I am jealous of my husband. There, I said it. A little over a year ago, when our lives were too chaotic to manage with both of us working full-time, Mr. Whoo quit his job in the world of finance to stabilize the home front and get us prepared for the upcoming move. No doubt, it was the best decision ever. Our lives got exponentially better. Shopping, laundry, and errands got done. The kids were no longer in day care 10 hours a day, and we functioned much better as a family unit. Fast forward to now. We've been in Newville for about 6 months, now, and despite a concentrated effort, there are no desirable/worthwhile jobs in my husband's field of expertise. He did decide to take on a "partnership" in a business run by his cousin (which, don't get me started on that cluster, I'm not sure it was the greatest idea) in which he generally manages financial affairs, billing, accounting, and marketing, all for a pittance (not that it matters, but still). This is all done via computer and telephone, so he still is doing the lion share of household chores and kid wrangling to and from school. Here's where the jealousy part comes in...he can do whatever he wants, whenever he wants to do it.
Most mornings, I leave the house before everyone gets up, so he gets the kids ready for school and out the door between 7:30 and 8 am. Then, the day is all his. He can go work out, any time he wants to do it. Then, if he wants to work, he works for a little while. There is no agenda, no set schedule for the day, it is his with which to do what he pleases. The problem is, I'm not really sure exactly what it is that he is doing! Kids are in school until 4-4:30pm. Shopping, laundry, and dishes still get done, but other chores have really fallen by the wayside (we used to have cleaning ladies to do all the "real" cleaning, so that is not getting done regularly and when it is it is done "man-style"). The rental in which we are living is crowded and too small for all of our "stuff" so it never looks uncluttered, and I'm not sure if that is contributing to the decline of cleaning activity or if it is something else. Now, unless I give him guidance, he is waiting for me to get home to tell him what to make for dinner, and I am starting to get a bit frustrated. Not only am I jealous of his autonomy, I am starting to feel like I am starting to judge what he does with his days...and this is not good for our marriage. I know he can' t do it all, but sometimes I feel put upon when he has all. day. long. to figure these things out.
The worst jealousy of all, however, is how much our kids favor him over me. I noticed it when he moved the kids to Newville a few weeks prior to my job being completed. When I finally got to Newville, Bean, who up until that time was very attached to me, was all about Daddy. Understandable, I thought, this will pass. Only it didn't. Now that I have more time to spend with my family, it seems my kiddos want less and less to do with me. My son fusses when it is my turn to lie down with him and night, and says hurtful things like how he is only "Daddy's son, not Mommy's." CindyLou criticises everything I do, because "Daddy doesn't do it that way." I know I shouldn't take it personally, because I know that they love me, and I have been working for so long of course they are going to attach to the parent they see the most. It still hurts, and I am jealous of his place as primary caregiver in their lives, because, well, I'm the *Mommy* dammit. For now, I am doing my best to spend the time that I have with the kids, and enjoying the activities that we never got to do as a family when I was working in my previous job. There is blame to lay on my shoulders, as well. I am trying not to come home and just disengage from the family because I spend all day long problem-solving and taking care of strangers, and therefore have little more to give emotionally. It is exhausting.
Hopefully, it won't be long until we navigate our way through this new life that we have found here. I still believe that having Mr. Whoo at home is far better for our overall family life when compared to having him work outside the home. How do you find your balance as a family? Anyone else married to a "stay-at-home" spouse? Any tips for thwarting resentment and insanity? Ways to reconnect with your kids? I value your opinions and advice!