This post is for Scientiae‘s call to share what we did on our summer vacation. I’ve been fairly silent about my personal life the last few months, But I was hugely encouraged by all the wonderful comments that so many of you made in the getting to know you post a few weeks back, when you said that you were sticking around because you were interested in my story and want to hear how everything turns out for me. So I am feeling brave enough (or foolish enough) to let you have a bit of peek into what’s going on in my life outside of the professional sphere.
I’m not really sure how to right this in a coherent narrative, so y’all are just going to get bullet points.
- In mid-May my spouse was fired for negligence of job duties.
- My spouse is still unemployed. He is either unable or unwilling to find work. Most weeks he is not even collecting unemployment.
- In mid-June, the out-of-state DUI my spouse got in the winter resulted in a 1-year suspension of his Mystery State drivers license.
- In July, despite no job and no driving privileges, my spouse decided that he wasn’t willing to stay in Midwest with Minnow and I while I did field work and attended a workshop. Instead he went home to Mystery City.
- Two weeks ago he got limited driving privileges reinstated. He can now drive to and from work and for “necessary household maintenance” during limited days/hours.
- My spouse is unwilling or unable to care for Minnow even on a part-time basis.
- During the summer, I cut my working hours (and we traveled a lot) so Minnow wasn’t in daycare all of the time. But now that school is back in session, Minnow is in daycare 9 hours a day so that I can work a slim 8 hours per day.
- Most of the time, Minnow loves her daycare.
- Most of the time, I love my job.
- We have a negative cash-flow problem and are rapidly depleting our communal savings.
- Minnow still does not sleep through the night. We are lucky to get 3 hours at a stretch from her, 1x per night. We’ve tried everything. Yes, even crying it out. No, there’s no apparent medical reason.
- The latest round of sleep training involves my spouse doing most night-time care, but me nursing around midnight when I go to bed and then around 4 am when spouse gives up in exhaustion.
- I’m exhausted all the time.
- I don’t drink coffee.
- During the day, while I’m at work and Minnow is at daycare, Spouse spends much of his time sleeping, playing video games, watching tv, and trolling the same few websites for jobs.
- Spouse is now cooking dinner for us.
- I do 95% of the rest of the housework (i.e., all of it except when he occasionally does something manly like mow the lawn).
- Our house is such a disaster I daren’t allow neighbors in.
- I do >70% of the care for Minnow while she is awake and we are at home. This includes all day on weekends. Sometimes Spouse will participate in family activities.
- Spouse does his fair share of poopy diaper changing and sunscreen application.
- I treasure my time with Minnow. I wish I had more of it.
- Above bullet points have, needless to say, put a lot of stress on an already fragile marriage.
- We were in couples counseling this spring, but my spouse now says that he doesn’t see the point in it. He doesn’t think we need it.
- No conversation we’ve ever had has effected any long term (>2 week) change in his behavior.
- I don’t see any measurable (action-oriented) benefits of his antidepressants, though he may be slightly happier.
- I’ve taken to avoiding my long-distance friends. I don’t have any (time for) local ones except a few moms in the cul-de-sac.
- I dread questions from friends, family, strangers about my spouse. “So, what does your husband do?”
- I need to figure out what I want and how to cope with/adjust to the current operating parameters of my life.
- I have an appointment with a new therapist in just over a week.
- I’ve had to wait more than a month to see her.
- I hope she’s good.
I’m not telling you this because I want your advice or your pity. I’m telling you this because I consider many of you friends. And because I believe that the only way we can destigmatize things is by being more open about them and acknowledging how common they are. I’m telling you this because I’m tired of keeping it all bottled up, and for better or for worse, this is my outlet. I’m telling you this because if I’m going to blog at all about my life (which was an original purpose of the blog), you’re going to need some context.
Spouse – if you read this, I’m sorry for spilling our troubles out onto the internet. Go ahead and resent me for it.
Minnow – if you read this, know that your Mommy loves you more than anything in the whole wide world. She hopes you won’t be too embarrassed by her blog when you grow up. I swear that all the cool moms were doing it back in the day.