Fake Nice

This post also appeared on www.capecodonline.com/blogs in the opinion section of the Cape Cod Times, a division of Ottaway Newspapers, Inc.

I’m going to speak strictly from a guy’s point of view here, because I have a little bone to pick with my wife and I’m sure I’m not the only one.

Now I want to preface this by saying MJ is taking great care of Will and I know it must be hard to be home with him alone all day long. And when I get home from work I play with him and change him and take care of him to give her a break. She appreciates that and the fact I have to go to work every morning, so she tries to handle him when he wakes up during the early morning hours. That is a very nice gesture on her part and I appreciate it very much.

But I’m noticing a trend lately…

For instance, last night Will was fussy so at some point during the night (I was sound asleep apparently)  MJ took him out to the couch to sleep so they wouldn’t wake me up. But around 5:30 a.m. — after Will had kept her up with constant noise for hours on end — I think she started to resent my peaceful slumber. First the dog barked at someone outside and woke Will up, which pissed her (and me) off to no end. But instead of going back to sleep, MJ began talking to herself. Loudly. She was basically keeping a running commentary of everything that was irritating her. She was threatening the dog’s life, she was bemoaning her lack of sleep…she was even talking in the third person. Like this:

“Ughhhhh! Will. Mommy is tired and you haven’t let mommy sleep in three hours. Why are you doing this to mommy? Fenway, Haley…stop it! Oh my God I’m going to kill someone. You need to be quiet so mommy and daddy can sleep! ”

The only problem is, daddy was sleeping just fine before mom started voicing her inner monologue. I’m no psychologist, but it’s pretty clear that if she isn’t sleeping then ain’t no one gonna sleep. Except she knows I have to work and she feels bad so she can’t come right out and say it. So instead, she talks in a ridiculously loud voice early in the morning and keeps me up that way.

The problem is she hasn’t learned to sleep during the day when he starts napping. Instead, he’ll fall asleep and she’ll start doing the laundry or the dishes and therefore won’t get any rest. But when I bring this up I get “Well, the house is a mess and someone needs to clean it.” For the record, I do most of the dishes and I even cook sometimes so it’s not like I’m just lazing around the house. True I’m at the gym after work and then I go for a 2-mile run on the Cape Cod Canal so that’s extra time away from home, but she encouraged that. She wanted me to be healthy. But I feel like I’m being punished for it now.

Come to think of it, the only times I remember her smiling lately have had to do with my misfortune. She laughed maniacally when I nearly threw up when changing Will’s atomic diaper.  She was delighted this morning when he threw up on my bare chest, and when I asked her for a burp cloth she told me to suck it up because she gets thrown up on all the time. Yet on Mother’s Day when I told her I would take care of Will every time he got up, she wouldn’t take advantage of it. I was out in the living room trying to calm him down and she’s asking if he’s alright from the bedroom. The whole point was for her to get some much needed sleep, but she said she couldn’t sleep without him in the room.

The bottom line is women are insane. I love women and I love my wife, but they’re all freaking nuts. And that craziness gets ratcheted up when you get pregnant and only goes down slightly after you’ve given birth. She wants me to sleep yet she talks louder than Fran Drescher. She wants me to go to the gym and be healthy but then complains things aren’t getting done around the house. She wants some rest but when I provide her with the opportunity she doesn’t take me up on it.

I’d love to pin her down and ask her what specifically she wants, but the problem is I don’t think she even knows! Do any women know what they want? How the hell are guys supposed to fix a problem they can’t identify?? It’s like trying to put together a puzzle with missing pieces.

My father gave me one piece of advice when I was old enough to date and it still rings true today:

“Nod. Smile. And say you’re sorry.”

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4 thoughts on “Fake Nice

  1. She’s probably at her ends wit…well, I take that back, she IS.

    The problem with the first few months of a baby’s life is NO one gets sleep. And it does take a toll on a marriage and NO one is happy about certain things. Maybe she did it on purpose or maybe she’s plain losing her mind.

    I would suggest talking to her about what you heard her say. I am sure she’ll ask if it woke you up. Her laughing at you just goes to show me even further that sleep deprivation can actually make a person insane.

    Have you taken Will to his pediatrican to ask about his sleep problems? If he’s not sleeping for more than a few hours at night, Dr. may suggest that you keep him up from one of his naps in the day. Or that that Mj cuts certain foods out of her diet, or some babies who have bad reflux actually need meds to help digest their food. And then they sleep SO much better.

    At this point, I would also think that even though she suggestion you go out and exercise, it’s not easy for her to take on even more time alone with Will. She’s making a sacrifice for you to be healthy and it’s not too easy. You have to give hr that. Don’t feel like she’s placing guilt on you if you feel guilty about it. Maybe you could do it three times a week instead.

    You guys need a baby whisperer it seems.

  2. Oh I love your dad’s advice, it’s fantastic! Don’t worry…we have similar conversations. Ours usually start with what ‘his’ dog did though. :) Maybe one of the times you offer to take care of Will so that MJ can go for a walk by herself. Even 20 minutes away can rejuveniate. Or just put Will in the Baby Bjorn and turn your run into a walk so she can take a little break? Our 5wk old just started his SUPER fussy period in the evenings from 7-10ish. My hubby’s advice, if he’s going to cry no matter what we do (swing, hold, feed, swaddle, etc.) let’s do something that calms US. If you hear a kid screaming outside and a toddler yelling over the crying ” ‘s okay brudder’ it’s our family on an evening walk….in CA. ;)

  3. Speaking from the mom’s perspective (having been there only a few months ago) it is VERY hard to know how to prioritize your life once the baby comes. I went through MONTHS of not being able to allow myself to rest when there were dishes in the sink or clothes to be washed. My advice? You need to find someone that MJ trusts (other than you) to help her do these things for a little while so she can sleep. Eventually she will be able to do it all (or atleast be alright with letting it go) but right now she needs help!!

  4. Yeah Well… SUCK IT UP … I mean you are doing a wonderful job and when I say suck it up I mean it in the most affectionate manner possible. We are completely insane Thanks for loving us anyway love ya.

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