When you live with another person, there will be face-palm moments. It’s natural. And pop culture and psychology/evolutionary biology shelves are full of texts talking about the cognitive and behavioral differences in the sexes. I’ve read some of those and they’re pretty damn interesting. But that was back in the day when I had time to, you know, read stuff other than parenting books/websites/blogs. Hell, George R. R. Martin will have finished writing the Game of Thrones series by the time I catch up to the books.
Sorry. Nerd alert!
In my particular couple-dom, I think I’m the more stereotypically masculine in many ways. I’m much less likely to ask for directions. Unless captured in a horrific maelstrom of hormones (or extreme sleep deprivation), I’m fairly logical and unemotional. I work in a scientific field, for crying out loud. I deal with my emotions with inappropriate humor and sarcasm. Shocking, I know. Will is more sensitive. Now, lest you bristle in defense, I am not insinuating that he’s a cry baby. He talks more. He sometimes needs more positive reinforcement, feedback, and praise. When he gets off work, he wants to talk about his day. I want to sit quietly, have a glass of wine or cup of tea, and watch Honey Boo-Boo.
There are exceptions. I do not believe for a second that 22 (or however many I have) pairs of shoes are enough. And if I am tired and feel like shit? Red lipstick or new underwear can seriously prop me up. I know that’s irrational, but it’s one of those things. And Will, being a male, is in charge of fixing stuff and computers. He also gets to kill roaches.
So where did this topic come from? It was yesterday morning, about 6:45 AM. Felix had a doctor’s appointment scheduled, Will had work, and I was scheduled to be at home telecommuting. I usually try to let Will sleep as long as possible, but we were reaching critical mass. Sure, Felix’s appointment wasn’t until 8:30 and the pediatrician is just around the corner. But anyone with children knows that it takes about 9 millennia to get ready to go anywhere with a child; sure, you think you have almost 2 hours to get dressed to go around the corner, but that time will disappear faster than Pat Roberston at a gay wedding. In the meantime, the dishwasher needed unloading, my boobs needed unloading via pump since Felix had had enough and the girls were too full, Stella was her usual tornadic awesomeness (“Swimsuit? Paint? Paint? Pickle? Pick me up? Hair down? Apple? Cake? Cake? Cake?”), Felix was moaning-growling in the swing, and I needed caffeine and breakfast. I had to pee, too.
I went into the bedroom where my husband was sleeping. I informed him that it was time to get up, that I needed him sooner rather than later. This is where the system broke down. I think what he heard was “Feel free to sleep or lounge for the next 20 minutes, occasionally yelling at our daughter for yelling and complaining about how tired you are.” This is what he hears pretty much every day, to my extreme irritation.
This may be unfair. It may not be a gender thing; it may be a Will thing. I suppose I lump it in with a gender thing as I think of leaping up if you even think your kid needs something or is unattended as being more of a mom thing. Furthermore, I like to think if Will is in a bad way and needs to take care of some things – like important bodily functions – that I will come, pronto. However this type of scenario is why I feel I can’t take him up on his offer to get up with the kids in the middle of the night so I can rest. If he can’t get up quickly after 7 hours of sleep and snap to it, what makes him/me think he can do it at 3:00 AM? And it’s not just getting up, it’s being sweet and comforting such that you don’t agitate whatever kid it is further and lengthen the duration of the awakening. And in Will’s case, if it’s Felix, he’s going to have to warm a bottle. It’s just easier for me to do it. But then he gets irritated with me, for not asking for help and getting stressed out.
Anyone else have these battles as well?