When is it okay to be selfish? Not like, taking the last slice of pizza or refusing to lend your friend money without interest. I’m talking about emotional selfishness. Sometimes I feel so drained. I’m a stay at home mom, taking care of 2 young kids and my husband. I do all the cooking, cleaning, errands, laundry, shopping, etc. Basically everything other than making money. My husband doesn’t even change a lightbulb. I mean, he helps out with the kids, like giving them a bath once in a while and taking them to the park or library fairly often. But when it comes to a lot of things they need, the kids come to me first. Even if they see I’m making dinner and Daddy’s on the sofa, they will ask ME for a cup of milk. It’s not a bad thing and it’s totally understandable. I’m the primary caretaker. But sometimes it does get exhausting.
My sister and her husband are in town and they’re visiting multiple IVF centers. They’ve had trouble conceiving and had a few failed IVF rounds. I offered them my eggs because I never had trouble getting pregnant. If anything, it was scarily easy. So I’ve been going with them to these appointments and it’s so grueling. Each one takes about 3 hours and it’s filling out forms, taking to doctors, doing physical tests, talking to billing people, etc. Today we had 2 appts with 2 different facilities back to back. We didn’t even have time to eat lunch. Then I had to race back home to pick up my kids from day care, while having to pee so bad and hangry as hell. Upon getting home, my son decided to throw a tantrum.
Now it’s night time. I just gave the two kids a bath and I asked my husband to put them to sleep. I still have a load of laundry in the dryer that I’m need to fold and a dishwasher to unload so I can put away the dirty dishes in the sink. If I know my daughter, she won’t sleep until 9:30-10 pm. My husband’s reply was,”I put her to bed last night and she didn’t sleep until almost 11.” So in other words no. So fine, I grit my teeth and do my job.
It’s not so much the lack of help so much as the lack of emotional support. When my husband called me as I was dealing with my son’s tantrum asking if I was home yet (he was upstairs in his office and didn’t know that I was home) and I was short with him (not aimed towards my husband, just in a bad mood) he got annoyed that I spoke to him that way. I told him that it wasn’t aimed at him, but he was still miffed. I apologized and said I was just mad at the situation, not at him. He understood and we dropped it.
So back to selfishness. I don’t know if it’s selfish of me to just want it to be about me for once. I’m not asking for a pat on the back for donating my eggs to my sister. I would do it again and again without hesitation. And I don’t want a pat on the back for being a mom and just doing what I’m supposed to do, which is to take care of them. But I guess sometimes I would like if someone took care of me emotionally and physically. I want someone to say, I know you had a hard day. Here is a hug. I’m here for you. I wish that my husband had taken my snappiness and instead of getting mad, had said, “I know you had a long day.” *empathy empathy empathy* Maybe a hug and a kiss.
It’s easy for my husband to have a hard day at work and come home and take a half hour to decompress by himself. But for some reason, I never take that time when the kids are around. I find the time when they’re in day care but it’s just an hour of kickboxing or catching up on my reality shows.
I think it’s hard for me to take the time because my husband often says, “It’s my JOB.” Plus whenever we fight or if he’s stressed, he’s the one to leave the room and go to his man cave. But I also think that he doesn’t have sympathy for me when I had a hard day. According to him, my life is easy. I’m a stay at home mom, I don’t have to work, my kids are in school for 6 hours a day, etc. But just because they’re in school for 6 hours a day, it doesn’t mean I’m at home eating bon bons and watching soap operas. There’s shopping to do, cooking, cleaning, laundry, other errands, etc. Some days, I only sit for 1 hour just to eat lunch. And then I’m back to wiping butts, getting milk, cleaning snot, etc. But, I get it. My life is not hard by any means. I’m not struggling with two jobs on food stamps and living in a 1 bedroom apt. I get it. My life is cushy. I guess it’s not so much that I think my life is hard, but maybe I just want my husband to say, “Hey I get it. The kids can be assholes. I got this. Go take a shower.”