Tammy used to work at Wal-Mart. It wasn’t a glamorous job but it was HER job–with great friends and a life of her own. After Tammy and John married, she became pregnant. And after awhile, she became pregnant again. She really wasn’t depressed about the second baby because the first baby was great. And when she and John needed alone time, a relative was always more than happy to babysit.
However, when the second baby came, Tammy and John realized that the child care ate up their pay checks and it would be better if Tammy stayed home. This had tons of benefits, after all, Tammy felt bad letting day care have her child so much. And at first, Tammy was excited, but then slowly afterwards….something started to happen.
Tammy became depressed. It seemed like the walls of the home started to close in on her. When she worked at Wal-Mart, yes, some days it seemed insanely annoying but at least she was able to leave after an 8 hour shift.
Now…this job never ended. She woke up in the mornings only to move from one room to the other. Her biggest conversation was with a two year old. Her greatest adventure—changing nasty diapers and scoring the crayons out of the pockets before they landed in the dryer.
Oh, she would take the babies to the park or call her friends on the phone but it wasn’t the same as it had been before. Her girl friends didn’t have children and were able to spend entire days shopping or doing whatever they pleased. They invited Tammy out for drinks but who would watch the kids? Her relatives, nor in-laws were willing to watch TWO children…not the way they were more than willing to watch the first.
And John…Tammy slowly, without meaning to began to resent John. He went to work…and yes, he worked hard but he at least got two days off. When did she get a day off? She had to care for the children 24-7. She had to give up her hobbies but John seemed to keep his without a worry or care of who would watch the kids. Who would watch them was never an issue with John because TAMMY would do it…right? When he wanted to play golf on Saturdays, he got up and played Golf. When he wanted to do poker with the guys on Thursdays…he left to go play poker. When he wanted to have a BBQ with his family, he just invited them over even though Tammy was the one that had to run through the house,cleaning and putting an extra shine on things, and then had to FIX the food, get everything ready, be the perfect host, and so on.
Why, Tammy can’t even leave the house the way John does. John showers and gets ready….when Tammy has to shower, get ready and then bathe the kids and get them ready. So yes…Tammy begins to resent John and it even affects their sex life, which in turn makes him resent her. Why to Tammy….sex might even suddenly seem like another chore…another task slammed on her list. She is too tired, too drained emotionally…she is dying inside. And John is becoming even more unhappy because he doesn’t understand…and why should he get yelled at for going with his brothers to play golf…or if he works longer hours….or….
This sort of thing happens to women every single day and hardly anyone takes it seriously. The more Tammy resents John…the more she regrets becoming a mother….the worse she feels.
So how can it be fixed?
The answer is simple but for every relationship it will have to be customized for each life style and situation.
In Tammy’s life, though, she does a flip and balance type of thing…
For every hobby John has, Tammy gets one. Even if she just runs off to the gym, or goes to the park or library…however many places john goes while she watched the kids…she gets to go while HE watched the kids. So, if John plays golf on Saturdays then on Sunday, Tammy gets to go play around with her girl friends or whatever she wants to do. AND MORE IMPORTANTLY—John helps Tammy find a sitter so that they can both go out on a DATE once a week.
Soon, after this becomes a habit…things become normal again. Tammy is happier, John is happier. Everything works itself out. And its all because Tammy learned to assert her power—she took her life back and made herself an equal to John.
Having children, being married, being in a relationship period is a 50/50 thing. Women can still be women and men can still be men but when you take on another person, you take on responsibilities. It took two people to have a child and it takes two people to be happy in a marriage. While women become the rock that keeps the home strong…you also have to be the rock that keeps yourself strong. So assert power….balance.