have to anticipate them and make them. He'll go to the store to get the necessary shit for the daughter's lunch, but not of his own accord, only when I point out something is needed. When I need scheduling allowances and accomodations, I ask for them and give notice. He makes an effort at this if he remembers, but mostly if I harp about it.

Division of labor is functional within any unit, family, business, whatever. Everybody can't be responsible for everything or shit gets redundant and confusing. But there is an inequality in many partnerships I know, and in my own, a huge disparity in who assumes the mental labor of primary parenting. And how that assignation happens without discussion.

The only partly viable solutions I have found are to verbalize, ad nauseum, all of my mental labor. I talk throuh my thought process abotu what in the fridge and what the kid needs for lunch during the week and how many spare outfits she needs, etc. Make it all as visible as you can. This often means I spend the first 30 minutes of weekend days announcing every single thing I plan to do, and when, including showers, Target, exercise, etc.

It sounds like he is selfish and he's getting away with it. Do you verbalize your feelings to him? In a direct way, not silently sulking, being passive-aggressive, or dropping hints that he never gets? A therapist might really help open the lines of communication. Your hubs just started a new job and you are in the middle of a move. But if things are still this frustrating after you are settled in, maybe you should make an appointment for marriage counseling. Marriage and parenting are a team effort. If he is directly confronted with what it's going to take to make it work (with the help of a neutral third party), then he's going to have to respond in some way. I'm sure venting on the internet helps relieve some of your frustration, but it really doesn't appear to be changing things at home. You deserve better, and I sincerely hope you get things worked out.

Rachel YOU NAILED IT.

DEFAULT PARENT.

Exactly...

we spend about 3-4 months (not consecutively) out of the year feeling like this. i spent the first year of my daughter's life having these same discussions over and over. schedules and unfair division of labor (dad not realizing his time anywhere but home *WAS HIS TIME OFF*).

doesn't make them bad fathers or husbands. it's just an issue of time. not whose is more valuable, but who's doing the lion's share of the work and who has time for what when.

my husband realized the intensity of my time at home alone with the kid(s). and now when he is home the workload distribution is 70% him, 30% me. he also travels a lot, not quite as long or often as yours -- and i just want to toss some love to all of partners and kiddos who sit around and wait for their partners to come home from wherever they are stationed. that's a hard way to share love with someone.

your point on co-parenting brings me to one of my favorite topics. the wave of the future: 2 couples (or three people) sharing the responsibility for one child or a set of children among them. think of it as polyparenting, rather than co-parenting. it would have to be a perfect polyparenting match, but think of all the love and free time flowing around.

and i don't mean to sound like an a-hole, but can't your husband go to the gym and shave and stuff when the kids are sleeping? that's the first thing i tell my occasionally distant husband. that's when i have to get my personal grooming done. wait for a nap, pal.

we just went through a heavy 6-month patch like this. i don't know what the military dimension adds to (or takes away from?) it. but you have to remember that these are phases. you have to drift apart so you can drift back together. it's not fun and the fights are so effing stupid, but in the end being honest about what's up to yourself and one another keeps those hard times from becoming bad times, which in turn can make a marriage seem bad when it's not.

and of course i wouldn't be me if i didn't tell you to call my astrologer and get you and your husband's chart done together. sounds dumb, but it helps figuring out how to communicate better.

things always work out. i hope they start to turn around right this second. sorry to go all long-windy on ya.

Wow Kristen - you continue to blow me away with your honesty. I hope you are able to find some kind of common ground with your husband where you can both feel happy and satisfied.

My husband travels less than I do and, like yours, he does a lot generally when he is home. What I hate, though, is the way I seem to be the default parent. It's exactly the long showers business; or the fact that he announced he is mowing the lawn. Right, mowing the lawn isn't exactly a stone massage, but the mindset that informs the announcement is one that fails to consider what his daughter will do while he mows the lawn. and etc.

This hurt my heart, Kristen. I remember the first few months of Chicky's life (okay, more like the first 9 months or so) Mr. C would practically thrust the child back at me after just holding her for a minute, "She wants you." So I know the feeling a little bit. But not to the level that you're hurting. Peace to you, friend.

You know, not to be a total Pollyanna, but one thing that has totally worked for me is learning to "steal" me-time. I have an almost-2-year-old and an almost 5-month-old, and here are some of the things I'll do:

I'll take the kids to the park, and walk around with the little one in the sling until she falls asleep, then I'll let the big one play while I ignore her almost completely and read a book. Same thing works at McDonald's with a playland, and now they have those really good iced coffee drinks, so if you close your eyes and take your iPod, it's almost like Starbucks.

I also nurse lying down and read a book. Usually I'll get one down for nap first, so that one isn't interrupting me. I feel a lot more sane now that I'm reading again.

I also let the big one watch more TV than I should, but that's life.

I find ways to bring them along to do things that I want to do. It's easy with babies, especially, because they don't really care where they are as long as they're fed, held, and dry. Toddlers it gets a little tougher, but with some preparation (taking lots of toys and crayons with you, working around naps and meals, etc.) you can steal an hour or two at a museum or something. I took my older daughter to the Louvre for a whole day when she was 13 months old (and I was pregnant!). I took the older one to a play when she was really small (6 months or so).

I get some weird looks, taking babies to non-baby places, but you know what? I have to do what keeps me sane. Zoloft helps, too.

I guess what I'm saying is that I had to change my definition of "me time" - it's not necessarily time alone, anymore, or time "off duty" as a mom... It's time when I'm doing what I want to do, and not what the kids want, which is fairly often, actually.

Jeff is only gone a week a month and we have the exact same discussions and issues. I know how hard it is to do this by myself with one baby.
I wonder sometimes if things will change when Myles gets older. I resign myself to the fact that there is no 50/50 in parenting.
And I read posts like this that at least make me know I'm not the only one. Small comfort for me and smaller for you I'm sure.

It is tough. My DH is just starting to come back to us, but there are still weeks when he's not present much. I work full time in an office and we have a 6 year old daughter. My DH just finished his eMBA. For 21 months, he was away every other weekend at school and when he was home, he was either traveling for work or doing homework and school projects. I'm glad it's over. Now we only have the work traveling to battle with. The silver lining is that our daughter adores me and loves to do things with me. She used to only be a daddy's girl. She still loves her daddy and they've been doing more things together again, but Mommy can fix anything!

hi there - excuse the typos... any how you get my drift!

why don't you stop using the computer so much. the internet can just suck you in. free your self..... you are bot obligate to your readers. keep life simple, fun and focus on you and your family. rest, care, slow down your day. try it for a month, you'll be surprised to find you'll feel so free!!

I am right there with you. Husband and I start counseling this week.

Kristen,
I am so sorry to hear of your pain.
Yes, you are 3+1, not 4 any more.
It just breaks my heart to hear how stressed and unhappy you are.
You just want your family.
I hope you can find a sitter or nanny to help you have some time out for yourself a time or two a week.
You need a break to avoid the burnout you are going through.
You sound like a wonderful devoted momma.
I hope life gets better for the 4
of you, not the 3+1.

Kristen--I seriously had to take a second look at that picture and make sure that wasn't a picture taken in MY HOME! I nodded the entire time I read your post and my heart breaks for you. We cross our fingers and become cheer leaders for our husbands to get that job they want so much, only to come to the realization that the job will be a huge strain on our personal life and relationship.

Doesn't it just kill you one little bit at a time when the children you've done everything for, cry for the parent who's out making their dreams come true? I've resigned myself to that, knowing that they will never know how that stings until they have children of their own.

My husband took an airline job when our older child (now 4) was 8 weeks old. After the 2 long months home alone with the newborn baby while he was in ground school, he started working the same schedule you describe. After a while he found a perfect schedule...the only one that works for us: Stand Ups/ Overnights. We live where he's domiciled, he leaves for work at 5pm and is home at 9am. He is home with us (now with a 4 year-old and 1 year-old) all day, but leaves before bedtime. This is the best way we have been able to co-exist with airline life. It also means he stays with a minor and won't go to a major until our younger is in pre-school. It means we live in poverty. It means we have been able to keep our marriage together.

I wish you so much happiness. You deserve it. You will find a way to make this life work.

I could never...EVER...be a military wife. I am just not that strong. I salute every one of you who are. God love you!

Um. Because I give good head?

We went through marriage counseling for this sort of issue. The hubby was working constantly. Our son didn't even recognize him when he was a baby. As a toddler, he didn't think daddy lived with us.

Our therapist once drew a circle with two stick figures in the middle and one outside of it. She told my husband, "Your son and wife are in the circle. You seem to be standing outside of the circle. Do you want to live the rest of your life outside the circle. If you do, keep doing what you're doing."

That straightened his ass out. A little bit. Every now and again, I'll make a comment about him being out of the circle. And he knows he needs to step it up.

Still not perfect. But yes, I can completely relate.

Honestly, why does your husband keep coming home to you? If it's for the kids, then he's a man of integrity. But other than that, you have to be the least supportive, most negative whiner of a wife I've come across in years. It's a no-win situation for him. He may not be perfect, but I suspect you make it impossible for him to be happy. I lay odds that you'll get what you want -- again -- and very soon. An ex-husband.

Wow, this resonated strongly with me. This is the reason we are not having another child. It's not because I don't desperately, longingly, really want another pregnancy, baby, and child. It's because I'm a single parent in a married couple-family. He Does Not Parent. He loves them to tears, but he doesn't parent. It nearly tore us apart both times we had infants in the house. It isn't until the CHILDREN are independent enough to care for themselves somewhat before the resentment of doing every-fucking-thing myself abates. It sucks. It's not fair. But it is.

And amazing that it doesn't even help that he comes home from work everyday. Even when he's home, he's not really here.

I know the feeling. Last year I thought if I went back to work somehow the demands of four children and the household would have to be shared, right? Right? Yeah, not so much so. Now I work, then I get home and work some more. Hubby still breezes in and out as he needs to. I think you have just summed up being a woman and a mom.

Not sure what to say other than I hope things get better for you two.

Oh hon, I'm so sorry. I think there is some of this in every marriage, even the ones that seem to have worked out all the kinks. I think there is just something fundamentally different between men and women in how they perceive "their" time. I don't want to say all men are inconsiderate (though I've definitely yelled at my husband for being that way) but I think they are just more aggressive about taking time for themselves. Unfortunately, women tend to hold back and in some cases that means we never get any time.

I don't mean to make super broad generalizations... but I know I, and almost every woman I know, have gone through some aspect of what you're describing. My husband and I also have gone through periods where we just didn't feel very connected and that hurt the relationship a lot. I would say if you can get him to couple's counseling do it, and if you can possibly get babysitting or a preschool I think that helps, too.

(And I don't know about you, but I kind of felt like the walls we're caging me in after coming back from Blogher. Right back to that lovely routine!)

When you have kids, it's easy to feel disconnected to your spouse. You spend all your time and energy on them and then just want some time to yourself after the kids are sleeping. It takes effort to maintain the marriage. And that isn't easy. I wish I had the answers for you (and me).

This sounds so tough, so I guess today was a bad day for you and I am sorry.

Have been playing law widow for the greater part of the last month, but only with one child, so can only imagine how you are coping with two - and the in-laws.

Yet it does seem that one parent always does end up carrying the burden of parenthood - thinking of all the little things - like is there enough milk for tomorrow morning, do we have enough meals for the week, and has s/he grown out of his/her current shoes already/again! Don't know anyone who achieves a equal balance.

You're right Jen. The resentment and all that shit is not working.

But let's not owe that discovery to Dr. Phil LOL

you brave woman, you. it's more crushing than the surface, getting a break or finding some space isn't it...it's about a dream not being the dream after all.

i have had my share of this lately for different reasons but yet at the end of a day, it's the death of dreams that crush me.

Oh fuck.

Coming soon for a playdate!

When I was younger, with two kids instead of four, and a job outside of the home, I went through this dynamic with my husband.

I would complain, or feel resentful about my double shift, and it hurt our marriage.

After my third was born, and I quit my career as a social worker, I made the decision to stop that unhealthy dynamic in our marriage. Resentment, anger, and inequity were not welcome in my marriage anymore. Period. As Dr. Phil says, "How is that working for you?"

Today, if my husband handed me our baby and told me he was hungry, I would hand the baby back and tell him there is string cheese in the 'fridge. He used to do stuff like that ALL the time because I let him, and then I would resent him for it. That wasn't hurting anyone but me.

I still occasionally feel jealous of my husband's career and subsequent time for himself, but I have taught him how to treat me in respect to our co-parenting duties. It took a long time (and threat of divorce) but it has paid off.

I hope you find a solution.

Kristen, what a great post! I so identify with what you're saying. My husband works very long hours and spends little time with our kids during the week. His opinion on my lack of patience with the kids after a long day really grates on me. It's hard to connect as a couple after the kids are in bed, as I'm wiped from a long day AND from the "constructive criticism."

i have nothing useful to say really. just wanted you to know that i really respect you for what you're doing for your kids. my childhood was very much a 3+1 also - my mom, my sister, and i were often without my dad. i admire my mom so much for doing a great job with us, with so little support from him. someday your kids will recognize what you're doing, too.

Oh wow Kristin, that's a really powerful post.

I wish I had some wise words to say. This entire parenting gig is so complicated.

Your post is real yet hearbreaking. Not many women, or men are that honest about their relationships. Maybe your husband should read your blog. It may not fix things, but at least he will know exactly how you feel.

I have the same sort of problem except my husband is home every night, just usually after the baby goes to bed.

This usually results in many arguments about all the things I have to get done between the time I get off work and the time that I have to go to bed so that I can get up ridiculously early to get myself and my baby ready for the coming day.

His point of view is that these are all small things and he doesn't understand why I'm so bent out of shape about something that takes all of 5 minutes. What he can't seem to get is that when you add 20 things that take all of 5-10 minutes, toss in a 7 1/2 month old and it means I don't get to sit down until 9:30 PM. Then it is practically time for bed. Forget about having a moment to myself to relax.

Apparently it's a pretty common problem in marriages but I'm not sure that makes me feel any better.

Sometimes I get suggestions like, "Do you have to make the coffee the night before?" If I want coffee at 5:30am the next morning I do, duh!

Sometimes I feel better about it and sometimes he knows he's being an ass and apologizes. But if he mentions how I never do any yard work one more time I may be forced to throw something at him. :)

check out this news study about feeding your child, http://www.mypetpeeves.com/plog/index.php/archives/2787

Tucker's in the Navy and his job is not always scheduled.

Right after Cara was born, we made a pact to not compare what he did and what I do; both of us work hard.

We did well, for a while. But, every now and then, we slip into the "you think your day was rough" kind of thing.

Sometimes it's SO hard to not just leave him with Cara for an hour. If he thinks he has it so rough, let him handle her for a while.

The point of all of that is to know that you're not the only one. All we can do is to request changes, make or opinions known and then hope that the husbands do what we ask.

What a fantastic post. Sadly I can relate. We have a 19 mo old and a 5 month old. I am mom 24/7. He is dad when he IS home...and not mowing the lawn, working out, working on a tractor, washing vehicles, blowing the grass off the sidewalk... I know. He is a wonderful father...I just don't feel like I ever get a break either. He rarely takes both of them. He is proud if he cares for one of them when we are together. Thankfully, he is home more than yours. But I know how hard it can be. We live it every day. Every night, before I go to sleep..I can't wait to see them again in the morning. (I COULD stand NOT to see them at 12:30, 2:30 and 4:00am though)

Eek, I hear you, Kristen. This is exactly why we left DC. The hubs and I both worked full time, but his job always seemed to take priority over mine. If he had a last minute business trip *I* would end up rescheduling mine. It drove me insane. We had the same issue at home. If he wanted to work on his car or the yard or whatever, he would just do it and assume that I would watch the kids. ARGH!

Well, we moved & now we're both home a lot more and that was really the only thing that fixed it. We do co-parent pretty well, but it's a constantly negotiated thing or we fall back into old patterns. He still travels a lot more than I do though & when that happens, everything is thrown out of whack.

And I hear you about feeling disconnected as a couple. When you don't have time for yourself, it's hard to make time for your partner.

Oh, I'm sorry Kristen. This seems to happen all too often. You'd think things would be different by this generation, but sadly, that rarely seems to be the case.

The only thing I could suggest is leaving the house more, for longer periods of time when he is home so he's forced to take more responsibility. Even if it's only a matter of taking your laptop to the coffee shop to get some work done, at least you'll get a break (and he'll get a taste of what it's like in your shoes).

((hugs))

Wow. Kristen, you've let us a in a little deeper into your life. I wonder how you do it!

Our neighbor across the street is a pilot for Musaba Airlines. He and his wife have three sons, two are twins.

I asked M. awhile ago if it's hard to be alone with the kids for 5 days at a time, and she told me that when her husband comes home he really steps in to help.

I sometimes wonder if she's just saying that or if he really does help her.

I hope your huz can find some time to give you a break!

You do need a break.

The military does make it difficult for families--especially moms. You're forced to be both parents. It's not just the serviceperson who gives up their life.

My heart hurt reading your words. I hope you find the balance.

One of the best books I read on this subject is Willard Harley's book, His Needs Her Needs for Parents. Often when kids come into the picture, it causes conflicts over who will do what chores, how the kids will be disciplined and how you'll spend time being a couple. If you don't sit down and discuss this,it will buildup resentment and one day it will explode. It sounds like you are on the verge of explosion now. Don't let that happen. It won't be good for you or your children. You both have to come toot a decision on what your lives are going to look like. If that means a change of career for one or both of you then so be it.What ever you decide, you have to both come to an agreement and both of you must be enthusiastic about it. If you are living like it's "my career vs. your career" then you have to wonder if you are really married or just living together with children. At some point the decisions have to be about "we" and not about "you vs. me."

I know exactly how you feel and I only have one baby. My husband woorks all day and i stay home-a decision we both made. It's not easy. When he gets home, he eats (I'm the only cook), plays with the baby, and helps get him ready for bed. He really is trying to help out when he is home but it's hard for me to speak up. When I do leave him to watch the baby, things go a little crazy. Sometimes I would just not go anywhere by myself in fear of what I'm coming home to. Don't get me wrong, he's a wonderful father and husband. But sometimes they just don't get it. From what I've been reading on your posts, you are under a tremendous amount of stress. Things will get better and you can do this. Just get in your house and away from the in-laws. happier times are ahead.

What you said about him doing whatever he wants whenever (shave, long shower) but you are accountable for the time since there has to be someone to watch the kids really connected with me. Also taking the time, if he says he'll give it to you, to do something for your self, not something you "should do". Amen!

I struggle with this in my marriage, too. We used to do everything together, INCLUDING WORK! We would be, literally, 8 feet apart all day. Working together, working on our house together, playing together. It was a rare day that I spent a whole hour away from him.

Then the baby came, then another, and now I feel like entire weeks go by when I don't see him (even though he's home every night). Our perfectly 50/50 marriage has become a perfectly 1950s marriage, and it's easy to resent it.

I try to remember that it won't always be this way, that it has more to do with having small children than a change in either of us. I hold on to the hope/belief that when the kids are older and less dependent on Mommy, things will gradually go back to the way they were. But it's hard, because becoming a parent was such an abrupt change.

You're never off duty as a Mom, by the way. Might as well let go of that fantasy now. :)

I have travelled as long as we have had our daughter. We found we were pregnant literally days before I started the travelling work life. I went through my daughter not letting me hold her and now my husband goes through me be the favored parent. He works full time and raises our daughter 4 days a week by himself. I have had to learn to defer a lot of the parenting to him and talk with him about why he chooses a certain style. He has had to learn to listen when I don't necessarily agree with his parenting style, even though I am the interloper. But the number one thing that has made the situation work (besides me not being a jerk when I came home) was that he started having two mornings out a week and he didn't have to clean house or run errands during that time if he didn't want to. It was good for Noodle too because she enjoyed the socialization. Second thing was that we didn't tag team. We do things together on the weekend (including dates without the child).

The huz actually plays a lot with Quinlan when he's home.

But being with both kids all day for days, I need a break from both.

Even as cute as Drew is...

And honestly, I feel disconnected as a couple more than anything. The parenting issue is pretty easy -- suffice it to say the huz has become fairly "workable" when it comes to that stuff.

I don't think I've ever seen completely equal co-parenting. In the best of cases, each parent plays to his/her own strengths or the needs at the moment.

I do more parenting, but that's because my husband is the one working full-time while I'm part-time. But when he is home, he does his part in taking care of the kids and household chores. (Even if it does sometimes take him longer than I'd prefer to get around to them. No one's perfect.)

I also take care of setting up doctor's visits and keeping track of bills, but that's because I'm better at it.

It can feel overwhelming at times (who am I kidding? Often.). But we each have our jobs to do. It sucks that your husband tends to pass off his parenting duties when he is home. If he feels he doesn't know how to do something "right", there's never a better time to jump in and learn how to do it than now. Otherwise, he's going to miss out on these moments and alienate himself from his children (and you!) as they grow older.

That's how it was for Ex and I, even though he came home each night. He was physically there, but that was it.

Hang in there, you can do it.

This is exactly why Kyle and I both left the military. Living apart for nearly four years was enough of a strain on our coupleship (?); I don't know that our family unit could endure it. And I feel great compassion for the military families who do endure the remote tours and repeated deployments.

I'm in that slim minority who does enjoy co-parenting, and it always angers me to hear the tales of fathers who take mothers for granted. Callous, careless or clueless - it doesn't matter. Your children are watching, and they sense your detachment.

My husband actually does a lot when he's home. But I still feel like I'm solely responsible -- like if he wants to take a long shower and shave, he just goes and does it -- me, I've got to ask to make sure someone is watching the kids.

We actually just discussed this and decided that when he's home - it's 50-50 -- that includes kids, housework, and free time.

Now I just have to live up to my end of the bargain and rememeber a golf day for him, means shopping day for me.

I can relate to your situation. My hubby works 4 states away from us - he gets on a plane Monday mornings and is home late Thursday nights every week. He's been doing this for almost 3 years. (Long story, but no, it doesn't make sense to move - we just need to live close to an airport)

Yes, it is tough. I have 3 little kids (now 5, 4 and 2) and I do most of the raising here. Even when my hubby is home, I am doing most of the grunt work. And on some level, it is all ok, but I have those days when I am a single parent, struggling to find my brain.

My hubby worked from home for 4 years, back before we had kids up until my second baby was little. (He actually made more work for me!) Then he worked in an office for awhile before we decided that this job he has now would work for us.

And it really does. At first it was difficult but I learned to manage things. Now it's routine. And thank goodness my kids are well-adjusted, talks to Daddy every day, and when he's home, we have quality family time. All in all, there is a nice balance.

Does your husband really know how you feel? I know that I need some me-time. And when I need it, I do my thing and gain some sanity. Could be for an hour, or a day. He is a good Daddy, and although I have to leave him directions sometimes, he'll manage things if need be. I just know that we will never have a "typical" co-parenting situation here.

I'm sure that you appreciate the financial support he gives you all, but if you are not feeling appreciated and want him to step up, I think you both need to really talk. He seems pretty comfortable with your present arrangement, though.

Things are NOT perfect here, please know this. But I think I've accepted some things about my situation. If you can't, things need to change. It DOES take 2 to make this work. And perhaps your husband needs to firmly believe what my hubby sometimes says,

"A happy wife, happy life."

I hope you find some peace and some understanding and effort from your husband. Truly.

This reminds me of how many military families must go through this for years. Not to turn things political on such a heartfelt post, but I think the moms left behind need a little more credit than they're getting.

Me, I'm just football widowed on Sundays. Not really all that bad.

Kristen--

I lived that life. I worked full time, parented alone, and had to take care of everything else while my husband sat at home and did nothing but play games on the computer. I finally couldn't take it anymore. I found a job half way across the state, got my child and left. Divorce was unavoidable. We celebrated our 15 year anniversary this past April. :) Sometimes, they DO finally get their shit together! Heh. You're in my prayers.

I agree to trying to see things from the other person's point of view. And trying to make the best out of the situation. I owe that to my kids, and myself.

But isn't fair to expect the same in return?

I think I'd be way less resentful if I would be afforded the same empathy I try to offer.

The whole co-parenting thing is a load of idealist crap that does not work in 90% of households.

About 6 months ago I was miserable in my marriage. My husband didn't help enough with the kids when he was home, and I resented the time he spent traveling for work.

I'm not sure what happened, but at some point I decided an attitude adjustment was needed. I made a conscious decision to stop nagging, to stop being resentful, and to try to look at things from his point of view. I also decided to embrace my job as a stay at home mom instead of complaining about the housework, the lack of help, the monotony.

Some may look at this as letting the husband off the hook, but I say it's accepting reality. You can fight and be resentful over something that may or may not ever change, or you can accept and be happy. I chose the happy marriage.

keep on keepin' on is the best i can offer. it's never easy, no matter how often or how long the father is home.
that probably sounds pretty awful, having just typed it.
some of my mom friends and i use the 'Disney Dad' term. the kids can be screaming bloody murder all day, no naps, throwing food with the tantrums...but as soon as dad comes home, it's sweetness and sunshine. and also the single most infuriating part of my day.
this is hard for you and for the kids, i know. thanks for sharing your experience.
just seeing and meeting you and the baby in chicago shows what a great job you're doing--your kids are happy and healthy. the rest will work itself out.

ohhh....I feel your pain. We were in the military for the first half of our marriage where my husband was gone 18 months out out of my oldest my son's first 2-1/2 years. He was gone 2 months a pop when we lived in Alaska at the coldest time of the year. Fun! Be home bound at -60 while husband is gone. Then he left for 6 month deployment for Sinai. My two year old, a Dadd'y boy, was so traumatised, he stoppped talking for four months and required intensive speech therapy.

We finally left the Army, only for him to go on to a job that was 14 hours a day with a nasty 2 hour each way commute. Rarely saw him, and his work load was such that he even took a conference call in the middle of my labor--he went out on the pation to get better reception when I was dilated to six. Thanks for the support, honey.

Now, he works from home. It's been great having him and depending on him more. That said, that co-parenting thing is crap. I still make all appointments, shop for school, take car of school work, swim practice, etc. It's like I am asking the biggest favor for him to do anything that supports our kids at times.

Don't get me wrong, I love having him at home. But even that was an adjustment and it requires much travel. He was gone for 6 weeks straight (except weekends) earlier this year and is going on two trips in the next two weeks. He is also starting an MBA program in the fall. So who knows when we'll see him.

I wish you luck. Send me some too, because I need it!

I had the official co-parenting label when I was divorced, and it was a joke. Not only did I have my kids 100% to myself when they were with me, because they saw their dad every-other weekend, they were on their best behavior. I also had to pick up all the pieces of them missing him, but the overflow of the normal kid behavior they suppressed.

But, frankly, now that my ex is dead, I have to tell you that a rarely present live father is better than a dead one. My kids miss their dad and I can't do anything about it. No one can even pretend to pick up an ounce of the slack or help make any decisions.

I'm not implying that you're not parenting as alone as I was, I know that you are, because I did that too -- 100 hour work week for a husband who came home and played with the kids then went to work again.

My perspective is that there is still another parent who is contributing - even if you feel at times that those contributions drain you and put you at your wit's end.

God I sound like a preacher, but sometimes it's better to think about what we have than what we don't have.

If I didn't do that, I'd go in-fucking-sane.


Ugh. Then my 4-5 days at a time at most seems like a breeze, March.

Here's to him coming home soon...

I'm so touched by your post, and I so hear each word you've said. My husband is on a carrier and has been gone for 122 days now and still counting... and each time my daugther cries for him it kills me a little. Co-parenting is a myth in most households, and it sure is a myth in those in which the other party is gone more time than not.
I think you are doing a great job, and no, you won't get the recognition you deserve by those whom you want it from enough...

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