Finding value in marriage, a five year old wants to know.

Well, this is a heavy topic for this website and I’m angry about it. This particular topic never bothered me until recently – when my 5yo daughter began having reasonable intelligence to ask hard questions and expect easy answers.

As her parent I’m charged with raising a responsible and caring human being who does more good than bad in their life. If we wanted to boil it down to basics – that’s pretty much it. And you can see that through religious eyes or not, we happen to.

My parents are divorced and Jessica already grasps that messy triangle of a family tree. What she doesn’t understand is – if Grandpa and Grandma are like that – why can’t you (Me, Jodi, I) be?

My husbands parents are not divorced, so she sees marriage lasting a lifetime as much as she sees it not – and we, her parents, are married and plan to stay that way … but she still doesn’t get it.

Now, she’s 5. She doesn’t really have to get it yet. But when I get asked questions like “Why can’t daddy have a girlfriend?” then I know she MUST grasp this, whether she wants to or not.

In our house, there are no openings for Others in our marriage. Period. No negotiation or discussion, ever. I married one man, whom in returned married one woman. That’s how we did it. And because Jessica is my child, in my home, in this big wide world – she will see this through my eyes until she knows the difference of decision in her adult life.

I’m not talking about marriage as a whole right now, I do not want to talk about politics. I’m talking about MY marriage. MY family. MY daughter.

And why the hell she seems to think that Daddy needs to be allowed to love someone else?

Here’s where I talk about my marriage.

As said in the video our last calendar year was a total piece of shit. There are reasons we’re in counseling – most of them proactive to the very fact that we plan to stay married for our life time together. Some of them reactive to a horribly difficult year – one of growth in some manners, others of clear stunts and backward pedaling in other manners. Out of the 12 months of 2009 there was a total of 4 months that we did not have someone staying in our home, either on our couch, in a tent or for an extended period of time.

Having someone in my home has never been more stressful. Helping and having guests over is one of the things I love about being home, but last year it felt like I was constantly having something invade what little separation I had from the reminder that I am mostly alone.

Owning our own business is not a 9-5 situation. It’s a 24 hour a day job in this house, and even when it’s “my” time, it’s always Work’s time. And I am bitter and resentful. I know I sound like a brat and I will take it. Fuck, I’ll take “Princess” and then I’ll hand you a wonderful little reality check that is life as a married woman with small children inside 4 walls all day long.

No one tells me I’m valuable. I’m always hearing from my children how I’m doing it wrong, not doing it enough, making them angry or cry. When my husband comes home it’s my job to make him feel respected and I love making him feel important because I know he needs to feel that way. He needs it. It’s how he’s wired.

And then I get to listen to the bad days, the hard days – the big decisions and all the stress. I get the leftovers. And then I get asked why I didn’t have time to clean the house, or do the laundry. Why haven’t I called this person? Aren’t I organized? Can’t I do it?

What do you do? I get asked.

Honey, you might kiss ass all day long, but I wipe ’em. And our children are happy and bathed and in clean beds. I made them breakfast, lunch and dinner, I cleaned the house 7 times in the span of 8 hours – all while listening to bickering and sometimes laughter. I daydream about affording help, a house cleaner … someone to keep things organized and tidy. Someone to give me a hand. I made your bed and folded your socks. I got the groceries you asked about.

I, I, I for You, You, You.

I feel out of balance in this life. Somewhere along the line I let myself say yes too many times and while I was saying yes, you were saying I’ll take it. All the while planning to give it back 110% but the ROI for the amount of time I’ve invested is emotional bankruptcy.

Problem is I was the teller who approved the transaction.

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Alright, so everyone take a couple deep breaths. I have. It feels so much better. This is a very one-sided post today about how I’m personally struggling right now. So I’d like to give you some perspective as to how this is not a one-person fail. As in, my husbands job does suck time like a rabid vampire on the loose, but it does so much more than that.

It makes him happy. It provides for our family. It allows us to travel. It even excites me. I honestly think the real problem is that I am not working outside of the home – and where I thought that was what I wanted 5 years ago, my mind has changed. But I’m dealing with all kinds of guilt and hurt feelings (on my own) for changing my mind.

I have some SERIOUS hang ups, personally, about being allowed to change my mind this far into the game, but I know that if I do not gain clarity and ultimately conquer those hang ups it will be detrimental to them and myself. And I feel like a total failure for just admitting that.

I have some demons to fight and it feels like I’m fighting them alone, which breeds resentment. The current affairs of my life are in no way my husbands fault … but he’s offly easy to blame for them. Don’t let me do that.

6 thoughts on “Finding value in marriage, a five year old wants to know.

  1. Oh, Jodi. I know I don’t have two little kids but I feel like I can totally relate to how you are feeling. Like, was that me writing some of those feelings?

    Hopefully we can get together on Friday…sounds like we both need some girl time : )

    xo

  2. Hi Jodi! I’ve never commented on your site before but I’ve been a fan for awhile. This post hit home with me, and I want to tell you…don’t be so hard on yourself! Being a Mom is such hard, thankless work isn’t it? I’m only a year and a half into this motherhood thing but I’m already struggling daily with figuring out how to do what’s best for my family while staying sane and progressing in my own journey. I too am at home right now and it’s so lonely some days. And then I look at my daughter and realize why I’m doing it…but still, it’s hard. Perhaps you shouldn’t worry so much about having all the answers for Jessica. In time your example will show her the way and I’m sure she will be just fine.

    P.S. I change my mind daily, about everything so don’t feel bad for this, you are human. 🙂

  3. Hi Megan!

    Thanks for delurking to leave a comment, I love your thoughts on this. I hear ya on taking it easier on myself. I know I don’t have to have all the answers now, and I absolutely know that I do not have them … I guess the difficult part of that conversation for me was the reality of the situation. My daughter asking such a difficult question. At five. I have to admit I have been watching me some Lifetime television lately and plan to attend every single school dance ever put on – so I’m sure I have the the fear of Jesus in my right now as far as parenting a young woman, I was just so hurt by her question because it’s somewhat valid.

    I’m not the happiest person to be married to right now, I am self-admittedly resentful towards my husband’s job’s hours, so I often wonder why he loves me too … I just never thought she would.

    Thanks again for commenting! I love hearing from you guys 🙂

  4. Ahh! So much I could say on this. Unfortunately, sadly, you are not alone. Abbi has never asked me the girlfriends question but have had two things happen recently.

    1. Abbi tells me she’s going to go play with her other mommy. What? I’m the only mommy you’re going to have kid! That upsets me because (1) I hate that she even knows that other kids have more than one mom (i.e. her cousins) and (2) I hate that I’m such a terrible mom that she would want another one. SUCK!

    2. We’ve also gone through the whole ‘split family/remarriage’ thing recently when Tim’s brother got remarried. Abbi is confused that her cousins call the new wife “mom” and yet, when her cousins aren’t around at a family event and she asks where they are, I tell them they are at their moms. It’s confusing for a 4 year old. It’s confusing for a 30 year old.

    I hate this, too. And I know it’s only going to get worse as she makes more friends!

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