Mad at Dad: Moms are Furious With Their Baby’s Fathers
Do you ever get angry with your husband/boyfriend/baby’s father? Actually, let me start over. If you ever feel angry with your baby’s father, you are in the company of just about every other mother in the universe.
When I was pregnant, I looked into cloth diapering my son. I researched the pros and cons, did the math on the cost of cloth vs. disposable diapers. I figured out where the dirty diaper pail would go, where we would store the clean diapers, and decided which type of cloth diapers I’d like to try. As a soon to be stay-at-home mom, I considered the extra laundry, and decided that I could handle it. After all the research, it seemed that cloth diapers might be a good choice for us.
I told my (now ex) husband, who said “The dirty diapers will stink. We aren’t doing it.” And refused to discuss it any more.
Grrrrr! Moms spend so much mental energy on parenting decisions and sometimes dads just make a snap decision, or just don’t think whatever it is we are fretting about is a big deal at all.
Last month, Parenting magazine released the results of a survey that revealed that over half of moms confess to feeling angry with their husbands.
Around half of the moms surveyed said that they felt angry with their husbands at least once a week. Most moms said that their anger was intense but passing, and one in ten moms felt deep, long lasting anger towards their man.
Moms are angry that they spend more mental energy on the details of parenting. They are resentful that having children has turned our lives upside down much more than theirs. They are cross that men who can fix a car or have a college degree don’t seem to be able to change a diaper. Moms are furious that they have to do more chores than men. And they are mad that men get more time to themselves to do things for themselves than moms do.
The last one – lack of time off – seemed to be the cause of the most anger amongst the moms surveyed. When I was married, my husband thought it was perfectly OK for him to sleep in on Saturday and Sunday because he “went to work all week” and that it was fine for him to go out with his friends every Sunday. This was with a baby who didn’t sleep through the night until he was 13 months old.
The nice news is that that the moms who are angry, also mostly say that they love their husbands. I loved my husband when our son was a little baby. But unresolved anger is destructive to relationships. Anger can turn to long-term resentment. If you are feeling angry all the time, it will undermine your relationship, perhaps even end it.
Nothing changed in my marriage, and today I’m a single mom. I get even less time off now but I have no-one to be angry about making more housework for me, and no-one to tell me I’m fussing too much over which car seat to choose. I’m much calmer now, but I wish it could have changed and that I had someone to parent with.
If you are angry with your man, chances are he’s oblivious, or he doesn’t realize just what is upsetting you. Many men plain don’t understand what it takes to look after small children, and how much work it is. He won’t change unless you tell him how you are feeling. Sit your man down and talk to him. Tell him what you need – more time off, more help with specific chores, more input into decisions, whatever it is that is making you angry with him.
And one of the best things that helps, is a good complain to one of your mom friends. Judging by the Parenting survey, your friends probably feel the same way as you do, at least some of the time, and you can sympathise with each other. Taking turns to vent over a cup of coffee with a friend won’t get your man to put his laundry in the basket instead of the bathroom floor, but at least you won’t feel like you aren’t the only one.