ThrowRA_resentfuldad OP t1_jaeiao0 wrote

She recommended I read this and I basically ignored it after she did because I assumed it was yet another narrative of how hard the SAHM life is and how its underappreciated and that society hasn't supported the reality of parenthood in our work/life balance and women get stuck holding the mental and physical coverage of this. But I have accepted all of that and very supportive of that narrative. I feel like I have done literally everything in my power to help (give her options to work or not, financially and any literally any support she needs (she chose nanny 3x a week not me), my time outside of work to help) and it hasnt really changed the situation. I will read the book since you are recommending it, but that is why I haven't yet.


ThrowRA_resentfuldad OP t1_jaegrqy wrote

Yeah I mean I guess you nailed my frustration. Not to inventory everything, but she watches our youngest all day and is very attentive with him doing activities, taking him for walks, to the park, his meals during the day, she does most of the kids laundry, manage doctors appointments, and she takes the kids to music class and on play dates with her friends and their kids. So basically between her and the nanny she has created a really amazing developmental environmental for our kids. Where I get frustrated is that I just feel so burnt out between work and helping at home, yet she is constantly complaining about being exhausted which is what really needles me.


ThrowRA_resentfuldad OP t1_jaeexsz wrote

She sees her friends a lot actually, especially recently as almost all of them are new mothers as well. I will say that so much of her previous "self" was tied up with her work and career. So when she sees friends now its usually with their kids, and when she comes home its with her kids. So I think as I reflect that some of her frustration around division of responsibilities is less about how hard we work but more that she is kids 24/7 and I am not and I get that mental break every day from kids...and meanwhile I am frustrated because I feel like I am working harder and doing more stuff. Clearly we need a better way to have these discussions directly with each other.


ThrowRA_resentfuldad OP t1_jaedpjn wrote

She has said she is, as I have recommended couples counseling. I don't even really know where to start though with our schedules and adding yet another thing to our week. Now with more remote services like better help I should look into it again. She is also not a very emotional person and doesn't open up a lot, so it may be a slow start but she has said she would do it if I want it. good advice, thank you.


ThrowRA_resentfuldad OP t1_jaede4j wrote

Thank you for the perspective. I think we both feel very fortunate and have stated that to each other. But then when we look inward to our little personal bubble we do way too much self pitty vs what the other's role is. Yeah we do go on dates about once a month without kids, and we go out to a nice dinner with kids about 2x a month. We have not gone on a nice vacation without kids in years though.


ThrowRA_resentfuldad OP t1_jaadnxc wrote

Thanks for the note, its good advice. I try to tell her at least once a week how much I appreciate her, and how great of a mom she is. But I think your message was a good reminder that sometimes people just need to vent and a partner is supposed to be there to listen and support. Your analogy of the office and the validation is super insightful.

I also think I probably need to be more vocal about the validation and appreciation that I need. She is not one to give out thank yous and appreciation frequently and I am definitely someone who craves validation, so I probably just need to express that. But asking for appreciation sometimes defeats the positive impact it has so I stopped reminding her.


ThrowRA_resentfuldad OP t1_jaacq0z wrote

I actually just convinced her to go to a personal trainer 1x per week as I know exercise helps me to feel more energetic and she was struggling a bit with forcing herself to do it. She goes for a lot of walks with the baby but figured she needed to get out of the house and away from the kids.

I think a lot of it has to do with losing who she is. She used to be a full time working professional, was very serious about it and great at her job, and motherhood and covid kind of hit her all at once and I think she is resentful of losing all of that while I go out into the "real world" every day. But she has lots of friends with kids and they get together and grab lunch or go for walks or do play dates, so I think that part of it is getting better. But yeah I like the approach of trying to get her out away from the kids more often to hopefully create some perspective for her.

Edit: We have talked about PPD, and I think with the first kid she may have had a little bit but has been way better since, and much better with the second kid. She just seems a little bored with being stuck to a kid 24/7 and resents me getting to leave the house. Meanwhile I resent that Im not appreciated for working so hard. All in all we probably just need to communicate better.


ThrowRA_resentfuldad OP t1_jaa8zb7 wrote

Sorry, just to clarify, when I travel for work I do 12-hour days, but when I am not traveling I leave the house at 7:30 am after I make breakfast and help to get the kids ready and am home by 5 pm to make dinner and help with the bedtime routine.

But your point is still taken. I think that is why I have been so stoic on the situation, because I do have a lot of respect and empathy for what she does as a SAHM. Its really hard work and she does a great job at it (our kids are always nailing milestones and maturing really well). And she sends me tons of links and narratives about how hard being a SAHM is, so I feel like I get a solid dose of that reality. But I guess my concern has been that no matter how hard I work to make it "right" I don't ever feel like the tide is shifting and I'm just not feeling the appreciation or respect. I think some of the other comments have hardened this for me, but I probably just have a communication issue on my hands.

I appreciate your advice and I think that is a fair thing to try. Im sure it would give me more appreciation for what she does when I am at work, and the monotony of a full week of it vs just the weekends like I do now. That said I am not sure it will cure my growing resentment. Like what is the inverse of that where she feels what it is like to deal with the insane pressure and stress of being an executive at a company, getting up at the crack of dawn to do chores and cook breakfast, then race off to work and grind in meetings for 8 striaght hours, to race home and make dinner and put kids to bed. Im mentally and emotionally exhausted and yet I feel like I am always hearing her side of the challenges of our life. But me just complaining more doesn't make things better. Anyways, sorry for the long-winded repsonse.


ThrowRA_resentfuldad OP t1_jaa7d46 wrote

There is a lot to process in this. I appreciate the note and the candor. There is a lot good with our marriage, she is my best friend, we enjoy each other's company, we have affection, but your sentence of "You will begin to deeply resent her lack of understanding or reciprocation" kind of hit the nail on the head of my concern. I am hopeful I can turn the ship but you gave me some important perspective. Thanks.


ThrowRA_resentfuldad OP t1_ja9vz8n wrote

This is a great message. Thank you for the kick in the butt on what I have felt we needed for a while with counseling. We have a pretty good marriage but we have these "bread and butter" challenges that slowly erode what is working well. You nailed it..."its not a competition". And "I suspect the message you're getting is not the one she's meaning to send" yeah I think you are right. Thank you.


ThrowRA_resentfuldad OP t1_ja9bz1m wrote

Yeah our 1 year old is now sleeping through the night. We will have random wake-ups from the 3-year-old, the baby, or the dog. Seems that most nights something will break our sleep at least once, but just very quickly and we all go back to bed. But whenever that happens we all kind of wake up, so it's not something she solely has to deal with. I will say that she was amazing dealing with all of the nighttime wake-ups the last year, which is wy I am only starting to get resentful now. I just assumed as the baby got older she would become more grateful. That has not been the case.


ThrowRA_resentfuldad OP t1_ja9b4xi wrote

That is really good advice. I feel like I make a point to find time to myself once a month, and she has not done the same. I get that it's harder with the breastfeeding and baby schedule/routine than it is for me and I appreciate that she owns that part of our parenting roles. I will more proactively help her to schedule some free time to do something on her own to see if it gives her some relief, and hopefully some clarity on her situation being fairly positive.

Also for clarity, the oldest is only in preschool about 12 hours a week, and the nanny is at the house about 25-30 hours a week and the grandparent is at the house about 15 hours a week.