Have you ever had the kind of fight with your husband where you’re being somewhat irrational and highly emotional and completely exhausted? You know, the kind where you just keep going around in crazy circles until he finally says something like, “What am I supposed to do, be your punching bag?”
I have. Quite a few times. It goes down like this: My husband did, or didn’t do, something that made my life a little bit harder at a time when I’m just barely treading water (like, he shaved and left little hairs all over the bathroom that I had to clean up). I call him out and he says I’m upset “over nothing” (his words) but really I have every right to be mad. So, YES, dear husband, you should be my punching bag — and here’s why:
1. My hormones are making me crazy. Let’s be clear: I’m not talking about my period here. As you know, I recently had a baby and unless you’ve ever experienced pregnancy and postnatal (especially postnatal) hormones — which, of course, you haven’t — you just can’t understand what it’s like. In a nutshell, I feel a bit insane. Actually, sometimes a lot insane. I have high highs and low lows. I can be laughing and feeling happy one minute and crying the next. I can lose my sh*t over something really unimportant and not be able to stop myself. (And no, I’m not alone — ask around.) Sometimes these feelings make me lash out at you. And since these crazy hormones aren’t ruling your body, I think you should just take the lashing.
2. I have a baby on the boob all day long. You wouldn’t know this, but breastfeeding is ridiculously hard. It means that I have another person attached to me all day long. It robs me of my energy. It makes me super hungry. Considering how much you whine when you have a little cold, there’s no way you’d last a day after nursing all night long. So, the least you can do is let me take my frustration out on you once in awhile.
3. I resent the crap out of you. I shouldn’t, but I can’t help it. I resent you. And — sorry, there’s no way to say this nicely — sometimes I don’t even like you. Too often, you’re like an extra kid around the house that I have to take care of, except not as cute. You get to leave the house to work. You always find time to exercise, and you get to shower every day. You even spend 20 minutes in the bathroom all the damn time. On top of taking care of our children, I also run the house, buy the food, make the food, clean up the food, keep track of the schedules, deadlines, bills and every other mundane detail of our lives. Aside from going to work and helping with the kids, you don’t have to do anything. And I resent you for it. So you should have to pick up the slack by taking a verbal punch from me every now and again.
4. I have no energy for niceties. Sometimes just listening to you talk drains the little bit of energy I have left. I respond and it might sound like the bitchiest sentence ever. It’s not meant to be. It’s just that I literally don’t have the energy to sound nicer. Things come out fast, hard and blunt. Whatever takes the least amount of effort to say is pretty much what comes out of my mouth. It’s also often why I say things that make no sense or forget things entirely (it’s called Mum Brain — look it up). So if I say something or respond to you and it doesn’t sound the nicest, just take it and move on.
5. I’d prefer to lose my shit on you than on the kids. Some days are so hard that someone has to be my release valve. On those days, it’s a definite that I didn’t get to leave the house alone, and I probably also didn’t get any time to myself (you know the baby hates to nap). If I’m going to lose it, better that it is on you than on the kids. You can take it — you’re a grown up that should be able to remember what I’m going through and where it’s coming from. You can remind yourself that it’s the hormones talking.
6. You expect me to have sex with you. On top of everything else, you still want to have sex. I’m somehow supposed to get in the mood, and feel and be sexy, and have intimate and romantic time with you. So if sex is what you need, a punching bag is what I need. Fair trade?
While I understand the concept of being someone’s punching bag is probably unfair and unappealing, as it turns out so are many aspects of motherhood. You didn’t get postnatal depression. You aren’t still fat with no time to work out. You aren’t treated like a short order cook by your toddler. You don’t have the life sucked out of you by a baby. So let’s call being a punching bag your husbandly duty, and I’ll do my best to drop the punching bag routine… just as soon as I’ve had more than two hours of sleep at a time.
More from The B*tch Board:
- 9 Reasons Why You Should Never Have House Guests After Having a Baby
- Infuriating Things My Husband Says After I’ve Been Up All Night Breastfeeding
- Dear Mums: Stop Letting Your Kids Treat You Like Crap