New book on Obamas: Kids strained their marriage too!

They seem to be happy and have a lot of romantic moments. But that wasn't always the case according to a new book. (AP)

They seem to be happy and have a lot of romantic moments. But that wasn't always the case according to a new book. (AP)

The New York Daily News ran an interesting excerpt from the new Christopher Andersen book about President and Michelle Obama’s marriage — “BARACK AND MICHELLE: Portrait of an American Marriage” (HarperCollins, September 2009). I have no idea how accurate his portrayal of their marriage is but it sure sounds familiar!

You can read the entire excerpt at this New York Daily news link. Here are a few paragraphs from the story:

“You only think about yourself,” she would say to him again and again in a tone dripping with disdain. “I never thought I’d have to raise a family alone.” Barack, convinced that whatever time he devoted to his career would ultimately benefit his wife and daughter, shrugged off the criticism….”

“In the face of running a household, raising two small children and trying to find ways to make ends meet, such soul-searching struck Michelle as self-indulgent. Even though her mother was on hand to help, Michelle felt overwhelmed, and she let her husband know that she felt he was not holding up his end of the bargain….”

US Obama Dog Debut

The Dad-in-Chief seems to be helping out. I wonder how the First Mom would rate his participation now? (AP)

” ‘I love Michelle, but she’s killing me with this constant criticism,’ Barack confided to Madelyn (Toot) Dunham, the white grandmother who raised him. ‘She just seems so bitter, so angry all the time. ’ “

Angry, resentful wives saddled with all the home duties taking care of the kids with no help from their husbands. Hmm, where have I heard that before?

I think this is a very common scenario for many families. The Obamas sure seem happy now. I wonder what changed that dynamic for them. (The end of the excerpt talks about their child being sick pulling them together but I think you would need more than that to change an entire dynamic.)

What do you think of the book excerpt and what it reveals about their marriage? Can you relate? How do you think couples can turn that type of frustration around and truly be partners in raising the kids and caring for the home?

45 comments Add your comment

notgonnagiveone

September 22nd, 2009
11:01 pm

I think it shows that he is obsessed with himself if SHE was left doing all the work and he was pursuing a career in politics. I guess it takes a narcissistic individual to make it to the presidency of the US and this just hammers that home…and then to take her legit complaints and make them about HIM? Yep…

i am not giving mine either

September 23rd, 2009
12:11 am

What changed the dynamic???? Your joking right? She still needs him to be successful and support the kids. She is married to the PRESIDENT of the US. We may be progressive enough to run women as Vice Presidential and Presidential candidates…..we are progressive enough to elect a bi-racial President……but I do not believe we are progressive enough to elect a man who leaves the mother of his young children to run for that same office.

Yes, Ford had been married before, but nobody elected him President. Yes, Reagan had also been married before, but all his children were grown!

Look to SC…the 1st Lady moved out…when she learned of the affair? No. She moved out when the rest of us learned of the affair and her husbands’ bid for Republican Presidential Nomination went down the sewer.

Of course their marriage is strained by kids. Name me set of parents on the planet who is not under that strain. The President (this one or those in the past) are not gods, they are not superheroes, they are human beings. That means that they are endowed by their creator with all the same faults and graces in good judgement, sound principles, or good domestic policies of at least the portion of the people they are elected to serve. That also means that they are subject to all the marital (and parenting) bliss and pitfalls as the rest of us.

motherjanegoose

September 23rd, 2009
7:10 am

This is where the rubber meets the road…KIDS DO STRAIN YOUR MARRIAGE

Being a parent and sacrificing for your own children is ABSOLUTELY different than knowing a lot about children and even loving lots of children in your life. ( re: the part about getting up with their sick daughter) I know some disagree with me on this point but my opinion is still the same and it may just be mine ( on this blog but I am not alone as many teachers have agreed with me) . I know lots of children but sacrificing my time, sleep, money and personal wants for them is something I have done only for my own children, on a regular basis. It is never easy.

To me, you CANNOT have it all, if you are a woman. As I speak to mothers my age…most acknowledge that they had to face that reality in their life, at one point, too. Having a career and trying to balance the home front too is like a 3 ring circus. When I am home and not traveling, as I was this summer for 6 weeks, it was like a breath of fresh air…no waking up at night with anxiety over things I needed to do with clients and have to remember.

I made my choice to travel for business and l love what I do but it is hectic, at times. When men travel for business, I do not think they are worrying if there is enough milk or dog food at home.

I would not ever want to be married to a prominent politician…too much is out in the open. I am not a private person but would not like folks camping out to see what toilet paper I use.

notgonnagiveone

September 23rd, 2009
7:27 am

Motherjanegoose…women CAN have it all. It is simply a matter of what that woman’s definition of ‘all’ is. And to suggest that men don’t care what is happening with the minutia of home life while they are on the road is quite an insult to some.

motherjanegoose

September 23rd, 2009
7:36 am

@notgonnagive…are you a woman?

Well, I guess if your statement is true, I will have egg all over my face today and then I will apologize and say I was wrong…I might be. I just know too many women who had to make a choice or do several things 50-75%. Maybe is just me!

At this moment, I am putting dinner in the crockpot for tonight before I leave for work. My kind husband is working on a Habitat Build ( work sponsored) today. I am 100% certain he did not give one thought about what we are having for dinner.

I guess I might be the lone ranger here .

notgonnagiveone

September 23rd, 2009
7:46 am

MJG…I find it a tad insulting that people seem to think that a woman MUST have a career outside the home in order to be ‘complete’ or ‘fulfilled’. If that is what she wants, then more power to her and I would agree with you that it will be VERY hard to have it all. However, if a woman finds that being a homemaker and mother to her children while NOT pursuing an outside career then she might just have ‘all’ she wants. I stay at home with my children…my husband works hard for us to make sure we have what we need/want. I love what I do…and I really couldn’t ask for anything more. I have it all.

And as for husbands not caring you may be right about most. But there are at least a small contingent out there that DO have a care about their homes while they are gone. My husband would be one of them. When he is preparing to go out of town for more than a day or so he spends time making sure we are ‘ready.’ We put together a checklist of things that need to be done before he leaves so that his absence will not be an undue burden. If something DOES go wrong while he is gone, IF there is anything he can do to help out he does. God knows he is not perfect and we have our issues…but his travel does impact us logistically very little.

Dr. Horrible

September 23rd, 2009
7:52 am

That’s part of marriage, especially when you have kids. There are low times and high times, hopefully more high times than low, but every couple that gives a damn about each other has to deal with these issues at some point in their marriage. It’s how you are able to conquer them together that speaks volumes about your love for each other and your dedication to the marriage.

Kathy

September 23rd, 2009
8:26 am

MJG….you know I love you but I have to disagree with you and agree with notgonnagiveone. I think that the definition of “all” changes depending upon where you are in your life. When I was childless and working, I had it all. At that time, “all” was a great house, great husband, great job, great life. Now that I am in a different place in my life, I feel like I have it all……great house, great husband, great daughter and the opportunity that some moms don’t have, the ability to stay home and raise her. A career is something that I don’t consider in my view of having it “all.”

Now on topic…..this info about the Obamas does not surprise me at all. To me it show them to have the same struggles that all parents have. Children to strain your marriage at times. The truly selfish let it ruin their marriage, in my opinion. I am talking about the ones that cannot consider the other person’s feelings and only think about themselves. There is too much “ME ME ME” going in on in families. If you come together as a team you can turn the strain into a partnership and get through the tough times.

HB

September 23rd, 2009
8:30 am

“Being a parent and sacrificing for your own children is ABSOLUTELY different than knowing a lot about children and even loving lots of children in your life. ( re: the part about getting up with their sick daughter) I know some disagree with me on this point but my opinion is still the same and it may just be mine ( on this blog but I am not alone as many teachers have agreed with me) . ”

MJG, why on earth do you keep saying this?! Noone here has EVER said that being a parent is not absolutely different. You say this here. If someone calls you out on being condescending to other posters, you go over to Get Schooled and say it there. Just because people here have disagreed with you that being a nonparent does not automatically make a poster’s comments “less valid” as you put it on any and all topics here does NOT mean that people here think being a nanny is the same thing as being a parent. So why do you keep bringing this up and continue to lie about what people here have said?! Enough already!!!

Jesse's Girl

September 23rd, 2009
9:19 am

Its not often that I offer a lot of political support to the president other than utter respect for the office he holds. However…a decision to make politics a career is not one made in a vaccuum. Its not like she didn’t know what she was getting into. You can not like the long nights and business trips….the phone calls that absolutely MUST be taken during dinner and the like….but you support your husband. Jesse may not be in politics….but he is gone more often than not. Phone calls interrupt family time every so often. And sometimes…yes…I feel like a single parent. But I deal…I try very hard to be aware of nagging him. He supports me in my crazy career…and the fact that it seems to be going bye-bye as a result of our screwed economy:) Its called marriage….it ain’t always a picnic….sometimes its more like a greasy drive-thru.

JJ

September 23rd, 2009
9:39 am

Well, I think I have it “All”…..and I’m a single parent. I have a wonderful, supportive family with whom I’m very close; a beautiful, healthy child; a nice affordable home; a good vehicle; a wonderful job that I’ve been at for 17 years, numerous great friends, and, my health. But the most important thing for me is NO DEBT!!

lakerat

September 23rd, 2009
9:54 am

What kind of idiot eats cheesecake after working out? This kind of idiot.

Jesse's Girl

September 23rd, 2009
10:17 am

A check list before he leaves to go out of town? While you think its a tad insulting to say that women must have a career outside the home to be fulfilled….I personally find it more than a tad insulting that a husband feels the need to make a check list before he leaves. To me that insinuates he feels his wife cannot handle any given situation. Case in point…my husband went out of the country Monday morning…just as all the crap hit the fan with the weather. There was no list to make sure I could deal….I just can. So while your life with your husband may be all you have ever wanted and you never have the itch to have a career outside the home….I think perhaps you may be in the minority. Most women DO struggle with the notion of giving up “something” in order to have the dream. All due respect…I just disagree with you on some points:)

Joyce

September 23rd, 2009
10:22 am

As others have said, each couple finds a way to make it work (or not). The excerpt seems to show each of them “venting” during a difficult time. It’s just that they’re now the first family that this is of any interest. Thank goodness my moments of venting are only between me and my friends!

sharon

September 23rd, 2009
10:38 am

One of the most important things parents can give their children is a great marriage — I hope the Obamas will continue to do so in the difficult life of the White House. They should read “A Short Guide to a Happy Marriage” (@ amazon).

New Stepmom

September 23rd, 2009
10:56 am

Jesse’s girl I am with you on the checklist. My dad traveled for years and my husband does too and neither have left a “checklist.” My mom and I just know how to take care of things. If anything, I leave checklists because My husband seems to be more like Obama and unphazed by all things household. Being new in our marriage, it drives me nuts on occasion, but I deal with it. I know that when we have children full time at the house, I will likely leave my job because if not nothing would get done and I am fine with that. I have had an amazing career journey and to hold a little one in my arms I would give up the job in a heart beat.

Becky

September 23rd, 2009
11:15 am

@notgonnagiveone..WOW

A list every time he leaves the house? As MJG said, once my husband leaves the house, he doesn’t think much else about it..Yes, he is a handy man and does all of the maintaince that is needed, but if he made a list every time that he left our house, I would be like Jesse’s Girl..Do you not trust me with anything? As you said though, it depends on what you think is having it all..

MJG& HB, I posted something else at the end of yesterdays blog of what we had talked about a couple of days ago about kids and free lunches..

teeincsg

September 23rd, 2009
11:52 am

Jesse’s Girl, I agree. The First Lady should have known what she was getting into given the path her husband too.

I’ve been a single parent raising my two in my marriage for the past 2-3 years and only recently realized how resentful I am toward my husband.
He used to throw “teamwork” in my face when it suited him, yet never participated in it when it was needed most.
Working together in the partnership of marriage consistently should be norm. Selfishness is just rude! LOL.
I don’t know if that could be turned around. Not if it goes on so long.
IMO.

teeincsg

September 23rd, 2009
11:55 am

That checklist thing is insulting. Maybe if it’s used to be sure you’re both on the same page, but like previous posters, I get offended when my husband all of sudden is an expert on how to raise kids, cook, clean, pay bills, etc., when he’s done it only 5% of the time…

DB

September 23rd, 2009
11:57 am

Everyone has a different concept of “all”. I swear, in the mid 1970’s, I was a freak in my senior class in high school. At the height of the woman’s liberation movement, we were asked to write down five goals for our lives in our Government class. One of my five were to be a good wife and mother. Other goals included public service, going to med school, etc. etc. I was one of the top five students in my class, and my teacher actually pulled me aside to take me to task about the “wife and mother” bit, telling me tha she was disappointed that my goals weren’t loftier. I remember commenting, even then, that keeping a marriage together and being a great mom seemed to be a lot harder than it looked. I had a wonderful example in my own parents, but all around me, divorces were starting to skyrocket — of my four best friends, mine was the only “intact” family by the time we graduated. It certainly made you think twice about how you were going to go about the whole marriage bit. Even just after college, in the early 80’s, I remember being horrified at my roommates wedding — just before she starts to march down the aisle, we bridesmaids, her and her father are at the back of the church. She’s dressed in her pretty white dress, gazing down the aisle, and instead of looking forward to their life together, she sighs, “Well, if it doesn’t work out, I guess we can always get a divorce.” I was — and still am — truly shocked at the hopelessness of her comment. As Bill Pullman quips in “Sleepless In Seattle”, “Marriage is hard enough without going into it with such low expectations.”

Women’s lib came about to give women a CHOICE whether or not to enter the workplace or embrace a more traditional role. Somewhere along the line, that choice became a mandate that a woman MUST go out and become an “equal breadwinner”, or else she wasn’t “pulling her weight,” as if a well-run home and raising happy, well-adjusted children weren’t enough to justify a woman’s place in the world. When the amount of money a woman could earn became her only way to place value on her contributions, no wonder so many women chose to work outside the home.

Having said that, I truly believe what a woman told me when I was pregnant with my first child. I don’t know her name. She was an elegant, “older” woman (probably about the age I am, now!), and we were sitting together on a plane as I was flying off to run yet another training session for my employer. I was obviously pregnant, and she made the usual polite, kind inquiries (”when are you due?”, etc.) The discussion turned to whether or not I was going to go back to work, and, as one is wont to do with strangers, I confided that I wasn’t sure — I had a nanny lined up, but stiill . . . She looked at me, smiled gently, looked me straight in the eye and commented, “You know, you CAN have it all — but you just can’t have it all at the same time.”

As time has gone by, I’ve learned that, as part of a family, as part of a team, there are times that my own personal happiness are secondary to what is best for my family. Yeah, sometimes that wasn’t so much fun. :-) The same is true for my husband — it’s only recently that he’s been able to reach goals that he had when he was in his early 20’s. However, I’m now able to look back on 21 years of child-rearing and almost 30 years of marriage, and feel that I’ve been successful and blessed, and know that I now have an opportunity to continue rounding out my life. Hopefully, at the end of it, I’ll be able to look back on my life and feel that yes, I did “have it all”.

DB

September 23rd, 2009
12:01 pm

As far as the checklist goes: If it makes her husband feel better to make a list, what difference does it make? Some people are list makers, some aren’t. Obviously, he is. It doesn’t mean that she has to FOLLOW the list — but if it makes him feel better to make it, why fuss? This would be one battle that I wouldn’t even rate as a skirmish!

momnteacher

September 23rd, 2009
1:15 pm

@DB – As mothers, we are judged either way we go. You stated that moms are often judged as “not pulling their weight” if they are stay-at-home moms. Regardless of how “liberated and equal” we all claim to be, I feel as though I am judged just as much for being a working mom. I get tired of hearing the comment that “others are raising my children while I choose to work.” Some of us HAVE to work in order to provide for our children, both now (food/clothing/shelter) and later (college, etc.).

In regards to the questions regarding kids straining a marriage, like the others who have posted, I think it’s a given. Some days are great, some days are tough. In our family, we try to tag-team as much as we can, and we don’t sweat the small stuff. I also think open communication is key — if his lack of involvement bugs you, then call him out on it AND offer suggestions as to how he can help more. And then expect the same from him —- if he feels like you focus all of your attention on the kids and never on him, make it a point to go out on a kid-free date to show him how much he matters to you!

Christina

September 23rd, 2009
1:28 pm

DB – I agree entirely with your point. Women shouldn’t be looked down upon if they stay home. For that matter, neither should men. The mindset that we all need to maximize our income potential (and thus our spending potential) has played some part in where our society is today. Too many parents are absent, aloof and uninvolved – even ones who live with their kids. I have a toddler and am in the process of making arrangements so that I can stay home with him and his future (hopefully) siblings. But if I even breathe a word of that plan, most people are shocked. They think I’m devestating my family by giving up the income, and some think I’m selling out if I want to be “just a mom (and wife)”. When did our priorities become so convoluted that all we see is the dollar signs?

As a working mom, I feel like this excerpt is pretty typical. And I understand the resentment toward her husband. It seemed at our house (and some of our friends’ houses) like the wife probably took care of most of the housework before the baby, plus she was working just like the dad. Baby comes along, and now mom is working, doing more than half the housework, and doing most of the childcare. It wasn’t until my husband was laid off for a short period of time and had to care for our son while I worked, that he realized how much WORK it is. That revelation really helped him to understand why I needed his help, even after he went back to work. Like our president, I don’t think his perspective was narcissistic; it just never occurred to him. And I do think something as simple as a child being sick can make the light bulb go off. Because the feelings hadn’t gone away – they just got lost for a little while.

New Stepmom

September 23rd, 2009
1:30 pm

DB great points on women’s lib. Being a part time step mom (step daughter is with us part time), I already feel the strain of trying to do it all and know that when I have full time children it will be even more difficult. I am lucky to have done really cool things in the last 11 years and will be happy to walk away for a time and focus completely on the house and family. I think it is fabulous that you put wife and mother on your list and it sounds like you have accomplished your goal.

My mom is a great wife and mother and quite a role model. I sometimes think I set too high of expectations for myself due to my home growing up being run flawlessly with a dad who traveled at least 50% of the time. I remember the week the hot water heater, clothes dryer and AC all went out while dad was gone. Mom got it all taken care of in 24 hours and in 1980 there was no cell phone for her to call dad to get advice. Do others find that they put pressure on themselves based on the example of their parents?

motherjanegoose

September 23rd, 2009
2:26 pm

@ DB…thanks for reminding me of what you had told me when we had lunch. I was trying to remember it and could not. Your are correct.

I have a wonderful family and a career I enjoy but neither is ever working out 100% all the time.

I guess I am talking about having everything done to perfection. The pressure I put on myself is due to the fact that my mother was OCD. She was also a stay at home mom and never worked outside the home after she turned 19 and I was born. In my house growing up, EVERYTHING WAS ALWAYS IN PLACE, laundry was always done, dinner was always ready, with dessert served and there was a strict routine. In my house, that may never happen.

My mother was also diagnosed with severe depression and was miserable in her later years.
My sisters and I feel this is because she never got to realize her own dreams and have a passion for something outside of the house. She made excuses all along about how she really wanted to be home and that cooking, sewing and cleaning were the frosting on the proverbial cake. When it came down to it, she was not a happy person. Others certainly can be happy with this routine…I cannot judge someone else’s life but I need a bit more.

I spoke with my Doctor about depression and was concerned about how it would affect me. He looked right at me and said,’ You are an intelligent woman and very passionate about building your career and sharing your expertise with others. As long as you stay busy and enjoy what you do, you will be fine.” THIS is one reason I am not a stay at home mom. Reason number 2 is that there is no way we could live on one income, even though we are frugal and not wasteful. I worked part time when we moved here 20 years ago and we made about $30,000.00 together….not much to live on in Atlanta with a 2 year old!

I personally have never had the chance to be a wife and mother, without working…unless you count the 6 weeks or so I have each summer off….even then, I am ready to get out of here as cleaning, laundry and cooking meals are not stimulating enough for my brain. I do get down in the dumps when I see how much effort I put in and then I have to start all over again…without being paid a dime. At least, when I am working hard, I am being paid for it!!!

motherjanegoose

September 23rd, 2009
2:32 pm

@ Becky…thanks …it is not my intention to spread lies on this blog. Your post yesterday about those who take free lunch on our tax dollars and spend their money on things we cannot afford is exactly what I am talking about. I DO NOT have all facts from every state…just stories I am told by teachers in many states that back up the fact that my money is feeding other kids and these kids are wearing shoes and riding in cars that we cannot afford. I appreciate your comment.

ECONOMICS FOLKS….

HB

September 23rd, 2009
3:04 pm

Yes, thanks for the extra info, Becky, and for your article posted yesterday about Tampa, MJG. These types of abuses hurt both taxpayers AND the huge number of people who legitimately need the free/reduced lunch program, so reasonable verification and auditing are important.

DB

September 23rd, 2009
3:27 pm

In response to Theresa’s original query, “Do kids strain a marriage?” Of course. One’s SPOUSE will also strain a marriage. Finances will strain a marriage. In-laws may strain a marriage. Dreams deferred and dreams denied will also strain a marriage. A job transfer will strain a marriage.

Marriage is subject to strains from every direction — not just kids.

motherjanegoose

September 23rd, 2009
4:16 pm

@ Kathy…I am thinking you are the Kathy I know personally….

I DO consider my career as part of having it all. I love my family dearly but being at home and not stimulating my brain would make me CRAZY…it almost did this summer as I was home more than usual. The creative energy I use to keep myself employed is very exciting. Meeting new folks all across the country who share my passion and ideas for early childhood has been very rewarding.
Being thanked for what I do makes my day. Being paid for it is even better…hahaha!

It is a rare day when someone around here says, “You did such a nice job on dinner….My laundry smells so fresh….The house looks clean….I appreciate the fact that we always have food in the pantry.”

There are those who stay at home and love it, there are those who work and hate it and there are those ( me) who love their career and are trying to balance a successful family with work…it gets crazy most of the time but my children see that those who work hard can succeed.

I know my children are quite a bit more independent than others their age and this is because they have had to learned to be self sufficient. Each Mom must make her own choice and if it is to stay at home, then that is the choice for her. My Mom was a stay at home Mom and she was ultimately miserable…I do not want to end up that way. I guess I will go with FRAZZLED but happy.

Becky

September 23rd, 2009
4:33 pm

MJG, I guess I’m like you on things of taking (or receiving) when you really don’t need it.I remember when I was about 13 (many years ago) and my Mother was the only one in the house working..She had 4 children under the age of 17 at home, my Dad was laid off from his job and she was only bringing home about $125.00 per week..She went to get food stamps and they told her that she was making to much money to get help..

motherjanegoose

September 23rd, 2009
5:11 pm

My last post….I was just packing my suitcases and thinking….multi tasking!

When my kids were small, I worked part time and did like being with them. I loved the whole being a Mommy thing and felt fulfilled. At 50, I am SO over taking care of everyone and now I need to do a few things to keep myself challenged. At 17 and 22, my kids are on their way out the door and need to develop their own responsibilities. My husband would love for me to do everything for him ( what man would not?) but having run this house for nearly 27 years….I am over it. I really could care less if I came home to a completely redecorated house or if my husband got rid of all the furniture and bought things he liked. If they re-do the kitchen, fine…as long as they are prepared to cook in it.

I will say that those of you who have small children and love staying home should be proud that you do. Just do not lose yourself, as there will be a day when they move on to bigger and better things than MAMA and then you just might be wondering what you are supposed to do.

motherjanegoose

September 23rd, 2009
5:11 pm

@ Becky…your mom NEEDED the food stamps…whew!

notgonnagiveone

September 23rd, 2009
6:09 pm

@ Jesse’s Girl…he doesn’t make the checklist…I do and we work on it together…so that I feel prepared…not because he thinks I need it.

notgonnagiveone

September 23rd, 2009
6:14 pm

@ all the naysayers…did you not read that WE make the list? Mostly I tell him things that I feel like will need to be handled that he would normally do if he were here. We also add a couple of other things so I don’t get overwhelmed when he’s gone. It is a great help to me that he takes the time to be considerate enough to not let things ’slide’ just because he isn’t here.

notgonnagiveone

September 23rd, 2009
6:20 pm

After reading some of the comments here I see that many of you are just resentful of your husbands on many levels and you do an excellent job of transferring that to others. That is terribly sad. I am sorry that your marriages are so twisted that you feel they are totally disconnect from your home life. I am sorry even more that you take that frustration and resentfulness and push it onto a forum like this…

Theresa, if these are the frequent readers of your blog, I won’t be back…

FCM

September 23rd, 2009
8:18 pm

As most of you know I am a single mom. What many may not have heard is that I was a SAHM once upon a time. When my eldest was then almost 1 I went back to work part-time. For money? No. I went because I was left at home daily with an infant, neighbors who all worked, and no car. My husband would come home to tired to communicate with me. (I was coiled up and ready to talk to turnips if they would talk back). Anyone who has sat home with an infant who communicates by grunting and is refused adult socialization will go CRAZY! Seriously.

I went back to work so I could have adult conversations that did not involve Big Bird!
Selfish or not that is where I was at that time….though I missed my baby dreadfully while I worked.

When child 2 was 18 months he asked me to quit working. He said he wanted me home full time. I went home and wanted to be a great SAHM. I actually enjoyed being home this go round, I was in a different place of my life as they say. Well 4 months into this our marriage was even less happy than it had been when I was working–and that wasn’t happy.

He was not ready to be responsible. He was not ready to be a husband. (I have already related the ‘friendships’ he had along the way, the drinking, the abuse was there, the controlling attitude—no car except for going to church, I was not spend money because I did not earn it, and the beat goes on). He was not ready to parent (and now he doesn’t have too). 4 months after I came home he tossed the keys on the counter and walked out. He said he had been considering it for more than a year!

He wanted me at the disadvantage. He wanted to dictate the terms of the divorce since he had the job. He actually told my lawyer, his, and me this in the court house.

The man I married NEVER understood who he married. The things he thought would weaken and break me did not work. I grew stronger as person—I had too I had children to raise!

I am a MOM. First, last and always. I fix dinner, fix boo-boos, dry tears, giggle over cartoons, check homework, drive to school, stay up with illness, fix broken toys, provide loving guidance, make sure there are clean clothes, that costumes are right, that birthday parties are attended, that soccer games are played, that life happens and yes, I work outside my home at a career I love that provides me a ton of fulfillment!

As I have said on more than one occasion: I have 2 full times jobs, being a parent and my career, and each makes me appreciate the other more.

motherjanegoose

September 23rd, 2009
8:41 pm

@ FCM….you go girl!

I am TOO a MOM 24/7 and this is why I get so frantic when I am on the way out the door to leave for a meeting…there is ALWAYS something to be done.

I only started traveling more frequently when mine were 12 and 17 ( my son could drive if Dad was still at work) . I laugh at those who ask me how I can travel ( for business) with children…do men get asked this question? If Michelle were the President …would things be any different?

I always leave a list with all of my travel plans, suggestions for dinner ( what is in the freezer as my daughter is a GREAT cook…she has learned to do it all herself) and things they might need to know about that I usually take care of.

I am also a perfectionist in my job and folks typically say to me, ” if we ask you to do it, it WILL be done right…” This is where I am frazzled…at not being able to be certain that EVERYTHING is full speed ahead!

Not all but some men do want their wives home and this can be somewhat of a control factor.
I prefer to earn my own money so that I do not have to ask hubby for money or feel guilty if I want to buy something for my kids or myself ( today I heard this as a Mom swiped her CC card for 3 pairs of shoes…at ROSS… for her kids: DADDY is going to have a fit when he sees what we spent today…she was talking to the baby in the cart who was cute as a button) . I do not waste money but I do not want to live in a house where I have to ask for it either…maybe it’s just me!

IF I had to choose between my family and my career, it WOULD be my family!

Jesse's Girl

September 23rd, 2009
10:23 pm

I don’t think any of us are resentful of our husbands. Your post sounded a tad stepford in my opinion and I simply stated that. If you read us AT ALL…you will see that the vast majority of us worship the ground our husband’s trod upon. We are all enlightend, old fashioned and educated women here. No one said you were not…your post just wasn’t worded very well. Oh…and after reading your last post….I think whats TWISTED may just be your sphincter:)

motherjanegoose

September 24th, 2009
6:39 am

NEWMOM had her baby!

motherjanegoose

September 24th, 2009
7:27 am

FOOD FOR THOUGHT….in 2009, if all women who have families were ABLE to be SAHM, our world would be a different place. There would probably be NO unemployment as men would have jobs as teachers, nurses,nail tech, hair stylists, wait staff, flight attendants, cashiers, maids, etc….all professions where women typically serve in a large capacity. Could these men then support their families on that salary alone?

I am disappointed in SAHM who look down their noses at women who work and think they are shunning their families. These women wait on SAHM and their families every day and make their lives more comfortable.They also wait on those of us who work and I, for one, appreciate them!

JJ

September 24th, 2009
7:37 am

Congratulations to New Mom her family!!!!!

Jesse's Girl

September 24th, 2009
8:02 am

Many…many….many prayers coming your way NewMom!!!! Love you huge and I am so incredibly happy for you and your’s!!!!

Jesse's Girl

September 24th, 2009
8:06 am

And per your last comment MJG…..HERE HERE!!!!! I am incredibly grateful to all of the women who work outside the home; just as I am for the ones who don’t.

Christina

September 24th, 2009
8:10 am

MJG – I like your comment about dads traveling vs. moms traveling. At the prospect of me leaving for a week for job training my husband admitted that he would need his mom to move in to help with our son. But when he was gone for a two-week stretch and I had a 10-month old with complications from ear tube surgery, I wrangled it all on my own. He’ll openly admit he doesn’t know how I do it and doesn’t think he could. Why do men not have the same confidence in their own abilities at home?? He is perfectly capable of handling it!

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

September 24th, 2009
8:55 am

A new topic is up — sorry it’s late — we are having to replace the carpet in our basement! Big bummer and expensive. Was up late trying to clear it all out so men can pull out the wet carpet!! Also have a cold! So no fun!