Friday, July 11, 2008

In Which I Can't Stand to Be Around the Love of My Life

You might have noticed I've been rather absent. Just a few token book reviews of late. Dh has been on paternity leave for the past two months. On Monday, Dh's paternity leave is officially over. He took off a week right when the baby was born in mid-April, then took off 7 weeks starting in late May. It's been great.

It has also sucked like a mutha.

I'll try not to make this a big complaining session. But I think you should understand. When I tell my friends, or people at church that Dh took paternity leave, the universal response is "Oh, how wonderful." But consider if you will, the reality of paternity leave in the Superhero household.

Good: Dh takes care of Miss E in the morning (breakfast, diaper change <- inevitably a big stinky poo).
Thinks I am sleeping in while in actuality I am taking care of this second child we now have.

Good: Dh helps clean up the house.
Bad: Dh is by far the messiest person in our family. This completely cancels out the good. The house has been incredibly messy while he's been home.

Good: Dh loves playing with Miss E and takes her places to keep them both entertained.
Bad: Dh has confused paternity leave with personal vacation and complains about lack of fishing trips.

Bad: We have both been getting on each other's nerves like crazy and have been bickering a lot.

And there's just not really a good to balance out that last bad. This past week Dh left for a few days to visit his friend in eastern Washington. He went on his motorcycle and had a great time. And frankly, so did I. The kids were well-behaved. I slept reasonably well. I had a few friends over one night and we stayed up much too late chatting and laughing our heads off (they left my house at 1:20 a.m., to be precise). And when Dh got back, we were both so refreshed from our break from each other, that we have been getting along well ever since.

Paternity leave is a double-edged sword. I am really glad Dh can take time off. He is quite helpful, and made the transition much easier for me. I liked it especially at the beginning, when I was still so nervous about caring for two children. And Miss E was acting out and needed extra attention. But now? I just want him to go back to work, so I can get myself and the kids on a schedule. And the house clean again. So Dh and I can get back to our normal relationship of fun and love.

I suppose you might be just fine during extended paternity leave if you and your husband normally spend everywakingmoment together. But we do not. Apparently that is for a reason. My husband and I have different spheres of activity. And now I know exactly why.


Amanda said...

Oh, I totally understand. One of my biggest gripes about my hubby is that on his days off, he makes the house into a huge mess. On my days off, I don't get much accomplished bc I am cleaning his mess. Sigh.

Christy said...

During the week our house stays relatively clean, but on the weekends things get a little disgusting. Without a doubt, my husband is messier than Porgie and Izzy COMBINED. I feel sorry for you Anth!

Marni's Organized Mess said...

You crack me up.

Cassie said...

Oy. My husband is messy too. Plus, when he's home, he likes to play video games and I think that would REALLY grate on my nerves for two months while I was taking care of the baby. Sounds like your Dh going back to work is going to be good for your relationship!

Sugar&Ice said...

I guess that's why they say "Absence makes the heart grow fonder" :).

I think I'd love to have Jason home with me for two months, but I do see where you're coming from. I've known couples who were both teachers, and I've heard of them loving the first few weeks of summer break and then getting really tired of being around each other so much.

AM said...

I very much understand this. With him there all the time, you never get any alone time (which I know is scarce with two kids, but still). And the messiness! I SO get that.

Becca said...

Husbands are equivalent to at least one additional child, for they leave a messy trail wherever they go! Marty and I also disagree to no end when we are together too often. Funny post!