Last weekend I found myself doing it again. That woman-thing we do. I use “we” based from an assumption that some of you with estrogen do this too.
I woke up Saturday AM at 6am with a groggy but happy baby. We had been up 3 times that night (that’s a whole other ball of wax for another day) and to say I was exhausted is an understatement. For weeks I had been getting up multiple times a night, getting up with her between 6-7am, working during the day, juggling house-hold stuff, baby stuff and wifely stuff and quite frankly I was angry. Not at anyone or any one thing but not having consistent hours of sleep in weeks gave me that whiny, tired, angry woman feeling. Ohhh you know that feeling. It is very similar to that “I haven’t eaten in awhile” feeling.
So this is how I handled it. I barged into the bedroom at 8am holding Annalise. I put her in the bed with Chris and said “I need a minute” and ran out crying. When he came to check on me I said the oh familiar “I’m fine.” I spent the rest of the day in this haze. In an angry haze. Chris was patient as I pouted around my mom’s house that day planning a trip to the park with my sister and her kids. He kept asking me what he could do to help, asking me what was wrong, etc. But I just continued to be angry and tired while saying “I’m fine.”
Now in MY head I wanted him to just know what was wrong. I mean, it is obvious right? I am tired! My body feels like collapsing into a 10 year slumber! Do you not realize how much I do around here? I have the weight of the world on my shoulders right now! Why don’t know just know what is wrong with me?!?!
I complained to my mom and sister on the way to the park about how tired I was and I just need some sleep and help with X,Y,Z. This is when my sister said, “Then tell him that.” Wait… uh… what? No, you see he needs to just know this stuff. Know that all I want is a nap. ”Yes, Alicia but it may not be as obvious to him. You just need to be more direct with what you want. Because if you wait around for him to guess it will just make you more upset.” It made sense even in my irrational hormonal mind. But the question was – would it work?
So I conducted a little experiment.
“Chris, I need help with Annalise in the middle of the night until she gets back to normal.” ”Okay, no problem.”
“Chris, I’m stress out about work stuff can you take her so I can get a shower and relax?” ”Of course.”
Weird. It worked. Apparently asking for help yields help. Help yields less stress and more sleep. Chris and I have always been great communicators but for some reason if I am tired (or hungry) I can turn into the “why don’t you just know what I need!?” person.
For the past week, (as hard as it is to admit I am not super woman and can’t do everything) I’ve been asking for help and telling Chris what I need to feel good. Because for me to be the best mom I can be, the best wife I can be and the best all-around version of myself, I need to cut myself some slack, get more sleep and just tell Chris what I need. This marriage thing is a partnership after all