Saturday, December 18, 2010

Harpy wife

There is no definitive way to prove that I am the world's worst wife, but sometimes I wonder if I am in the top 10.  (Bear in mind, I have never watched any of those 'Housewives of Witchita' or whatever shows, so I don't really know my competition.)

Last week D was telling his co-workers about how he intended to take 2 full weeks off over the Christmas holiday until I said something on the order of, "I think we need to rethink you taking 2 weeks off."  That can't make a person feel good, but, I swear, it is less about him and more about my schedule being fubared for 14+ days.

It's like having a nonstop weekend.  Five days of the week, I have a regular routine: N goes to school, D goes to work, the boys and I do our thing, they nap in the afternoon, I have some much-needed "Mommy refresher time," we pick up N, the kids go ape-shit for 3 hours as I try to pull some kind of dinner together, D comes home to witness the insanity, we haul their asses up to bed.

But then the weekend comes and this is the routine:  The kids generally wake up way earlier than normal, D stays in bed and sleeps in, the kids are all discombobulated knowing that Daddy is home and school is out (which means N is home and therefore G has another person with whom to compete for attention for 12 hours of the day), the tv shows are all different because it is the weekend, I can't do my 'normal' thing because places have different hours or no hours or every place is crowded because everyone is off work and going to those places.

One of the biggest issues I have when D is off work stems from the fact that D isn't home 40+ hours a week so therefore doesn't understand "Mommy Windows of Opportunity," (MWoO) which means that if we are gonna do something involving a drive in the car, we have to be in the car ready to roll at no later than 9:45, but preferably 9:35, so that we can arrive by 10:00, eat a snack somewhere between 10:45-11:00, leave the facility at 12:00, return home while shaking the baby's foot to keep him from falling asleep, get everyone in for a quick cheese sandwich, put the boys down for a nap, followed by mommy collapsing in a heap.

We simply cannot wait to leave the house until 10:30.  The MWoO is long since closed which means we will be stuck in the house until tomorrow morning at 9:35, assuming we can get our shit together.

And D kinda wants to and expects to lounge around in his pajamas for longer than what a MWoO will allow, which brings me ever closer to an aneurysm.  Because as much as I understand that he needs "downtime" and time to relax, my blood pressure goes through the effin roof if a MWoO is missed.  Because if I don't get out of the house, it means I am stuck inside not getting to relax or have downtime.  I mean I could, right this second, take clothes out of the drier and fold them.  Or take the clean dishes out of the dishwasher and put them away.  Right this second.  There is never any downtime for a stay-at-home mom (and probably working moms, either....but I can't speak to this).   When D is not at his job, he is off-work.  When I am not at my job.....oh fuck, I'm always at my job even if I'm not at home because I always have the kids with me.

For the most part, I try to keep a lid on my frustration with it all, but the lid is levitating from all the pent up steam underneath by the time 5-6 days have passed.  I realize that I am fussing at the kids because I am aggravated at D.....not because he did anything wrong, but because his presence (and that of N by day 5) is just a kink in the normal daily operations.

To preempt my lid popping off or D having to forego extra days off, I sat down with him tonight with my day-planner and laid it out:  "These 3 days, I'm doing x, y and z.  You get down time.  These 3 mornings I am going to the dentist and exercise classes by myself.  And these 2 days are family together time (which means MWoO dear husband, so be ready to leave at 9:35, please)."

I am such a joy to live with.


The Muser (aka Beautiful Mama) said...

Umm, you sound not at all harpy-like. On weekends my hubby does a lot of kid care (and often I sleep in) because otherwise, like you say, I get NO time off. I get to do errands by myself while he and SparkleEyes hang out. Dude, you need a weekend too!

Keri said...

I think this is a BRILLIANT idea! I applaud you for it and will be waiting to hear about the execution of the plan. I wish you had done this long ago, but I bet if it works this time, you'll do it every weekend and vacation from here unto eternity...

Keri said...

Oh, and you're so right about that MWoO. By way of encouragement, I'll tell you that in just a couple of years it won't be an issue any more.

I'm feeling such freedom (finally!) these days because Jonah's nap can easily be pushed until 2:00 without him getting grumpy, and in fact, he can pretty much skip naps when necessary without ramifications. It makes it possible to relax in the morning, eat lunch, and THEN run a quick errand or two. Beautiful!

And you'll be there before you know it.