Thursday, September 25, 2008

Ballad of a Selfish Mother...

Psst, Internets, lean in a little closer. I've got a secret I don't want to tell my husband, but I need to get it off my chest.

I'm glad he's starting rehearsals for another show next week.

I feel like a bad wife and a selfish mother. I do. But at least I can admit it to you, O, Anonymous Internet. (See why I don't tell my hubby I have a blog?)

Handsome's been on an acting hiatus for the last 2 months and it's been great having him home in the evenings. We make/eat dinner together, watch some tv, do a house chore or two, play with the kid, bathe the kid, read to the kid, put the kid to bed, argue with the kid to "stay in bed and go to sleep!" We're regular Ozzie and Harriets. I guess this is what other couples do most evenings.

"Normal" is weird for us. For our entire relationship of almost 12 years, Handsome always goes off to rehearsal after dinner. It sucked at first when we were dating in college, but now I'm used to it.

Don't get me wrong. I was really looking forward to his "theater break". He had been going back to back with shows (some of them overlapping) for over a year and all the while working his 9 to 5. Poor baby was about to snap like brittle twig. He needed a mental health break. I enjoyed it for the first month or so and now I'm ready to "take back the nights".

Most of Handsome's rehearsals start at around 7 pm, which means he leaves the house by about 6:30, meaning I have about 2 hours of unadulterated Mommy/Daughter time to assuage my working mother guilt. But when Daddy's home, screw mommy. Only Daddy can read to her, wash her, argue about sleeping.

She's a daddy's girl and usually I'm fine with this (I was one too) except this last theater break I kinda feel usurped in my mothering. I'm a nurturer. That's what I do. But I haven't gotten the chance to do all the little things with her that I'm used to doing.

Yes, I know it's important for Handsome to spend as much time as possible with her. But I miss having tea parties and hiding in caves (bedroom closets) from bears. I know Handsome, as an actor, would be a lot more interesting to play with if I were a little kid (he's imaginative and does better puppet voices, I accept that all my voices sound like Oscar the Grouch or Beaker from the Muppets). Having Daddy home for longer than a 3 week stretch in the evenings is something Darling has enjoyed. It's a novelty.

Something else I'll enjoy? Absolute Remote Control. Not that I don't like Mythbuster Marathons and reruns of X-men and Family Guy just as much as the next red-blooded American gal, but you know, what if I want to sneak in a Lifetime movie (shut up, I know!) or geek out on the History Channel? I'm not good at sharing or waiting my turn.

Plus, since I have this super-secret blog, it would be much easier to blog in the evenings from home without someone looking over my shoulder. I won't have to feel guilty over my 2 hour on the phone conversations with my best friend.

I like the 8:30 (Darling's bedtime) to 10:30 (my bedtime) "Me" time. I can do whatever I want (as long as I'm in "Get back in bed!" yelling distance of Darling).

Every so often, he has "I'm a horrible father and husband" abandonment issues. He gushes guilt, I soothe, tell him it's fine, it's his dream, I love that he does it (and I truly do) and we eventually move on. He's enjoyed being home and being an eveningtime father, but I can tell the siren call of his mistress, The Stage is beckoning him. He's antsy. She's demanding.

I adore my husband. Since our time as a family/couple is so limited most of the time, we make it a point to take/pick up Darling from daycare everyday. Handsome and I IM during the day at work. We probably talk to each more than most couples that spend evenings together (I'm guessing. I didn't do the math).

He's my best friend and I couldn't stand to be without him in my life. He's also the best father I have ever known. Those two are like peas and carrots. They are the same type of person if you know what I mean. He adores her and bends over backwards to make time even when he doesn't have it to give to make her feel like the most important person in the universe. (He's good at that with me too).

But, sometimes, Internet, I feel guilty for being a tiny bit jealous of the bond they have. I know the Daddy's Little Girl thing is powerful, and she and I will be closer when she's older but I feel like crap that all the little things she and I do together every evening of her life is discarded just because Daddy's home. (I'm such a horrible person for admitting that.)Being able to do those things with her sort of balanced out the parental duty thing.

I've been so fussy this last week. I've been writing/designing like crap (both here and at work). I wonder how much of it has to do with the anticipation of getting back to normal next week.

I'm a person who adores routines. And my routine is totally messed up. I'm looking forward to next week and the sans-Handsome evenings.

Fucking selfish, aren't I? I hate me this week.


Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours said...

No, you're not selfish ('cause that would make me selfish too, and we can't have that!).

Hubby used to work 2 jobs, one of which was fireman in a big city. He had crazy hours and worked overnight about 1/2 the time. I was home full time, so it balanced out ok.

Then hubby was injured at work and I went back to work full time. I get home at 6pm and I really want time with just kiddo and me. Most of the time hubby is happy to bail out and go play pool (he's on 2 leagues) and I get to do the evening thing w/ kiddo. I LOVE it.

Then there are the nights when we're all home together. Yeah, that's all well and good, but after a few of them, I'm like "don't you need to practice pool or something?"

Sugar Britches said...

I lOVE coming home to an empty house. It's mine all mine for a short period of time. Do I do anything differently? No. It's just the idea.

My blog started out a secret too. But I found out that Big Daddy knew for a long time I had it. I knew that he knew that I knew that he knew kind of a thing.

He thinks it's great. So, I think if Handsome ever finds out, he'll think it's cool.

That is, if you don't care that he knows!

Spyder said...

But with Handsome not knowing about your blog you can't threaten: "I'm blogging that!" Gee I love doing that!

Brigindo said...

Not selfish at all. I totally get missing the routine and missing the time alone and missing the time with Darling. As for the Daddy's girl part--I've been on the other side. I'm the mama of a self-declared mama's boy...loved every minute of it and, occasionally, felt bad for his dad.

Stacey K said...

You're not selfish. The first time my youngest ran past me to get Daddy to kiss her boo-boo it nearly broke my heart. She was mine and I didn't like having to share, even she was technically his too.

I've been sulking all week since we decided to homeschool our younger son. It's the best choice for him, and I want to do it, but.....

the hours between 8:30 am (youngest goes to school) and noon (I open the boutique) were MINE. I'll sulk less next week, but for now I am mourning my loss.