A recent post by Mike and Heather Spohr dealing with working from home at Huffington Post made me a chuckle. I’ve followed their main blog, “The Spohrs are Multiplying” for years since their oldest daughter, Maddie, was just days older than my son. Since they’ve become parents, they’ve both been able to experience what it’s like to work outside the home, stay home, and work from home. I’m envious that both of them are on the same page and both realize that none of the options are full of sunshine and roses.
My husband, Mike, God love him — he doesn’t seem to ‘get’ what I do. Sure, he takes the random checks that appear from my various schools and deposits them (yes, they are online schools but not all of them are fancy enough for direct deposit — go figure!), but as far as the time commitment and trying to balance the kids (and everything else) with my job, I don’t feel like he really has any idea. He goes to work. I work — take care of the house, kids, and manage the rest of our lives as well. I often find myself wishing that he could work at home too — even if just for a few days — to see what all of my fuss is about — and why I daydream about the idea of an eight hour work day with a half-hour for lunch.
When the kids ask to do something and Mike says that he can’t because he has to work. Or when other family members explain that they have to go home because they have to work tomorrow – I often want to shout – “I have to work too!” My work often feels like it is shoved under the rug, as I do manage to squeeze work into the cracks of my day – in order to maximize my time to do all the things. While I feel like I deserve an Olympic gold most days for managing to work and deal with all of the chaos of home and everything else, since others don’t see me donning work clothes and heading to a specific job, it feels like my job doesn’t even exist to the rest of society — I know, I’ve waxed on about this before…
I feel like those with very supportive and understanding husbands — like Heather Spohr or even our own, Brandy, have a leg up on those of us who, like me, just don’t feel like their husband understands the work that is done both at paying jobs and in the home. However, even if Mike could work from home he still wouldn’t do all of the things that I do — both because he doesn’t care about many of the things and because I’ve always been the one to take care of all of the things.
I’ve read books about the idea of a 50/50 marriage and parenting and while ultimately that is something I strive for, it just isn’t a reality in my life. At least not currently. Maybe I need to do more to bring Mike on-board. Maybe Mike needs to buck up and do the planning for the next birthday party (ha!). Maybe I need more outside help and support. Maybe it isn’t a husband issue at all — maybe I just need to give up my desire to do all of the things.
My question to all moms – WAHM, WOHM, SAHM – is do you feel like your husband “gets” and supports what you do? Do you need them to? What role does your husband play in your success at balancing all of the things?
***Disclaimer: This reads like I’m throwing my husband under the bus — but he’s aware that I feel this way. We just haven’t really figured out what to do about it — if anything. ***
Photo Credit Ed Yordon via Flickr