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.




Very lovely thoughts - and all totally true. Thanks for putting them out there.


Lovely post, Amy. I wasn't sure what direction you'd take your response to all those comments in, and I like reading what you've been thinking about. I hadn't thought much about trust and vulnerability being important components of your what your last post was all about -- but of course, they are, as they are important components of life.


It is worth it! Im glad that you say so. With lots of single women reading they need to hear it, but us married with kids need it too. Just reading that it is SO incredibly common makes us? me feel less alone in the day to day stuff. I left my job 7.5 months ago when we had our first baby. I am very happy at home but loose my breath when I remember that I need to run my hair cut appt by my husband before I go... when I had my income I would never have done so.


Your post was great, but then I got all distracted because HOW IN THE HELL IS YOUR GRASS THAT THICK AND GREEN? Holy hell- as a person with large sandy patches for a yard that respond to NOTHING, I just have to say I'm jealous.


This post and the last post are why I read your blog.

Dead on descriptions of what it is actually like to navigate all of this...this...this life with trusting people and having babies and being vulnerable and growing up.

You are brave and articulate and smart and I really appreciate that you write it all down for me to reflect on.



This was, without a doubt, my favorite post of yours. You absolutely nailed it - everything about what makes a marriage, and sometimes, what makes it fail.

I am speechless, but just had to acknowledge your brutally and fiercely honest writing.


Dink - See, see? That's all my husband's doing. If it were up to ME to spread fertilizer and seed multiple times a year and research the kid-and-dog-safe crabgrass killers our yard would be a rocky dry wilderness.

Just another of the many reasons I keep him around.


Great wording, as always. I've always held onto fighting to make sure my marriage didn't suffer through moves, childbirth, and such. Every change, even if it benefits means we have to fight harder, but if you can look at that person and ask yourself, "is it worth it?" and the answer is yes, you're with the right person.

Sensitiva McFeelingsly

I loved this post. I've been reading here for a while, and wanted to say that your perspective is appreciated. :)

The fear is real for me too. The fear of losing myself or of being unappreciated. I am actively trying, though, to remember that my Husband is built differently than I am. It's helping to keep down the number of frustrations I feel - like, the anger that boils up every single time he leaves dishes in the sink and fails to put them in the dishwasher. It kills me to remind him of it again, and he does improve slightly each time, but his brain just doesn't automatically go there. We work at that, and I know we'll work even harder when we have kids.

Keep up the awesome writing!


I'm feeling the same things you are ... because money is always tight and always will be tight and really, in the end, does that really matter? Or is it more important to love the person you are with, to be friends, to laugh over Top Chef, to GET THEM and to have them GET YOU. And as you snuggle with both your boys -- your husband and your son -- and all your stress simply melts away for three seconds, you think ... MY GOD. When did life get to be so perfect?


Wow, I needed to read this like you wouldn't believe.


This was beautiful...thanks so much for being so honest & open and sharing your thoughts like this with us. I'm not married yet, but I worry about a lot of the things you've mentioned in this, and it's good to hear that it's a doable thing.

p.s. that picture? precious.

Amy the Mom

You're wiser than you know. So many of those problems existed in my first marriage, and even though it was my husband's serial philandering that ended it, I can look back now and know that I wasn't without blame either. I made mistakes in that relationship that I will never make again. As much as I despise getting older, there is much hard earned wisdom that comes with age.


Really interesting and thought-provoking posts, this one and the last one. My husband and I hope to start a family soon (though I don't love that phrase - I mean, we already are a family, the two of us) and I'm so glad to have read this for a little perspective. Thank you!


OK, I'll start out by saying I'm single (terminally so, it seems), but that is actually the best description of marriage that I have ever read. I've been told that somedays, love is a choice.

I want to be worth it to someone. Le sigh.


I'm glad you are feeling better. My internet will randomly not work for me, but never gives my husband any problems... I swear it is a conspiracy by the cable company to make me look like an idiot! You articulate your thoughts so well and I enjoy your writing so much.


see and now i'm all crying and stuff.

but i like and agree with your sentiment - it's always scary. it's scary in the beginning, in the middle and the end for all different reasons. i read your blog because whenever i am here, i know i am reading someone real and true with all the problems and bullshit everyone deals with. no sugar-coating. but funny as hell.

you rock :)


One thing really stood out for me in this gripping and heartwrenching essay ...


( <3 )


I really needed to read this today.


Oh gawd I needed this. You have no idea how much I needed this. If it's scary to walk away from your career to raise children, a completely worthy cause, imagine my terror of walking away just to be with your husband. After 3 years of living in one city and working in another - I am moving to be with him. And at his request I have agreed to forgo my career completely for a few years. You summed it all up with a little bow on top. It's worth it. Completely worth it. Now on another note, where under God's green earth does grass grow like that?


Amy, thank you so much for speaking so honestly and articulately about this journey as we navigate motherhood, wifehood, and figuring out where we fit in amidst of all that. Your words have brought tears to my eyes (and I'm at work right now!)
I can speak to Melissa's fears as a trying to recover lawyer, and it still is scary, now with an almost 3 year old girl and another one coming in September. Planning one girls' night out does take months of planning in advance, while hubby has business dinners tonight and tomorrow. And yes, it's business, I know, but he gets to have adult conversation and wine and great food. Even though I've left private practice and work for the government now, it's still hard - I run home after work with the kid and make dinner, give her a bath, get her down, clean up the kitchen, and then sit down with my legal work to finish by the next morning.
And Melissa's fears about resenting her husband, and herself? At least she has the insight to be prepared. I think it's inevitable - so many days I resent my hubby, and yes, myself. But I also know we love each other and our little girl(s) to the nth degree. Life is hard, and we're all working on growing up, day by day. I just hope I can get my sh-- together when we have our second little one!


Way to make me cry at work; you really hit this one home. Mostly because I'm going through my own set of ultra-insecurities and major life changes. Thanks for writing.


Amy, what you say is so true and obviously resonates with so many people. This is why the internet exists, I swear, to help all us human beings feel connected even when we're isolated in our own little rooms. Thank you.


ps I hate that I get resentful that I have to 'plan' getting a haircut, whereas DH can just get one at lunch/on the way home from work/ etc.


Again I am touched by how much women have in common if they'd just open up and share their lives. I am so thankful for the blogosphere for me makes me feel not alone, totally normal and best of all, hopeful. Thank you for the wonderful and thoughtful post.


You are so right. Husband and I came a nats a$$ away from saying forget it were done about 22 yrs ago. 28 yrs later we are still here. We adore each other. Yet, like most married deeply in love people we still have our occasional day where we just don't need to be in each others space for a while, and we CAN say that with confidence because we DO love each other. Its all good even when its "cranky" and pregnant! LOL

jive turkey

If there's one thing I've learned from my older sister - who, in the past 2 years, has had her marriage, house, career, and financial stability yanked out from under her, and who is now facing an unplanned pregnancy alone - it's just manage. SOMEHOW. You just deal. Even if it's 2:00 and you have no idea how you're going to make it to 2:30, you survive somehow. It's scary, but comforting.

And Amalah, I agree: sometimes the scariest times in a relationship are when things should be the easiest (no kids, two incomes, etc.). And surely, that experience made you guys stronger for times like now. Thanks for sharing that.


I think this is hands down one of your best posts ever.

Glad y'all were able to work through it and you got the reassurance (and Chipotle!) you needed.


this post completely encapsulates for me the reason why I read your blog. Because, yes. it's scary. And it's worth it. And because this could be my story down to the very last embarrassingly painful detail. And because at the end of the day the fact that someone thought I was worth fighting for, blew me away. And I never knew, love could be like this. And then we had kids. And it was beautiful and scary and eye opening and one of the most humbling experiences of my life and completely perfect down to the last poopy diaper and the last non finished conversation.


Wow. Thank you for sharing. My husband and I just went through something very similar a few months ago. We were too settled in a rut, each of us a different one. We started growing apart. It was really easy to let myself get wrapped up in another man's attention, which included basically the same thing... IMs and txts. (And I never physically cheated either, which I'm grateful for.) I wanted things to just be over, I was sick of everything. I wanted to leave. But I was scared to death. I'm a SAHM. I had nowhere to go and no way to support myself and my kids. That's what kept me here. But even then, we eventually got to the "We are getting a divorce" phase. But, we made it through that period, and things are going good again. Thank God. But there was definitely a time that running away and cutting my losses looked so much more appealing than staying and fighting for my marriage. I'm so glad that I did. That WE did.


The Meatloaf comments were closed but I thought the story I saw today on CNN was fitting--WOMAN LIVES IN CAR WITH 2 DOGS. Needless to say my preggo ass took that to the height of all height, started a fight with the man on how we don't need to go to CA for a wedding because MY GOD WE HAVE A CAR, WE HAVE ANIMALS AND WE HAVE NO SAVINGS--THAT IS GOING TO BE US. Needless to say, however, the man has been good with my food wishes. 10:15pm Sunday I wanted Okeedoke popcorn and Okeedoke popcorn I had.


That was lovely. It made me cry a a good way. I love having your blog in my life! :)


I am a long time reader, and this is my first time posting a comment. I just had to let you know how incredible this post was. I actually just got married two weeks ago and am living with my husband for the very.first.time. The negotiations and adjustments have already begun and that glowy wedding/honeymoon feeling is already fading to a distant memory. The first week of living together left me completely addled and confused instead of the eating pizza by romantic candlelight while unwrapping wedding presents and sitting on moving boxes like I had imagined. I am in no way saying that I am not happy- I am. And I love my husband more than anything. I think that I was just shocked at how quickly the euphoric wedding related bubble burst and the real world crept right back in.

I should probably mention that we have been together for 10 years/met in high school, so the relationship is nowhere close to being new and I have a pretty good idea of what a relationship REALLY entails in the long run and that alot of the time it isnt fun and that its a lot of work. In other words, I am not jaded when it comes to marriage and I think that my realistic viewpoint has somehow caused me to miss out on how romantic the mundane can really be.

Reading this filled me with hope for the future that even though we have a long road ahead and it will be alot of work, I know we will come out on the other side together. Even if our lives are now filled with bills and who gets what drawers and why he won't just SHUT THE PANTRY DOOR WHEN HE IS DONE- I know that he will be waiting for me when I get home tonight and we will talk about our days and sit on the couch together in front of Ameican Idol and laugh our fool heads off because we are best friends thats what we do. Even as I typed this I got an email from him thanking me for the lunch I packed for him to take to work today. Sigh. See? Just like you said. :)

Thanks for this.


thank you for writing this, i needed to read this right now, to realize that other people go through it too, that other people go through all of that. so thank you.


THANK YOU SO MUCH. That commenter gave my sentiments exactly. Your response has made me feel so much better.

I worry about having a baby with my husband, I worry that it will be like throwing my life away.

You're right. It's always scary. I am constantly terrified. Such is life, I guess.

Damn you for making me all teary and snotty in the middle of a library during a study break!


Dammit, girl, that was a beautiful post. And thank goodness for the ability to put faith in the ones we love, despite all the odds.

Your husband sounds like a lovely man who is crazy about you.


just wow.
THIS is why i read your site. you put into words what so many other women can't or are afraid to.


Thank you. I needed this for a different reason than most of your readers. I've just gone through a really hard break up and I'm still trying to believe that it's for the best. A big part of that is seeing that other people really do have what I want in a relationship and admitting that we didn't have it. When it came down to it, my ex-boyfriend didn't think I was worth fighting for. Hard to admit, yes, but once I face that, maybe I can get started on finding someone else who will.

Rhianna Finnegan

This post was magnificent.
All your blogs are great. I'm generally just a lurker, but I felt I must say something. I've worked my whole adult life and then to suddenly not is very disconcerting and it's so hard to actually say..I stay home. Because you know what people are thinking (or you think you do)I've jockeyed between part time work, sometimes work, freelance work and plain, stay at home work my ass off for my kids work, and it's the scariest thing EVER.
I feel ya. just so you know.

Rhianna Finnegan

This post was magnificent.
All your blogs are great. I'm generally just a lurker, but I felt I must say something. I've worked my whole adult life and then to suddenly not is very disconcerting and it's so hard to actually say..I stay home. Because you know what people are thinking (or you think you do)I've jockeyed between part time work, sometimes work, freelance work and plain, stay at home work my ass off for my kids work, and it's the scariest thing EVER.
I feel ya. just so you know.

Ms. Huis Herself

Thank you for this, oh, so very, very much. I got teary because it's so many of my own thoughts given (eloquent) words. The isolation and "am I a drain" and having to schedule any time for YOURSELF! Oh, bless you, bless you.


What an incredible post. Thank you Amalah for being able write so beautifully about a tricky subject. I don't have kids yet but I 100% relate to everything you said about marriage and how easy it is to get involved in your own lives and not put in the effort to keep it strong. Luckily, you (and I) have someone who will fight for us.


I commend you for sticking it out and think you are so lucky to have such a strong relationship and a husband who loves you that much.

My sister's going through a similar situation right now: got married before she could legally drink and then had her first child last year because she thought that would make her life better. When her child became the center of attention and her husband took her for granted, she became really good "friends" with a coworker. And then another coworker. And then she left her husband and pretty much walked out of her old life - left their house, their dogs, her clothes, bought new everything. She says she's happier alone than she ever was with him. I'm really, really trying to not judge her and I've tried to talk to her about getting help but she's not ready to listen.

This could be my own blog post but it's so much easier to be anonymous on yours... thanks!


Beautiful Post.


AMEN, sister, amen... It's sad, yet comforting to know this shit happens everywhere. Thank you for posting this. Now... I'm left here wondering is it OK to think about your ex-bf's, the ones you got rid of obviously, in times of marriage crisis? Because that's what I do (shame on me!) and I comfort myself thinking that those carefree times were just that - carefree. Now we're in the more serious business of actually building a life and future for our children.


Wow, that was amazing, thank you for sharing with us.


Wow, that was amazing, thank you for sharing with us.


Wow, that was great. Really, really great. And it reminds me that yes, although it is hard, it is worth it. So thank you.

Tracy D

I cried when I read your post on Friday. I was feeling almost the same way... and I am not pregnant! Thanks for wr=iting this follow up. I think DH and I need to have this same convo...


We just decided that my husband will be staying home with our two little ones next school year, putting the acquisition of his teaching license on hold while he lives out my life long dream of staying home with my babies and I AM SO RELIEVED! Because, even though he's going to get to do what I want to do (I make twice as much as him, so, I'm the one to keep working) and even though we'll take a financial hit and it will take longer for him to get into a career he will (pray God) like, to know that the right person is taking care of your wee small toddler and infant children is huge. It was going to cost another mortgage payment a month to have them in daycare with people who might not have been right, and I'll happily pay the mortgage and the bills and do whatever it takes so one of us can stay home like you are because in these early, early years, this is what *I* need.

Just a slightly different perspective on your situation. I hope to heaven that my husband doesn't feel like he's not contributing or merely staying with the kids as a selfish move for him only. I'm so relieved he's willing to do this that it makes me want to weep.


I'm commenting because I think these posts, while surely cathartic, must have also been very difficult for you to write, and I just wanted to say that I really appreciate your efforts.

I have to say, I don't believe in stereotyping "the woman/wife's experience" vs "the man/husband's experience". I actually am in the position of supporting my husband while HE'S in grad school and I'm making the big bucks.

That said, I think it's really interesting that he doesn't feel any of the insecurities that I see the women in his exact same shoes expressing in the comments here. And you know, if I were in those shoes of being the provided for rather than the provider, I'd feel insecure, too. I wonder why that is? Why do so many women feel so helpless and misunderstood where men would just feel entitled and angry?

I think you're describing some real vulnerabilities that women in long-term relationships feel, regardless of who's actually making the money. That fight from the other night would have played out exactly the same way with me and my husband, even despite the fact that he's financially dependent on me. (And even though we don't have any children, yet.)


Oh Amy. Like many others, I really needed this, and I think my husband needed to know that I'm not the only one. It's very hard. It's very scary. We make sacrifices based on what's best for our relationships, our families, but what if those relationships fail us?

It's terrifying, and is one of those things that you can't plan for, because anticipating it feels so silly until you're in it. And this is the reason that some feminists and plenty of books will tell us to NEVER STOP WORKING. YOU GIVE UP YOUR POWER.

But life isn't always a feminist edict. It just isn't. We make choices that are best for US, and sometimes that means putting ourselves at relative risk.

The last time I went all, "But I'm not WORKING LIKE YOU! AM FINANCIAL DRAIN AND NOT CONTRIBUTING LIKE YOU!" Adam tried to make me promise that it would be the last time I brought it up. Which: HAHAHAHAHAHA, no can do. It's my default freak-out these days, and I expect that it will only get worse.

Thanks for saying it.


That sounds just like what happened with my husband and I. Married at 19, the relationship devolved into a no-sex roomate relationship by our mid-20s. He spent more time on his computer game than looking me in the eye, and I became real good friends with someone I knew online that evolved into real and actual physical cheating. It was horrible. I had an ectopic pregnancy before things got really bad, and while that still breaks my heart, I am glad that we didn't have any children to try and "save" the marriage.

The marriage didn't survive because I wasn't willing to be the only one fighting for it. And even now, years later, I still wonder if leaving was the right choice. If I should see if we can make it work again.

Did I try hard enough? I still have trouble telling people what I need from them - if he doesn't want to bring me flowers, if he doesn't want to turn off the computer and have an adult conversation with me, if he doesn't want to put any work into Us, what right do I have to make him? But what if I made a terrible mistake in leaving?

I don't even remember what the point of this comment was, but thank you for your post, Amy!


This is exactly what I needed today. Exactly.

My husband and I are 25, have been married not even two years, and are at the scary roommate point. We have been for a while, but now I realize I can't live like this anymore. So we're trying to fight for our relationship. And it's awful and hard, and I don't know how things got so awful and hard in the first place.

A few weeks ago I went back and read a post you wrote when you were pregnant with Noah about marrying Jason, and I cried and cried and cried because I'm not sure my husband and I will ever be that happy, and I can't conceive of getting to a point where our marriage is solid and good enough to bring children into it. And I do want children someday, desperately. I want to feel honored to be carrying the child of the man I love. And I want that someone to be my husband.

Today you gave me hope enough to keep trying.

Thank you. So much.


As always, a lovely post. But since none of it applies to me, I'm totally excited that you're into Jez and want to know who you are so I can have your back in a fight!


Amy, that was amazing and beautiful and thought-provoking and reassuring all at the same time. I always think of you as "Amy, writer of the funniest blog I know and I hope she updated today!" I often forget about the other side of you -- the side full of wisdom and insight who can teach so many.


I just mowed the lawn like that with my three-year-old on Sunday! (But our mower is green.)
I've been a SAHM for eight years now, I go back and forth between feeling guilty for not contributing financially, and feeling good that I'm giving my children something only my husband or I could give them. Of course, it is easier to quelch the guilt knowing that since we have four kids, I could never get a jobs that would pay enough to cover child care.


Ok, so this was an incredibly poignant post but it didn't completely address Melissa's comment. My fears were similar to hers and my frustration at having to give up so much more than my husband is HUGE. I don't hate him because of it and we still have a good relationship, but dude. It SUCKS. Really, really sucks. She's right. If they have kids she will give up so much more. Sometimes it is very, very, very hard, especially if you love your job. I still work, and it is still hard. My husband is awesome and totally steps in, but it is still hard. If I could be the dad, I would in a second.


Three weeks ago I submitted my resignation to my high-powered, six-figure job. I quit. I quit because I needed to stay home with my chilren - three of whom I didn't give birth to, but arried in to. My children are 14, 12 (tomorrow), 9, and 7. I always thought of staying home with babies - but at this age they need me at home with them as much as ever.

I am terrified of the cut in our budget. I am terrified of "losing" my skillset. I'm terrified that when I want to go back to work, there won't be anything for me.

But my children are worth it. The sacrifice is for them - and really for me too - I was beyond stressed. I think no one can prepare you for how your priorities change once you're a mom. Yes, you miss the happy hours and going out without planning and being carefree...but I think even you'd admit, Amy, that the times when you really miss those things are only when you're overtired, or hormonal - the rest of the time the benefits you get are worth it.


My marriage almost ended once too. When my husband was in seminary to become a pastor--HAHAHAHAHA! No one is immune from the challenges of married life. Two sinful people trying to love each other sinlessly? NOT going to happen without a few bumps along the way.

Anyway, our stories are very similar. You are definitely not alone. Much love!


Beautiful post. Thank you.


Its so worth it! I loved your last post, how real and honest you were and I love how with this one you tied it all together. It's life right! We don't fall in love, we have to wake up and choose to love our spouse, sometimes its easy, sometimes its hard.



Wiping weepy pregnant tears from my eyes:

It is true that being a SAHM leaves one feeling DEPENDENT more often than not. Especially when you devote your days to tykes who do not go to school yet. After all, how would you work if your kid had no place to go?

I'm always drawing from the lives of other to ground me. My sister who was pregnant with her second when her husband died suddenly. My friend whose husband discovered he was gay in the middle of their adoption. The neighbor whose wife had to be hospitalized for post-partum depression, and a year later is still in a home. Those people are my touchstone to the knowledge that I could make it if something happened to my marriage. They are also a reminder that I need to keep good relationships with neighbors.

So, as scary as it is to imagine the worst, don't forget to look around at those who have gone on to thrive after the bottom dropped out.

Julie @ Letter9


This time with more feeling: AWWWW.

You should know I had a good ponder about whether you really baked cookies with your husband or was that one of your funny little Amalah ways of putting things and I decided that I think you guys really baked cookies and now I just want cookies. Do you think you could send some my way?


Now that post brought tears to my eyes even more than the meatloaf post and I just want to thank you for saying every single word you said. Most people are way too scared to admit those things about their own relationship. I am right now 6 weeks pregnant with my first and the husband and I are just starting to sort out all those details that really do start to make me feel like maybe I should just stay home and give up the car and all those "little" things because it makes sense financially but there are so many fears that go along with making those decisions.
This is a strange place that the modern woman finds herself and it is up to us to sort it out for ourselves and not let other people (even our husbands) make us feel bad for making those choices.
Also - I have requested Thai food to be brought home for dinner tonight and if it is not here by 7:30, there will be problems. Food is priority #1 to the pregnant woman. Do not question it. That is all.


Ahh, yes, the rocky road of marriage (AND parenthood). It is SO worth it though--thanks for sharing your story with us :).

Backpacking Dad

If you do get rid of the second car make sure you get a backpack.

And make HIM carry it. You get the car.

Robyn G

Boy, do you have it right. It IS always scary.

These last two posts were very moving and thought provoking. Thanks for being willing to put this out there. You're brave, and awesome.

Also, I might hate you for being such a great writer. But only a little bit.


Crap. This made me cry. Again. And especially because the probem you described, that almost ended your marriage? I went through almost exactly that just 5 months ago. And I've been married for 7 years and have 3 children. It was the darkest and scariest time in our marriage yet. I still feel that black pit of 'what was I DOING' that I fear I will never get over, on top of a million emotions that I'm not brave enough to put onto the internet- or, heck, out of my own head.

These last 2 entries have hit so close to home with me it's scary. And even though I don't know you, I can't tell you how relieved I am that you and Jason had a GOOD talk, because so many times I hear of things like this and the man pulls the But I'm A Man crap to excuse himself, or the wife pulls the He's Just A Man I Need To Put Up With It crap and that just breaks my heart. So a huge, big yay for both of you.

Thrift Store Mama

Your Night of the Meatloaf post could have so totally and absolutely happened in my house. Except my husband, as wonderful as he is 95%of the time, would NEVER have apologized and would not have brought me anything the next night. He would have, however, been sad that I was upset and he may have gotten mad that I was over-reacting. It may sound awful, but 90% of the time, that's exactly what I need - for him to call me on the carpet on my ridiculous-ness. BTW, he also puts our family first and his career, hobbies, friends, and free time a distant, distant second. In fact, although I'm a SAHM I think he's more self-less than I am!

Choosing to have children and be a mother must be a self-less act at it's core. Otherwise people do wind up feeling resentful at their core. It is so, so scary to give up a career or even to cut back on one. Some people manage do it, we did not. It was my choice to quit my job 10 months ago when #2 was born. Not a single day goes by that I regret it - even the days where I wonder if we will EVER have extra money again. It has FORCED us to simplify and de-materialize our life and sometimes it makes me sick to think of the excess we once had (especially my shoes ;-). Melissa, DO NOT have a baby because you want one, or because they are cute, or because it will be fun to dress them up or because you want somebody to love you. Have a baby because you want to LOVE LOVE LOVE like you have NEVER LOVED BEFORE and ask for nothing in return.


I really appreciated this post, because my husband and I not so long ago went through our "dark time". We got stationed overseas just weeks after getting married, and I got pregnant. I had no job, no friends, nothing. I stayed home all day with a poop machine and hated him all day. Then it got a little better, then we came home. Then it got worse again because I hated him still for "taking me there and leaving me alone all the time". I love my husband. He is a good man, and a good father, and although he farts in his sleep and watches too much baseball, he pretty much does everything he's told and buys jewelry regularly. But it is really scary because despite marriage counseling (yes, scary marriage counseling) there are still things that he has said that I can't forget and hurt that hasn't healed. Now I am pregnant with #2 and I am just hoping that we do't get shipped anywhere any time soon, because at least now I have a babysitter and a neighbor with twins who drinks. Thanks for sharing - because it's better to know that I'm not the only mom who gets scared shitless periodically (irregardless of irrational pregnancy hormones).


Absolutely beautiful post - thank you! :)


ooooh! window to my soul! recently laid off and being the "economy drain" myself. i feel guilty asking to go get a pedicure--something i used to do every other week. i feel like our house has to be immaculate all the time since i am always in it. and i miss the attention also...


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.

My inlaws have been married 68 years! SIXTY-EIGHT YEARS! And she says it never stops being work. And so far it hasn't stopped being worth it, either.


This is my first time posting a comment here after reading for the past few months. I have to commend you Amalah on how you wrote this post. It is beautifully written. Gets the point across honestly and powerfully. Thank you for your honesty and candor.

I would also like to point out that it isn't always the woman who feels like the drain, who's self worth is challenged. Sometimes it is the husband who struggles with these issues. And often struggles alone since it isn't a traditional role for men and it is hard to find a sympathetic ear. I know when my husband was at home with our kids and struggling with his issues of self worth it took some re-orientation on my part to understand what he was going through.


Nice South Park reference.

This post is great. I concur completely with Kara's comment. I wanted to write something similar, but since we don't have kids yet, and when we do I will be working, I felt my comment would come off as too preachy.

Currently he's attending school and will be for the next 3 years. As the person primarily responsible for supporting the household, let me say that as long as there is love and respect (which Jason obviously has for you) there is never a reason to think you are a drain. My husband contributes in so many ways, the most important of which is his love and friendship.


Yeah. That's it. Exactly.


I never got to the second half of your post, the part that everyone else is commenting on. I was glued to you internet troubles becausethe same thing happened to me. And I'm wondering if there are some gremlins about. I write about it here:


I'm glad you both found a way to fix things. Sometimes I feel like I don't "matter" to my husband (for lack of a better word. It isn't that I think he doesn't love me or whatever, it is more that I'm just always here and he doesn't feel the need to make an effort anymore. But those aren't the right words either. Either way, I get this post (and the previous one too) and I'm not even pregnant right now. Marriage is hard. Someone should have told us that!

You really are lucky that he will have a conversation with you about things. My husband prefers to just think everything is fine and wait for it to improve. Which I am sure will work out stunningly for both of us. (sarcasm)


All what you said.


A to the men, my dear. We'll be married 15 years in October, with 4 kids, a mortgage, and a minivan, and...I don't know what my point was, but damn. This is your very best post ever.



This and the meatloaf post are why God, errrr al gore, ummmm "they" invented the internet. You're brilliant, Amalah and I think every woman and any man in touch with his real self can relate to your story. This is the best description of men and women, the difference between the two, and relationships in general that I have ever read. I have emailed all/any of my friends who care with a link to this post and I hope they will enjoy it as much as I do.

Thank you for being more honest on your blog than I could ever hope to be.


This was beautiful, Amy.

Marriage is hard work. So hard. Bur so, SO worth it.

anne nahm

Thanks for this.


Oh Amy, how I love you. But as much as I love you, you know what my first thought was when I read about Jason coming home late and ignoring your burrito request and worst of all, not getting why you reacted the way you did? It was THANK GOODNESS. Even seemingly perfect Jason can totally suck at understanding women sometimes! Phew. Maybe I should give my boyfriend a break.

I completely idolize your relationship and often wish that mine was as strong. So while I was completely on your side and felt awful for you, I also felt relief...Jason clearly loves you and is an amazing guy, so maybe I shouldn't assume differently of my boyfriend just because he seriously messes up in a very similar way from time to time. And while not pregnant, I definitely have oversensitive drama queen tendencies, so maybe I should be putting more of the blame on myself, like you did at certain moments.

But then when I read that he brought you flowers and chocolate ice cream the next day, I was jealous and felt crappy for myself again (but happy for you, because again, love). Even though after reading the comments I decided I somewhat agreed with the people who thought it was a socialized-male quick fix. But the effort was there, and then the talk you had last night and his amazing gesture of grabbing your hands and telling you that you are not a drain (and years ago that you are worth fighting for) shows the true devotion.

My question for you is, what do you when he DOESN'T come through the next day and clearly express that you are worth fighting for? What if his personality makes him incapable of ever giving you the heartfelt apology or in-depth discussion that your personality desires in order to fully get over the fight and move on feeling good about him, yourself, and the relationship? Because my boyfriend and I had a serious blowout over something really small this weekend where he said terrible things to me and I cried in our bedroom for the next 2 days while he lived his life in the next room and ignored me, totally unmoved. When we finally did discuss it, it was in the quick and lighthearted, joking way HE deals with problems. I know he thinks the fight has been adequately dealt with and is over, and that he didn't mean the things he said, but I still feel hurt and not quite so well loved. How much of that is ok? When that happens how do you know if what you have is worth fighting for? Or maybe you are just being pathetic because even though you are not married yet and don't have kids, he makes tons of money and pays most of the mortgage and you're going to an expensive grad school next year and are kind of financially dependent on him? Or you know, some other hypothetical situation =)

Sorry to go off like that. Maybe I should get my own blog instead of wasting all this space on yours!

Anyway, wonderful, wonderful posts. You are a brilliant writer and I admire you so much.


AWWWWW... that all!! :)


Thank you so much for writing this and the last post. I had a freak out on my husband this past weekend and some of it was hormones and some it was just feeling over burdened and worrying what will happen after our baby is born in September. I am so worried about how things will change and whether my career that I worked so hard for the last 10 years will survive not to mention what will happen to our marriage. And well it is just plain reassuring to know I am not alone. Even though I felt very alone this weekend there are women everywhere who have been here and who have come through the other end. So thank you.


Amazing, completely relateable post. About the whole "I want him to want to bring me a bouquet of flowers" thing... That right there was always the essence of the problems I've had with my husband, until one day a therapist asked me, "When you tell him you want him to do x, y and z, does he do it?" and I said, "Well yes, of course, but..." She stopped me and said, "No buts. The fact that he did it, when you told him how much it mattered to you, well that's better then what a lot of people would do. A lot of people would just say, 'No, flowers are frivolous' or 'I'm too tired to take out the trash' but not your husband, he did it. And why does he do it? Because he loves you. Hold on to that man." I swear to God, that advice changed my whole life. Although, yeah, it's still extra-special when I don't HAVE to ask him. But I try to appreciate the fact that he loves me enough to do it, regardless of whether he thought it up on his own or not.


this post is genius.

Kiki@Seagulls in the Parking Lot

Love this. Love it.

And I wanted to add, that being a stay at home mom is a very worth while job and a lot of what Amalah and every stay at home mom feels at some point, is totally normal and for me, somewhat self inflicted. It's not like my husband would ever tell me not to go somewhere, it is just that my main priority is the kids and his is his job so that makes me getting out of the house a lot harder than it is for him.


I guess, to sort of address Melissa's point, for me what it boils down to is that marriage has to be teamwork, no matter what your circumstances. While each half of the couple doesn't have to contribute the exact same things to the relationship/household, they do have to contribute equally on the whole (I cook, you handle the online banking, you vaccuum, I make the bed, etc).

Whatever the choice is, teamwork requires strategizing *together* to work out what is best for everyone involved, on a big picture scale (work/kids balance, etc) and on a day-to-day basis (who picks up the dry cleaning).

It's also recognizing the value of the other person's contribution -- if one is working and one is staying at home, it's so easy to think that the person who is building up the 401(k) and paying the mortgage is doing "more" for the household, but imagine if that person had to do that plus everything else -- it would be a billion times harder for them, and they have to realize that, not lord their economic contribution over the non-income-producing spouse.

For dual-income couples, the teamwork aspect is also crucial so that one person doesn't make all the sacrifices all the time, which I think is the main thing Melissa is getting at. It's so easy, as a woman, to be the martyr, to give up the business dinners or the plum job assignments in favor of shouldering most of the kid/home-related load. But it doesn't have to be like that!

This is where choosing an enlightened spouse comes in (and this applies to any work/home scenario) -- men can leave the office early or miss dinners just as well as women can (or to relieve Mom for a night out or whatev); so often, though, we let them get away with not having to. You have to *both* be committed to doing what needs to be done at work and on the home front and make your needs and goals known to the other person. And sometimes that means checking in with them (are you SURE you don't feel like I'm a drain? would it KILL you to get home a little earlier?, etc) and making sure everything's still cool and everyone's pulling their weight and feeling valued.

(I swear I don't mean to sound like a sanctimonious jerk, in case I do. I get kind of fired up about these issues, where women devalue themselves or play the martyr -- and we pretty much ALL do both of those things at one time or another -- and thank God there are the Jasons of the world to call us on it and refuse to accept it. And also bring flowers when the going gets tough.)


Oh, dear God, I wrote a treatise. Also, I should note that our baby girl is currently waiting for us in Vietnam, so, ah, my hifalutin' theory is just that, a theory. It could all fall apart when an actual, live baby resides in our home and we have to figure it all out anew.

Also! I will just note that things would be easier if more employers would jump on the flex-time and extended parental leave bandwagon. Better benefits for parents of all stripes would be great for us all. Or we can all just move to Sweden.


Thank you so much for this post. Thank you. I need my fiance to read. TONIGHT.


Ridiculous as this may sound, this post is the essence of why I am trying to convince my sister in law to leave my brother (or rather, to let him go as he has already left). I don't think he would ever fight for her and she is SO worth fighting for, as are the two little boys he donated sperm to. And how lucky are we that we are with partners who would fight for us and we'd put a bitch's eye/throat/kidney out for.


that was perfect! thank you for sharing the inworkings of you & your relationship, b/c the imperfections make it 'perfect' :)


I hate to rain on your parade...I know that feeling of connectedness like you don't know where your husband and family end and you begin. I also know what it is to give up a successful career, leave it behind and struggle to find something that you can do to earn money and still parent your children. I know that I am not contributing enough feeling and I could afford to live on my own and raise my children properly. I have two elementary age children and one in middle school. My life was just as lovely and worth fighting for as yours...and I caught my husband cheating after almost 15 years. In these "tough economic times" I threw him out of the house, like any modern woman would...and he stayed with a friend. Of course, we can't afford 2 households. My children cried for him to come home every night, he cried on the phone for me to let him come back...and after 6 days, I realized that I had no power. I couldn't afford to raise my own children, didn't want them to have to give up their expensive lessons and clubs, didn't want to move into a condo in a yucky the end, he doesn't even have to own up. He can keep denying it because my choices are poverty or a cheating husband (who is sorry for the inappropriate emails but SWEARS TO GOD NOTHING HAPPENED, btw). Now I am left doubting myself, doubting him, doubting our life, powerless to change it and the only thing I do know is that I will never know what actually happened.

Wacky Mommy

Aw, it's not scary. It's cake! hahhahahahahahahahaha


This post brings tears to my eyes. Love is very hard work. Thank you.


Lovely post Amalah, seriously. I'm due in November and plan to stay home with the baby and I haven't been anything but excited, that's what a bad job will do to you, but have started thinking lately about wanting to finish school and wondering when / if that will ever happen, and what if the baby comes and I'm suddenly terribly depressed about being "stuck" at home and blah, blah, blah. So, random way of saying thank you! And sharing your difficult marriage issues, so good to know we all have those, as ugly and scary as they are.


i love this sentence...
"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."
that's kind of the point that i'm at with my almost-9-month relationship with my boyfriend. all the daydreams, all the hopes that maybe this one really is the one, that i really can see us going all the way. then i read posts like the meatloaf one, and i know that it's not always peachy and happy and lovey-dovey, and i remember the not-so-great times that john and i have already gone through and are somewhat still going through. then i realize that every time we've had problems, we sit down and talk about it later (when emotions aren't as fired up and we have the beauty of hindsight to smack us in the face) and quite a few times i admit my overly-emotionalness (thanks to PMS) but there have been times that i've told him that yes, i maybe have overreacted a little, but i DID still have a valid point and i DO need him to evaluate that and think about how his behavior hurt me. i've also had to acknowledge that sometimes in that situation i need to flat-out tell him to stop working on his racecar and spend time with me, instead of assuming that he'll come in the house and look for me or read my mind and know that i'm getting annoyed.
sorry, this turned out longer than i thought, but it helps to think via the keyboard sometimes.
p.s. now i wanna bake chocolate chip cookies with my boy...mmmm that sounds so good. maybe i'll make some later to take to him next time i go see him.

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