Wednesday, June 17, 2009


I have one more thing to say about balancing marriage, career, children, etc., then we're gonna let that sucker go for a while. One complaint some people have about blogs is that they tend to gloss over the bad stuff, and only let you see the pretty parts. So, I just want to make sure you realize that no marriage is perfect, and we've had just as many ups and downs as the next guys - which you would know if you'd read my posting called The Circle of Love.

One of our roughest spots came just after our second child was born. This child was nothing like the first one. He wouldn't take naps, wouldn't stay in a playpen, swing, walker, stroller or Johnny-Jump-Up. There were days when I honestly couldn't figure out how to put him down long enough to hop into the shower. So, one evening, after a day such as this, when I was wearing comfy sweats and no makeup, with hair in a ponytail, we were watching TV and something in the show inspired my husband to comment that, "I'm not saying it's right, and I would certainly never do it myself, but you can kind of see why some guys are tempted to stray - you know, if they've got a wife like that who has totally let herself go, then they go to the office everyday where they are surrounded by women who love to flirt and are always dressed fit to kill."

Did I konk him over the head with a frying pan? Noooo. Why not, you ask? Well, I'm ashamed to admit it, but I'm afraid I half agreed with him at the time. The combination of my 50's June Cleaver upbringing, and my Women's Lib/ERA college years had left me with this crazy, mixed-up belief that I ought to be able to do it all, and I just wasn't living up to expectations. Because I felt guilty about not being able to manage a career that brought in big bucks, raise kids, keep a perfect house and play the sex kitten 24/7, I overcompensated in other ways: not asking John to help around the house; letting him think that, despite fatherhood, he still deserved to spend his weekends however he chose, because he'd been working hard all week; letting him believe that there were little fairies at our house who followed him around, picking up his shoes and underwear, shutting cabinets and drawers he left open, gathering the dishes and soda cans he left in every room. Not only did I allow it, I probably encouraged it, because it made me feel more worthy.

So, as I said in The Circle of Love, thank heavens we stumbled upon a great counselor just in the nick of time, who was able to set us both straight! Yes, I admit it, John wasn't the only one who had things he needed to work on - but I choose to take the blogger's prerogative, and gloss over all that other stuff.


Christopher said...

This post is fantastic. Much love and respect to the housewives out there, the true unsung heroines whose daily toils may go unpaid, but never unrewarded.

Did you ever feel a social pressure on you for not working? My mother did not work, nor does my wife. Both chose to be housewives, though it seems to me there is more of a (horribly uninformed) perception of laziness of modern, educated women who do not work than there was in the past.

Hill Country Hippie said...

You'd better believe I felt pressure! Still do, in fact. Whether it's external or internal, I'm a bit fuzzy on - probably a combination.