I work from home and take care of our kids full-time, and my husband works in an office. Our lifestyle depends largely on his income, but we certainly couldn’t maintain it without my share. Even without work, during the stretches of time when I haven’t worked at all and have been a full-time stay-at-home-mum, my to-do list is still long, exhausting and overwhelming.
My husband’s job is one he enjoys and he’s lucky to have friends at the office. He even gets to go out to corporate functions and fancy dinners on the company credit card sometimes. Doesn’t that sound nice?
I get into the city to see my friends very occasionally, but most of them are busy mums too and it’s hard to coordinate. When I do make it out, it’s for a short meal and it requires careful planning. Long gone are the days of just popping around the corner to meet a friend for a few impromptu drinks. So, when my husband declares at random that he’d like a boys’ night, I have to admit that my first instinct is not to just say yes. In fact, there are some other things that buzz into my by-then-bitter mind when the call comes in, even if it is only once every few weeks.
1. “You have consumed approximately 8 piping-hot cups of coffee this week and give or take, 5 ice-cold beers. Each of these beverages has been enjoyed at their respective desired pace, and often in the company of friends. I get that you want to go out and have a few cold ones tonight, but ask yourself this: ‘How many beverages has my wife consumed this month at their desired temperature and pace? And how many of these were enjoyed in the company of friends? If the answer is less than one, I should probably go home and watch the kids so she can drink champagne in the shower.'”
2. “The last time I went out for a proper ‘girls’ night out,’ I was wearing a jeans size I haven’t seen in over two years. If you have worn your favourite jeans for a night on the town toasting the good life with people who are also wearing their favourite jeans at some point recently, it’s probably my turn.”
3. “I have vomit in my hair and the two loads of laundry I just finished folding have now been strewn all across the living room floor. Please be home in 20 minutes and bring the wine.”
4. “It is 4:59 on Friday afternoon and I have been staring at the clock for the past four hours. You’re catching me at the end of the fifth day in a row that I have spent cleaning up poo, mopping floors, prepping meals (and begging for our child to eat them), and so on since 7 am. You have done exactly zero of these things since last Sunday and even then your efforts were spotty. I appreciate the fact that you would like to let off some steam at the local pub with a bunch of guys who also have not cleaned up poo or a mopped a floor in as long as they can remember, but I need you here now. The baby will be pooing again any minute.”
5. “Remember the good old days when we used to go out together? Ditch the boys, call a sitter and show your wife a good time instead!”
6. “If you come home and do dinner and bedtime for me instead of going to the bar, I will literally do anything you want. No, really.”
7. “I get that you have a stressful life, too. But there is something to be said for the breaks you get that are just not part of my life. You eat lunch away from your desk with colleagues that have become good friends (the same friends, in fact, involved in this desired boys’ night!). You drink your coffee hot. You have adult conversations with human beings who are not checkout operators at the supermarket. You can even get to text in peace. Those breaks are pretty good! Who needs a boys’ night?”
8. “Ummm, nope! I actually made plans already and the girls are expecting me in half an hour. So, hurry on home! The kids can’t wait to see you.”
But let’s get real here for a second. As much as these imaginary dialogues express the frustrations I feel about being, giving and doing so much all the time, for everyone, I know in my heart that he does genuinely need a break too. In the moment I might want to punch him for the mere suggestion that his Friday night should be spent taking shots and laughing over the music, but we both know if I pushed a little harder I could make room in the schedule for my own nights out too.
The truth is I love being a mum, but that doesn’t temper the small piece of me inside that misses my former self. If we’re going to make it, I know I have to let him say “hi” to his old self sometimes too. I’m just hoping that one of these days I’ll figure out how to tell him I’m in need of an impromptu girls’ night. And let’s just hope that as soon as I do, he’ll answer with the one thing that I always end up telling him when he asks, which is:
“Of course, honey. You deserve it.”
More from The B*tch Board:
- 9 Signs That My Husband’s Reality Is Very Different from Mine
- Dear Mums: Stop Letting Your Kids Treat You Like Crap
- What Being Married to a Gay Man Taught Me About My Body