Monday, August 16, 2010

Every Couple Has Their 'Dance'

I've been thinking a lot about my job as a SAHM and how it will change when I head back to work and the roles my husband and I have chosen in our marriage.  Key word here for us is chosen.

Every couple has their what I like to call their own dance. The things that you do as a couple that may or may not work or be for everyone else.  With Mike and I it's kind of interesting because we both lived on our own before even meeting each other.  We both paid bills, maintained apartments, had jobs, cooked and had indpendent lives for close to ten years before moving in together.  We are both capable of taking care of things. So for me, I got to "give him" the chores that I didn't like doing and he got to "give me" the things he didn't like doing.  For one thing, Mike's in charge of the bills and money (which sometimes means that I have to explain what the $50 withdrawal was - but at the end of that day, I hate doing bills and he does them well). And I am in charge of the cooking around here. I like to cook and truthfully, I'm good at it.  Compromise. We compromise on tons of things around here - that's what marriage is, right?

Choosing to stay at home this past year and half made me feel at times like a 1950's housewife with a husband-provider who came home to dinner on the table.  But the difference for me is that I chose this and am lucky to have been able to choose this life.  It also helped me to know on those nights where I just couldn't deal, I had a husband who would throw his work hat off and put the dad hat on the second he walked in the door to help put Jenna to bed or cook dinner for us and give me some alone time. When it comes to Jenna, we really are 50/50 as much as possible.  I jokingly say that when Mike is around my "off duty" light goes on.

Now that she's a toddler, she chooses who puts her to bed at night (some nights it's me and some night's it's Daddy).  We tell her it's time for night night and she typically clings to one of us.  And if there's only one of us there, then it's not a problem. I think this back and forth is partly because we've always split up her "routine" things, even when she was an infant.  I remember when she was still waking to eat at midnight and 4 am - He took the 12 and I took the 4. It worked for us. It may not work for everyone.  Now if she wakes up during the night (which isn't too often thank god), we jokingly wait each other out in bed and inevitably one of us caves in to go take care of her. I think it's kind of funny (maybe because I usually end up waiting him out and get to stay in bed).

So I guess for us, some of our roles have been very traditional and other stuff has just been what works for us. It may probably will change when I go back to work next month but we'll make those changes as needed.  It'll always be a work in progress.  Some may say that I'm crazy for cooking dinner every night or not having my own bank account or that I shouldn't make him get up at night because he's working. But it's our business, our marriage and our dance.


  1. I can totally relate! Some people think that I am not so smart for staying at home with the kids. But it works for us and our family. As much as it can be a hassle sometimes, I wouldn't change a thing.

  2. Thank goodness for couples who can live without each other. My hubby and I also have our "dance." We both love solitude, so at night, I sit in one room, he sits in the other, and that works for long as the kids are nowhere near either one of us! hahaha