I have recently enrolled Pinky onto a Saturday morning ballet class. She is still a little nervous so I am having to stay with her rather than wait outside with all the other mums and dads. This also means that I can’t realistically have Perky with me either. This isn’t a problem as Hubby is about. This week he came with us and said he would wait outside with Perky and then we could all head into town together afterwards for coffee and cake. As silly as it sounds this was a treat for me, I’m so used to doing all the girls things on my own just having some support there (albeit on the other side of a door and unseen) really helped.
Unfortunately due to some of the other mums there I doubt very much he will be coming back. All he said was that they are very ‘Cliquey’ and spent the whole time bitching about their husbands. Maybe I’m sadly immune to this now as I definitely notice it less and less but I know what he is taking about. It’s the group of mums we all think we want to fit in with but they will do their best to ignore everyone because getting to know someone new is too much effort! I am over this now and would hate to think I was part of a ‘Clique’. Surely we should all be there to help each other? A simple nod in another parents direction that says ‘Hi’ or ‘We’ve all been there, you’re doing great’ rather than a venomous look of ‘who are you? We haven’t seen you here before.’ or as Hubby got the ‘oh a man pretending to care… shame’ look.
This is water of a ducks back for me now, you encounter it all to bloody often as a mum.
But the thing that really got to me was the Husband bashing. Now don’t get me wrong, no marriage is perfect. We get on each others nerves, wind each other up and do things we know full well will piss the other off. We bicker with each other and disagree often, but above it all we are a partnership and parents. We have each made our own sacrifices and compromises for the family we have. Decisions are made together.
Of course I have on occasion moaned about something Hubby may have done to my closest friend, but never in public and I usually know I’m just being over sensitive because the times there really is a problem I talk to Hubby about it and not an outsider.
Now my point isn’t that we should never discuss these things in public, of course a good old gossip with friends does wonders for the soul, and better out than in as they say. Unfortunately Hubby got the impression this was all the women ever spoke about and was mortified at the prospect that that could be me, if not now maybe in the future. There was discussion about ‘The Husband’ being out at work all week and then playing golf on the Saturday morning. Annoying I know, I think I’d be a little pissed at that too, who wouldn’t want a little more involvement with the kids, but then she announced she was off to the hairdressers (a very expensive chain) for 4 hours later to get her hair done whilst he had the Kids….. moaning leverage lost I feel. There is the other side to this which we didn’t hear. I did point out to Hubby that he simply isn’t familiar with partner bashing from the Wives perspective, he usually only hears the mans side. I don’t believe for one moment that only one partner can speak so degradingly about the other without them both doing it.
But are really at a point in society where it is becoming normal to be unhappily married? As we rush around with work and children how much time do we set aside to simply talk to each other? Everyone highlights ‘quality time’ referring to some form of date night, dinner, movie etc…. the apparent only time that sex is a ‘guarantee’ for some couples. Personally I don’t believe sex should ever be considered a guarantee. But what about just talking? Holding a normal conversation that couples presumably did before children? It has taken me a long time to get Hubby to discuss his working day with me. I understand he finds it boring, but to me its a window to the outside world I don’t get now I no longer work. The same goes for me, I find relaying what the girls have done for the millionth time that week fairly tedious but its the only way he knows, he isn’t lucky enough to spend the time with them I get. Now we both go through our own tedious motions which pleases the other equally and then we move onto other conversations. Household matters to politics, depending on what has occurred during the day and the level of tiredness between us. The important thing for us is it doesn’t matter what the topic is so long as we talk, a lot. It helps avoid bigger arguments in the long run and helps us feel closer. We fell in love and got married because we find each other interesting (among other things) so why should that change now we have children?
I hope in the future I do not find myself sat with a group of friends on a Saturday morning bad mouthing Hubby. I hope I can continue to see things from his perspective as well as mine and see that his need for a break is as great as mine, be it golf or a night down the pub. To appreciate that maybe I am not the only one in need of a lay in at the weekend after his week of getting up and out to the office before 7am, whilst I get up and get the girls sorted.
I think most of us try to do the best for our families and for each family what is best will vary. Thats ok. But lets show some respect for all the dads out there being dragged to Saturday ballet classes to support their wives and children and all the mums that are pulling their hair out dealing with the fifth tantrum since 6.30am. I think it is time to stop moaning and to reclaim our happiness. Is talking about it the key?