Wednesday, September 25, 2013
If You Think That's Bad...
When you’re feeling bad, it can be comforting to know that someone else is suffering just a little bit more. That’s probably why people think, “It could be worse,” is an acceptable pep talk. The truth is, no one ever wants to be the fat friend, the poor friend or the friend with the split ends and dark circles under her eyes (I digress).
For the past four years, I’ve been trying to convince my husband that being a stay-at-home mom makes me the fat friend in our relationship. Caring for our two children 24/7 has been grueling - leaving me a tired, flabby shell of my former self. And while I know that this is a completely unreasonable argument to have with your life partner, I stand by the fact that there are days when it definitely feels like I got the short end of the stick.
I’ll admit he does have a very demanding sales job. He leaves home, stuffed into a suit and tie, to face a long day of meetings and rejection. And at the end it all, he comes home to our chaotic zoo of a living room and often finds me crying in the middle of it all.
On the plus side, he has the luxury of showering alone, traveling to and from work alone, and engaging with other adults on a regular basis. When he walks through the door, our kids greet him with hugs and cheers. He can forget about any work stress when they challenge him to a tickle wresting match.
My husband would probably argue that I have it easy, strolling down to the kitchen each morning for a cup of coffee and an episode of Sesame Street. Let’s face it, it doesn’t take a genius to finger paint and make peanut butter sandwiches.
But the fact is, I never leave work. My office is our apartment. There are no weekends, holidays or evenings. In fact, my bosses often find their way into my bed in the middle of the night.
Shuttling two small kids around the city often feels like walking through quicksand with a boulder strapped to my back. The three flights of stairs to our front door are a lot more manageable when you’re not carrying a 25-pound toddler and an enormous double stroller. Not to mention the frequent stops to look at a bird or fetch a lost shoe make it almost impossible to get anywhere in a hurry.
There are aspects of both of our jobs that may seem glamorous to the other person (Hello, wine tasting playgroups!), but there is also plenty of grunt work on both sides. So the next time I’m knee deep in dirty diapers, I’ll keep in mind that some angry customer out there is probably giving my husband shit too.