Yup. I've been home with the kids this summer, and my wife has been taking them away to visit friends or family almost every weekend, so that I could get some solid time to work. (I'm a writer.) My wife is gone at work from 8 to 6 weekdays, and the hour before she leaves and the couple of hours after she gets home are all about getting the kids up and fed and fed and bathed and off to bed.
It's been rough, particularly on her. We're upping our childcare for the fall, and the older kid is going to be at school, so I'll be able to work more during the day. It's going to be a huge financial hit, though.
...ugh. ...that "huge financial hit" part would just kill me! ...best of luck to you, too.
...thanks a lot for taking the time to respond.
Well, I'm actually sort of the other way around; my wife stays at home with the kids while I work an IT job. Every month, I have to put in a 70/80/90-hour week, and it just crushes us. Morever, she has a part-time data-entry gig at home, and I also am the band leader at our church--so not only does my "real" job make it hard, on weeks like this every spare minute is going to just holding down the fort at one of the other gigs. So down the tubes goes the house, the laundry, the dishes, the lawn, our budget, our meal schedule . . .
Just like in your example, we spend most of our time together with short fuses and laundry lists of complaints. Not necessarily at each other, but sometimes all we can do to stay sane is complain to each other about how crappy things are. Of course, both of us take each other's complaining personally--with tempers short and sleep nonexistent, how can we not?
Part of being a dad--whether you are the "primary breadwinner" or not, is the primal instinct to be the Head of Household, as in it is your job to make sure everyone has the resources to live good lives. It's so hard to get through the grind when everyone's unhappy.
One thing that my wife and I have discovered is taking time out every day to talk--really talk. No matter how late it is, go out on the back porch or something and just sit and chat about whatever. Take a deep breath, let it out, and hold each other. Talk about work, the economy, football, a movie, play Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, whatever. Even if it's 1:45 am and you're both desperate to sleep, you'll be happier after some alone time--at least, that's what we've found.
...that's all good advice. I think under the circumstances, we're doing the best we can. I wish I just had five minutes to sit down sometimes, though... and yeah- I just have to remind myself that there is always time for that.
...this is exactly what I needed. Thank you very much.
Oh, and I forgot to mention . . . KILLER icon. Very very nice.
i'm a stay-at-home dad. i also do freelance design at night. it keeps us pretty much in the same boat as you and your wife. stupid, petty bickering. the only thing that has helped at all is getting time alone, sans kiddo. although at 8 months, we got very little. out girl is 19 months now and it's only been since she was about 13-14 months old that we started getting any time away. even if it's just a trip to the bookstore. of course, our parents are the only ones we trust her with and they all live over 1000 miles away. so our "dates" are few and far between. hang in there. it get's easier. not easy, though, just easier.
i think we have a lot in common, i'm going to add you.