I read a post the other day by Jess, who said that often times she feels like everyone in the mommy blogging world seems to have it made, and she’d like to read about a woman who had terrible days – husband wasn’t helpful, kids were a mess, and they felt totally overwhelmed.
It’s understandable – many of our families read our blogs, and we respect our husbands, boyfriends, significant others. We may complain about our kids but we love them. We don’t want someone to stumble upon our blog and think, “Um, I know her. And she’s writing about me.”
But after a while, it creates a sense of perfection about our lives. What you may not be saying in your posts doesn’t come off as, “Well, she just doesn’t want to talk about it.” It comes off as, “I don’t have anything to talk about because that part of my life is wonderful.” That’s just how it is, we can create any type of life we want on here. Everyone knows that, it’s part of the magic of blogging. We can pretend that our husband isn’t involved with childcare because of his important job, or that it’s our end of the bargain to do that because we stay at home and he works so hard. I can act like I’m a wonderful wife that works all day with no break and showers my husband with love when he comes home. And that’s what I’ve been doing – pretending like it’s all ok on here.
It’s a fine line to walk between honestly and slander of the people you love the most. As I write this, it’s 9:00am. I’ve been up most of the night with Bella, who rolled into bed with us at 5:40 and never stopped puking. My hair is a mess, she is covered in vomit, and at 8 I get up, change and nurse her, then walk into a kitchen that looks like a barbecue bomb went off in it and smells up to high heaven. Que her vomiting all over me. I clean the kitchen for the next 30 minutes while she is in her Jumperoo.
Where is my husband?
At this point I would tell you that he’s asleep. BUT I would also rush to assure everyone that he worked 16 hours yesterday, deserves it, I’m up anyway, I like a clean house, he would have cleaned when he got up, yada yada.
All of these things are true. Does it change the fact that I am really pissed off as I write this? I can see him from here, sprawled out in our bed with the down comforter pulled up over him, and what makes me the most mad is that there wasn’t any way for me to make a lot of noise this morning. You know, so he wakes up to an earth shattering bang that knocks some sense into him about what he left me this morning.
Do I love him? Yep, more than anything in the world. That doesn’t change the fact that I feel as a parent, I get the short end of the stick. He often wonders why I can’t be a “wife” anymore. I wonder when he’s going to realize that part of me being a wife is being able to stop being a mommy for a little while.
The flip side? I know no matter what he does, I’ll find something to complain about. Nothing is good enough. I’m always looking to set the bar higher, in fact, so high that only I can jump it with my white horse while screaming at him from the air about the fact that he isn’t even trying to jump it. I play martyr and love to keep lists of all the things I’ve done that make my life so hard but his easier. We keep score on who had the worse day. I berate him about not doing what I think he should be, while he tries his best to keep it all together. He does many, many things I’m totally unaware of that make my life easier and better. I am ungrateful and complain all the time.
So because of all this? We go to marriage counseling. As hard as that is for me to admit, there it is. We have far from the perfect marriage. I am quite far from the perfect wife. Or mother. I am angry and resentful that not working means I do 98% of the childcare. In some ways, I can’t wait to get a job so that he can pick up some of the slack. He can’t wait so he doesn’t have to hear me bitch anymore about being supermom and how tough it is.
We fight, yell, scream, throw things and act like preschoolers. After 7 years of marriage, it’s hard to keep my temper when he knows the right buttons to push, and vice versa.
So there you have it. I’m getting it all out there. I don’t want anyone to ever think, “She has no idea what I’m going through.” I probably do. And so do many other moms out there. Who do and don’t post on this kind of stuff. For many reasons, all valid. I know many other mommy bloggers that post on these things, or different areas they struggle in. This is mine. My marriage.
The big picture is, we are working on it. We love each other so much. Our fights end in tears and hugs and promises of more talking and more time together. We both step up to the plate for a while. We’re human, old habits die hard. The counselor helps us step outside our lives to see what’s really going on. It’s getting better in some ways, worse in others with the stress a child, a move, a job change, a life change brings. We’re working on it, but I’m not here to fake it anymore. And I have been. I’ve joked or excused my way through posts and for that, I am sorry. I look back and while I don’t think I portrayed the perfect life, I certainly wasn’t truthful.
To me, being a blogger means being honest with my words, no matter how hard it is to crush the perfect image of wife, mother and family I could portray. We need to know that everyone goes through this, and just because I pretend on here doesn’t mean once I hit publish I keep my fantasy world going. It just means that everyone else on the other end of this does.