It was one of those days.
My son was tired and cranky (as was I), and by the time my husband got home from work, we were well into the bedtime routine.
Of course, having been away all day, my husband wanted to jump in and read to our son.
(He normally handles most of the bedtime routine, including books and songs.)
Before I closed the nursery door, I said politely, “In bed by 8, please.” A request I’d made a dozen times before, to no avail. But, I said it nonetheless.
So, when my husband walked out of the room at 8:30 p.m., I was frustrated.
When my son doesn’t get enough sleep, it makes the next day all the more challenging for us both. And you might think 30 minutes doesn’t make any difference. For him, I know it does.
So I said something about it. I’m not the kind of person to hold things in, even if it means confrontation.
“I feel like you’re dismissing me when you don’t respect his bedtime,” I said.
My husband responded, “I try to help, and this is what happens.”
Help? Excuse me? You think you’re “helping” by neglecting his bedtime?
Let’s set something straight.
Husband, you’re not “helping.”
To help someone implies that you’re doing them a favor. That it should be their full responsibility, but you’re pitching in out the goodness of your heart.
Let’s get something straight. If you’re a parent, you’re not “pitching in.” You’re doing your job.
Just because I stay at home with our child does not mean I am 100% responsible for his care.
Yes, I do spend more time with him.
Yes, I do change more diapers.
Yes, I do make more meals.
Yes, I do handle more messes.
Yes, I do more laundry.
But that doesn’t mean you get a pass. You don’t get to choose when you parent and when you don’t.
And you don’t get to “help” me with anything. You get to do your job, too.
I understand working a 9-5 job can be tiring. I did it once without a child and was mentally drained at the end of every day. But being a parent is 24-7, 365 days a year, whether or not you work outside the home.
Call me a feminist. Call me a jerk. Tell me I’m being selfish. But I’m always going to stick up for myself.
I’m very grateful to have a partner in life and a partner in parenting. I love my husband. I appreciate my husband. But we are in this together.
So no, husband, you’re not “helping.”