17 Feb
Mommy Is Off The Clock!

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

My husband generally comes home from work after our 2-year old is in bed. By then I am DONE dealing with my son for the day, as I’ve just spent the past 12 hours putting up with his tantrums, his whines, his pickiness, and all the other things 2-year olds do on a daily basis. I love my son, but at the end of the day I just want to be ME again. Yet when my husband gets home all he wants to talk about is the kid.   I’ve tried gently telling my husband that as adorable as it is to listen to him mimic our son’s whiny chants of “Maaaamaaaaa! Maaaaaamaaaaa!” I’m not really in the mood anymore, and that my parenting duties are over once the kid is in bed. But he just doesn’t seem to get it.

How can I save my sanity without making my husband feel like I don’t appreciate his interest in our son?

Signed,

Maaaaamaaaaaa!

___________________________________________________________

Dear Maaamaaaa,

Boy, does your question bring back nightmares. I mean memories! Ahem. Yes, it brings back such cherished memories. (Of hell on earth.)

Every stage of childrearing can be challenging, but there is something about the toddler years that makes every mother dream of being a gorgeous runway model, strutting the latest fashion in straitjackets on the catwalk. Which, of course, is located in a padded room that the hospital staff cleans for you. And they bring you meals too! That you don’t have to cook! Oh, lovely, lovely dream.

You’re right, though. It is good that your husband obviously loves your son and is so interested in his day, so let’s not discourage that. Yet when he gets home from work you don’t mimic the annoying traits of his coworkers, so there has to be some give and take here.

In today’s high-tech world there are many ways you can share the joys of all-day tantrums. This is why stay-at-home moms need smart phones; you can record all of that crap on video then replay it for your husband when he gets home. You could even do it live with Face Time, if he’s really feeling left out of experiencing 20 tantrums before lunch.   Before long, your husband won’t even ask about the kid and you’ll be like every other wife pretending to be interested in what happened at his office.

But don’t forget old school methods, either. Leave him home with your 2-year-old during the day on the weekend while you get out and away. I used to LIVE for those Saturdays of solitary window shopping and receiving 12 phone calls from my husband with a screaming kid in the background, asking me what to do. (Once my husband realized every frantic phone call on my “off” time meant another 30 minutes I’d stay away, he stopped calling. Okay, maybe he stopped because I went batshit crazy on him in TJ Maxx for calling me.)

Anyway, take a deep breath (of glue) and remember this stage will pass too. Then go get a smart phone with Face Time capabilities.

Signed,

Heather, TMH

11 Responses to “Mommy Is Off The Clock!”

02.17.11#1

Comment by From Belgium.

I agree 100% with Heather. Leave the husband alone with the child. Trust me on this one, it works WONDERS! Of course you must be prepared to listen to your husbands whining of how bad his one hour/day with the toddler was.
And make sure that the highlighters are out of toddler reach. Should you forget this : you can easily remove highlighter marks from a wooden doorframe with a wet cloth.

02.17.11#2

Comment by Albug.

Heather, perfect advice. I used to leave my husband alone with the kids on Saturdays and go to the library, find a corner and sit in the quiet. I always came home refreshed. After awhile he got better at spending time with his sons and I was more tolerant of the mess they left for me to clean up when I returned

02.17.11#3

Comment by hokgardner.

Great advice. In our house, bedtime is my husband’s job. It has given him a great understanding of what my entire day is like. Perhaps when LW’s toddler is better, her husband can get his kid fix while doing the bedtime routine. And the LW can hide somewhere else in the house with a glass of wine.

02.17.11#4

Comment by Plano Mom.

Just remember that when you leave him alone with the kids, really, truly leave him alone. Don’t dictate what he does, even if it messes with the routine. He’ll have to learn that hell on his own.

02.17.11#5

Comment by Erin I'm Gonna Kill Him.

It could be worse…he could want sex after work.

I needed all this advice as well – I am home alone with 3 kids all week long until husband returns on Friday night. I feel guilty running out of my house during the weekend since that’s ‘famiy time’, but he needs that time to reconnect with the kids…and their poop.

Good advice from everyone.

02.17.11#6

Comment by Wendi.

LOVE the idea of recording the tantrums for him to watch. Stroke of brilliance.

Yuliya Reply:

Damn Wendi, that’s what I was going to say!

dusty earth mother Reply:

Me too! Great minds…

02.18.11#7

Comment by GrandeMocha.

Make the video and save those videos for when they are older. Fun for graduation parties, weddings, etc.

02.18.11#8

Comment by kelcey, tmh.

Perfect advice Heather. Using technology in the way god meant for it to be used.

02.18.11#9

Comment by amy.

Oh man that takes me back…

Those EXHAUSTING days of raising 3 little ones. Great advice. Give Dad regular time alone with his spawn 🙂

I can remember the complete and utter joy I felt to leave the house alone and oh go grocery shopping or something equally enthralling. It was HEAVEN to not have one or three hanging off me for a short time.

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