My Bitch List, Part 3

The Airing of Grievances today shall revolve mainly around his behavior once children arrived in our lives. I will admit I could probably have stopped a lot of this if I had simply spoken up and refused to be such a doormat. Or,maybe he would have connected with Harley sooner and left sooner. Either way, it would have been better than what actually happened.

    • When he lost his job, right before our daughter was born, he actually needed me to be strong for him.  And he was offended when I made an offhand comment about how it wouldn’t matter if I had the baby on the weekend now (he had been joking with me about having her on a weekday so he could get out of work).  Incidentally, she was born on a Saturday.  He probably still holds that against me.
    • He didn’t want to have to tell anyone about losing his job so I was forced to lie to my mom about why he didn’t need to return to work.  She was down at our house for three weeks before heading home.  Lots of lies I told to protect him.
    • I took a full-time at-home job right before I had my daughter; it was basically the same job as before only this was full time instead of part time.  He didn’t understand why I would do that, despite the fact that he had just been fired.  Working 40 hours a week while trying to take care of a high needs infant who didn’t think she needed to sleep, with no child care was a nightmare.  I cried every day.  I got up at 7:30 when she would get up.  I changed her diaper, got her dressed, fed her breakfast, and then around 9:00 would head upstairs to the “office” where I would work in snatches of 10 and 20 minutes in between playing with, soothing, and taking care of my infant.  I would generally call it a day sometime between 5 and 6. Since I didn’t count any time I spent with my baby as work hours I would generally have 4-6 hours of work listed at that point.  I’d go downstairs, have dinner, play with my baby, watch some tv, wait for his phone call between 9 and 9:30 and get the baby down for the night.  Then I would go upstairs and work until around 1 am because I could work for several hours uninterrupted.  I would go to bed and sleep until my daughter woke in the middle of the night to be fed, usually around 3:30.  I’d be up for 15-30 minutes, go back to bed and then wake up at 7:30 and do it all over.  I actually tried to get all 40 hours in before Friday, or time it so that I would only have to work a few hours on Friday so that I could clean up the house before I left to go pick up my husband.
      • Yes, until almost the very end I would get my ass out of bed, get my baby out of bed, and drive him to the airport; you would have thought I demanded something outrageous when I finally had him call a cab to take him to the airport. The funny thing is I had a friend who had told me very early on, “Why are you and the baby getting up and taking him to the airport? He needs to be getting a cab and not dragging you two out with him!” I, of course, wouldn’t hear of it! No! I was a good wife!  These were always early flights, too- 6 or 7 in the morning at least, and the airport was a good 20-30 minutes away, depending on traffic.  This was before 9/11 so not only did I drive him there we both stayed with him until he boarded his plane. Because he would miss us and wanted to see us as long as possible.
      • And on Fridays I would work, tend to my daughter, clean the house, and then leave to go get him from the airport (not just picking him up at the curb either. Noooo! I went in and greeted him with baby in hand at the gate.).  Typically, we would go out to dinner with all of our friends on Friday night but the rest of the weekend I cooked (because he missed having a home cooked meal seeing as how he was on the road and eating at restaurants all week long).
      • I also did his laundry over the weekend.
    • I tried to read the newspaper one time while he was home but he complained and wanted to know why I couldn’t do that during the week when he wasn’t there because now that he was home we should be spending “family time” together.   I recall him taking our daughter 1 weekend for a few hours.  He came upstairs after 2 hours or so and wanted to know how much longer I would be.  Because, you know, we were missing out on “family time”.  Here’s the really funny part though.  One day, the day we were going to take our daughter to the zoo actually, he went over to help our friend with a building project.  It would just be a couple of hours.  A couple of hours turned into all day.  All day long I sat at home with my infant, just like any other regular day.  Apparently, he was only concerned with “family time” when it was convenient for him.
    • While he didn’t want me reading the newspaper when he was home because it took away from the attention I should be lavishing on him, he never failed to take a daily nap when he was home on the weekends.  I guess that did not interfere with “family time”.
    • I was a mess when he was traveling for work and I was trying to juggle an infant and a full time job with no child care, plus the house and the pets.  I remember telling him how exhausted I was since I was still waking up in the middle of the night, and how stressed I was with everything.  He turns it around to how hard this is for *him*.  He misses us.  It’s not easy to be away from both of us.  He was woken up in the middle of the night, too.  The alarm went off at the plant and they called him.  He hated having to eat by himself in a hotel room while watching tv. He hated having to eat at restaurants or bringing in fast food.  I would have traded places with him in a heartbeat at that point!  But it was all about him and how difficult this was for him.  His only support for me was to tell me to quit my job because we didn’t need the money.
    • My mother was incensed that he couldn’t tell I was “ready to jump off the roof” as she put it, each time she talked to me.  I was STRESSED!  I didn’t think a second thought about it.  I was taking care of my part, and he was taking care of his part.  But in hindsight, yes, he should have realized how stressful all of this was.  And, yes, he should have offered to do more.  He should have offered to take the baby off my hands for a few hours so I could get some work done, get some cleaning done.  He should have done his own damn laundry and helped to pick up around the house instead of coming home for the weekend and expecting to be treated like a fucking king.  We should have been partners and instead I played mommy to my 31 year old husband and my newborn daughter.
    • In a similar vein we were at a friend’s house for a cookout shortly after our daughter was born. There was a big group of people. I was holding Rock Star (back then known as Tomato Head because she would turn bright red whenever she would scream and cry) and eating while he socialized (amazing, huh?). One of my friends commented to another friend (who told me, of course), “Why isn’t Zack taking the baby and letting Sam eat?” I never even thought anything about it. That’s just the way it always was. I took care of her and he took naps with her. But other people could see it even back then, and knew it was messed up.
    • Before he took his new job which required travel he was trying to fix up the upstairs for when we sold the house.  I knew this and I wanted to be supportive.  I didn’t want him to have to travel all week and then come home and spend his entire weekend trying to finish up the upstairs.  Look at that!  I was thinking about him!  However, I had to go back to work part time after only 2 weeks.  Not that it matters because it was a computer job, but I was also recovering from a c-section when I began working again.  Our daughter did not think sleep was necessary, so what should have been four hour days quickly turned into 8 and 9 hour days because I couldn’t get much work done.  Instead of switching off with me it was all about him and what he needed to get done.  And I let him because I sympathized with him.  I knew it was hot up there and that this project that we thought we had plenty of time to complete now needed to be done sooner rather than later.  But it never once occurred to him that trying to juggle work with an infant might be difficult.  He never offered to take over for me, and once he came downstairs for the evening he wanted me to be front and center, fawning all over him.  Then again, he didn’t understand why I would choose to work anyway.  Just quit your job! Of course, now that he has Harley and wants access to all of his paycheck it’s, “You need to get a job! You need to contribute to this family!”
    • When our son was born I was made to feel as though I had somehow tricked him into having another baby.  My then mother-in-law even asked me one time if our son was wanted.  For the record I had tried to discuss birth control with my idiot husband and his philosophy was, “It took us four years to get the first one.  I don’t really think we’re going to need to bother with birth control.”  Later, after our first reconciliation, I brought this up to him and he explained that he did want our son but he was stressing over financial obligations, not that that makes it any better. And not that this even matters but they were born 2 years apart. It’s not like I had them back to back. Oops! I’m pregnant again when our first one is only 6 weeks old!
    • After his reaction to the birth of our son and him generally acting like an ass I felt like a third pregnancy was definitely out.  I will be fair here and say that pregnancy was very stressful for me because I had a very high risk of miscarriage each time; however, I really felt like if I got pregnant again he would blame me and act like it was my fault.  Naturally he’s not going to have a vasectomy!  Oh no, nothing goes near his precious balls.  Instead let’s have the wife, the woman who has already endured 2 miscarriages, an ectopic pregnancy, various tests, morning sickness, a c-section and a fourth degree tear, be put under and have a tubal ligation.  That seems only fair.  He was the one acting like a horse’s ass (sorry if I offend any horses out there!) and I was the one who had to take action and be sterilized because I knew if I got pregnant he would be furious. To make the story even more delicious… Two years ago he was talking about how he wished we had had more kids!  A year ago he wistfully told me he wished I could get pregnant again so that I would be stuck (his words) with him for another eighteen years and couldn’t leave him.
    • We co-slept with our daughter at his insistence.  Once our son was born I slept in one room with him (he kept my poor delicate husband up at night) and our daughter slept in our bed with her dad.  When she was two and a half we bought her a brand new set of bunk beds.  Ooohhhh, shiny!  She was so excited to sleep in them!  She had new sheets and everything.  The beds were delivered on a Wednesday.  She slept in them on Wednesday and Thursday.  On Friday my husband asks her, “Don’t you want to sleep with daddy?”  When I looked at him like he was crazy he told me he couldn’t be expected to go cold turkey!  He had slept with her for 2 1/2 years now.  So back into bed with daddy she climbs.  Sleeps with him Friday night and Saturday night.  Sunday night she goes to get in bed with him.  “Oh no!  I can’t have her sleep with me tonight.  I have to get up and go to work tomorrow morning.  She tosses and turns and keeps me up.”  Do you think she went back to the bunk beds she had been so excited about earlier?  Oh no.  Let me tell you how this story ends.  She ended up sleeping with me for years!  I think there might have been a brief period where she slept in her own bed but for the most part I spent my kids’ infancy/toddler/preschool years sleeping on a daybed with a trundle bed pulled up beside us and both kids fighting over who got to sleep on the twin mattress with me and who had to sleep on the twin mattress by himself/herself.
    • Rock Star was up in the middle of the night and I had to stay up with her.  I must have been talking to myself because he barged into her room and told me that if I had anything to say then I needed to say it to his face.  I probably should have laid into him right then but I didn’t.  I just shut up and took it.
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