June 23, 2015 – 3m7d (22 Days Corrected)

I’m guessing someday I will look back on my life right now and think how easy I had it…  I’ll admit though, this doesn’t feel easy.

Last Friday evening was Eric’s residency graduation dinner at a local country club.  Yes, I finally decided on a dress, the one I felt most comfortable in, and it just so happens it matched Nora’s dress for the evening as well 🙂

The dinner was nice, felt a bit surreal to actually be celebrating the end of residency though, being Eric’s was six years and we met the first week.  Residency life is all I know with Eric, I’m both anxious and excited to see what’s next for us.

FullSizeRender (21) FullSizeRender (22)

We did end up taking Nora to the dinner, as both my parent’s and Eric’s attended the celebration.  My mom was sweet enough to watch Nora during dinner so I could socialize.  So very thankful she was there to help!

So with just a week of residency remaining, Eric’s schedule has been even more horrendous than usual.  I guess not surprising…  Regardless though, as the months and weeks pass I find myself more annoyed with Eric, and not just his schedule.  I assume it’s just me feeling like I have so much more on my plate now with Nora.  I think Eric and I need to come to some agreement, an understanding of who does what within our household.  Right now I get the impression that since he is working full-time and I am not (outside the home) he expects me to handle everything.  And granted, it was like this before Nora was born, but now I’m having a difficult time doing everything.  I feel like a single mom but with the responsibilities of several children, as Eric can’t even find the time to pick up his own dry cleaning.  And I get he works 90+ hours a week, but still…  A part of me feels like his priorities are a bit misaligned.  It’s quite hard for me to step back and look at our situation from an outsiders perspective.  Like, maybe I am expecting too much of him, or am I?

Perfect example…  Eric was in New Orleans last week from Wednesday-Sunday.  His days were filled with lectures, as he was there for a board review course, but he and his colleagues ate out every evening and then found bars to shut down.  I get it wasn’t a true vacation for him, but there was certainly time for him to relax and have fun.  Then, last Thursday evening there was a get together at a restaurant/bar related to graduation, he got home that night after midnight.  Then the dinner Friday night, he went out after with everyone until late again and I took Nora home.  And now he just texted me that some people are getting together for drinks tonight after work as well.  Keep in mind Saturday was spent with his parents and then Sunday he sat in front of his computer all day working, so even though he was technically off, he truly wasn’t available to spend quality time with me or Nora.

While Eric is attending all of these events, the house is slowly falling apart.  We have a toilet that has needed fixing for several weeks, a couple of issues with lighting that need an electrician, my car has been acting funny and finally forced us to take it in yesterday…   And we already hire all the lawn care or our grass would be 10 feet high!  Eric is constantly telling me he has no time to help with anything at home…  But he has time to go out with friends quite often.  Should I be more understanding?  Since Nora came home from the NICU he has been alone with her once, for maybe two hours while I ran to Target.  Otherwise, I’ve been with her.  And I get that I quit my full-time job, but I guess I didn’t think that meant he still gets to find time in his schedule for fun, but I don’t.  How do other families handle this?  I’m just not sure what to expect, or how to get Eric to understand I can’t do it all, that his life needs to change too now that Nora is here…

I suppose I should get back to my list of chores as the laundry isn’t going to do itself.  And I still haven’t picked paint colors for the new house!

28 thoughts on “June 23, 2015 – 3m7d (22 Days Corrected)

  1. Figuring out the division of labor after baby is a challenge for many couples I think! Dare I say, all couples? In 7 days what will his schedule be like? I hope that you can find a way to get out of the house by yourself at least once a week, even if that means hiring someone! You need it!


  2. Yikes. First of all, you look beautiful in that dress. Second, if anyone reading your blog right now can relate to having a newborn at home and a spouse whose work has taken over virtually every waking moment whether spouse is home or not, I can. I empathize with your exasperation and the sense of unfairness and being unable to do everything. I especially feel the latter now that I’m recovering from 2 major surgeries instead of one, the latter with an illness that has knocked me down harder than I’ve ever fallen before. Bottom line: Our circumstances are different but I can relate to your feelings.

    That said, I want to caution you (and me) about the path you’re (we’re) on. If we want our relationships to survive, raging quietly (or not so quietly as I’m known to do now and then) is not the answer. I’m assuming you’ve talked to Eric about your concerns and feelings? If not I’d start there. If so maybe it’s time for someone professional to talk with him about priorities and consequences? Whatever you do I truly hope you two can make things work.


  3. Judging from what I read, it seems the parenting responsibilities have all been placed on your shoulders unfortunately. If he has time to go out and socialize, then I think there might be an issue as his first priority with any free time should be you and Nora. My husband and I struggled with this some in the beginning. The best thing I can tell you is that if you’re frustrated ask him for help or ask him to come home instead of going on. I was never very good about asking and it got my husband and me into several arguments. I just assumed he could tell I needed a break but if I didn’t specifically ask for help, he just did his own thing.

    I will say things are much better now that she’s older and is more interactive. Several friends have told me they’ve experienced something similar. Hang in there! You’re doing great. 🙂


    1. Thank you for the encouragement. Things do seem to be better lately, Eric loves reading to Nora, it’s so cute to watch! I’m still scared for once Eric starts his new job full-time… That might be quite an adjustment for all of us.


  4. Establishing responsibilities is so important. Not doing so leads to bitterness and resentment, at least in my former marriage. I think try to talk to him? Maybe he’s also feeling overwhelmed?


    1. I do think he’s terribly overwhelmed with his career responsibilities. Eric isn’t much of a talker, so hard for him to get his feelings out sometimes. Now that his board exam is over he seems a lot more relaxed and willing to help with Nora 🙂


  5. This is normal. Made slightly more extreme in some ways by the end of residency. But highly normal. However it being normal does not mean it is ok. You both need to sit down calmly and look at who has what obligations and needs and wants and then jointly figure out how they get met. This is so simple to do it will probably only take 6 years to determine in which chairs the participants will sit….aka Not Easy At All.
    Some times some people manage this fairly easily but often it really helps to have a neutral 3rd party involved. It IS important. It is hard. It is normal in our culture. It is also sad.
    Right now perhaps you can make a date after July 1 to sit down and negotiate/discuss roles etc and how things will work going forward. This gives him time to prepare and perhaps get an inkling of what you might be feeling. But NOT the whole bucket!!!! Nope, casual, positive, safe, let’s talk but I know you don’t have time right now.
    I say July 1 because end of residency really is a big change and it sounds possible that he has no idea that he is afraid of caring for his daughter and will say how well you do it so he needn’t do it wrong, etc etc etc. And he will absolutely talk about how pushed he is with exams upcoming and new job etc etc.
    You need to really listen first to what he thinks is happening.
    After listening be sure you can tell him what he sees is happening without ‘tude and accurately enough that he feels in his bones you understand his problems … before you get him to listen to your side. He also needs to feel appreciated because he really is trying to ensure he can fully support both you and Nora. And, most working spouses with a new first baby do not feel comfy with the baby, are feeling stressed, and absolutely do not feel understood. IT is also common and normal to have feeling of” OH MY GOODNESS WHAT HAVE I DONE AND HAVE I JUST DESTROYED MY LIFE” fears.
    You two CAN get through this period. It is hard. Nora being a premie makes it harder for her dad because he didn’t, from the first breath she took, have a clear idea of ‘how to be a daddy’ and could not just hold her and bond, it is scary ~ and men don’t do well at admitting this. Also after all the years of residency he really does feel a need to sit back and have some fun with his fellow survivors and he isn’t admitting to himself that you need some time too. Very tough.
    IF everyone stays calm it does get easier and better and things will gently smooth out, but you will be doing this negotiation for years and years to come so getting off carefully and calmly right now is important for the future. Remembering how much you love each other helps too.


    1. Thank you so much for the insight. I wouldn’t say we’ve made the time yet to sit down and divide responsibilities yet, but I hope we can soon now that his board exam is over. There is a huge part of me that just wants to hire someone to complete a lot of these tasks. We can afford it, but then I feel like perhaps we are just avoiding our issues…


  6. That sounds so frustrating! I have a husband in a high position where he has to travel a lot for meetings and to make appearances so I totally understand the feeling. He also has been driving me crazy taking work home and being on the computer all evening. Or even on days off! He does go out to dinner on his trips but the one thing he does not do is go out here at home and stay out late. That would put me over the edge. He also makes enough effort for daddy time and house time so I really can’t complain about him doing his job even if it spills over a bit. We are both having a hard time trying to find balance between work, home and baby. I have given up way more on my side and never take work home anymore so it makes me a little cranky when he puts work first. But his job is the one that pays the bills mainly so I just have to suck it up and make it work. It just sounds like to me that Eric needs to make a little more effort on the home side. That makes all the difference. I understand work is important but family needs to be a priority too! He may be working 90 hours a week but being a mom is a 168 hour a week job.


  7. Definitely sounds like a heart-felt conversation or two as you guys both enter seriously new stages in your lives is in order!

    My husband and I met in grad school, and because we changed programmes (and moved overseas) partway into our programm, we’d been together over 7 years before we experienced married life outside of grad school. It definitely took some getting used to!


  8. I would be really angry about that amount of fun time. I think you should try to find a balance between letting him know you respect and understand how hard he works, while also addressing the fact that you get zero fun time now and feel disrespected when he is out drinking and you are solely responsible for caring for your preemie daughter. I honestly don’t think his job is any more demanding than yours is now, which I’m sure he realized during those two hours with Nora.

    I struggled with how overwhelming the newborn phase was because even though it felt like it should be easy because she was sleeping so much, I was never ever “off”. Even if we were just sitting on the couch watching netflix, I couldn’t go to the bathroom without considering her. My time was never my own, and every moment was dedicated to making sure she stayed alive, happy and healthy. It made me feel a bit suffocated at times. And then when she stopped nursing and we threw pumping and bottles in the mix, holy hell that was hard. And that is your life! A glorious life that you fought hard for, but difficult nonetheless.


    1. So nice to hear that there are others who understand this struggle. The feeling of never being ‘off’ is so overwhelming! I mean yes, I so wanted to be a mommy, but that doesn’t make this any easier. The pumping and bottle feeding is so hard for me. I actually have an appointment with a LC in a few days to try to get some help with nursing. Wish us luck!


      1. Oh, I hope it goes well! I’m so so thankful now that I fought for breastfeeding. The days we have to use bottles remind me of how very time consuming and overwhelming my days of EPing were!


        1. Yes, so true. I will add I was really discouraged earlier this week. I need to write a post about this, but basically the high risk provider we saw this past week basically told me that if Nora hasn’t learned to nurse by now, she won’t, and that lots of preemies just never ‘get it’. Ugh. I’m so hope she’s wrong.


          1. I think the fact that she is still latching is a good sign. So it’s not like she’s never nursed. I hope you get better news from the LC.


  9. I’m sorry I’m reading this post. i have my husband home, although most of his daily focus is on home renos , i still have a lot of help from him and can still feel overwhelmed at times. honestly, i think what your husband is doing is wrong. i understand his hard work and long work weeks but he should want to be home on his down time. not putting going out for drinks ahead of time with you and nora. i don’t usually make comments that are this blunt. my intent is not to offend you or meddle! you asked if you should be more understanding but no, no you shouldn’t. he should be more helpful and present. hopeful you can talk about it and find a better balance


    1. I’ll admit, things are somewhat better now that Eric’s board exam is over. We still need to sit down and divide some household responsibilities though. The hard part for me is, we can afford to hire most of it done, but then I feel like we’re avoiding our issues.


      1. i’m glad to hear things are a little better. a good sit down discussion is really good for you to let each other know how you’re feeling and what your expectations are now that baby nora is here and you are parents. it is definitely something my husband and i have had a lot of one on ones about in the last 3 months. even if in the end you decide as a couple to hire some help, at least you connected and got to perhaps talk about some underlining issues that needed addressing 🙂


  10. I think you need to flat out tell him what you need him to do. I was on mat leave with my 2 kids for a year each (I’m in Canada) and there were so many little things my husband just assumed I’d do because I was home all day that I never discussed and it built a lot of resentment in me. I always thought him going to work was a holiday compared to staying home with 1 (and eventually 2) kids. He had no idea of some of the things that drove me crazy but once we talked about them he got better (not great) at recognizing them and trying to improve. As for him going out all the time, I don’t know what to say. I think it sounds a bit excessive considering how young Nora is, but in the end it always seems like moms get a bit of the short end of the stick on those types of things. I go out maybe once every 3-4 months with my girlfriends and it takes forever to plan and coordinate but my hubby can go visit his friends who live really close and drop in for an hour here or there whenever he wants. Doesn’t bother me now but it did when my kids were babies.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, the roles for men and women are just so different, whether I want to admit it or not. I’m really hoping that once we are moved and Eric is working full time we can figure out a better routine that makes us both happy.


  11. I love the dress you chose!

    As for your husband not helping out…He does work a ton…and he does deserve to get to go out once in a while with friends, that is important for BOTH parents. But especially when your baby is so young and you handle the majority of the parenting, he also needs to make an effort to get YOU some free time and he should be helping out at home, even in small ways. You both work hard, but you have to be able to help each other. And it’s very important for both of you to get down time and social time. As a mom, you’re going to need that too!


    1. Yes, I really feel like I need some me time each day, which isn’t happening right now. I’m hoping once we’re moving I can find someone to come to the house to watch Nora from time to time. Not a lot, just enough so I feel like I can do somethings without her.


  12. I don’t have anything great to say other than that it sounds like a sucky situation. I have ladies night 1-2x a month and play hockey once a week. Lance is pretty understanding that I need time to myself to stay happy! I think you need to be up front and say one day a week or biweekly or whatever I am going to do ____ for myself and you will need to stay with Nora. He will always be able to come up with reasons why he can’t if you let him but you have to stress that it’s important for your sanity.


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