Wow, you really are running....All The Time.
Honey, I think you're going to snap. There is only so much energy and time in a day, and you don't have any wiggle room for the regular problems of life.....have to come back later...sorry.
It seems like every week (practically every day) he does his best to not be helpful or participate in the whole family thing. He did it again tonight - we have 3 kids, all very active, I work full time (45 minute drive one way to the job) and I enjoy running (it keeps me sane) I am always training for a full or half marathon. He couldn't handle dinner and taking my daughter to guitar. He made half of it and left it out and the dogs ate it!!!!! I wake up at 4:15 every day so I can get a run in, & try to make it to the office by 8 (which is hard to do with kids and minimum 45 min. drive). He has his own business which he is wrapped up in 24/7, he is in recovery (3 years since last relapse) and attends meetings & counseling sessions 3 nights a week minimum. So when the kids need to be picked up or taken places - we have activities 4 nights a week and at least one day on the weekend - he doesn't think about that when scheduling things. I can't always get the kids because of my long a** drive. He never thinks about that! We have a calendar I maintain, everything is on it, he can access it on his phone, but he still can't figure it out. At least 2 times a week he calls me at the last minute and says I can't get the kids - can you do it??!! So I end up having to leave work early because it takes me a full hour to get to them with traffic, I have to make up for lost time at work, it gets messy. And dinner - I leave him recipes, I prep everything for him, he can't read the directions, he doesn't give himself enough time to make them, he screws them all up. And weekends - always at the last minute - I have to take a service call, I won't be able to help with this or that. (He does residential HVAC repairs, etc.) So I'm left to take care of everything - all shopping, errands, cleaning, kid stuff. And I'm so tired ALL the time because I can't get to bed before 11 pm and I can't sleep past 4:30 am or nothing will get done. We never talk because we are too busy. It's constant!!!! And now - our 16th anniversary is this Friday - I have a babysitter and everything - and I don't even want to go. He is the last person I want to hang out with right now!!! I don't want to get him a card, buy him a gift or even look at him! I guess I'm not asking for advice, I'm just complaining!!!! There's so much more, I just don't want to wear everybody out with all my stories. I never complain to my sisters or girlfriends, it just brings me down. Thanks for listening.
Wow, you really are running....All The Time.
Honey, I think you're going to snap. There is only so much energy and time in a day, and you don't have any wiggle room for the regular problems of life.....have to come back later...sorry.
Just remember the opposite of live isn't hate, it's indifference!
You guys need at least a loose framework of a schedule.
Try writing it down: meetings, work, pick ups , etc and use it as a starting point?
(We all hate out husbands sometimes. Tonight I came home to a giant pot of hit water, hot, sauce in another pot, cold, and hubs & son gone....yeah, HAD to run to Lowe's right in the middle of cooking dinner. Not the grovery store--Lowe's! I don't get it either!)
Want to know a (not-so-secret) secret?
I want to be in control all the time. I want things done properly (read: how I think they should be done) and I want them on my schedule.
The trouble is, this kind of thing makes me INSANE, so as hard as it is, I have to learn to let go. Which is a lot easier said than done. Seriously.
Now, reading your post, I wondered if perhaps you struggle with similar tendencies. I could be off base, and I'll be honest, part of me only brings it up because for a long time (when your husband was in active addiction), you may have felt you actually HAD to do everything and be in control or your entire world would fall apart. At least, that's how it felt for me. If I didn't do it, it didn't get done. If I didn't prepare for potential calamity, all hell would rain down. But I digress.
Look, something has got to give. Your schedule is cray-zee. Anyone would want to strangle their husband (and any living thing near them) if they were running on too little sleep and too much to do for so many years. Your husband is going to make mistakes. He's going to screw up dinner, miss appointments, and probably feel crummy for a little bit. But my suggestion is to seriously scale down on your commitments, simplify, and then hand your husband responsibility *without contingencies, planning, or resentment*.
For example. "Hey hon, this isn't working for me. I need to do less than I'm doing. So, I'm scaling back. I need to keep running for me. Running keeps me sane, so I'm not giving it up. I'm going to do half the shopping, half the cooking, and half the cleaning. No more, no less. I'm cutting down on the kid's stuff because I want us to have time together, as a family, and right now we don't have that. I'm also going to step back from trying to micromanage your stuff. When it's your night for cooking, it's up to you to come up with the recipe, make sure the ingredients are there, and make sure it happens on time. I'm also going to plan one night a month where we have childcare, so that we can start going on dates. I want to spend some quality time with you."
You know, it's not uncommon for folks to take on more than they can chew, sweep the side of the street that's not theirs to sweep, and then resent their spouse for it. I mean, it's kind of a hallmark trait for those of us who are in relationship with addicts. ;-)
In any case, I hope things get easier for you and soon. And that you get some rest. 'Cause mama, you SERIOUSLY deserve to put your feet up and have a night to just relax.
Something absolutely has to give here...your entire family is overscheduled. You are, your husband is, your children are. You are training, driving, working, driving, coming home to family. He is working, recovering, having meetings, etc. Children are at school, too many activities, even on the weekends...where is the down time for ANYONE?
Run less. Sleep more. It's more important for your body!
Cut back on kid's activities. They don't need 4 separate things a week.
Quit prepping meals and leaving recipes. Let him figure it out.
And most of all..."fake it 'til you make it" applies to more than just recovery. Make sure you not only get him a card, a gift, etc, but that you go out of your way to tell him how much you DO appreciate him, love him, and are there for him. Believe me, it does wonders to love your spouse when you really want to hate them, and trust me, I fully understand how you feel.
Honestly, I feel like I've given you my best advice, and I hope things mellow out soon!
I have recently gotten some really good advice from some moms on here about some issues with my husband. A little back story...
I wiork 5 minutes from home, leave the house at 615, so I can get home by 345 to get the kids off the bus. My kids have events 5 nights per week and on Saturdays. My husband works 2 hours away and gets off at 330, so he isn't home to help me run them around.
Here are some things I have realized about ME and things I have done to change them which makes my life easier:
1.) I like to be in charge. I like running the household and knowing everything that is going on. I handle the budget, all appointments for the kids, all repairs or anything related to the house/cars, everything.
* Sometimes this overwhelms me and I just expect my husband to step in and handle what is overflowing. Hei s used to me handling everything and we both prefer it that way. Instead of me getting mad at him for not knowing what I want or need from him, I need to communicate and give him ample time to rearrange what he needs to, if he can, to take some things off of my plate.
2.) I am a procrastinator! The last few weeks I have planned my meals out ahead of time. By Sunday, I know what we are having 4 nights of the week for dinner. One night will be leftovers or ordering a pizza.
*I make sure that I leave my husband things he can make when I need him to cook. I'll leave baked chicken or stir-fry nights to him. Anything that requires more work, he doesn't have time for. I often find myself cooking late at night for the next night. Last night I forgot to sautee the onions and garlic and bake the sausage for spaghetti tonight. So I'll be taking probably 30 minutes of leave to go home and do that at some point and get the crock pot going. Whichever one of us gets home first can boil the pasta. I'll also cut up the veggies for a salad when I go home on that break.
3.) I have priorities. I have the kids and the family's first, I also make what *I* want a priority.
* I recently had a few moms on here make me see that my husband's wants (read: softball) is also a priority. I need to budget that in our money and time. I just today cancelled our Memorial Weekend trip that we have taken annually for several years. $800 for a weekend just isn't in the cards right now. But I did make sure to set aside some money for my husband to split a hotel room with a friend for him to play softball that weekend. The kids and I will make picnic lunches and spend the entire weekend at the pool.
I think you and your husband need some counseling and help learning how to communicate. My husband and I have done it twice. It has really helped us see the other person's side. Counseling is HARD. When we went last summer I left the first session in tears and had my rings off for a week or so. I was so done. But not really. I was hurt and mad, but we came through those few sessions having gotten a lot out and learned new ways to communicate when things get tough.
You are NEVER too busy to talk. My husband and I are extremely busy with our kids and jobs as well, but every morning on my 10 minute commute to work, I call him. He has a 2 hour commute, so we are on the road at the same time. Sure I miss my morning music, but that little bit of time to talk helps. Same thing on the way home. We leave at basically the same time, so we call each other and get in 10-15 minutes before the kids come home.
So try to find some things that you CAN change that will make life easier. If you know he can't cook something, don't leave that for him - no matter how simple YOU might think it is (my husband can't seem to get rice right, so I tell him to wait for me and I do that). Pre-cook meals when you can, utilize your crock pot.
Openly communicate with your husband that you need as much notice as possible if he won't be able to do something he was going to do, like get the kids. I assume you work because your income is needed (that's why I work) and not having a job because of having to leave too often won't work. Find a sitter who can help in times like that. We found ours on sittercity and we LOVE her. We have had her for two years now and she is simply amazing. She is not always available, but she loves our kids and does what she can to help. I also have my family around, and they know I only call them for help if it's a flat out emergency, so they normally help when I call.
I know this is REALLY long. I'm just trying to say you're not alone, but I think you can find things to change yourself that will make life easier on all of you. Good luck!
Honestly, it sounds like you are all amazingly overscheduled. I don't know if there's anything you can trim out of there, or if there is a budget or way to offload some of what you do onto someone else. It sounds like he's in a service business where stuff happens without warning - that's beyond his control.
You are in control of stuff - he is doing what he does. He doesn't know how to do what you do as well as you do. It takes practice - you got as good as you are at it because you've been doing it forever.
What can you all do differently? What can you not do? What can you "skimp" on prep-wise? Are there families that your kids could carpool with? What can you offload? Is there family in the area that could help out a bit, or just give you a day off and babysit? Are there friends that could maybe do a babysitting co-op - where you watch each other's kids once in a while for free? Just trying to think outside the box.
Life is kicking both your butts - I don't know if YOU can take advantage of the counseling through his recovery thing. Maybe they have childcare. You might need the support as well to give yourself some care.
I wish you the best!
You need some sleep my dear. What I used to do when my kids were young is take an occasional day off of work and stay home and sleep. The key is NOT to tell DH or the kids. Just rest. I understand that running is your sanity, but you are stressing your body with training exercise, so please consider cutting back on the marathons and just run for fun.
As far as dinner, forget the prep, have him do deli sandwiches with fruit and carrot sticks. It is still too much work for you to plan everything, especially when he does not follow through. Plan on teaching your children to cook when they are old enough. Some children can handle it quite young,
Child pickups are another thing altogether and I can't think of anything else but have someone else on call to do it. Or hire a college student to do some nights running the kids around so you can stay home.
It is time to have a sit down talk with him. This system is not working and tearing apart any feelings of love,adoration and wanting to help one another. Tell him you are done with picking up the slack...you are done with that.
You are both working parents..you should both share in the bulk of childcare, and the housework. You cannot keep at the pace you are at without having serious side effects...one being a mental breakdown. You both are not showing a good example to your children of how to keep a house running smoothly and happily. You are showing them that dad can check out at any time he wishes and mom will pick up the slack...ALWAYS.
I am sorry you don't have sisters or girlfriends to talk to...talking is so therapeutic. But...you do have running...stick with it..don't stop.
I would seriously have a loooong chat with my husband if this were happening. We would get into some couple's counseling also.
Is there any way for you to pull back on your work schedule at all so you can focus more on the home and family?? Your sleep schedule is not good...I feel for you. The stress level you are carrying, the resentment toward your husband, the work load and childcare load and little sleep is a recipe for disaster.
There are so many red flags here that your marriage and family are headed for disaster. You should never be soooo busy that you don't have time to talk to your husband. Home life is not supposed to be this crazy and busy.
Go out with your husband. You need time together. Use it as a break from the routine and enjoy a meal someone else put together and will clean up after. Don't worry about a gift...or a card. Just spend some time together.
Sooo, you mentioned you weren't looking for advice. But I gave you some random thoughts flying through my brain as I tried to comprehend your whirlwind life.
This is a stretch and I am only throwing it out there to give you something to think about. SInce you can't and shouldn't quit your family...have you ever thought about quitting work?? I don't know what you do for a living. I know for some it is totally impossible...but it might just lift a huge burden off your shoulders if your husband does not change or budge on the homefront. Then he can just keep focusing on his job and keeping clean and sober. That might just be all he can give right now. And if it is really all he can give..then you need a plan B besides the routine you are in right now.
Just a thought....
Good luck and best wishes. I really feel for you. I can't imagine my life being like yours...I think I would crumble in a heap of tears...anger and resentment.
Hugs. I'm sorry that you're feeling so overwhelmed.
Here's the thing. You're both pretty busy. Rather than setting expectations that he can't meet and may not have agreed to, sit down together to figure out what he CAN do.
Priorities are important. His sobriety is the most important thing to your family. More important than running and marathon training. More important than guitar lessons. While it's great that you are staying in shape, having a hobby that's healthy, it sounds like it's taking a lot of time and it is optional. Sometimes busy working parents have to curtail our kids' activities. While we might love for them to take guitar lessons, do marching band, do theater productions and be on the softball and lacrosse team, we have to realize our limitations and not have activities every weeknight.
You might need to think about outsourcing certain things - pay a sitter to drive the kids around. Make sure the kids are pulling their weight at home. If you can do all the prep of a meal, maybe think about investing in a crock pot and put everything in there. If you're busy enough with work and kid activities, Mon-Thurs meals might be sandwiches and salad - simplify!
Good luck and I hope you're feeling more like going out on Friday. Otherwise, leave hubby home and take a girlfriend instead!
It doesn't solve the prob with hubs but can you line up a back up plan, like get to know another mom in the activities and ask her she would be willing to act as back up and pick up the kids (saving you at least a half hour) and tell her you would be happy to compensate her. that sort of thing.
are the kids old enough to help with dinner? i would scale back and go super simple with dinners like a crock pot that he has to do is take the lid off, wahlah.
again i know you were venting an less looking for real suggestions but sounds like something needs to change
sounds like maybe it is time to try to squeeze in an hour a week for couples therapy.
Ooooh yikes. OK. I can relate a bit because I have three kids and my ex always travelled and now I parent alone, so I do ALL chores, shopping, EVERYTHING all day plus all kid stuff. I DON'T work full time though and I dont know how you do that. But I can relate about the hapless, helpless man scenario. When the kid's dad visits, and when he used to be home-he's similar. I'm baffled by how he never catches on to the routine of things. I ALWAYS have to do the grocery shopping or he buys all the wrong things and forgets our staples. If something is broken, he never notices. When I tell him to fix it, he keeps forgetting, when I hand him the keys and the list for the hardware store, he ends up making the situation worse so I'm often on ehow.com learning how to do repairs myself....meals-YIKES. He actually CAN cook meals, but only in his own time and his own way which sometimes takes hours so it messes up schedules and then the kids don't want to eat the weird inventions....he refuses to make something quick, easy and guaranteed to be eaten for sanity's sake..it's like if he's cooking, it has to be a big momentous deal..and PHEW we're separated (not because of those things but it's a relief to lose the headache but I'm not recommending divorce or anything. You NEED the anniversary dinner-GO!)
It's great that you are organized and have calendars and stuff. It sounds like he's still not capable and needs even more simplification somehow. You need to put your foot down on work days that you cannot leave work early except in dire emergencies. So far, he's depending on you too often for that and it would seem his job should be more flexible. One of you needs less hours at work too. You cannot survive on this lack of sleep plus stress level. You should asses budget and jobs and see who can cut a little to make more room for home stuff. The current schedule is killing the marriage and that's not fair to the kids. He's not going to change into a wonder chef and multi-tasker, so he needs more wiggle room to perform. Same with mine, I can cram 50 random tasks into a day and get them all done, but my ex can only do ONE VERY IMPORTANT THING (like take the recycling) which usurps all other priorities the entire rest of the day. Lots of men are like this. Luckily we have enough "spare time" to make adjustments (when he's not travelling, he's home all day, so I can get him to do a few things with enough prodding and direct instruction), but it's still stressful-I can't imagine how we would function with both people strapped to such long work hours and commutes. Don't feel bad-NO ONE would be functioning well in your place!
I would reach out for help. You need girlfriends and sisters to hear you out. They may even have some valuable ideas since they know you, your job, your area, your personality better. Don't suffer in silence. You can say "I'm so thankful for this, and I really love him BUT..." and no one will hold it against you.
You don't want him to relapse and you don't want to snap, and this current situation is a recipe for disaster.
Not an easy road for ya'll right now. My husband travels a lot. It was so hard when the kids were young because I worked full time and ran them around.
You are going to have to give up some control. You can't keep this pace up. You will snap. Been there have the t-shirt!! I had to declutter our life because like you, I was angry. I was angry at him for about 5 years!!! =) Hubby would come home at the end of the week and I was exhausted. He couldn't understand why. We went to counseling and it helped. I wasn't doing anything for me. I gave at work, I gave to the kids, I gave to my husband, but I wasn't getting anything back (so to speak). You have running. Use that time to clear your head and just be. Your husband's recovery is essential to a stable home. That is a priority as well. Go from there. Happy mommy and daddy, happy kiddos.
Our rule was one activity per season. Yes I felt bad but we were a happier family once we stopped all the madness!
The secret to our sanity - sandwiches! Hot dogs, mac and cheese and spagetti. Might not be 4 star but it worked.
Anniversary Dinner - GO! Enjoy. You both need this time to reconnect.
I feel ya sister! Deep breath. =)
My husband and are on a fight cycle. We have been ever sense we started dating, for the most part.
Ours is always over the amount of which he doesnt participate. He is either zoned out, on the computer, watching tv to the point where everything else is gone and/or totally wrapped in a home project( manly stuff ya know.......and he never involves any of the boys for educational manly bonding stuff).
I get to the point I just lose it.
I know we are at that point where stuff is going to be bad for about two weeks. I will probably pull the silent treatment out and just be totally withdrawn. By the time the silent treatment, he knows that he has been checking out again.
I dont know what it is with him.
It makes me feel like I am a bother. That he feels he has to parent me as well as the kids(I have a permanently broken tailbone so when I am not at work.....I am staying pretty immobile. Just because moving hurts very badly...so he waits on me for whatever it is worth.......I normally have to ask for whatever it is at least four times...and then normally get up to do it and he will come rushing over........I hate that this is the way that it is.
I wish we could have the fire connection everyday....like the fire is flamed right after a big blow up drag out fight.
The only thing I can put it off on is the fact he is tired at the end of the day. Even I have awful afternoon disorder. I am tired, dirty from work and sore as hell.
We should start a support group...centered around how not to go insane over clueless spouse's:)
I would tell the kids to make themselves some cereal and just focus on him picking them up when he needs to. Let dinner just not be an issue.
:( Not really sure what advice I can give. i think most moms feel like this sometimes, but you really seem like he's sticking it to you and its not fair.
You are one person! When do you catch a break? Im a SAHM and I feel like I get little or no help most of the time, I cant imagine when our kids are old enough to be involved in sports and other activities.
Can you hire a mom helper? Or just deliver a swift kick to your husbands A$$? LOL
Sorry, hang in there!
I like Ephie's advice to you and her suggestion on the concersation that you need to have with your hubby. It really does sound like you are doung your vest to be super-mom, but feeling like gumby instread.
I would strongly advise cutting some of the kids activities after school or arranging transportation for them.
I would also use online shopping, or hire a teen to handle that weekly for you.
Importantly, do take time to have a relationship with your hubby. Your children will grow up and move on to their own lives, and it will eventually be just the two of you. Its important and soul fulfilling to have a partner.
So bring in some reinforcements, drop some non essential obligations and get passed this.
I'd for one let him decide what he wants to cook. If he wants to grill every day because its easier and he enjoys it let him. He's not you...I know I'd rather grill then make most meals and i'd probably screw up something someone else thought was easy.
Also cant you sign the kids up for aftercare? Cut out some activities? Hire a babysitter for one hour a night? a local kid so you can run after dinner and not get up at 4am? or run at lunch at work instead?
Can he go to one meeting a week instead on normnal weeks, then if he feels like its a possible relapse emergency goes as many times as he needs them weeks?
Sounds like you're doing everything I would do if I were in your shoes. I don't have any advice for you, honestly, just sympathy. It will get easier when your kids are older. My two teens cover a lot of gaps in our schedules - they are able to walk their younger brothers to practices, start dinner, baby-sit, etc. There are days when half of one of my 15-year-olds is more valuable and productive than two of my husband.
I would figure out time leaks and plug those first. Shopping can be done online and delivered. Most online delivery places jave meal plans to help. As a family choose 3 hours a week in a chunk to spend all together and do meal prep for the week, so it becomes everyone not i. Kids can help cook, cut, brown meat, and baggie, package, prepare all meals, label freeze and refrigerate. Crockpot alot so you pull a prepared meal from the freezer and it. Is ready to go. All meals done, including lunches set for the week. Kids can help with chores all the way to the toddlers with pickup. Sit down with hubby and create a plan, divide fairly the responsibilities of the house, possibly everyone may have to give up something to bring more sanity back to the house. I have 3 kids, everyone has 1 activity. After that unless it doesn't impact our house they can do it but i am allowed my activity too. .if you can afford to hire a college student to do some chauffeur work do so it may be worth every penny to add sanity back.things as far a time will get easier as they get older but you may wish to get some help with resentment of hubby as you probably HAD to carry the load for a while and you still can't let go of that. He perhaps is doing his capacity, maybe not so get help to work through it. Addictions don't just happen to the actual individual it happens to everyone who loves them as well.
It happens to all of us admit it or not at one time or another.
You carry a heavy load, you don't feel appreciation for what you are giving.
You can only deal with so much. You need to factor you into this equation and make sure you are cared for. Maybe you need an hour or 2 a week to chill, go to the gym, run,
Communicate with hubby and let him know your thoughts.
I'm sorry , marriage and parenting is a hard job in itself. Best wishes to you.
Aaaw, mom. So much pressure. I hear ya. Is there any way you can make meals he can microwave at the last minute? Is there any way he can limit his recovery meetings to two times per week? You have no down time, and are completely exhausted. That makes it so much harder to communicate. I know often I shut down mentally, just to avoid "the conversation" which turns into a confrontation. We're at 18 years this year and it's really tough (if not impossible) to fit in "us" time. Try not to distance yourself, and try not to hold a grudge. Easier said than done, of course. I don't have any good advice, I wish I did. Hugs to you, hang in there. Something will give, just breathe and give yourself a break on the days you just can't fit everything in. Your kids need you.
I've felt the same way at times... Sometimes though it's not a matter of one spouse not doing enough - there's just too much to do. It doesn't sound like your husband is sitting around playing video games. He's not as efficient as you and I'm sure you're doing more but it does sound like in general, you guys have too much going on. When you say activities 4 nights a week - you mean afternoons or nights? I can't imagine activities on a regular basis that start later than 5pm. And I don't have as much to juggle as you do. I would cut back on what you guys are doing. And while your runnign is great, it does sound like it's a pretty big time committment and it is optional. I don't do stuff like that bc I work FT too and don't want to have everything so hectic. Sucks but I chose to have kids so make the sacrifice for now. And hire some help!! I see you're an architect and your husband has what sounds like a pretty good business so you likely can afford at least a little help...