Thursday, January 31, 2008

I messed up again

So last night I asked my DH to read my last two posts, thinking that once he read how I've been feeling we could sit down and figure out together some strategies to make it better. It didn't quite work out that way.

I need to set the record straight.

I have a great husband. He is an amazing father. And when I write about all I have to do and how overwhelmed and frustrated I am, it implies that he has been doing nothing, which was NEVER my intention.

We have taken the time to write down all the jobs that need to get done around the house and worked on dividing them up in a way that make sense to us. Recently we readjusted the list so my DH could do a few more little things that would make a big difference in my day, things like filling up the kids "rocket cups" (cups with a lid and straw) with milk and being sure to unload the dishwasher before he leaves for school each day. It might sound small, but that makes a big difference in my day.

When he is home, he willingly takes over with the kids in a really hands-on kind of way, playing board games and hundreds of turns of hide and seek, reading books, doing all kinds of great things with them. His schedule is MUCH better than it was for the first half of the year. He has rehearsals for the show he is directing after school three times a week, so on those days he is home by 5:30. He has evening rehearsals for the show he is in three nights a week (Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday). We agreed that he could be in a show this season (just one) and while he is pushing me to try to get in a show so I get a chance to perform when his show is over, but I don't think I should take on one more thing at this point in my life.

When he is home, he helps me with any chores that I have not finished for the day. The other night when I was writing that I had to clean up the eggs and the rest of dinner, DH came home before I finished this task so he jumped right in to help me clean it all up.

When he read what I had written, he felt that it was implying that he did NOTHING here. He read the comments and was so upset that people he knew would read this and feel the same way. I never intended for him to read it that way, or for anyone else to feel that he does nothing. We both have busy schedules; I've just been feeling overwhelmed and used the blog to vent about all I had to do.

On the plus side, I finally made clear to him that the big thing I needed was definite time each week to plan and prep for my classes, at least four hours (and that doesn't mean it has to be four hours straight). So we worked out a way that I could get that! On the days he comes home at 5:30 and does NOT have to go out again, I will leave with the laptop, go where ever I want to go, and plan out my week, my classes, whatever! And at my request, he looked over all that I have to do and my schedule and offered some suggestions on ways that I could accomplish more. They sounded reasonable, so I'm going to be trying them today.

So, bottom line, to my incredible, wonderful husband, who is also my best friend, life partner, and one of the best fathers I know, I love you! I'm so sorry I hurt you, and I so appreciate that we can sit down together and work out ways to make this time in our lives a little easier.


Domestic Goddess said...

Just so you know, I never intended to feel that he didn't do anything. I know how it feels to be in your shoes, I feel like I get NOTHING done, and my husband works so hard, and then comes home and takes over with the kids. I don't mean to nitpick either. I think it is natural for them to become defensive, after all, I would feel that way, too.

you didn't mess up. This is a learning experience!

O said...

Let me get in line. The danger of the net is that it's hard to capture tone and even things that are "obviously" teasing to some can turn in to major hurt feelings for others...and emotionally fraught writing is even more prone to misinterpretation.
If it helps you feel any better, I didn't think you said anything too revealing about the school stuff here (though I can see where a director might disagree, too).
And as to the hubbies...I totally get their "side" of things too, b/c after a long day at work, I just want to come home and veg out too, and not necessarily mediate or jump right in to direct child involvement either. So I'm not pretending that it is easy and should be a vacation from work either. But there is something different about a job with alone or grownup time that simply doesn't exist with staying at home or working at the place where the kids are. That's all. And sometimes that can be hard to bridge.
Life is full of hard choices, isn't it? We all need to hit the lottery. Not huge, just enough to tide us over the rough spots. Like someone to come clean the bathrooms, or prepare a week of meals.
But back in the real world, make sure DH knows that any of us who have seen him in action know that he is an awesome dad, and nothing you wrote (or could write) changes that evaluation at all. I think we all just wish that those awesome dads had more time to spend with the kids...I know that's what my little guys want, and it's hard not to agree.
Hang in there. And get a lottery ticket! There sure isn't anything else you can add to your schedules, either of you.
Hugs to you from another frantic household!

only me said...

So, even though I did not respond here I feel like I too should jump in with a "We love Chas" cheer. As Oonie said, we've seen him being a dad and can vouch for his utter great daditute! (another new word).

Having said that, I read your post to Tim and he was all over defending your man (which was one of the reasons I offered to have Chas call him). So I do understand where Chas is coming from when he got defensive. I didn't see your post as being about what he was or was not doing but more about what you both needed to do as a team to balance the world.

We are all always working on the balance. And the littlest things can tip the scales.

So having said that, it is our turn to watch the kids this month so you two can have some make up sex...

You do moderate your comments, don't you?

only me said...

oops, I guess not. ;}

Anjali said...

And the best part about you and Chas, is that you two can sit down and talk about this because you have such great, open, communication between you. That's the hardest part of any marriage, and you two are experts.

So I'm saying hurray for Chas, and hurray for you!