Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Jerks

Imagine, for a moment, that your husband has been out with friends for the evening. At home, you are going crazy with three kids, one having just pooped in the tub. You are frustrated and tired. After a long evening, your husband walks in the door from a wonderful, relaxing dinner with friends, gets updated on the situation, and says, "Oh, that just makes my night so much better, knowing you had to be home dealing with that! It just puts a smile on my face!"

You might think your husband was being a jerk, right?

So let's reverse the situation. A few months ago I received an email that said this very same thing, only it was a woman writing about spending the night out with friends and then coming home to find her husband had had a tough evening. She ended her note with, "As the explanation of why tonight was hard went on and on (while I'm thinking "yeah i do this every night") i find out [the two-year old] pooped in the tub which put a smile on my face thinking of him dealing with that and made it even that much more fun that i was out with you girls."

Knowing her husband had a rough time made her night even more fun? I'm sorry, but that qualifies her as a jerk.

I understand that it might be nice for your spouse to experience your daily life every once awhile, to gain more appreciation for what you do all day. But do women really appreciate what their husbands do for them? Really? Because many women I know whine and whine about their husband's work as if he goes off to Fun-ville while they are stuck at home with the snot-nosed toddlers.

It irritates me when women talk about their husbands like they have the easiest jobs in the world, and know nothing about how hard it is for moms to take care of the kids. While it may be true that husbands don't always understand the difficulties of mommy life, most women don't know a darn thing about how hard it is to do their husband's job every day, either. The fact is that both spouses have difficult jobs, and both need to learn how to appreciate the other (and express that appreciation) on a regular basis.

I have a big problem with the fact that this woman felt increased happiness because of her husband's crazy night, as if he deserved some sort of punishment. Wouldn't it have been nicer if she had tried appreciating the fact that he was willing to watch the kids (after a long day at work) so she could go out with her friends? She could have even said "thank you" while getting a little nudge in there about what she deals with on a regular basis: "Oh, I'm sorry you had to deal with that. That happens to me all the time, and it's no fun, so I totally understand. Thank you so much for watching the kids so I could have a night off."

Understanding goes both ways. And in this case it's not the woman who can go to the head of the class.

5 comments:

MyDonkeySix said...

I totally agree. It irritates me too and I do have a few friends who can go on and on. Personally, I'd rather be mom than an associate at a law firm and a bishop. Like that's easy to juggle?! Because Marshall is doing his job he gets to miss out on Rachel's birthday. Like that's fun?

Sara said...

The fact is that both spouses have difficult jobs, and both need to learn how to appreciate the other (and express that appreciation) on a regular basis.Agreed. I am one of those moms who goes to work every day, and I can personally attest that while staying home is also incredibly hard work ... going to work is no picnic either (and I have a pretty cushy job as far as jobs go).

I don't think either job is harder ... just different. And both spouses need to appreciate the challenges of both.

It breaks my heart when people say, "Oh I'm so jealous of you ... you get to get go to work every day." While I'm profoundly grateful for my job (particularly THIS job in THIS economy), it makes me want to bop them over the head and say, "I can't imagine why you're jealous of someone that misses a large portion of her child's life every day."

My advice to people who say that is: "Take what you have and cherish it. Because someone else may not be so lucky - to stay at home, to have a husband to watch the kids while one goes out with friends, to have an income, etc." Whatever the circumstance.

Megan B said...

I'm always so sad if things don't go well when he's been left with the kids. It means he's more reluctant the next time for sure! I don't know about most women, but I have a man who DOES get to say no sometimes! So the better and more mellow of an experience he has, the more willing he will be to take one for the team the next time the girls come calling for a night out!

Megan B said...

ANd frankly, I'd rather scoop poop out of a tub than worry about keeping a roof over our head and food on the table in this economy. Or any economy, for that matter. Any day.

class-factotum said...

I am soooo grateful for my husband! He works his butt off. I have the easy part, staying at home and just doing housework and minor home repairs. I have had the corporate job and the travel and the jerk boss and I would much rather clean toilets and go to the gym!