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May 21, 2010

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MU - I know I'm late to commenting, but I just HAVE to say that I am so with you on this.

1) the calling and checking up - YES, exactly! My husband does this too and that's the analogy I always use - do I call him at work and tell him he's doing something wrong or check in? Now, I know it's his daughter too so he *technically* is allowed to have an opinion, i guess, :) but I am with her all day every day - give me some credit that I know what I'm doing okay?!

2) I do everything to get us ready. While he doesn't ask if I've forgotten something and trusts that I've got it under control, what I hate is what you mentioned about the grooming. I will be doing everything to ready the house/baby/diaper bag/whatever ahead of leaving or company arriving and he takes a 30 minute shower - always at the most inconvenient time - and then grooms for awhile - usually making us late or just out the door in the nick of time. Leaving me to rush my makeup in the car or something.

Also, when I'm home with her during the week, the house is cleaned, food is bought and prepared, errands are run and I'm showered/dressed/etc. every day. But when he's alone with her for an hour or so on a weekend, he doesn't get anything done, like won't even take a shower, b/c "i'm with the baby. i'm not going to LEAVE her." Well if I did that then nothing would get done! Figure it out!!

All that to say, I hear your noise.

And, actually, my hubby doesn't have much room to talk, because last year, we went on a camping trip and he said, "I'll pack everything - you watch the kids."

It wasn't until we were getting ready for bed - dark, flashlights, tent up, air mattress all set - that he realized he forgot to pack...

wait for it....

OUR SLEEPING BAGS.

So, I have that in my back pocket if I forget an extra pair of underwear for the Boy.

This is what I say when he asks me if I packed something: "You know, if YOU think of it, feel free to pack it."

And if I forget something: "You know, I really do try to remember every minute detail of four people's lives all day everyday, but I'm human and my brain is full. Feel free to pack it if YOU think of it."

Fortunately he has a sense of humor about that kind of stuff.

Same deal, different guy. What my husband is really good at is coming up with a to-do list, but then going completely wacko with prioritizing the tasks. How could adding a second level to our kids' already under-used backyard playhouse be more important than finishing the overhang to our front deck, which he had started (but not completed) last summer? Why would our two kids, aged 5 years and 20 months, need a two-level playhouse in our backyard??? There is lawn to mow! And weeds to pick! And porch stairs to paint! The list goes on and on. HELP ME LORD!

It is a man v woman thing. I used to get so pissed at those little things and then I realized, his brain is completely different from mine. I pack for me and the kids, pack snacks, etc then on the road, he'll say- did you remember the swimsuits, lotion, AUGH. If you are going to "remind" me, then just pack yurself.

That is the crap I dealt with when he was unemployed. Everything he did was half done. While I thought we would divide chores, he thought each of us would do half. Even still, if he does dishes, he asks me to wipe the counters and table and chairs. I get your gripe, we are still getting back to the old routine. Thank God it wasn't raining today b/c he worked in the yard ALL DAY, and I got to mop the floors, and you know what? I didn't ask him to sweep them for me first!!!

It's a Man vs. Woman thing in our house. Every time we go to the inlaws he has to take a shit when his mother pulls into the driveway. THEN he has to put on his shoes. Meanwhile I've packed up the kids, gotten shoes/coats on them all, bagged up everything we need, grabbed the carseat and he waltzes past all of us and gets in the car. Then it's my fault if 'we' forgot something.

Sounds just like my house. You are not alone!

Maybe try an experiment. Next time you are all going out as a family..DON'T run around and do all that preparation. Then when he says "hey did you pack sippy cups?" say "No I didn't, because I am tired and pregnant, can you please do it sweetums/fucktard?" Then see what happens. Maybe he just needs a little gentle redirection?

It's like this in my house, and I am the "guilty" party, but I also know that if I do it, it will be wrong in some way. The wrong shirt, the wrong snack- who knows. Ultimately it's about control and in general the woman of the house has it. You can't both do the same thing at the same time. It's not a cop out, there's way more conflict that comes when help isn't wanted, even if you think it is.

My husband is just as useless when we are trying to go somewhere... or like this morning I had to rush to get my tot and baby ready(nursed/fed, dressed, diapers changed multiple times) to go to my girls preschool class (you know where I have to try and help a 21 month old paint and glue glitter onto pieces of paper while also wearing a 4 month old in a wrap...) and my husband was sitting in bed watching the Today show. I asked him a few times if he wanted to come with us and he said no. I sprinted upstairs to get my daughters water that she left in our room as I am trying to hurry out and suddenly my husband is like "Oh hey I'm going to come too, can you wait a sec and can we go to starbucks first?" I still ended up doing all the assisting with the crafts and helping her drink juice from a dixie cup without dumping it all on herself while my husband wandered around the class taking pictures or fiddling on his cell phone

So glad I'm not the only one. Most of these posts read like a day/trip from my life :)

Now that my husband and I are divorcing I no longer have to be angry at him for not helping. I'm still doing everything I ever did, I just no longer have to be incredibly irritated at him for not helping me. Its a relief not to feel so angry all the time. Things are so much more peaceful -- not just for those reasons, for other, deeper and more important reasons, but still. Its just nice to not have all of those constant minor irritations, which on top of the really horrible things he did, felt like death by a thousand cuts.

I swear my husband does stuff wrong/half-asses on purpose just so he can get out of doing it permanently. I think he got the idea from an old episode of Everybody Loves Raymond. Damn you Ray Romano.

Like when it's time to leave the house, he gets the baby in the car seat and then sits in the car sighing while I track down "unnecessary" stuff like DIAPERS and WIPES and effing SHOES because the baby is barefoot and we are not hobos. Or the other day when he changed a diaper using my travel case of wipes an then didn't refil it. So when he tried to change another diaper he found, shockingly, no wipes. And it was somehow MY FAULT. Clearly his brain is too full of important facts like how to get to level 40 is his online game or what his high score in Bejeweled is to remember trivial stuff like how to dress our child.

But then again I'm just a crazy pregnant woman so what do I know?

We're just late. I don't care about being on time. He does. (This is usually Sundays for church.) I wake up an hour before we have to leave, take my shower and get dressed first, and then work on getting the kids dressed and fed. He wakes up usually 10 minutes before we have to go and showers, dresses, and then gets upset because we're going to be late while I leisurely brush and braid hair and eat my breakfast finally after the kids are ready.

I took a while, but after telling him several times that I've been up for an hour getting ready to go, which would be plenty of time if he would get up too and help me with the kids, he's starting to get it. Sometimes he's even helped the kids into their clothes and brushed their hair before I get out of the bedroom now. (I have them set their clothes out the night before.)

We seem to be leaving on time more often. ;)

Not married yet & no kids, but if I'm lucky, all of that will come in due time with my current Boyfriend...but, I can already see the potential for this pattern, which is why I try very hard now to make sure he has certain jobs around the house that are his & his alone...it takes a lot ot restraint not to do those jobs, because it's not done right if I'm not doing it, right?! But I know I have to lay the groundwork for the future...and I just hope it works out that way. Though I know all you married Moms are rolling your eyes & thinking "just you wait, rookie!"...and I'm ok with that too :)

@5yrshusb I will buy your argument IF you can honestly say that you would not get irritated if you discovered nothing to change the child into because child had an accident while on the trip you describe.

Because I'll tell you what, my husband would come unhinged and the rest of the trip would be a nightmare, but he also always argues that we don't need all that stuff when I'm trying to pack it.

I'll just stick my head in an oven.

My soon-to-be-ex husband was like a lot of these descriptions except he had the nerve to TELL me that my place was in the kitchen, laundry was a woman's job, and he didn't "do" toilets.

Needless to say, there's a reason he's becoming my ex. I was raised in a house where everyone pitched in. My dad knows how to cook, clean, do laundry, change a diaper, and match clothing well enough to not dress the kids like clowns. (He was terrible with fixing girl's hair but it was because he has HUGE hands that don't hold ponytailers very well. :-))

I grew up expecting to find a partner who picked up his own messes; knew how to wash, dry, fold, AND put away laundry; and could at least cook the basics or follow instructions on a box. My future-ex was not one of these fabled creatures and I think my little brother is going to be one of the last ones left once he gets married.

My mom made for sure that we all three knew how to take care of ourselves, our messes, and our schedules. We were considerate of each other's schedules as far as school, work, etc. and making sure everyone got a chance to shower in the morning. I follow the lead she gave me as we were growing up and I think if more parents would have forced their kids off the couch and gave them chores to earn their allowance, we might have a lot more reliable spouses out there.

Just my two (or twenty) cents worth. I hope it helps!

I think it's a guys will gladly pass off the work onto someone else if they are willing to do it kind of thing.

In our house, it is definitely a SAHM vs. WOHD thing. I have to remind myself that I don't think he's truly trying to be selfish or thoughtless, but I think he is so used to having 10 hour blocks every day to himself without having to give a second thought to what is going on with the kids (he has only a couple of hours with a specific schedule every day, and beyond that he can get his work done when and where he wants--so he can meet a friend for lunch in the middle of the day, etc.)

This weekend, we agreed we'd stay home for 3-4 days and devote the time to potty training our 2.5 year old before the newbie arrives in a couple of months. He keeps telling me about plans like "I'm just going to meet my brother for lunch on Saturday" or "I have to drive to [an hour away] to pick up some stuff for a friend." He doesn't get what I mean when I say that we need to say no to everything. He just isn't used to scheduling around the kids the way I am.

Sometimes I feel like I'm raising 5 children. He's fine when I'm not here- except that he's "fine" because he doesn't do dishes, laundry, or clean, and the kids watch tv constantly and eat crap the whole time I'm gone. (I finally figured out why he said things were easier when I wasn't here. Well...DUH.)

He claims that he'll help out and that he feels bad, but what happens when the dishes pile up and the house is messy? He gets nasty, snappy, and generally pissy. So I end up cleaning up because if I don't IT WON'T GET DONE EVER. I'm still trying to catch up from 2 days I was so sick that I couldn't move...TWO WEEKS AGO.

UGH.

I don't know why...a personality thing? I don't think man vs. woman...I really don't. Maybe upbringing, too. Who knows. Whatever it is, it's annoying as hell and I wish it would stop.

Fiveyrshusb - That made me laugh out loud. And I agree.

There is definitely overkill and I need for women/moms to do their "my way or the highway."

But, believe me when I say that at least in my house after having three kids, I am LUCKY if I have a diaper and wipes in my bag (or in my car) let alone a spare change of clothes.

It just bugs me when he can just as easily grab a diaper or a sippy cup, but for some reason, does not, and then asks me in the car if I did it.

I agree that a lot of it has to do with for the most part, those things are "my job" since he works away a lot and is not home for much of our week.

I guess I get offended because I don't call him up (or out) and ask him if he's "doing his job" and when he does his own thing and then proceeds to grill me about what I might have forgotten, I feel like he's "checking up on me."

I'm the same way. I think it's because guys who work outside the house are just assholes. I know I am.

"...the real enemy. our kids".... absolutely genius julie!

Age old argument.

Bill is right - men will take what they can get. My husband does a lot, but he has ONE main task. Dishes. And he'll let them pile up for a week before loading the dishwasher. Deep down, he thinks that if he leaves it long enough, I'll take over. I won't, but you know why he thinks that? BECAUSE THAT'S THE PATTERN.

We may not realize it, but we've trained our husbands to act this way. Every time we insist things get done our way, every time we chide them for doing something wrong, something in their head says, "Just give up. I'll never get this right."

My husband used to get pissed off at me when he was taking the kids out ON HIS OWN and the diaper bag wasn't packed.

I also kind of have to agree with 5yrshusb. A lot of moms are over-prepared. A long time ago, I stopped bringing ANYTHING on grocery store trips - because it's all right there!! Diapers, food, entertainment... yet like an asshole I used to shlep a diaper bag filled with all that crap. And a change of outfit, to boot.

Everyone just needs to relax and breathe a little. Also? We need to remember that our partners are our allies. And we need them to combat the REAL enemy. Our kids.

I've got say that I believe it is what @Bill and @Megan H says, that it's often what we let our partner get away with.

In our house, we've worked out different systems so that we each know what we are in charge of. For getting out of the house, since I take longer to get ready than he does, he gets ready first, then packs the bags to go. I get myself and the kids dressed and ready, although if I am running behind on time, I ask him to get one or both of the kids dressed. I do usually pick out the clothes, because I usually have something in mind already. Because it's our system, it usually works well. Same with putting the kids to bed: he is in charge of one and I am in charge of the other.

When we both know the routine and what is excepted of the other, it goes smoothly. But it does drive me crazy when he apparently does not know the routine and asks me about every little thing! I know he needs to learn new/changed routines, but I guess I expect him to pay attention when I'm creating/changing them!

As for the reminders of what to do? We both are guilty. That's when I call him Captain Obvious or he calls me Micro Mama (as in micro manager). It usually shuts us up. ;-)

guy here, and i definitely understand the complaints however i offer this as a rebuttal: is it really REALLY necessary to take 3 outfits, 4 sippy cups, a stack of diapers, 3 bibs, a stroller, a carrier, 2 blankets, snacks, a bag of toys and a set of pajamas to take a 3 hour trip to the store? nope. a lot of the things that make my wife angry are totally self-inflicted. i'm not going to grab all that stuff because we don't need it, and when she gets mad at me because i didn't grab all that stuff, i'll just tune her out. usually at my house i will get myself ready, dress the boys (2, infant and toddler) then get them out to their carseats. i will then wait while she packs for an expedition to mt everest.

my wife gets mad at me because i don't share her views and concerns on things like being prepared for every tiny thing that might possibly happen if 10 other things happen first, or the neatness of the pillows on the couch or the cleanliness of the ice cube trays. these are things that i will never care about. ever. but she will.... obsessively. so i will continue to act concerned, apologize and half-heartedly attempt to rectify, only to not do them again the next time it comes up.

so, in short, it's a man AND a woman thing.

Also, I don't want this to sound like I'm bashing my husband, who happens to do A LOT around the house and with the kids.

But it's the LITTLE STUFF that kills me.

Or the phone calls at 7am when he's away to remind me to wake up and take the kids to school. OMFG.

Then I want to run away to Aruba for a year.

See, what kills me, Megan, is that he DOES give the kids baths, but they come running out naked while he asks me to lotion them or go find him a diaper.

So, I appreciate the actually BATHING that occurs that I don't have to do, but it's not like he's actually doing the whole thing.

My husband and I divide equally the job of raising 3 children. He was there when we had unprotected sex, so we are all in it together.

BUT that one thing that can drive me from 0 to 100 in .54 seconds?

When he states the obvious like he just discovered it.

EXAMPLE
Child # 2 will be home @ 2:30. @ 2:15 he announces child is going to get off the bus in 15 min. THEN AWAITS MY RESPONSE. If I do not stop what I'm doing to look him in the eye and acknowledge that yes in fact the child will be home in 15 FREAKING minutes, THANK GOD YOU ARE HERE TO TELL ME THE FUCKING TIME,he will repeat his statement UNTIL I RESPOND.

Many a time my response contains more than one F word.

Oh, why don't we all demand better of our husbands? I swear, last night I got so sick of dealing with the same kind of crap that you are dealing with that I pretty much forced my husband to give our daughter a bath. I ran the water, put her in, and told him that he needed to come and bathe her (Thursday night is ALWAYS his night for bath duty because that is my TV night - ONE flippin' night out of the week!). And do you wanna know what he said? He remarked about how tired I must be after sitting on my butt all day. Ha! Sitting on my butt all day? While taking care of a 15 month old? If he only knew. And not only that, he is going out of town next weekend with his friends to go four-wheeler riding/mud bogging. He never discussed it with me, he just let me know that he was going, never once giving any thought to the fact that he was leaving me to take care of our child by myself for 3 days. And he pitches a fit when I ask him to watch our daughter so I can get out of the house for 2 hours to go to the grocery store!

Last thing, I promise. We were supposed to be going on a small vacation this weekend, but he cancelled it because we can't afford it. Hmm. So we can't afford to go away as a family but we can afford for him to go away for the weekend with his friends? Say what?

Girl, you've got me all fired up! I am not taking his crap anymore!

THANK YOU. I swear to God some days I want to kick my husband's ass when he complains that we're running late because I never seem to have the diaper bag ready. Mind you, I have cleaned, clothed, diapered, hairbrushed the children, barely having a minute for myself. Thank you for letting me know it's not just me!!

As another almost single stay at home parent married to a man whose work schedule is more complex than rocket surgery, I hear you.

My husband is the EXACT same way. Oh sure, when he's alone with the kids he handles it like the capable father he is.

But when he's home with me, he's too busy coiffing his hair or shaving his nose hairs to be any help and then wonders why I get crabby as I'm trying to shove Knox's elastic arms through his shirt, find his hearing aids and splints, pack his diaper bag and get the older two to put on clean clothes and comb their hair.

I get back at him by refusing to pack Knox about when Daddy's home. If Boo is home, he's lugging Foxy Knoxy about and pushing the wheelchair. Generally because I'm too busy trying to remember where I put his g-tube extension and medication. ARGH.

I have to give you the fact that we men will take whatever we can get. If you let us get away with something, we'll go for it. :)

BUT, he probably also knows that if he does it his way (which is probably different than your way) he'll hear about it. Or something won't be right. Or it will take 10 times as long because if both of you are trying to do it together you'll be stepping on each other's toes.

When we all go out, things go much more smoothly when I get everything ready because I know how the system works. I do it all the time, the kids know what order I'm doing things in, I know what needs to get packed, etc. As soon as my wife steps in it takes MUCH longer because she does it in the wrong order (I don't care which spatula gets used for eggs, though...linger longer!). Heck, it's easier for me to take our 2 kids most places if we don't take my wife along! *laugh*

That said, I may be voting for lazyness. Speaking of which, can you get me the remote?

Yeah, I took on this topic once and got shredded to ribbons.

I still maintain that moms sweat the small stuff. If we didn't, nobody would.

It's a man thing. The one that gets me is when my husband says "Did we give Ollie his medicine/pay the cable bill/feed the dog?" No. No WE didn't. *I* did. Just like I always do.

B - We actually have divided stuff like that - and it does work well. Though here's my gripe:

If I cook, and he cleans up, he never completely cleans up. And then he leaves early, so I end up having to clean up in the morning.

It's stuff like that that bugs the crap out of me! And also, he takes care of the lawn. I never happen to ask "so hey, are you going to mow the lawn?" or "did you remember to mow the lawn?" I know those are his jobs and that he'll do them.

It's the same here. I'm in charge of myself and three kids. My husband is in charge of himself.

Yes. If I try to change it I sound like nag nag nag nag nag nag nag. And I hate that. So I get up, get the kids ready, pack the bags, make the breakfasts (and lunches, and snacks and sippy cups) and tell my husband to get up and make me some damn coffee. That is all I ask. If he makes me the coffee, he can still get in my pants. And that is the secret to our marriage.

Preachin to the choir sister, preachin to the choir! In our house the absolute worst is trying to get ready for church. The man does attempt to feed the kids and himself breakfast while I'm in the shower then the man takes his shower and gets himself ready. End of story! By the time he's ready I somehow am supposed to have both kids finished eating, dressed, diaper bag packed, quiet toys and busy work packed any food we need to bring that day ready and everything in a pile so he can simply load the car. I know I'm missing something though..oh and get myself ready without getting dirty hands wiped on me or sloppy mouth spots on my clothes too. Then to top it off he always asks me to check his collar to make sure his tie is under the collar. MEN! Can't live with 'em and ya can't live without 'em.

So irritating. I think it may come from a good place - like an honest desire to help - combined with, as Flibberty said, a lack of thinking about things. That doesn't make it less infuriating, though.

We don't have any children, married for the first time after we were both 40. so.. for a good long while my husband fed himself and cleaned the toilet often enough that I didn't ever see a stain. But now? 4+ years and he has not once mopped the floor or cleaned the toilet. He says he will cook dinner but he needs a recipe and plenty of time to get to the store. So really it's still on me. My thinking is that as long as someone else is aware of it and doing it, we ALL tend to let them keep doing it. He probably thinks the same thing about cleaning the gutters ahead of a storm.

It's definately a man vs woman. I think i'll have to send a link of this post to my husband. Maybe he'll get the hint to step it up a notch. haha

My huz works nights and once in a while he'll come in at 6:00 am and take a shower. Which really isn't a big deal except he'll be in there for 40 minutes. (he's a police officer and occasionally he get into something that requires a shower...) AND its the exact same time I need to get ready. It royally pisses me off because I mean...really? 40 effin minutes? He knows I need to get ready but he doesn't care. And then he wonder's why I am pissy when he gets out. OH..I DON'T KNOW!!! My first kid gets here at 6:45 ( I am an in home childcare provider) and I couldn't shower or even frickin BRUSH my damn teeth cause you locked the door.

So now...when he does this? I go through the house and flush all the toilets, run the dish washer and start a load of laundry...usually gets him out. Granted I may have to take a cold shower..but at least I get one.

When I read this I could feel my blood start boiling becuase I deal with this very same issue. I think it's just a complete lack of taking time to THINK IT OUT. If my husband were to stop and think as to whether he has to ask about these issues he would surely conclude that I always have it handled, so he should just thank me for always having to handled and not take me for granted in this domain. Argh.

I don't know what it is. I do most appointment scheduling, but P is really good about helping with everything else. If anything, he'd say that I'm the one who is like your husband, though that's not utterly true. I do help, but because P is hyper-organized and manic about lists I tend to hinder rather than help.

I know he gets frustrated with me about that, too.

Same thing here. I am somehow responsible for feeding, bathing, clothing, shoes, packing of diaper bag, etc. Plus pet care. He gets himself ready. And yes, I have to skip my shower too

Just last Sunday I could be found grumbling/cursing to myself as I raced around the house doing the exact same thing while he showered and then asked me what he should wear that day. It's maddening!

It's totally a man thing. Then he asks why I'm so irritable as we walk out the door. Despite explaining it or asking him to help he rarely remembers it from week to week. Yet he's capable of taking care of the kids for days on end when I travel for work. Sigh.

Hahaha it must be a man thing because my husband is the very same!! Head-wrecking.

I think I have gotten to the bottom of this particular quandary. My husband was out of work for a while and because we could do nothing about it, I decided to be grateful for the help around the house. It was a disaster. The reason? Neither spouse wants the other to boss them around, and neither spouse wants to have to ask the other to do things that are done without a second thought under normal circumstances.

My husband's old job took him out of town much of the week as well. I had a routine, and a good one that was very efficient. Every day I had a room that got a good cleaning. Mondays were bathrooms, Tuesdays meant mopping the kitchen floor, Wednesdays were nothing b/c I had too many commitments that day and so on. Every day I did the laundry and put it away. I never let the dishes pile up or the computer desk get too messy. I made beds every day.

It all sounds like I was some kind of Martha Stewart, but honestly nothing took me more than a few minutes to accomplish and I knew if I let something go, it would take forever to get back on top of it. However, when my husband was home it was hard to communicate my routine or the importance of it, and quite frankly it was like he was an employee when I tried. It wasn't good for our relationship for me to be the "boss" of him. And honestly having him around felt like I wasn't contributing as well as I had before.

The point I am trying to make is sometimes the running of the house is just best done as a division of labor rather than sharing everything. My husband does the lawn, the cars and the unloading of the dishwasher. I do everything else. If we need help from one another, we ask, but as a matter of routine, we know what to expect from each other. There is no bitterness on my part...until we go on vacation and I have to catch up on all that laundry....

Yes, this is my life. The 21 year old boy I work with just got this same rant from me. I bet he'll never ask me again how my day is going.

Well, I went off in your twitter DM last night. ROFL... so ya. You know how I feel.

What gets me the most is he doesn't think about packing ANYTHING and is most likely to get himself ready and get in the car and wait for me to organize the kids and everything else. Frankly, it makes me want to punch him square in the junk.

I will get up two hours before we need to leave to insure that I get myself and both kids ready, along with taking care of the dogs/cats. My hubby will finally show up from watching tv/drinking coffee about 15 minutes before we have to leave to shower. It's men I believe.

Same thing in my house. I'm responsible for getting me and the two kids ready and my husband can take 20 minutes in the bathroom reading a mag. We'll all be in the car, buckled up and waiting and he's still running around getting the last of his shit together.

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