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reinventmyself
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9 minutes ago, reinventmyself said:

A little over five years ago, I euthanized my 14 year old cat Xena due to having cancer.  It was unexpected and I was gutted.  Little Macy was left behind and at 12 she was rather lost, being the submissive of the two and was only brave as Xena was, being her constant shadow.  Without Xena, Macy retreated to the closet, under the bed and only came out when I was in the room.  

It was really way too early but I got the idea I would adopt an adult female cat to keep Macy company.  I went to the shelter (the one I now volunteer at) and was talked into adopting a kitten. I was told it would be easier for the two to bond, despite their ages.  It wasn't initially what I wanted, knowing that the 12 year difference would put in me in the exact same position in a few years, needing to cycle in a new cat to keep company with the existing cat. 

4 days of sitting with the kitten who had horrible separation anxiety, who howled like it was hurt if I left his sight.  Sensitive Macy hiding upstairs, hissing and no longer eating.  Me, still emotional over the loss of Xena and wondering how long, if ever these two would bond, I decided it was best to surrender the kitten.  I cried the entire time and volunteer that had helped me, greeted me to return the kitten.  They couldn't have been any more compassionate.  Nevertheless, I still felt embarrassed, while trying to do what was best for all 3 of us.

Now, being a volunteer there myself, these senior women are almost militant about who they will allow adopt. Now being cat-less, I am leaning towards getting another cat.  I have the privilege of spending time with these cats and getting to know them pretty well before making that up to 20 year commitment.  I read the application and two of the questions - having you adopted a cat from us before - have you surrendered a cat before, make my heart sink.

Now I have a problem.   When I disclose my past experience, they could deny me any adoption.  Second dilemma - now I volunteer my time at a place that wouldn't trust me to own any of the very cats I spend my time helping socialize?

Uhg.  Just trying to wrap my head around this. If I decide to get a new cat I may have find it elsewhere just to sidestep the talk I keep rehearsing in my head.  No idea how it would be received, and it may taint my volunteer experience altogether. 

Reinvent - I struggle to understand why anyone would think badly or hold it against someone for putting a cat that was most likely in horrible discomfort or pain to sleep? Surely that is a good thing? A noble thing to have done? 
 

I am not a pet person myself but, I would have done the same as you. I hope someone would be able to put me peacefully to sleep instead of having me suffer whenever my time might come! 
 

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2 minutes ago, mylolita said:

Reinvent - I struggle to understand why anyone would think badly or hold it against someone for putting a cat that was most likely in horrible discomfort or pain to sleep? Surely that is a good thing? A noble thing to have done? 
 

I am not a pet person myself but, I would have done the same as you. I hope someone would be able to put me peacefully to sleep instead of having me suffer whenever my time might come! 
 

x

Thank you.  But it isn't putting a sick cat down that they will take issue with - at all. 

It is having adopted a kitten from them, only to surrender it 4 days later.

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I told my story of having adopted a kitten just to surrender it to the volunteer coordinator I work with.  She was very nice about it and said it wouldn't be a problem, but I should probably speak to the head of the adoption committee about it.  She's in tomorrow, so I'll go in and talk to her.

In the past few days, I waffle.  I am now 50/50. I want a kitty, but I wake up in the middle of night having alot anxiety about the commitment.  Is it a valid concern, or is it just too soon?  I just wonder if I should wait until I am in a better mindset about it.  I'll keep my appointment with her so at least if I continue to get attached to these kitties, I know I have the option.

My anxiety is, will I do right by the kitty.  Which is odd when I am realistic about it. I was a good cat mom to my previous kitties.  Trying to remind myself that guilt is often normal part of grief.

S has been gone for all week and won't return for another 6 days.  I have managed to keep busy but everyone has their own lives and can't entertain me daily.  Though I am good on my own, I do have my limit.  I am wandering around talking to myself more than usual.

Today is my youngest son's birthday.  He and his wife have been so busy and overcommitted, he is adamant about not wanting to do anything for his birthday.  I am however going to ask to stop by today to drop off a gift.  I will play it by ear and offer to order a pizza while I am there.  I mentioned it to my oldest son, and he is interested in coming by as well.  Asking me if I have talked to his brother about it and I say no.  If I had, that would sound like a 'plan.'  Hoping to keep this light and casual and it ends up appreciated and doesn't backfire on me.   I'll call him here shortly and see how it goes.

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The boys, their Dad and my youngest's best friend ended up golfing for his bday.  I am glad he let someone do something for him.  He's pretty good at keeping us all at arms distance most of the time.

After golf we met at a brewery.  My DIL, granddaughter and my oldest sons girlfriend all showed up.  It was a nice afternoon, sitting outside eating pizza and celebrating.  

My son is a good young father.  A little hands off or maybe best explained that his wife is supermom.  A teacher and a perfectionist.  My granddaughter is a mommy's girl.  Mom being 7 months pregnant does not get a break.  Dad steps back and allows her to all the work.  Poor thing, whenever we get together, she doesn't get to sit still, chasing a toddler.  Not to mention the boys are drinking and she's the driver.  I watch her out of the corner of my eye and I swear she must be miserable, just tolerating these times.  My granddaughter is very bright, very, very busy and quite a handful.

I see myself in her.  Super mom and I'll do it all.  I see my ex in our son.  Standing back and letting her do it all.  He was actually joking about yesterday and his best friend who is a few years older and has two children cautions him.  I took the opportunity to get my dig in.  With the new baby on the way he'll have to step up.  He still jokes about it and I share with him that I related to his super wife.  I exhausted myself trying to be the perfect mom and at some point when it's too much and you aren't getting help you flip over to feeling resentful.  I cautioned him he didn't want a resentful wife.   He had a few beers, so I'm not sure if the advice was received.  I learned along the way that advice is something you hope seeps through the cracks and it takes time for it to take hold.

I've mentioned more than once I am available to help when the new baby arrives.  My son asked me to stay with the 2 yr old when the moment comes and they are in the hospital.  Granddaughter number one will not be happy with a sibling.  She is totally glued to her Mom and I am pretty sure dividing her attention is going to be rough.  It's a reminder that though I will be there to help in the beginning, I can't be doing things my son, now Dad of two should otherwise be doing.   It's going to be interesting and I am pretty sure we are going to have another, or two discussions about this.

In an 'ah ha' moment, my son says "I give her all the credit. she's great Mom'  Hmmm.  I used to hear the same declaration. I ate it up and it caused me try to be even more perfect and do it all.  All I heard was the compliment.  But in that moment I heard the subtle manipulation.  The very thing that triggers a young mom to try even harder gives Dad even more excuse to step back.  Because after all, she's doing it so perfectly.

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12 minutes ago, reinventmyself said:

The boys, their Dad and my youngest's best friend ended up golfing for his bday.  I am glad he let someone do something for him.  He's pretty good at keeping us all at arms distance most of the time.

After golf we met at a brewery.  My DIL, granddaughter and my oldest sons girlfriend all showed up.  It was a nice afternoon, sitting outside eating pizza and celebrating.  

My son is a good young father.  A little hands off or maybe best explained that his wife is supermom.  A teacher and a perfectionist.  My granddaughter is a mommy's girl.  Mom being 7 months pregnant does not get a break.  Dad steps back and allows her to all the work.  Poor thing, whenever we get together, she doesn't get to sit still, chasing a toddler.  Not to mention the boys are drinking and she's the driver.  I watch her out of the corner of my eye and I swear she must be miserable, just tolerating these times.  My granddaughter is very bright, very, very busy and quite a handful.

I see myself in her.  Super mom and I'll do it all.  I see my ex in our son.  Standing back and letting her do it all.  He was actually joking about yesterday and his best friend who is a few years older and has two children cautions him.  I took the opportunity to get my dig in.  With the new baby on the way he'll have to step up.  He still jokes about it and I share with him that I related to his super wife.  I exhausted myself trying to be the perfect mom and at some point when it's too much and you aren't getting help you flip over to feeling resentful.  I cautioned him he didn't want a resentful wife.   He had a few beers, so I'm not sure if the advice was received.  I learned along the way that advice is something you hope seeps through the cracks and it takes time for it to take hold.

I've mentioned more than once I am available to help when the new baby arrives.  My son asked me to stay with the 2 yr old when the moment comes and they are in the hospital.  Granddaughter number one will not be happy with a sibling.  She is totally glued to her Mom and I am pretty sure dividing her attention is going to be rough.  It's a reminder that though I will be there to help in the beginning, I can't be doing things my son, now Dad of two should otherwise be doing.   It's going to be interesting and I am pretty sure we are going to have another, or two discussions about this.

In an 'ah ha' moment, my son says "I give her all the credit. she's great Mom'  Hmmm.  I used to hear the same declaration. I ate it up and it caused me try to be even more perfect and do it all.  All I heard was the compliment.  But in that moment I heard the subtle manipulation.  The very thing that triggers a young mom to try even harder gives Dad even more excuse to step back.  Because after all, she's doing it so perfectly.

This is an interesting point reinvent!

 

How old is your son can I ask? It is unusual to hear a mother in law on her daughter in laws side! 
 

I think I can (if I can be so vain!) put myself in that category of “I’ll do it all and so much better than anyone and I can’t ask for help in the moments when I might need it the most”.

 

I remember when I was pregnant with my boy, first time Mum and all, and I went to all the neonatal classes. One midwife was giving an example of two new Mums. One was doing great, felt rested and full of support. She had her mum babysit one night, accepted seeing her friends and accepting their help sending food and presents for her baby, and utilised babysitters and family for breaks. The other woman didn’t accept any help. Put on a smile but was secretly struggling with no rest and trying to endlessly keep a perfect home solo. She never had much time for friends and didn’t feel like family visits - too exhausted. I remember defiantly thinking to myself, well! I’ll be the second woman minus the frazzle! How hard can one be, anyway?! And I’m fabulous at speedy cleaning. It’ll be a doddle! And it was, for the most part. But there were times when, oh God, I was so frayed. Something would irritate me and I’d be emotionally off, just flip! My husband was trying to build his business, worked away a lot. I didn’t work. We had a traditional set up. But I was doing absolutely everything. He never changed one nappy. And crazily, not because he wouldn’t - no! It was because I was adamant - it’s the mothers job, I can do it. Along with all the night breastfeeding, and all the pram walks outside for naps, all the washing and grocery shopping, cooking meals and of course, at the time I was 28 and had a huge four storey Georgian town house to clean as well. Crazily, I managed to keep it up when it was just my son. When my daughter came along 19 months later, cracks started showing. But I could still manage. Then our third baby came just under two years after our middle daughter and I think I just reached my limit. Terribly, for my pride, I couldn’t “do it all”!

 

My husband is so involved emotionally reinvent - he has always played with them, read to them, taken them out with him. But I did absolutely everything else, and all the early morning stuff and middle of the night stuff and Monday to Friday. He does desperately try and help where he can. He understands it’s energy draining. He’s got his own stresses and financial treadmill to run, so I do understand when he jumps in with the kids and takes the older two out all Saturday and leaves me with just our 1 year old, that I understand, he also isn’t getting a break.

 

I think these baby and toddler years are intense! Magical, but intense. When exhausted, some of your worst traits can break through, and often when tired and irritated, you lash out at your nearest, meaning, the husband. He does everything he can. I used to put the kids to bed solo twice a week (and other times when he was away) so he could play pool on a night. I felt bad because teamed with him working away the week after, I just felt like, oh my God! Another day with absolutely no quiet until 8pm or something, if the bedtime goes well! And I did get resentful. Now he goes to pool one night a week. He does say, I need to organise something like yoga or drinks out with friends, and he’ll put them to bed - but again, super mum thinking pops up and I go “but I know how to put the baby down I might as well stay I’ll go out some other time”!

 

Self inflicted comes to mind!

 

Was your resentment and imbalance raising your kids one of the main reasons for your split, can I ask? I think it does test a relationship for sure. 
 

I have just this second had a tiff with my husband because I’ve given him a break from morning until 3pm, and I said to him I’m putting the kids down for a nap, if the other two are too loud go in for me will you and tell them to keep it down because I need the baby to sleep. He says yes.

 

So I’m next door rocking our youngest to sleep and she drifts off and the other two are screaming and laughing and throwing things and she startles and wakes up. I think okay hubs now is your queue. Nothing. They seem to settle. Okay, I’m rocking another half hour she drops off again and then more noise. I am willing him to go in. He does, only after she wakes up again upset and I can hear him talking and starting to play and mess on with them. I am so irritated! I bundle up our baby and burst in! They have all their bedding thrown off, toys everywhere. I say, what’s this! We’re supposed to be napping and quiet for bambino! Then he says ohhh but times gone in now it’s been an hour. I say if you’d told them sternly to behave like I do I could have been having a break 45 mins ago and our babe would have had her rest!!! So he goes now look don’t talk to me like that they might as well get up.

 

I try to explain that I have to be strict with this rule, I can’t let them think there is an option. It’s quiet time. Read or nap, baby is going to sleep and Mammy is having a rest! I carve out that time everyday for myself, but he will break the spell if he gives them the realisation that they can make all the noise they want and just walk out and do what they like and wake up the baby. I say, since I’m the one always with them, I need him to follow my rules because I need that time.

 

This is the type of Barney we get into. So I spit my dummy out and hand him the baby, say to the kids, “Downstairs kids! You’ve blown it!” And I tell them all downstairs I’m going to have a rest! Their coats hats and booties follow them incase he wants to take them out!

 

So here I am! Ranting! Am I being harsh? Most probably! I definitely could have handled it sweeter. But it’s all playtime and larking with my husband. It’s okay when you dip in. Try keeping order and a routine with 3 under 4 if you let them do what they want! It’s chaos! And I just didn’t appreciate him arguing with me about it.

 

My way or the highway came to mind 🫢

 

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1 hour ago, mylolita said:

Was your resentment and imbalance raising your kids one of the main reasons for your split, can I ask? I think it does test a relationship for sure. 

Well, it was just a small insight of the imbalance going on in our household.  That in itself wasn't the reason.  

And I was just like you.  I was a stay at home and that was my job. Much like you to this day I have a hard time asking for help and much rather do it my way anyway.  My DIL on the other hand works full time, she's highly educated with her masters, a teacher, writes and supervises the entire curriculum for her school district.  Her job is very demanding.  Yet she is being the prideful mom, like most of us and doing it all.  I am either projecting my fears onto her or to be honest, I sense the toll, I hear the comments and she is getting weary.  Especially with a second baby 8 weeks away.

I remember when our oldest was almost 2 (they are currently 36 & 32) my father had a project that took my parents to Japan for two years.  My Dad offered over and over to send me a round trip ticket to visit, but I needed to leave our first born home alone with his Dad for a week.  I didn't trust him.  About the time I was applying for my passport to go, I had a girls shopping/lunching day (which wasn't often)  I left midmorning, came home late afternoon to find my husband talking to the neighbors and our 18 mo old son running around in his yellow footie pj's I had put him the night before.  He had the same diaper as well!  It was so full he could barely walk straight.  He took one look at me and was hysterical.  Dad was too busy chatting.  I took him in and tried to figure out how to console him and only after sitting in his highchair double fisting food so fast I thought he'd choke it occurs to me his distress was that he was starving!  Dad comes in and I asked him if he fed him at all.  "he never asked!"  Needless to say I never visited my parents.   

My Dad never forgot it and reminded me for years and years I didn't some visit. I funny irony is my mom would be in the background, rolling her eyes.  She wouldn't have trusted my Dad alone with his children either. . lol

Looking back there were so many situations like this.  Fast fwd in my career and going through employee development training, this was a classic case of rewarding someone for doing a bad job.  Staff member that can't handle a task, rather than rising to the occasion, it gets reassigned.  It's not like my ex husband didn't know any better.  He just knew he'd get relieved from his responsibility if he didn't do it right.  And I reinforced this.

I ended my marriage for a number of reasons.. . but the overall imbalance was one of the biggest themes.  When the boys were older, social and rarely home I realized outside of being mom I had nothing for me.  My ex stood in my way of anything, from going to school, friends or getting a part time job.  I guess I might have assumed the inequity would only last when the boys were little.  I didn't know that I signed up for a lifetime of being in a selfless role.

I can't project my fears on my son.  I love the boy more than life, but I didn't care for his smug comments yesterday.  I sense my DIL's building discontent along with wanting to be super mom at the same time.   Unlike me, she'd have options to leave and be fine.  I really didn't. It's just a different time. 

They work equally hard.  They should share the job of parenthood. (IMO) If she were my daughter I would chat with her. But as a mother in law, I know my place.  So, my eyes are on my son.  Doesn't mean it's my job to change it.  This is their journey but if I see him doing it, I will decide whether or not to call him out.  

One last story.  We used to vacation at the river a few times each summer.  One summer, 3 families and we all had small children.   The women "folk" sat in the house changing diapers.  It was close to '110 outside, so not ideal for the little ones.  The men "folk" enjoyed being on the river outside, the boats and water toys all day, drinking from breakfast to bedtime.  In contrast to us moms who sat inside with playpens all over the living room.  One afternoon, after us wives protested having sat inside for days, the husbands put us on a raft and dropped us off about an hour upstream with some cocktails.  One hour of fun and we arrive back a little tipsy to the dirty looks and the scorn of the men.  Let's just say that's that last time we went on our annual river trips until the kids were older.

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Thanks for sharing reinvent! Insightful!

 

You are in a predicament there! Can you show support to your daughter in law and know you are not simply team your son because you are his Mum? I think it may refreshing to have an objective mother in law!

 

Our dynamic is very different because I don’t work and haven’t for 6 years. We are very traditional and I held those idealised family roles and values way before I met my husband. I grew up in a household where my Dad always worked, my Mum didn’t, even after we grew up, she stayed home. I saw the role of the man as the classic provider, the woman as the homemaker handling everything else.

 

My husband, I just want to add, is an exceptional Daddy! And, he is there in nearly every moment he is free. But he finds it easier to carve out time for himself! As you say, like your daughter in law, I am no! No help! Ever! I can do this! I even find it kind of insulting when someone offers to help me! My brain goes, “Does it look like I NEED IT?!” I’ll ask it of my husband but even him I find hard, anyone else nearly impossible.

 

I guess what I envy, if you could call it that, is his casual ability to let things roll of his back when it comes to the kids. He doesn’t ruminate or feel guilty about anything. He goes in, has a good time, does his best then can rest and say enough now I’m doing this and switch off! I find it hard to do that! I turn things over in my head, even when I’m not with them, after bedtime.

 

And, that story! So neglectful! I would have been totally mortified exactly like you! Oh my God! Well I can see obviously why you wouldn’t leave your son with your Dad! 
 

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And the vacation thing! Ahh that story! Yes, I see elements of that all the time. Not like that in my own life, but in general, in the human species. Women, we are evolved in that role, we do it amazingly well. I think men step back and admire it, respect it - and say, “leave it too them they know best!” 
 

I remember the last time we went away with kids and I only had my son and was heavily pregnant with our middle daughter. It was nearly totally split, he helped me all the time, and he is a very traditional kind of masculine bloke. But he adores the kids. And I was so pregnant! I was at that stage where I couldn’t fully bend down in the middle, probably like your daughter in law! I did envy the fact that after our son went to bed he could kick back easily in a different environment and not be listening and worried for the baby waking up! I did handle any of the night waking but I remember one bad night, because he was somewhere unfamiliar, I couldn’t settle him and in solidarity he came and sat and just talked quietly with me while we went into another room and let our son have it out until he fell asleep. I was so glad of the support because after a few hours getting nowhere at 2am, I didn’t want to wake him but he read my mind - I needed my partner in crime because I was getting that “what on earth do I do now!” thing!

 

I’m sorry your marriage didn’t work out reinvent but I can imagine it was for the best and a big learning curve? 

 

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PS - so many women I know are divorced if they are over 50. I often wonder what happened? What advice they have for me at 32 (I’ve been with my husband 15 years married for 8). I always ask advice because I feel like they lived through it and have the luxury of looking back on their marriages! 
 

It seems like second time marriages tend to fair better. Maybe everyone has lived and learnt and more importantly, know exactly what they want through experience and time!
 

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On 9/19/2022 at 11:41 PM, mylolita said:

PS - so many women I know are divorced if they are over 50. I often wonder what happened? What advice they have for me at 32 (I’ve been with my husband 15 years married for 8). I always ask advice because I feel like they lived through it and have the luxury of looking back on their marriages! 
 

It seems like second time marriages tend to fair better. Maybe everyone has lived and learnt and more importantly, know exactly what they want through experience and time!
 

x

I enjoy the insights into your marriage and your little family life.  Sounds like you are definitely doing things the right way.

What advice?  Just continue doing what you are doing.  You have a very positive view on things.  I get the traditional role. And there is something very noble about it.   I was very much that way, but as I said, when the boys were teenagers and developing a life for themselves. . along with their Dad, it was assumed that I would continue the role as nothing more than a housewife, while no one was in the house!  I always owned my role, but at some point, the scales just tipped way too far.  

My ex was very misogynistic.  I didn't want my sons to grow up viewing women the way their Dad did. I was acutely aware that their female peers were going to grow into adulthood without the desire to fulfill a traditional role.  For that matter the young girls were very assertive and seem to have the upper hand on the boys.  It seemed the tables had turned.

Just don't lose yourself.  I did.  It was a long way out.  Make sure you have other outlets and remember you are always more than a mom and wife. 

Resolve conflicts!  Don't just sweep them under the rug.  My marriage had 18 years of mostly unresolved issues.  For every issue unresolved, imagine it a brick.  Stack those bricks and ultimately the wall of bricks were too high to bring down.

(My marriage had some serious kind of emotional abuse/control issues. . .And from the sounds of it, you have none of that)   You probably are better equipped to having given me some advice and not the other way around ;}

 

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5 hours ago, reinventmyself said:

I enjoy the insights into your marriage and your little family life.  Sounds like you are definitely doing things the right way.

What advice?  Just continue doing what you are doing.  You have a very positive view on things.  I get the traditional role. And there is something very noble about it.   I was very much that way, but as I said, when the boys were teenagers and developing a life for themselves. . along with their Dad, it was assumed that I would continue the role as nothing more than a housewife, while no one was in the house!  I always owned my role, but at some point, the scales just tipped way too far.  

My ex was very misogynistic.  I didn't want my sons to grow up viewing women the way their Dad did. I was acutely aware that their female peers were going to grow into adulthood without the desire to fulfill a traditional role.  For that matter the young girls were very assertive and seem to have the upper hand on the boys.  It seemed the tables had turned.

Just don't lose yourself.  I did.  It was a long way out.  Make sure you have other outlets and remember you are always more than a mom and wife. 

Resolve conflicts!  Don't just sweep them under the rug.  My marriage had 18 years of mostly unresolved issues.  For every issue unresolved, imagine it a brick.  Stack those bricks and ultimately the wall of bricks were too high to bring down.

(My marriage had some serious kind of emotional abuse/control issues. . .And from the sounds of it, you have none of that)   You probably are better equipped to having given me some advice and not the other way around ;}

 

Reinvent! 
 

You are to to to to kind! How lovely! 
 

Seriously, I appreciate your input. The bricks stacking - very very true. Oh wow. I think anyone in a relationship can relate too that in some way. It’s like, every nasty argument, you can’t take it back. It takes time to heal from it, and then, you need to resolve what’s causing it or it will happen again, and a relationship can only take so much!
 

I have been learning the hard way reinvent! I have an older friend who I ask such personal and random things! But she is dreamy and doesn’t mind. I am so interested. I value her insights. Women who have been and done it. Of course, you have many chapters left! 
 

I could pick your brains just in teenage years! 
 

I am sorry about your husband, what a shame. But I imagine it will have been for the best, that you parted. And thank you! My husband is so great, he really is! Actually it’s funny you say misogynistic because, other people sometimes accuse him of that. They see the traditional role and I think they equate that with me being downtrodden. Oh man. If only huh! I’m a firecracker! We all have our faults. I just try to deserve him reinvent, and he does the same for me. We both admire and adore each other. I think we respect each other separate from our love affair as well. I can stand back and see him as my best friend but also someone I aspire to be like. It’s so corny isn’t it. We can drive each other up the absolute BEND! Okay it’s totally true. We have hot intense arguments! We have had terrible moments. But up to now, we always kiss and make up and laugh about it later. 
 

I hope I can improve. I know I have my major faults. Life doesn’t need to be harder than it already is, does it! We need to be kinder to each other. It is easy to lose your handle when so familiar with someone. 
 

I think you are very wise.

 

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On 9/19/2022 at 10:44 AM, reinventmyself said:

In an 'ah ha' moment, my son says "I give her all the credit. she's great Mom'  Hmmm.  I used to hear the same declaration. I ate it up and it caused me try to be even more perfect and do it all.  All I heard was the compliment.  But in that moment I heard the subtle manipulation.  The very thing that triggers a young mom to try even harder gives Dad even more excuse to step back.  Because after all, she's doing it so perfectly.

Very interesting insight! 

On 9/22/2022 at 10:30 AM, reinventmyself said:

Make sure you have other outlets and remember you are always more than a mom and wife. 

Or, a being a mom and a wife still puts you on equal ground with your husband! 

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44 minutes ago, itsallgrand said:

In all sincerity, what is very noble about tradition roles?

I'm curious how someone could see it that way , or as aspirational, because I've felt the opposite for as long as I can remember. 

 

Good question.  I guess everyone's  experience is different.  Maybe noble isn't the right word.  I suppose I took a lot of pride in being a mom.  Social conditioning at that time still encouraged traditional roles.

I was ok with it, until I wasn't. . 

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20 hours ago, itsallgrand said:

In all sincerity, what is very noble about tradition roles?

I'm curious how someone could see it that way , or as aspirational, because I've felt the opposite for as long as I can remember. 

 

@itsallgrand @reinventmyself

 

I hope you don’t mind me adding my thoughts and ten penny into this? 🥲

 

Itsall! My kind of, gut feeling as to why those traditional roles are seen as aspiration for some (and I say only some, it is really getting much less and less now) is due to a few little factors.

 

A man going off to work for 25 years, always showing up, and having the strain of being the only breadwinner, and having that pressure - is acknowledged I think by anyone - as being a hard, tough role. To do it well is a lonely venture. They have no one else to rely on, no other income. And same for the woman. To cook always, everyday, no matter what, to always be the one to clean, to change the nappies, to wake up every night for a year with each baby to breastfeed and comfort - is also, anyone I think can acknowledge, a hard and sometimes lonely role because again, it is your job and your job alone. 
 

Very often now, couples don’t marry, they don’t have children or if they do, not many, and more spaced apart. They both do the washing up, they both cook, they both work, they both help with the children. I think this is a harmonious set up, or can be, as long as the couple don’t get bitty about well I did more of that last week or you did less of that this week.

 

The traditional roles are harder work in some respects, easier in others. Easier in a way that, no one gets confused, the roles are very defined. Harder in that, if you “fail” at your role, there is no one else to blame, and the other partner can see it as “not their job” to step in.

 

I have as close to a modern traditional role as you could get in todays society. My husband in 15 years has never even put as much as a fork in the sink. I have cooked and cleaned always, for 15 years. He has always worked, apart from the first few years we were together, I worked part time but would keep the money I made, he never asked for it. 
 

We both meet more in the middle for the kids. My husband has hardly ever changed a nappy but he has done, if he’s taken them out for me. He has the older kids most of Saturday. He helps me put them to bed when he’s not working away, and gets them some mornings, or helps me. I used to do the majority of it when I had just one or two, but now we have three, I have had to admit to myself I can’t “do it all, all of the time” and have really guiltily actually, asked for help. I hate asking for help. I think me and reinvent sound very similar.

 

There is a certain pride to taking a job on and seeing it through, independently and solo. You say, this is my thing, this is my realm, I have full control and I will do these few things very well, to the best of my ability. I am not juggling a million things like work, organising bills, diy, childcare. I have things taken off my hands, and I take other things off my husbands hands.


When we just had the one baby and even when we had two; I would still bring breakfast in bed up to him nearly every weekday. I had to stop (he never minded me stopping by the way) because with 3, mornings just became a little bit chaos. But to be honest, when we are organised and sorted in our house, I would love to start that tradition up again! 
 

He is traditional in that he brings me flowers, little tokens of affection. I know I am extremely appreciated. I shown my appreciation towards him in very traditional ways too (like bringing him a cooked breakfast, putting the kids to bed so he can have his two nights a week out shooting pool with his friends). He is very protective of me; maybe you could see that as a masculine, outdated and traditional role of the man.

 

I think there is also a certain romanticising and idealising of the past. If you are kind of, romantic or traditionally minded, you tend to look at how your parents or grandparents did things and view it fondly, or idolise it in a way. 
 

I think any way of doing things, being a couple or raising kids, is right - as long as the couple are functioning and happy. When it starts becoming a problem, like reinvent says, then you either have to change it up or do something different.

 

We have altered as we went along. My husband is a fantastic hands on Dad, he is very involved in their life and loves spending time with them. It‘s not that he just leaves everything to me and sits reading a paper. That is probably where the modern twist comes in. 
 

The housewife who has the kids cleaned up and dressed, a roast in the oven, a fresh dress on, her lipstick primped and a cocktail in her hand waiting for her husband to walk in the door putting his briefcase down to the call of “hoooney I’m hooome” still holds a special little places in my heart!

 

x

 

 

 

 

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My mother was a "traditional" stay at home mom with three kids.  Then the bottom fell out.  My father left us.  Mom had been out of the workforce for 15 years and suddenly had to get a job.  I'll never forget her struggles.  

As a result she taught me that even if my husband and I chose "traditional" roles in our marriage, I always needed to be able to support myself and our kids in case the unthinkable happened (divorce, illness or death).  As it turned out we did divorce but since I had always worked with the exception of 5 months after our son was born I was able to earn money to keep us housed, fed and clothed.

In my brother's case, his wife was also a "traditional" stay at home mom, then the company where he worked closed without any advance warning.  He went to work one morning and the doors were padlocked and there was a notice on the door saying sorry, but they were closed permanently.  There he was, with a wife and two children and one on the way at home and no way to support them.  They had some savings but it was still a frightening time for them. Fortunately he was only unemployed for three months but still, it was stressful.

So I always heard my mother's voice in my head...always be prepared just in case.  It really wasn't about roles.  It was out of practicality.

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Mylolita, that's very interesting.

And both you and reinvent mentioned the pride aspect, which made me think.

Bolt, that's how I've always felt. Just doesn't seem practical to me! Also, I would feel badly living off another's work while I'm healthy and able. I would feel , I don't know how else to say this, it would go against my values to not provide for myself and any kids I may have. The plan always was , whether I have kids or no, I'll always be able to take care of myself. And especially when I almost became a mom, I never wanted to be in a position where if it came down to me, I couldn't cover everything need be. 

I guess too the romance of past times is lost on me, I see it more as horror show  . Both my parents came from huge families, too many kids imo!! And both grew up on one income, the mom at home  . They went without so much. My mom and her siblings are downright emaciated in old photos. She weighed under a hundred pounds when she got pregnant with me ! And I thought.. .yet grandma never worked  !! She had options to, she wasn't denied it. And they all craved hard time with their dads...seemed so cruel to me. 

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I want to add that my brother's wife chose not to work because she felt it was the man's job to financially support the family. However, she loved to spend money. And she also complained about how much my brother worked. She wanted him to bring home a six figure salary but not work full time hours. Show me where that job is lol! So when his employer shut down it was extra scary. As I mentioned, they had some savings but she'd spent a lot of it on gewgaws and custom made items for herself and the kids. And she loved jewelry, especially diamonds. So that made the situation more stressful.

I guess that's partly why I have such simple tastes. I don't want to spend money on things when I could be saving for a rainy day. You never know.

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