At the end of the day, of course I’m moody and emotional and want attention and affection and to spend time with a person that speaks in full sentences.
I spend the day with small emotional human beings that cling to me and that need a million needs met. I spend the day with small humans that need to be taught how to communicate. I spend the day carrying, lifting, hugging, kissing boo-boos, giving, burning out, immersed in the fantasy world of children and craving something real.
And then there’s you. You spend the entire day with other adults, talking with other adults, working at a demanding job where you can’t just relax. So when you get home you’re burned out on the real and want to disappear into something that consumes you.
We’re in two different places.
I’m sorry that sometimes I handle the difference with the maturity of a three year old and get moody instead of speaking in full sentences. I’m tired of converting moods into words and have no words left for myself.
I’m sorry if I sometimes view your decompression as “laziness” or “not important”. I’ve been strongly conditioned by society to be at war with you over this. Men are lazy, women are bat-shit-insane and moody and require chocolates and flowers to keep them happy. And Men like “stupid” things. Like football or video games or muscle cars.
I need to remember that even though we “share a life” our lives are very different. I need to let go of the wars of others and not view your decompression as abandonment or a lack of interest. I need to not view it as “lazy” when I know how hard you work. (Even though that’s the word that you choose to apply to yourself and a word that I have never called you.)
I need to remember that I do ask you to rescue me from the kids sometimes. When you ask me to rescue you from them it is not because you are being lazy. You are just as likely to have a Very Bad Day as I am, and you’re just as likely to need a break as I am. I would not take it well if you were annoyed when I asked for a break. I should not be annoyed when you need one. Your being around less often doesn’t mean that you’re required to be constantly on call.
I need to remember that I’m far more likely to be thinking about the end of the day and seeing you than you are to be thinking about the same. In our home I am surrounded by reminders of you. I’m washing your clothes and folding them and putting them away and seeing your face in the faces of our children. I’m living in a memory box and you’re living in the world.
I need to work on not feeling as though your time at home somehow belongs to me and that when you want to do something else it’s “time lost”. Instead I need to realize that when you are home from work it’s time that you are not at work, it is time that belongs to you and not to me. And that when we spend time together it is out of desire and not obligation. I also need to think more of that time after the kids are in bed as my time for myself rather than being my time for “us”.
Instead of looking at you to restore me to balance, I need to find balance of my own and let you find your balance. That way when we meet in the quiet place between it’s a place of joy and not obligation or burn-out.
I understand that this will pass. The kids will grow. I’ll feel free again. We’ll each have more time. I don’t want to rob you of your independence any more than I want you to rob me of mine.
The key is to just breathe through it and keep from building resentments that keep us from enjoying each other’s company once all of that has happened.
I want to look back with you and smile and be like “Holy shit, we did that together. Wow.”
And not “I hate you because I hate you. And. Also. I hate you.” I’ve done that already, and I dislike the consequences of one person being so focused on their own wants and needs that they can’t see the good of the person that they used to love.
I won’t be that person. Except sometimes. You know. Because I miss you. And because absorbing the maturity level of small children is hard to avoid when you’re around them all day every day plus overtime and very little sleep.
Be thankful that I don’t spend my days surrounded by cats, because then I’d poop on your pillowcase instead of washing it. Moodiness is a little easier to deal with, no?
I’ll try to do better.
(And. Also. I love you. Most of the time.)