Do they have insurance to cover "Not following the plan?"

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mr mom This new job of CareerMom’s is just full of surprises for me; not the least of which is a whole lot of self introspection on my part. It’s no secret that I’ve been generally unsatisfied with my career for some time now—a fact that I try not and complain blog about too often. Being a man though, there are few things in life that bring me the kind of satisfaction that work does.

I mean, I love my kids, but after a day of playing “beat up on daddy” or “follow the boys around the park making sure they don’t hurt themselves,” I don’t feel nearly the same level of satisfaction as say, seeing my name published on a nice article I wrote. And without the free time to accomplish manly things around the house, well…work is about all I have to prove that I’m more than just daddy-day-care when CareerMom travels.

In truth, this is not how I imagined grown up life.

Anyway, the other night when CareerMom and I were out celebrating our anniversary, as we sat down at our table to eat, the waiter came by and asked if we’d like anything to drink.

Now, let me stop here and explain something: Neither CareerMom nor I have ever been big social drinkers. This is probably because a glass of wine with dinner is usually so expensive, that we just don’t want to pay the big dollars. As such, I’ve never been terribly comfortable ordering alcohol out. The few times I have, it’s been after I knew what I was going to order, so as to pair it nicely with my meal.

But as we placed our napkins in our laps and after the waiter asked about drinks, CareerMom looked up and flippantly said, “I’d like a glass of Chardonnay.

I was immediately struck by the casualness of her request. There was no consulting of the wine menu. There was no consideration of price. It was as if she does this every day. And then I realized, she does; or at least she does it far more than I do. That’s when it really hit me that my “plan” has drifted even further from course than I thought. And anyway, when did she become this sophisticated social person, while here I sit in my pleated pants feeling like a hillbilly?

See, CareerMom travels a lot. It comes in spurts throughout the year, but in the past two years, she’s probably traveled at least 20-30 days on average. That’s 20-30 days of staying in nice hotels and generally eating at fine restaurants at night. Now, she’ll tell you that it’s not all fun and games because it’s work and she’s already tired of seeing those people all day, and I completely understand that, but still…while she’s there…I’m here.

I’m in my slob clothes picking the boys up from daycare and keeping them happy till bedtime. I’m either fixing them something simple to eat here, or sitting at Chick-Fil-A watching them play in the plastic germ-factory because it’s nearly impossible to fix a wholesome meal while holding a 20-month old. Instead of leisurely getting up at 6:30 in a quiet hotel room in downtown NY, I’m punching the alarm at 5:30 a.m. so I can get a cup of coffee in me before being ransacked by two whiney, juice-demanding boys who couldn’t care less about daddy’s pounding headache or aching back.

Hell yeah I’m bitter!

*breathe* (good….now slowly) If I look really deep inside, I think I’m jealous. I’m jealous because she has the life…no…the career, that I always thought I’d have, while I’m living the life that I always thought my wife would live.

Sexist? Only if you forget that I grew up in the 70s and 80s before women had careers and when the gender roles still had dad working while mom stayed home with the kids.

Maybe it would be different if I actually had a chance to get out and do some of the things she “gets” to do, but my career doesn’t allow me that luxury. Financially, we can’t afford to travel as a couple, not to mention the fact that it’s nearly impossible to get anyone to watch the kids for a couple of days. And, I don’t have any friends I can go do things with by myself even if money weren’t an issue (which it is).

The few times that I have, half-jokingly, suggested that her busy professional life is glamorous, she’s countered with, “I’d rather be at home.” But see, I don’t really believe that; because if that were true, then she wouldn’t pursue promotions as heartily as she does (four in the last 9 years).

I feel a pity party coming on and I’m not sure I don’t want to just wallow in it for a while. I know it’s not healthy, but I can’t just keep walking around the house with a fake happy face pretending that I don’t care that she’s so busy that she has to leave her laptop on all the time. But that’s another story for another time.

In the grand scheme of things, I realize I’m being very petty, and that I really need to have these conversations with CareerMom rather than perfect strangers, but I think we all know that’s easier said than done. Sometimes it’s good just to say them regardless of who you say them to. Guess that’s why psychiatrists are still around. Blogging…cheaper than therapy!

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4 thoughts on “Do they have insurance to cover "Not following the plan?"

    The Father of Five said:
    November 10, 2008 at 11:22 am

    Wow… That is open, and honest… Being able to identify and communicate your thoughts is the key.

    Hopefully CareerMom will read this post, and it will create an opportunity for you to discuss it with her.

    I too associate satisfaction with my work. BUT, it has to do with enjoying what I do. I had as much satisfaction working in the local hardware store when I was 16 as I do now. I had pride in what I did then, as I do now. You mention dissatisfaction with your job – maybe that is where the problem lies…

    It’s easy for me to say, but I imagine if The Mother of Five had a job making the better income, nothing would make me happier than working in a local Hardware store again!

    The bigger picture in my mind is (at least for the years the kids are younger) that ONE of us is home for them. I want them to feel like they can DEPEND on their parents… As the kids have been getting older, I am finding more time to be able to do some of the things that I missed (time with my wife, etc.).

    In fact, for what it’s worth – I’m considering resigning my (extra-curricular) position on the SWAT team (as Communication Specialist (Dispatcher)) because of the extra burden it places on my schedule.

    I am sure this is not all that helpful… Maybe this will. It WILL get better for you – hang in there!

    RE: Well, I used to be a network engineer. I was an MCSE (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer) for years before going back to college to do what I do now. I LOVE writing…but I hate my current job. Lots of history there, no time to tell it. Anyway, it’s not my career choice, it’s my “current position” choice that’s so vexing.

    AtHomeDaddy said:
    November 10, 2008 at 1:29 pm

    Been there man.

    I know that there are lots of days The wife wishes she could just sit around the house and nap all day, like I must do.

    I also know that there are days when I would love to be out of the house and behind my old desk in the broom closet/office. It was small, but it was quiet and had a door that locked!

    And if Google hosted free psychiatry instead of blogger, I would have never written anything online.

    RE: Grass is always greener isn’t it? I dunno…I don’t want to move to another pasture full-time; I just wish they’d open the gate to it every now and then.

    Surfer Jay said:
    November 13, 2008 at 4:55 am

    I have recently discovered that showing Lilly my writing is a great way to express sensitive feelers without having an actual conversation with words. Such as showing her my intimiate feelings about our boy I’ve written. (No, not about him violating the cat, although she thought it was funny.)

    I can relate to you when it comes to the lady going on business trips. Seriously, they party. Oh we know they do. Sure they are with clients all day. Day. At night the whips and chai…. I mean they go to fancy restaurants and order multiple bottles of 100 a pop wine and get all toasted. I know because I go with her once a year and come back with a hangover for days. It’s scary what I’ve seen on her business trips. I cringe to think of what I haven’t been there to see.

    RE: I don’t think I’m worried so much about the partying. In the past two years, on these little company trips, at least two Sr. Management folks have done REALLY stupid things in public and now they all have to attend meetings on how to act on company time and such. So, I’m not so much bothered by that aspect. It’s the simple “enjoyment” of being elsewhere. It’s the feeling that you’re such a valued employee that they pay to fly you up to an uber-expensive location and set you up in a really nice hotel room. It’s the thought of having a nice, quiet dinner with adult conversation and not having to crawl around on cold linoleum afterwards cleaning mashed potatoes off the floor.
    It’s stuff like that, that I’m jealous of.

    pamajama said:
    November 13, 2008 at 1:22 pm

    I so completely love that you’re a man who can verbalize your thoughts into words instead of becoming an alcoholic or smoking cigarettes while you watch four football games on a Sunday. Your kids and your wife are really fortunate to have you. I think there will come a time when you wouldn’t give up the days you spent home with your sons, not for anything. It’s just while you’re in the midst of it that so many things suck:)

    RE: I’m fortunate to have my family. As much as I bust on them here, I love them all to death! I do hope though that other guys who may feel as I do out there, can read this and realize that they aren’t alone. And in fact, I would imagine there are quite a few women who feel the same way. I’m an equal-opportunity complainer!

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