Tuesday, July 29, 2008

My Insanity

This post is a direct response to RH+'s post last week about her sanity. I commented that I'm jealous, but I think this sentiment deserves its own post.

I am jealous, jealous, jealous. Green with envy. Coveting my neighbor's stay-at-home-dad of a husband.

When we were engaged, Husband told me he would stay home when the children came. Then Son came, and Husband backed out of the deal, claiming his ego couldn't handle it. I, and everyone who knows Husband, agrees he would be the best stay-at-home dad ever (no intended disrespect to Mr. RH+). He loves to cook, he loves to engage Son with learning experiences, he loves to plan little outings with him, he prides himself on countering my general messiness with some order in the home.

When we discuss this, and we often do, he tells me that since Son is enrolled in preschool, he doesn't see the use of staying home. Au contraire, mon fraire. Here are my arguments:
  1. You do all the shopping anyway.
  2. You keep the house running anyway.
  3. You are Son's primary parent.
  4. We hope to soon add a second child.
  5. Even though Son goes to school, the chaos of his before and after school life when you travel is bad for him.
  6. We can easily adapt to having one salary.
  7. You will keep the church, which is your true vocation.
  8. How about stay-at-home doctoral candidate? Does that sound better for your ego?
  9. I can't go on like this.
  10. I'm slowly going insane.
So, while it seems all about me (like everything else in my life), don't you agree he'd be happier being a stay-at-home dad/husband?

I'm fairly sure he doesn't read this blog. But just in case, could y'all leave some encouragement for him in the comment section? Pretty please?

Yep, I'm selfish. I know, I know.

6 comments:

  1. It has to be his decision or else he'll resent you for it. That's probably not what you want to hear.

    I really want my Hubs to sell the truck that he NEVER drives. I've even offered to take care of the whole thing for him. But he won't approve it. He likes having it around. So I sit and wait. As it depreciates.

    Sometimes marital harmony is better than forcing him to admit that you're right and he's wrong.

    Hope you get what you want though. It does sound like it would make everything easier for you two.

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  2. I am hoping beyond hope that my husband will agree to what he has (tentatively) promised and stay home when I start my residency. We have a six-month old son now and I am in the middle of a year-out research fellowship (in the middle of my third year of medical school) that we set up really just so I could have a baby. I am dreading January, when I go back to clinical rotations and our son goes from having a full-time mom to full-time day care. My husband makes the (yes, sane) argument that while we can live on one salary, we can't really live on my student loan stipend alone. Fine, fine. Regardless, a long and self-involved answer to gosh, I hope so with your husband, because gosh, I really really hope so with mine.

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  3. I don't know if this will help, but when my husband was training to be a paramedic, the medics in our town (where I'm an ER doc) all told him down the line that he was crazy to try to work their schedule coupled with mine. A lot of them told him that if they could, they would stay home with their kids. I think more than anything it's the certainty that he is the main stay is what works for our life. There is no way I could do my job without him. I know he too had a hard time with it at first. I was one of those who always knew what I wanted to do, plowed through school without a break. He took a less straightforward path and if were pressed, probably would tell you he still doesn't know what he wants to do when he grows up. But I can tell you he was born to be a dad. He's great at it, and our kids are going to reap the benefits. Having great kids are going to be a great ego boost for him. Hope this helps your husband. And I don't think you're being selfish--just taking an honest look at your relationship and how you fit together as a family.

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  4. My husband is our primary PoD (parent on duty) but still works part-time as a paramedic. He works about 5-6 shifts a month, usually on my days off. It's a great arrangement-- he runs the house, cooks, cleans, and takes great care of the Bean. I am very lucky.

    Maybe you guys could find a similar balance? Then again, the church sounds like a job unto itself.

    I'm sorry that where you live seems a little behind the times... around here, stay-at-home dads aren't uncommon. And people tend to treat him like a freaking hero for doing what women have done for eons. Sigh.

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  5. It is amazing how two people can remember a situtation diffrently. I remember the conservation as: When we get caught on our debt, to a reasonable level - not counting educational or morgage debt, in about 2013. I wouild consider staying at home. Because of some recent turn of events it looks like 2014. I do not mind FD writing fiction about her work but in this area I want to be as close to the truth as possible. FD's TV prefrence is "reality TV" no wonder she prefers fiction :)

    FD's Fictionlized Husband

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  6. I think the problem with asserting that it is "ego" that prevents a man from being a stay at home dad, is that there seems to be a very large number of women who prefer careers outside the home to being stay at home moms. Do we say they are also suffering from "ego" and should give up their careers and stay at home? I wonder what would be the response if the genders were reversed, and a husband was insisting that his wife give up her career and stay home?

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