Every once in a while, we get a question that stops us in our tracks. Because it is so heartbreaking and so deserving of the very best advice. Today’s questions was one of those questions for me. And I decided to seek out the wisdom from two of the wisest and kindest women I know. Except for you, obviously. Gretchen Rubin and Kati.
As you probably know, Gretchen is the author of the New York Times bestseller, The Happiness Project, and she has transformed the way that people live their lives. And her response, as you will see, is perfect.
Kati, on the other hand, is someone who one day will have a New York Times bestseller, because her life has been incredible and she’s a wonderful writer. We first met years ago and never in my wildest dreams (starring a Thelma and Louise-era Brad Pitt) did I imagine that I’d have so much in common with a born-again military wife. But we had motherhood and humor to bond us, so I turned to her. (Also, I like knowing that if I ever piss her off she’s doctrinarily obligated to turn the other cheek.)
So, enjoy! – Marinka
Dear Mouthy Housewives,
Let me start by saying I am a military wife and I am proud of my husband for serving our country….BUT I am a new mommy to a beautiful baby girl born in January and I have become a stay at home mother and housewife.
I cook, I clean and take care of our child. Before becoming pregnant I was a full time student. I had gone back to college to better my life and was enjoying it.
I don’t mind being a stay at home mother or housewife but it seems to me that my dear hubby uses the fact that the military keeps him at work for crazy hours as a reason to not want to help with the baby much or gosh forbid pay his wife a compliment or a sweet word.
Is it wrong for me to want a girls night out? Or say I need a break? We got stationed 3 hours from my home town and I just want to go there and hang out with my female friends for a day without having to jump to my husband and daughter’s every need. I would settle for a break at the coffee shop with a book, if a girls night out is too long.
I get irritated – why can he fight for our country and not for his marriage? We’ve been married for a little over a year and he has become too comfy and lacks the sweetness I fell in love with. I feel like a horrible mother and wife for wanting to get away for a weekend, a day or even a couple of hours to myself. Don’t I deserve it?
You NEED to tell your husband how you feel (respectfully, calmly and rationally, only the most fabulous of divas can make martyrdom look attractive) and work out a strategy together for you to have regular guilt-free and worry-free time for yourself. Sadly, they don’t teach our soldiers in boot camp how to read minds or to understand the female psyche, so you have to be proactive and very open with him about your needs. Our wonderful heroes often need to be taught how to be present and active in their home lives, and it’s up to us to be their instructors.
Then, you need to TAKE that time. Make it a priority. No matter what’s going on in life, at his job, in the world, take time for you. Some days it may just be a hot bath with a book, other days it’ll be a shopping spree or coffee date with a friend. Whatever it is, take it and don’t feel guilty about it. You’ll be a happier, healthier mom and feel a whole lot more loving toward your husband too. And if it’s at all possible, go back to school – even if it’s part-time – now before that adorable baby girl saps the last of your working brain cells.