Keeper of the Poop

This Wall Street Journal article describes a dilemma that has been on my mind a lot lately. I want my husband to be an equal partner in raising our child and running our household, but I have a hard time letting go. As the countdown to the end of my maternity leave dwindles, my worry grows. It seems increasingly likely that my husband will take on the "stay-at-home-dad" role when I go back to work. I will have to work full-time; I have no choice if we want to maintain our current lifestyle. And full-time in the litigation department at a large law firm is not 9 to 5. Or even 8 to 6. So I'm very worried that I'm going to be calling home to check on whether Nugget pooped yet that day, and asking Trent fifty passive-aggressive questions about what he and the baby are doing, not to mention coming home at 10 pm to start cleaning the house and doing the laundry because my standards for a clean house are higher than Trent's.

It's hard not to think about this in terms of Trent being a good stay-at-home-dad, when I should be focusing on whether I can be a good working mom and learning to relinquish control. If I don't get that straightened out, it's not just my stress level that will suffer--it's my relationship with my husband. I already find myself stifling--or sometimes failing to stifle--the urge to criticize him for not holding the baby enough, not playing with him enough, not putting his shirt on the right way, etc. Even when I succeed in keeping my mouth shut, I often just take the baby and do myself whatever it is I think he's doing "wrong." Then I get resentful because I'm doing the lion's share of the childcare.

It's funny, I have this desire to end posts like this with some sort of conclusion so as not to be too abrupt, but I'm usually writing about something because I don't have any answers. I don't know how to end my posts. I could end them with a question, "What worked for you, internet?" like many bloggers, except that would feel pretty silly with a readership of about six people, one of whom is my husband (Hi Trent! Didn't know I was such a simmering pile of resentment lately, did you? Actually, and sadly, you probably did ...).

The end. More later.

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