Night of the Meatloaf
We're LATCH Compatible

Out Californee Way

My Internet died yesterday morning, very suddenly, but I didn't think it was anything unusual -- I get bumped off our wireless router occasionally and it's never anything some random plug-jiggling or power-cycling won't fix -- but yesterday was different. I couldn't get back on. I power-cycled everything from the router to my laptop to the refrigerator two rooms over and still, no Internet. I sent some frantic emails from my iPhone -- helpless-sounding ones to my husband ("can I like...plug something into the wall? all old school and shit? does the Internet still sometimes work like that?") and profanity-laden ones to everybody else ("MAH LIMBS HAVE BEEN REMOVED! I NEED WIKIPEDIA! ALSO HOW DO YOU SPELL SCHADENFREUDE?")

And then my phone's internet capabilities died in the late afternoon, as if a black cloud of non-connectivity had settled over the entire house, and I was completely lost and unable to find anything to amuse myself with, so I watched the Food Network and attempted to reboot the router once every 3.218 minutes, just in case that suddenly did anything.

Finally I managed to find an actual network cable in our basement and plugged it in and voila! Internet! Provided I didn't move more than two-and-a-half feet away from the router, which is...not near any chairs. I pulled up a chair and sat down and prepared to make up for all the lost hours ("BLOG BLOG BLOG JEZEBEL GOOGLE NEWS FARK BLOG ADDICTIVE FLASH GAME BLOG") but found myself just staring at a blank Typepad page in bafflement. I couldn't write anything. I was stuck. That damn network cable was strangling the flow of ideas and this chair was uncomfortable and not my normal blogging couch and anyway, that's why I never got around to writing a follow-up to Friday's entry and all the awesome comments and responses, because all I could finally think to write was a tantrum about not having Internet, and I felt you deserved more than that.

The Internet mysteriously started working again 30 seconds before Jason got home and has been fine ever since, which: obviously, because how else could you be reading THIS tantrum about now having Internet, i.e. exactly what I just said I could have written yesterday but didn't but MY POINT IS, I'm really not getting much sleep lately.

So I don't really feel like I'm at my sharpest or wittiest these days, and I've been struggling to come up with a response to Melissa's comment:

But also, this really scares me. I'm a lawyer, fiance is a lawyer, we both work long hours, and no way we can work these hours once we decide to have kids. It's clear I'll be the one to cut back the most (although he'll frankly have to as well, because seriously, we were both up until 4am working last night). Anyway, your comments about staying home and its effect on your opinion of yourself scare me. Your comments about feeling like you're always working to meet deadlines but yet you feel like a drain on the finances scare me. Comments about it not occurring to him to put the kid to bed or brush the babies teeth scare me. And the 345 comments agreeing with you scare me. I don't want to resent myself. Or my husband. I don't want to feel like I can't go to as many happy hours as him b/c what I do isn't as important. But I look at you and everyone else and it seems like it's simply inevitable? Scary.

Dude, I know, right? It IS scary. It scared the ever-loving shit out of me three, four, five years ago. It scared the shit out of me Thursday night, while I sat at Chipotle alone, both relishing the damn LUXURY of sitting alone while also feeling a tad terrified at my aloneness -- what if Jason and I ever had a really big fight? What if there was ever a fight where I wasn't sure of an inevitable resolution and calm apology from both sides? What if he cheated? What if he left me? What would I do? I mean, screw the heartbreak and all that shit, what would I do? How would I pay bills, rent, car payments?

(I would like to remind everyone that I got myself into this state all because he DIDN'T BRING HOME A BURRITO LIKE I WANTED. Menfolk, please take note of Exhibit A of the Female Mind and FEED US ACCORDINGLY.)

I'm just gonna take a deep breath and toss this out there now: our marriage almost ended once. Years and years ago, long before Noah. We got through it, obviously, was bad. Awful. We never talk about it and yet I know neither of us will forget it, and we both blame ourselves for letting things get to that point. We got married young. We grew up and apart. We settled into a day-to-day roommate rut before we were out of our mid-20s. We were always working late, he was always in meetings and too busy to talk, then we got home and watched TV and went to bed and then woke up the next day to jockey silently for the shower and he'd go back to work and meetings and I would go back to work where a married guy friend lavished me with email and IM attention all day and we would go out for lunch and listen to my stories and make me laugh and whatever, we were FRIENDS and he was MARRIED and SO NOT MY TYPE, ANYWAY. Then Jason would IM me during the day to remind me to pick up the dry-cleaning.


No, I didn't cheat on Jason or have any type of physical affair, thank GOD, but the betrayal was still there. I didn't really want the other man who was sending me text messages on my phone, but...I liked the text messages. I liked feeling like I was interesting and new and someone you looked forward to seeing in the evenings, regardless of whether or not I remembered to bring home the dry-cleaning. Those are all hard requests to articulate -- sort of like Emily's story about her husband bringing home flowers after she asked for flowers but that's not really the point because...uh...I want you to want to bring me flowers. Or something like that.  It felt easier at the time to just disengage from my marriage than to save it.

When the situation finally became officially Ugly and Ultimatum-Like, Jason looked me in the eyes and grabbed my hands and told me that I was worth fighting for.

And I was shocked, because never in my life have I felt like such a bad, worthless person.

And all that happened when we didn't have children, when I worked and showered everyday and got promotions and bonuses and plenty of sleep.

I guess I'm telling this story just to's ALWAYS SCARY. None of us want our relationships to fall apart or be anything different than they are on the glowy day of the proposal or wedding or when you first collapse on a mattress on the floor of your first home, surrounded by paint cans and champagne glasses and dreams of coming home to candlelit dinners and one day gently laying your newborn in a crib in the spare bedroom.

Jason and I talked a lot about what happened on Thursday. I plagiarized y'all copiously -- I hope you don't mind -- using Kara's stomach flu analogy to explain my rocky relationship with food and Starbuck's assurance that we are simply in the most financially draining time of our life, no way around it, but it's not forever. I connected the dots between his 3 pm "oh I'm going to happy hour, won't be late" email with the fact that a girl's night out for me gets planned a month in advance if at all, and that his recent suggestion that we just go "a couple months" without a second car after the lease is up was just salt in my already-isolated, never-leave-the-house, its-not-like-YOU-have-anywhere-to-be wound. It was a good talk, one that we needed to have, all very calm and therapeutic and we baked a batch of chocolate-chip cookies while we talked. 

At some point, however, the self-mockery many of you gently chastised me for on Friday reared its ugly head and I jokingly said something like, "I promise I won't ALWAYS be this much of a drain!"

This made him put down the spatula and step away from the stove in shock. He looked me in the eyes and grabbed my hands and told me I wasn't a drain, he has never thought that, not once.

So yes,it's scary. You put your faith in the other person to not cheat on you or hurt you. You let them make the mortgage payments while you pursue a law degree or a writing career or stay home and raise the children. You trust them to celebrate your successes and to always be on your side and to never hurt your feelings in public. To forgive you when you mess up. To put up with you even when you're driving each other ABSOLUTELY CRAZY ABOUT <UNRELATED TOPIC>. And to remember that you are worth it, worth talking to, worth fighting for.

And likewise, you promise to remember that they're worth it all too, and to take a deep breath sometimes and just let yourself get a little speechless over the loveliness of your imperfect, frustrating, wouldn't-change-it-for-a-billion-dollars life.




I shared you’re meatloaf post with my husband last night. Even though he admitted Jason was obviously in the wrong (at least in front of me!), it made him feel good that at least he’s not the only oaf out there!

We’ve been married going on thirteen years. We went through getting “established” before children, then were told pregnancy was impossible without some pretty major infertility stuff, then decided it was fun for it to just be the two of us and we’d adopt when we felt we were missing out not having kids. Then, bam!, ma’am – you are not suffering from depression and chronic fatigue syndrome - you’re just twelve weeks pregnant. Major shock!!! But 48 hours after hearing the news, we were running around the baby store like slap happy idiots.

I knew having a baby would be a change – lots of work, no sleep, lots of $… But we weren't phased by the idea because we have such a strong, beautiful relationship. We were very involved with our twelve nieces and nephews – one who lived with us from birth for two years – but I still didnt completely understand what a “change” it would be.

I always thought my girl friends with kids just didn’t “feel” like coming out to dinner or were just too wrapped up in the kids to “make time” for me. My husband and I always said “when we have kids, we’ll never be like that. We’re still going to be fun!” (However we didn’t realize babysitters get paid $12ph these days!) I also didn’t realize how exhausting & expensive it would get just to go out for dinner and a movie. And how I’d feel guilty & worried the whole time being away from her. All the while KNOWING I have no reason to feel that way but not being able to stop. (Although I will say this gets better the older she gets.)

I feel so selfish. I should of INSISTED on going over to THEIR house and watching the kids while they went out and had “me” time, instead of my half-hearted "bring them over if your ever in a pinch, let me know if I can help, etc...". I didn’t realize how much work it was to not only get yourself ready, then get them packed up, dropped off, then go out and then go pick them up before going home. When you’re already exhausted from the daily grind it just seems like too much of a bother – easier to just stay home. Or how it feels like you’re imposing or will owe a favor down the road…ugh!

I didn’t realize how much I took my personal time for granted. Now I severely RESENT the fact that I feel so GRATEFUL to my husband for watching the baby while I take three hours on a Saturday to go get my nails and hair done. The luxury of not paying a babysitter or owing a favor and knowing she’s spending time with him fills me with happiness. But does he feel this gratitude when he’s playing softball every Tuesday night? He says he does but he doesn’t really understand the depth of my gratefulness to have those hours since he has so many every day. He only can see that he works “really hard” during that time I’m out because it’s “harder for him” to keep her entertained, get her fed & down for a nap. Sigh…
But like “suzannemarya” said; when I ask him to – he does it. Because he loves me and wants my happiness. And my response to “c” is that THAT is how you know. When your happiness is more important to someone than their own. Fuck all the little petty things that make you want to strangle them!

And Amy - whatever you do…don’t give up the car fight! Mine was out of commission for three days and I thought I was going to have to be put on Prozac.

Elmer Caballero


I'm Elmer and I work at, a company interested in blog advertizing. I found your blog engaging and I'm contacting you to ask if you are interested in blog post sponsorship.

If you are interested, kindly mail back ( and I'll send you pricing details, guidelines and processes. Looking forward to doing business with you.




I could have written your post, right down to the married guy friend (twice!). It does create betrayal, but it also opens up new avenues of communication.

In the end though, I have to agree with kalisa: "I've been married 15 years this month and I tell ya, I'm not sure I would do it all over again, given how hard it is. It is really hard."



Your last two posts have been some of your best. And yes, while I wouldn't have it any other way (that is: being a 'stay at home mom' who works as much as possible in every spare moment), these two posts are the absolute reality that many of us live in. I think these posts should be required reading for every new-to-be parent, of both genders.


I am not a regular commenter, but I had to this time.
What's scary to me is not all the potential Scary, it's the people that aren't willing to talk about it, to accept that it's going to be there. Having faith in people is hard work, just like paying the rent. Thanks for your honesty.


I cannot even put into words how true and beautiful and quite frankly, how grateful I am to read this post and all of the following comments. Its nice to know I'm not the only one who has/is goes through this.


Wow. That was a kick ass post that touched on so many touchy issues. Damn you. I wasn't feeling like thinking about this kind of stuff. Thank you though.


Sob. Sniff.
I am not alone. Thank You for reminding me.
I can has a kleenex please?


This was just what I needed. I am a beautiful seven week old baby girl, and I have never been so overwhelmed in my life. I am staying at home with her until she is 20 weeks old, and it means that I will be off payroll for all of June and July and part of August. My husband and I have been so short with each other lately, that I have been afraid that we would break up. I adore him, but it really makes me crazy that he doesn't hear her cry at three in the morning. He is so stressed out at work, that he just comes home and works in the basement for hours on end. However,he did surprise me with a gift certificate for a pedi and mani on Saturday and I gave him the baby and ran out of the house. I get so tired of smelling like expressed breast milk (failed breast feeding) and formula. I have thrush on my nipples to boot, which means putting monistat 7 on my boobs like six times a day. I am so glad to know that I am not alone and that every couple goes through this. I know it will get better. Thank you amalah!


first time here. a beautiful, honest and touching post. Almost made me cry, but i caught it time, but its coming again... damn. lovely.


ps - your comment page is one of the most beautiful i have ever seen.


Awesome post. Truly. It IS always hard - but so worth it.


"what if Jason and I ever had a really big fight? What if there was ever a fight where I wasn't sure of an inevitable resolution and calm apology from both sides? What if he cheated? What if he left me? What would I do? I mean, screw the heartbreak and all that shit, what would I do? How would I pay bills, rent, car payments?"

Do you know how many times I have stood at the kitchen sink washing the dinner dishes thinking about some big argument that Chris and I had and worried about that exact same list of things? Wondering what would happen to me and the kids if, gods forbid, he died or something? It is so SCARY to be so dependent on someone. Thank you for this post, Amy, for sharing such personal information about your marriage and for letting us be here for you. Thanks for letting me know it's not just me.


It is scary. And it is probably inevitable.

But even at the suckiest sucky point, I still would never give it up. Although I feel like I want to give it up and that it would be easier.

But shining through the sucky points these indescribable, beautiful family moments emerge. And those suck moments are hard, but those great moments make getting through the suckiness worth it. Gives you something to fight for.

Anyway- I guess I'm just saying that even though we all go through things like this and it can scare the hell out of someone who does not yet have children, I would rather work through issues like this than imagine my life without my guys. Kids and the mundane, routine, cash strapped life can make things harder, but those kids also make it all worth it.

I really believe that.


Oh- and I should have said it before, but thank you for writing this out loud.

It is so good to know other people (SO many other people) go through these same things. To feel normal and that we will still be okay.



thanks for writing that.
When Justin and I both worked at the same company and drove in together because we were saving for a house, I was starting to wonder if we should even be buying a house. We fell into the same rut and fought like crazy because we saw each other ALL.THE.DAMN.TIME. We had all the same friends because we aren't from here and all our friends were from work. Our first Christmas as a married couple found us sleeping in separate rooms because we fought over watching (or not watching) the Mormon Temple Choir Christmas concert. It was really ugly like that for a long time. But we got through it, bought our house, had our boys, he left the company, and things got better. We still hit rough spots, which are still hard to go through since I don't have any friends that aren't already close with Justin, but I've found some bloggy friends that help make it bearable; remind me that I'm not alone in the roller-coaster of love, marriage, and parenting.


That was beautiful.

It can be so difficult at times - to be married. But its that the fact that everyone contributes something different to the relationship that helps it find it own kind of balance -regardless of who's bringin' home the bacon or fryin' it up in a pan.


I love how candid you are. I find the things that make people the most appealing are their vulnerabilities..they allow us to really relate to each other. Bravo!


Wow, powerful post. I'm in tears here - thankyou for so beautifully getting to the heart of the matter.


God. Perfect. So rightly (and writerly) said. Thanks because I needed to read this today.

ms picket to you

Um. Yes.

That's all.


Damn you're good at this writing thing. Thanks for sharing. Again.




Well, that just made me cry. I don't have children... heck, I'm not even in a relationship even of the first date kind. But, I caught up with a friend over a few glasses of wine this evening and the conversation of course turned to our lament (again) about why it's so hard to meet someone special. I think halfway through your post you nailed it... trust.

You and Jason obviously have something very special.


This post and the last post are the reason why you should call yourself a "writer," why you are published in books, why you are my favorite blogger. thank you for sharing this story, thank you so much for opening up about what is such a vulnerable part of your life so that we can all relate. i do not yet have children, but my husband and i still teeter on this line, he supports my career which is not in money making field, and he tells me all the time how important my job is, but i still am up at nights worrying about being financially dependent.

Thank you. This was just what I needed.

the bee

The bee is at work- she is crying. This post was as perfect a post as they get. Your boy mowing the grass with his daddy was just the icing.


old parent...completely different circumstances...same last paragraph.

you made me cry a bit.

Alice Audrey

Not change it for a billion bucks? I don't know. I might be willing to make a change or two.

S Lee

Wow! Very well said. I just started coming here 'cause you're a crack up - and now I see you're more than just another funny chick. You're also very insightful and eloquent. Thanks for sharing.


Ok, so... Now I'm terrified.

I'm 19 and engaged, and all that nearly-marriage-ending bit... It's all EXACTLY the things we go through, EXACTLY the things I worry about. We're STUPIDLY settled for our age. We get home and watch something on DVD and go to bed and... How do you keep it from happening? How do you keep it from sending everything to bits? What can you do to KEEP it from getting to that point? It's not that we're really on the verge of ending things, but that's where I worry it'll go -- that we'll get married and a few years on, it'll all go to pieces because we're too young and too settled and too... all of that.

The biggest difference between myself and my fiance is, he thinks love conquers all, and I know it doesn't.

So if you love someone, if you know it's right, but you still worry about it all, how do you stop it going sour? What would you have done differently?


"What would I do? I mean, screw the heartbreak and all that shit, what would I do? How would I pay bills, rent, car payments?"

We had the fight. He cheated, we tried to make it work and 18 months later he bailed anyways. I had been a SAHM for 2 years by then after getting out of the military. I asked the same questions.

I'll tell you what you do: you get up. You survive and get out of bed and breathe and bathe because by god you will not lose your house or let your babies starve. You find a job - the first thing you can get and screw the commute and the crappy pay - it will do until you find better, which you will. You find daycare for the toddlers, and luckily she's wonderful. You figure out how to make ends meet. You get over your broken heart.

You might actually get lucky and find someone worth a babysitter and shaving your legs.

But above all else, you find a way to rise from the ashes and fly again.

I know it can be done. I'm living it. Single mom is the toughest gig I have ever had, and I have never been prouder of myself for actually pulling it off... Most days. It's a harsh reality I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy.

My bottom line - women will always find a way, for the sake of their families. Keep the resume polished, just in case.


That there is some good writing. Debated sending it to my husband to read because it’s so articulate and SO MUCH like what I want to tell him, but because we don’t have children, I’m not pregnant, we’ve only been married eighteen months, we both have jobs, we don’t live in the US and his name’s not Jason, he’s not going to get the connection. Yeah, I know. The last eighteen months have been the hardest of my life – including when he was away in Iraq, and that was pretty shit. Dude, we haven’t stopped arguing long enough to get stuck in a rut and from where I’m standing that rut looks like frickin’ paradise! Get home, watch TV and go to bed WITHOUT an argument? Bliss! I’m emotionally exhausted, spent, worn out, and above all terrified that maybe tomorrow I won’t want to try this hard any more. Please God, I won’t ever want to stop trying.


this made me want to cry. well said.

mrs. bee

A resounding YES!

This was a truly wonderful post.


uh huh, yep, me too...the whole thing.

keep it up girl, the days are LONG, but yes, the years are SHORT.


Thank you for articulating some of the fears, some of the awful things, and some of the great things about being married.

well read hostess

You have articulated my feelings and experiences as a married person so clearly. Reading this was a bit like having someone enter my head, sort out my mental laundry, give it a good scrubbing, and hang it on the line in an orderly fashion. Even the painful story of how things got so bad at one point mirrors my own history - I'm cringing just thinking about it.

Thanks for that.


ok. this made me i'm lying here with my huge pregnant belly accidentally bumping the spacebar at inappropriate times.

i'm about to give birth very soon, and i'm scared to death about the potential chasm developing between my h and me. the fear keeps me up at night, makes me a little clingy, creates insecurity where there really is no need to be insecure.

thank you so much for offering perspective. that we have been fighting all along to keep close to each other--we actually already have the necessary tools to hold tight through big scary change. even this big scary change.


This post and the previous one struck a chord with me, too. I am a lawyer; my husband is a healthcare consultant. I know in my heart of hearts that I am not patient enough to stay home fulltime with our (imaginary) children. Of course, I will take maternity leave and all that other good stuff, but I fully expect -- and hope -- to be back at work around 12-16 weeks post-partum. Most women would judgment for this statement, but I've been in therapy enough to know myself, and know that it will be healthier for our entire family if I don't stay home.

Thankfully, my husband can telecommute and my mother-in-law would like nothing better than to be a full-time child care service for us. My firm is very flexible for mothers (while still not letting us advance as quickly as our XY colleagues). I feel like our bases are covered with respect to child care, unless something changes drastically.

One thing I do worry about is resenting our child(ren). I resented the hell out of my husband when we moved acrorss the country for his job and it negatively affected my career. Will I feel the same way about our children? Perhaps. I never want to be in a situation where I can't provide for myself. Women who put themselves in that situation -- out of choice or necessity -- will never make sense to me. But I know that my insistence on working after havingkids will likely never make sense to them. I know a lot of stay at home moms (wives of colleagues, mostly) and they all seem uniformly unhappy with giving up their careers to stay home. I think most of them would really enjoy a part-time job, just to get away from the kids and be mentally stimulated. Heaven help anyone who would suggest such a thing, though.


Thanks for sharing! Thanks for all the honest words and I hope you feel better -- I just really felt your stress in the burrito post. Sounds like indeed you are feeling better about "your imperfect, frustrating, wouldn't-change-it-for-a-billion-dollars life."


You have a billion comments already, but I'm chiming in, too. I work outside the home, sending the kids to daycare. My paycheck covers the mortgage and car payment and some of the smaller things like internet and TV. And I STILL sometimes feel like I don't contribute enough.

Don't stone me, but I'm one of the lucky few who has a husband that will help me keep the house clean (who'm I kidding, I help HIM keep the house clean) on top of maintaining our two cars, the yard, and anything requiring physical effort or elbow grease. It's not that I'm lazy. He just does it better than me, and in less time, so it makes more sense for him to do it. When he asks for help, I try not to hesitate, jump right in and help because I am fucking lucky and I know it. But mainly, we both make the money, I do the bill paying, the laundry, most of the cooking, and take care of the immediate needs of our two kids (4 year old and 4 month old). But I tell him all the time that he's the glue that holds our family together. We joke that he'd be more valuable to me dead than alive because of the life insurance, but it's soooo not true, because he's the one who keeps our little operation out of squalor and running smoothly. I would be lost without him.

Just a month ago, before Mother's Day and my birthday three days after Mother's Day, I said I wanted a DSLR camera, even though the ones I was looking at with all the accessories to make it work (camera bag and memory card and all that jazz) were pushing a thousand dollars and we don't really have that kind of money for gift giving kinds of things. We argued about it quite a bit, mainly because it hurts to part with that kind of money. For some reason, his dad got in on the fight and while he was saying to be smart about our money, he also said that I pretty much let my husband do what he wants with weekly bowling leagues, softball every summer, guys nights out, and weekend trips for NASCAR races (well, really just one race) and I rarely ask to do that kind of thing myself. So since I'm not spending the $40 a week here, $50 a week there, $150 a weekend over there, maybe my asking for a larger item wasn't out of the realm of acceptable for me. That and the fact that I'm holding down the fort while he's out doing fun stuff every week with little effort when it takes a month's worth of planning for me to go do something similar or even get a damn haircut. When my husband admitted to me that I make a huge contribution to this family, I broke down and cried because it was just so damn nice to hear him say it out loud. And then when he got me the camera I wanted, he hemmed and hawed about the money so much so that I finally told him to shut up and let me enjoy the moment, but then he held me and kissed my forehead and said, "You deserve it." It's nice to be appreciated, and and acknowledged for a contribution to our family. While my feelings of inadequacy aren't due to breadwinning and the like (because honestly, I make slightly more than he does) but more to who keeps the gears turning in our little world, to hear him say I contribute, that he may be the glue but he has to have something that needs glue to be useful, well, that just made me feel important and kicked the inadequacy right out the window.

Sorry for the novel of a comment, but apparently you touched a nerve with people.


simply beautiful


Your honesty is amazing and refreshing. So many of us feel the exact same way, especially those who have young kids and a career prior to the arrival of those children.

Too often women go on and on about how wonderful motherhood is, but don't show the warts. There are a lot of warts that come along with those little cute smiles.

I still don't understand why many moms feel obligated to hide our true feelings, and I assume that people will say we're bad mothers if we tell it like it is...sucky 85% of the time.


I really needed to hear this right now, so I thank you for writing it, and for being (as usual!) very open & honest.


Wow. Great post. Honest- almost brutally so- but you could have taken the words right out of my mouth. Know what I learned? When I start to feel distance from my husband, or unappreciated- we have sex. Lots and lots of sex. It's fun, it reconnects us and it always works. I promise this post is not written by a man impersonating a mommy blogger. :)


This post was the kick in the pants I needed to send the kid to his grandparents house so my husband and I could have an evening together. Just getting to walk to the grocery store without stopping to look every damn tree/leaf/bug/dog was wonderful, and the fact that we could TALK a bit really helped ease the snarkiness that had been building for the past couple weeks.

Re: money - I have resigned myself to making waaaay less than my husband for pretty much the rest of our lives, unless he quits work to become an artist or something. BUT I borrowed the marital money model from my parents - about 1/4 of my paycheck each month goes into MY account. If I want to blow it on brow waxes, MAC cosmetics, and toy dump trucks for the kid, that's none of my husband's business. Also, since I hate cleaning my husband offered to foot the bill for my twice-weekly dance classes (as well as come home from work early to babysit) if I kept the house up to a certain standard of cleanliness. Bribery? You betcha. But now we're both happier.


Great post.

On a lighter note - I read this yesterday and didn't get the South Park reference until I checked back today - hilarious!!


Gosh you're good. Thanks for articulating everything that's been rolling around in my head for the last 5 years -- I think I'll print this out and give it to my husband. When we got married, we were both lawyers and I was a year ahead of him in seniority and made about 10% more. Now he's 4 years ahead in seniority and makes 3 times what I do, and I'm struggling to find a way back into practice after having kids. I actually work in law school career services, so if Melissa (or any of the other pre-kid lawyers) wants to email me, I definitely have some ideas about the things that I could have done differently in career planning terms before having kids that have made a post-kid career much more difficult.

I feel like growing up in the 70s and 80s makes this dilemma that much tougher. We all spent our youth hearing that women could do anything, you can have it all, rah rah rah! Which is only partly true in my estimation -- you can have it all, but each piece of your life is going to look a little different than it would if you were only focusing on that aspect, and you have to be ok with those differences. And also, you can have it all, but you're going to be working like three people to make it happen. I never really thought gender roles applied to me, the big achiever. Boy does having kids change everything! I think "imperfect, frustrating, wouldn't-change-it-for-a-billion-dollars life" is my new personal mantra!


AMEN to that.


Ariella: I feel just like you regarding working after kids arrive, so not everyone would think you are selfish.

I'm in a situation where I have to work anyway, but even if I had a choice I would still work at least part time. I watched my mother (who worked outside the home) go thru a divorce and then widowed with two kids, and I can't imagine how much harder it would have been for her to have to find a job in the midst of her grief.

I would be way too scared of my husband dieing or being disabled to put all the financial onus on him alone. For me, two incomes will always be better than one. And really, I don't remember my baby/toddler years, so the fact that my mom worked during that time did not affect our relationship.


OMG, I am so not a crier, but this is making me cry.

I don't have time to read the other 149 comments because my little one woke up early from his nap with a 101 fever when I am supposed to working on the one freelance assignment I've had in the past 6 months, so...

I feel like this a lot. Like I am not contributing enough. I am at this job (SAHM) 24 hours a day and it is still somehow not enough, because I spend money without making any. If you look at my credit card statement it's grocery store-gas-Trader Joe's-grocery-Amazon (books for the kids)-grocery - Old Navy (clothes for the kids)- Target (stuff for the kids)- grocery store. Which is amazing to me because the only things I feel like I cook any more are pasta and oatmeal because both kids eat them.

The past nine months have been worse that usual because my husband has been going through all kinds of work crap on top of the usual "frenetically busy and feeling guilty about never seeing anyone he's related to." I am terrified that he is going to lose his job or quit without having another. I am terrified that he is going to work himself into a heart attack. I am a fucking bundle of nerves and take it out on my preschooler.

I hate feeling so scared and unsettled. I am too old for this shit. Ha ha, only 33. But really sleep deprived.


This post is perfect.


Dude, is Jason wearing crocs?

Thanks for putting yourself and your marriage out there, it helps to know we're not alone.


Dude, is Jason wearing crocs?

Thanks for putting yourself and your marriage out there, it helps to know we're not alone.


I totally identified with what you said, having been married for six years now. Glad to know I wasn't alone in the "Married Co-Worker Infatuation" stage.

Thanks for putting it into such a great post! That was very brave.


wow! that was beautiful! about brought me to tears!


It scares me a little that I may have to cross the 49th parallel to obtain one of these marriage-saving (not panties, not panties) burritoes.

Is there a Canadian equivalent?



Thanks so much for this post... Couldn't have been more timely for me! I am about to get married, and we both have great jobs now, but talk of children always ends up in discussions of him staying the breadwinner, and me "doing what I want". It's a kind offer, but doesn't sit well with me. I am not just killing time with a career before I birth some babies. This is me, and my life. I feel that he is the constant and I am the variable, and I resent that.

Man, it IS scary. Thanks so much for articulating it here. I am going to have him read this to gain more insight.


You are so RIGHT. So very, very right. Thank you for that!

Shamelessly Sassy

A couple of things, first of all, I haven't seen a lawn mower like the one in the picture in years. Second, last week I locked myself in my bathroom for an hour for some peace and quiet, and I just sat on the floor indian style and stared at the wall. And well, I know exactly what you're talking about.


I agree with Olivia - my mom always had to work too to keep us going and I never felt left out or that she didn't love us enough. Like she said I never remember her being gone. I tend to resent when women frown upon others that need to work while they have kids because everyone is in their own situation. I don't think its fair for people who either choose to work or have to work to feel guilty about that.


Wow. Well done.

Motherhood Uncensored

Of all the surprises motherhood has brought, it's the havoc wreaked on my relationship that has been the most challenging.


Thank you for your posts.

We are moving. We are moving to a new state, a state that is 1,000 miles away from where we live now. We are moving because I want to get a new degree. See, I have an undergraduate degree in neuroscience and behavior, and a masters in education. I want a PhD so that I can do something wonderful and meaningful with my life without working a 50 hour work week and never seeing my kids (two boys, who are now 5 and 2). My husband has no degree, not even an associates. He makes $12 and hour working for an airline. He has no goals or dreams.

Usually this works out okay for us, but the decision to move has been hard. He feels scared/uncomfortable/etc/etc because we don't depend and rely on him for money, and because he isn't the "man" the way he is supposed to be.

He has gotten resentful and stopped helping with the move... no packing, no moving boxes, no calling relators, painters, repairmen, etc, etc. He just does his work thing, checks the internet, does his normal dish duty/laundry duty/kid duty and then goes to bed. I don't sleep much because I am still working full time until the school year ends, and have the kids all evening while he is at work and am trying to get everything ready for the move.

We have been fighting a lot. We are not sure he will move with us now. But reading your post reminded me, that there are rocky times. It will be hard, but we need to decide to fight for our marriage not with each other, and to recognize each others value, and each others strengths and work through it.

Thank you.


I think you are the best writer on the internet.

That is all.


Gah - yes, yes and yes.

I know that I will always be the mean one who wants to scream "Has anyone ELSE here ever heard of something called BEDTIME?!" and who will point out that NO, five minutes before dinner is NOT a good time for a "little snack," actually.

But he will - hopefully always - be the one who tucks me, sick to the point of hallucinations, into bed with a cell phone after spending the day at the ER with me, just to turn around and take the toddler to the doctor to get HER properly medicated. And then stay up with BOTH of us, three nights in a row, just because he was "too worried to sleep anyway".

And in the end, hopefully, we'll both remember that we each do our part because we are both so totally in love with this family that we have created - are creating - and will do anything to protect.


Thank you for this. I needed it. It's kind of amazing to me that certain posts show up exactly when you need them most.


Your writing just blows me away.


Thank you for opening yourself up like that. I've been wrestling with my own thoughts about my marriage and your post is like you're reading my mind. How is it someone on the internet who doesn't know me can read my mind and my husband can't? I don't really expect him to, it would be nice, though, if he took the hints I drop (loudly) and tune in every once in a while.

Also, thank you for mentioning Chipotle again. I'll be in NYC next month a few blocks away from one of their stores and now I've got a plan for lunch! I. CAN'T. WAIT.

Oh, and in order for me to go to this seminar I had to work out a plan for the husband to pick up Lil'bug at daycare. Because if I didn't do it I couldn't go.


Dang girl, why you gotta make me cry and get goosebumps for? That's just like you though. Did you write this blog or did I?


Once again, you post something that makes me feel a million times less alone. My husband and I went through that but we DID have our son then. That was the hardest time of our lives. Thank you for posting this and letting me know that I'm not a freak who's marriage almost fell apart. You're the bombizzle.


You write like a rock star!

The entry made me tear up and laugh at the same time.

Amy, I am so glad you wrote this!



The comments to this entry are closed.