I’ll start off by saying you’re a pretty good guy. We’ve been married 10 years in December, and in that time had 4 babies, plus the one you got for free when you met me. You work hard so I can stay at home. You’re an awesome cook, you do nappies, drop and pick kids up, shop, sometimes wash clothes. You don’t clean but insist I have a cleaner once a week. There’s always room for improvement, but I won’t dwell on that, I could improve too.
I started to tell you about the day I’d had recently. How tired I was, and had been for the past EIGHT YEARS. What you should have done is listen. But you didn’t. You said those words that when I see other women utter or write them, 500 others follow with “oh mine wouldn’t DARE say that.” But you did didn’t you?
“I work, I’m tired too, if you don’t like it get a job”
It’s not the first time you’ve said it. You tend to pull this when I’m complaining about how tired I am, and it always ignites WW3. You then start telling me how exhausted you are, how you work, if you don’t work we might all live in a tent. I don’t like tents.
When you wake up, I’ve been on night shift most of the night. I sleep down the end of the house, due to our youngest two waking more than a top on call obstetrician. I wake on average 3-4 times a night. You know the baby that still breastfeeds? I feed her. Me. 24/7 on call milk bar. That’s one shop that won’t shut until she’s ready to close it. I can’t get casual staff in to help out.
When you tell me you have your 5th work function on for the week, and you have to “entertain” I’m entertaining too. I’ve been Captain Barnacles at 532am and Peppa Pig at 6, and that’s before I get up. Do your clients get you to get on all fours to be a horse? Have you ever seen a horse carry four riders? I’ve been that. So forgive me when I don’t sympathise at you sitting in a restaurant on Sydney Harbour eating your big plate small food 7 course meals. The last degustation meal I ate was picking 8 sultanas off the floor.
When you tell me you’re stressed, I don’t think you understand the meaning of the word. Stress is dragging 4 kids around Westfield on your own without losing them, then having 2 want the toilet right after the other two do number twos and you have no nappies. Our kids tandem poo now. Stress is losing your toddler for the 6th time and finding him in the display window of Witchery wearing knee high boots pretending to be Wonder Woman. That’s stressful. Not sitting in an office or a restaurant.
When you tell me you’re tired because you were out till 3am “working” – I have to query how much work you get done. The last time I stayed out till 3am was 2002, and it was a belter of a night. I remember those days well, don’t try to tell me it isn’t fun. The best times of my life were at 3am.
You told me once all staff are dispensable except one, and you weren’t talking about me. You should have been. I’m irreplaceable if I do say so myself. No nanny in the world would do this job. It’s a labour of love that money can’t pay for. So the next time you feel the need to pull that line go stand in our bathroom and tell it to our oversized mirror.
Because I have a job. Trust me when I say you don’t want me to quit.
Your wife, for now
You can find Alison over at www.mumtofive.com