Marriage changes people. When two people pledge to remain together in sickness and in health, they forget to account for the fickleness of human nature. The initial flutters of butterflies and cupid's hit gradually subside, and reality begins its' descend. Eventually, the effort is attractive. It takes some time, with a combination of patience and participation by both involved, to build a successful relationship. Now, add a baby (or two, or three) to the equation and suddenly the relationship undergoes catalysis.
What's funny is that women don't realize they are not only single-handedly parenting, but doing everything else around the house, until it's too late! It's in women's nature to nurture but at what cost? Before they know it, they become like the mythological Goddess Durga, she sprouts eight arms and begins working simultaneously. Bit by bit, women sacrifice their time, sanity, individuality and peace for the happiness of our children. But, what about dads?
As a mother, a woman's strength is perceived as the measure of her ability to do it all without complaints. It takes very little to be branded as a 'bad mom' and even less for men to be considered a great father. So, as women, we bite off more than we can chew and still manage to swallow our pride and keep on trucking. Women go from being single to married, and blossom into a mom, altering their entire lifestyles, but, is dad keeping up?
Here are 15 signs that indicate she may be a married mom going solo with the responsibilities.
15 There's Nothing She Can't-Do, Hear Her Roar!
Are you pumping milk while dropping child number one to school, on your way to the bank? Do you also have a party to plan this weekend with an impending work deadline? Are the dishes piling as high as the dirty nappies in the pail?
But, you've done it all, haven't you?
And, here enters dad, nursing a headache after a long day at work and absolutely famished. Just like that, you transfer your attention from a whole day of child raising to comforting the man who is supposed to share your exhaustion, as you are about to tend to his. If this is the case then, unfortunately, there's something wrong. While you are doing your part as a mother, and a wife (and a cook, housekeeper, professional driver, party planner, etc) dad has been focused on what he can snack on until dinner is ready.
If you are taking on more than he is, then it is fair to say your partner has been taking your position in the house for granted.
He is definitely riding that gravy train. You have successfully proved to be Wonder Woman, and that you are only at the expense of personal gratitude. So now, mom must wear the cape around the clock, while dad can luxuriously check into work between 9 and 5, and call it quits.
14 When Date Nights Are Stood Up
Every couple will agree that it is difficult to find a moment to have a special time for themselves, once they have a kid sleeping between the two of them. As women and men gravitate to their respective roles as mom and dad, it becomes increasingly tough to steal an hour or two just to be in each others' company. However, it is vital to get some time away from the kids to feel like adults.
If date nights are becoming fewer, and infrequent, from weekly to every other month, to only special occasions then it's time to reassess matters. You and your husband need time apart from the children to maintain a healthy relationship outside of parenting. If you have slipped into your little black dress and it has gone unnoticed, then it is time to call in the wife card and talk. Don't trade in the dress for sweats while your man spends the night playing video games with his friends.
Don't take date nights lightly as this is what determines a marriage in the long run. The ability and anticipation required to feel connected to your husband must thrive. He needs to know you are more than just a mother, you are also a woman. You need to feel beautiful, loved and pampered. It's in his job description, as a husband, to make you feel valued and deserved (and vice versa).
13 When She Quits Expecting Help
Ever heard your mother say - 'if you want something done right, do it yourself' a million times to herself? Ironically, you now find yourself falling in her footsteps. It does not even occur to you to ask your husband to take out the trash, or help with the dishes anymore because it's almost second nature to tend to every minor task yourself. Maybe it does not seem unusual to be a one-woman army anymore but it certainly would make things easier with an extra pair of hands on deck.
If you find yourself oblivious to his presence then there may be a problem.
A marriage requires two people to participate fully, dividing the load equally, and not a complete transference of responsibilities on the wife/mom. You may feel anxious with him tending to the children, maybe he does not wash the baby right or begins playing with the children in the middle of a homework session, but he needs to check in as a father too.
As a mother, it is easy to acquire absolute control over the household. But as a father, your husband needs to pitch in just as much, without you falling in the habit of zero expectations from his end.
12 When She Prefers Time Alone
Sometimes mom's like to snuggle under the blanket with a good book and a drink, without feeling the need to have anyone around. It is perfectly natural, even necessary, but have you begun wishing it was always like this in your free time? I have known women who lied to themselves about this particular desire. You think it's almost sinful to admit preferring no company over the company of your husband. However, if this is how you feel, then maybe it is time to discuss it, out in the open, with your husband.
"Emotional well-being is closely tied to physical well-being. If we aren’t taking time to rest, relax, re-energize and restore, bad things will happen eventually," says Cherilynn Veland in Psychology Today.
Sure you love your family, your children drive you crazy but you can't stop loving who they are evolving in to. Is it the same for you? Do you find yourself wanting some healthy alone time? There is a difference between wanting a moment alone and wanting to be alone. If this is the case, you might benefit from investigating your feelings.
You should desire quality time in your husband's company, and so should he. If you have started to possess the idea that you're raising the children all by yourself, and don't need your husband to even fulfill personal contentment, then it isn't a feeling to shrug off.
11 When She Is The Handyman
It is not uncommon for moms to know their way around the house's plumbing and hardware stores these days. Being a mother, you probably learned to acquire skills you never thought were possible, before your tiny ray of sunshine appeared. It may sound like a gender role setback to allow tasks such as fixing the plumbing to a man, but if you are the one breastfeeding a child, then he may as well be the one with the toolbox.
If you are the one teaching your son the laws of righty tight-y-lefty loose-y, and differentiating a screwdriver from a wrench, then maybe it is time for your man to put on the apron and bake some cookies while you're playing workshop.
It is wrong to suggest such an ideology which is being challenged in recent years, and rightfully so. Similarly, it is also wrong for your husband to expect you to fix everything whether it's a sandwich or a leak.
As a woman and a mother, you can fix the leaking sink if you must but if you find yourself cleaning after too, then it's time for dad to step up. He can either hold the wrench or watch the baby, but he better check in fast.
10 When He's Just Another Child To Care For
Speaking from experience, husbands substitute their moms for wives after marriage. Before having a baby, it might have been cute to look after his mess and rule it out as his "quirks." You think this is not how it is going to remain once you have children because of course, he is an adult, isn't he? Well, hold that thought.
A certain monotony befalls in marriage once there are kids. There is a routine in place which serves to organize the chaos in life. Sometimes, in managing this routine, women include their husbands as part of a daily task list. Your husband then becomes another mouth to feed around the table. Soon you are picking up dirty clothes he discarded on the bedroom floor along with the trail leading up to it by the kids. For men, it is second nature to be the receiver instead of the giver, if you've willingly taken on the role.
If your daily interaction with your husband is a slew of remarks and commands thrown at him, just the way you do with your kids, then mom, I'm sorry to say, you have managed to level down dad to just another child in your litter. You have enough to deal with raising your children, why add a dad to the count too?
9 When Love Notes Mean Bills, Grocery Lists And School Letters
Remember the days when you would wake up to a post-it on the fridge with a sweet little message, or a text telling you how he misses you, or how he finds you incredibly beautiful? Wasn't that little message a reminder for you how loved you are by him, which was just enough to get you through a trying day? Now, you are elbow deep in letters of all sorts ranging from bills, school hails, grocery lists, and bank statements but none of them have a tiny heart doodled anywhere. You wish you did not have to go through the ritual of troubleshooting with each of these letters alone.
As a married mom, it is inevitable to deal with these on a daily basis, but having a partner should lessen the burden.
If you have to show up for school meetings alone or find yourself stuck in queues to pay bills each time, then the only thing that's changed in your life from your days as a single woman is the quantity of mail.
On a brighter note, as a mother, your children may surprise you with handmade cards and drawings which will compensate for the lack of romance. Your fridge may not have a post-it with a dirty limerick but it will be a collage work of your children's artistry.
8 When She Is Also Bringing In The Buck
Many women debate the need for a man if they are self-sufficient. If you are earning to meet the expenses to raise a family, and still be the primary parent figure, then it is time to evaluate the relationship. Money does not determine the status of a partner in a relationship. However, if, as a working mom, you are struggling to balance your professional life from a family one, then it suffices to say a husband's equal contribution is greatly appreciated.
Working mothers are a powerhouse of force and bearing. It is unfair for a working mother to also tend to the entire household. If a stay-at-home mother is expected to appreciate the hard work it takes her husband to earn a living, then the respect should be reciprocated when the lady of the house is also pitching in.
If you are a mom and a professional, then the right to lead your life with not only equal opportunity but equity lies with you. You really cannot expect to do it all and have your husband take the back seat. The bottom line is, if you have zero dependencies, financially or emotionally, then why be married with kids at all? Children and husband together should drive you to achieve your full potential. Every atom has a nucleus, whats yours?
7 When There Are No Weekends
As a mother, you never get a day off. But, weekends are a time when you are relieved by the presence of another adult around the house. You look forward to spending time as a family, planning trips or picnics. It may mean double the work having kids at home too but, that's alright dad is there to lend a hand where needed, isn't he?
Are you spending weekends alone while your husband either sleeps in or makes plans with the guys? Women tend to feel guilty taking some time off from the kids, instead, you book all seven days of the week in their name. Weekends are then filled with activities you think your children might enjoy regardless of dad's participation. I have seen men conveniently opt out of family plans because they would rather prefer spending time their way. As a couple, you are both entitled to personal space, and well deserved time apart from the family.
If you find yourself overworked, angsty and restless, then it is time to hand the baby over to the father, round up the girl gang, and have some fun.
It will make a ton of difference if you and your husband alternate weekend chores and activities. Working as a unit is the way to go.
6 When He Also Starts Calling Her Mom
In my house, my mom had no other name besides 'mom'. Growing up, I never realized she was more than that title. Once a woman becomes a mother, people forget she has an identity of her own; a name she was given at birth and worked 'x' number of years to make her own. Her name might have had varied definitions in different groups of people who she chose to impress upon. She may have been a rebel to some and a Saint to others. She may have even been a person of great skill and knowledge, a name signed at the bottom of a canvas.
Now, she is a mother.
You are a mother.
You are mom.
It is one thing to be that to your child, even to society, but the realization sinks in when your husband falls in the habit of calling you by that too. The one person who should remind you of all your gradients also begins to see you in just the one color. Your name in his sentences has now been replaced by 'mom', and instinctively you now respond to it the most. He may not be at fault for adopting such a habit since you too have streamlined all your energy into fitting the mold. If this is the case, then it is time for some self-reflection.
5 When She Is Her Own Emergency Contact
As a first time mom, I had listed my husband's number as the emergency contact on the hospital registration application, while the second name on there belonged to a best friend. Guess who decided to show up when my water broke? Neither. Of course, there were legitimate reasons why both of them failed to appear at the right time, but it taught me to always have myself as the first backup plan before anyone else.
If you have one or more children past the toddler age, you will find yourself scribbling your own name in the space specified for emergency contacts only. Why? Because to you, if history has taught you anything, it is to always rely on yourself. You have memorized the fastest route to reach the nearest hospital, the pediatrician is on speed dial and you can put out fires quicker than it will take a fire truck to arrive.
You feel there is no one trustworthy enough for the wellbeing of your child, neither fast enough to manifest themselves at the time of emergency.
Mothers usually develop paranoia to a certain extent where their child is concerned and so, even dad gets written off.
After all, who better to rely on than you?
4 When Daily Caffeine Consumption Can Shame A Grad Student
The morning cuppa Joe is necessary as an adult. As a mom, it is the elixir of life to have you functioning through the day. People are amazed at how college students are addicted to their coffee and practically housing themselves in their favorite coffee shop. Moms, on the other hand, carry caffeine in their blood. A coffee/tea station can be found in the home of every married mom, with a pot brewing around the clock.
You may be an overworked married mom if you have lost count of the number of cups (pitchers?) you have consumed within a span of 12 hours. You teach your children to steer clear of addictions, but somehow find yourself nursing a warm cup more frequently than you realize. It is understandable to crave a boost to accelerate your processing ability when managing a household, but maybe a little cry for help will have your husband paying attention too.
If Starbucks is getting your name right on their tall mocha's then mom- you have a problem.
Maybe it is time to hire some help if dad is just as busy, or overworked (insert the eye roll here.) It certainly is not wise to make your body relive the college years when it is already functioning at maximum capacity.
3 When She Starts Daydreaming Of Being Single
Let me first say, it is normal for men and women alike to miss their single life once they become parents. It is inevitable for exhaustion to catch up at some point. Life as a parent is never easy, be it for a mother or father. Each parent has his/her role to play, so it is quite natural to find yourself parked in an empty lot dreaming of the days when there weren't other tiny humans depending on you to be home.
As a married mom, these thoughts may occur more often than you would like. There is a myriad of emotions you have to deal with in a single day, most of which have you questioning yourself repeatedly. The resolve is to find comfort in your husband. Your husband should always be ready to lend an ear when you are in dire need of venting and vice versa. It is never an indication of the longevity of a marriage if you find yourself weighing options between the current and potential lifestyle.
If these thoughts are transforming into intentions, then maybe it is time to land on a decision. A marriage cannot thrive if one of you feels they would be better off single. It is important to amend such feelings before it's too late. Maybe you are not the only one feeling these feelings?
2 When He Needs A Map To Navigate At Home
Some men cannot function without a wife. The wife has successfully managed to transform an independent man to a dependent child, who needs directions to even find the kitchen. His chores have to be monitored or corrected which evidently lands to you checking them and redoing most of them. He needs assistance in the most minimalistic tasks, and you meet with a pair of desperate puppy eyes, lost in his own house. He may repeat the sentence "What would I do without you?" more than you cared to find sweet because you find yourself thinking about it seriously - what would he do without you?
How is this helping you? It is not.
You are the Queen of the mansion but the King habitually rests on the throne.
You find it convenient to bring things to him, instead of yelling instructions and guidance from another room. You constantly play fetch for things that are in plain sight but somehow invisible to him.
If the only place he is familiar with in the house is the bed, fridge, or the couch then it is clear your husband is living as a guest in your home.
1 When She Feels Alone, Not Lonely
There is a fundamental difference between feeling alone and feeling lonely. According to Psychology Today, loneliness means you feel the absence of someone close to you, and wish for their company, whereas feeling alone means even company is not helping evade the emptiness. Maybe life has profoundly altered who you are, and what seemed like reasons to build a relationship do not feel enough to continue it anymore.
Being married is a continuous process of change. One child may make a difference, two might require an absolute turn around, and so on. Your circumstances shape you to be the person you are at present. The decisions you made have lead you to this point too. If your husband is not sufficient enough to lift the impending depression, then maybe you both need to start a serious conversation. Don't rule out therapy. There are always ways to rekindle and find each other again when life becomes the distance in a loving marriage.
Moms, have faith in your strength and instincts.
Muster the courage to speak to your husband about this, because the two of you started a life together and you owe it to one another to give it your absolute all, so you don't have to feel alone in a marriage.