Thursday, October 02, 2008

I wish...

BG is 2 months, 3 weeks and 4 days old.

I’m a wuss. That was one of the realizations I made during my fourth trimester. My tolerance level for things that irk me has increased and my expectations have been lowered. For years for the betterment of my relationship with my husband, I’d swallow and deal rather than rock the boat or set off another night of debates and ‘Who gets the last word?’. I figured in the long run it probably won’t be as important. Maybe I am too demanding. Maybe my obsessive compulsiveness is getting the better of me. To keep the peace, just keep quiet. In the end if I keep quiet, husband is happy and I don’t have to deal with the tantrum that will ensue later.

I wish I could be like other women who don’t swallow it and tell their husband what irks them and expects them not to repeat it. I’ll just say something, sometimes I get an apology sometimes I get complaints I’m too demanding. Sometimes there is follow through sometimes it happens over and over again to the point where I just realize my husband does not deem it important enough for my consideration.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I love my husband. I don’t think I ask him to do anything above the normal requests in coupledom. I just wish I was more assertive and didn’t feel like I have to lower my expectations and increase my tolerance for things. Right now I feel like, man does not change unless he desires change so why try to fight him anymore. You can only change yourself so deal with it and so I acquiesce.

I don’t think my husband is not trying in order to belittle me or my feelings. I think if he actually took the time he would be slightly more attentive. He’s just in his own bubble and has always been in his bubble. I know has intentions to try. I was less aware or less phased by it when it was just me but now it’s me and my daughter. I want her to see that her dad focusing on his wife a little bit more.

Many times I get jeered for moving things and reorganizing but when push comes to shove and he’s 30 minutes late for his ‘to do’ and he doesn’t know where the paperwork is or where he put keys or what forms he needs, I’m the one who has it ready and that’s what some of my friends say is enabling this self attention. Here is the kicker. If I leave him be and watch him run around like a beheaded chicken, it drives me insane. I’d rather help him and feel a bit neglected than watch him tornado through the house setting off the dogs, the baby and me with feelings of anxiety and despair.

I think I prefer to help him to prevent the storm, to show him I love him and in an embarrassing admission, in the hopes that one day it will not be about him but about me. I want so much for him to just one day say, “Today is your day. It’s not about me but about you.”

He cares and loves me but every day is about him. I want one day for it to be about me.

I’ve been thinking about this lately. I think it boils down to our past. I’m the eldest in a family raised in the teaching of Confucius. The needs of the family, especially the elders, are of greater importance than the needs of the individual. I rebelled through most of that but still consider my family of greater importance than self. I wish I rebelled more and grew a backbone for the greater good of my family.

DH was raised an only child by women who instilled in him the importance of self. I wish I had a bit more value in my own being. I’m proud of who I am but find sacrificing for the greater good is my usual option. I’m afraid if I keep it up I’ll become embittered and lose myself. I love myself too much to want that to happen.

How I wish I could stand up more for myself and my desires, big and small. I wish I could just tell my husband in an assertive voice, “12 years I’ve asked and I’m not going to ask anymore, stop putting your bag and shoes behind doors. The block the doors from fully opening. They ricochet doors, cause me to trip and are really bad for feng shui.”

I wish I could turn to my husband and say, “Today is family day which means no errands unrelated to family nor are we rushing through our trip so we can go home to do individual projects.”

For now, I’ll continue to hit my head on doors, pick up shoes and bags and sit quietly in the car and rush through stores and silently hope that the next day brings that special ‘me’ day.

Funny thing is, and it’s still very early, but I don’t think I tolerate that from my daughter. Yes, she’s still very young but when she fusses when I put her down and she’s been in my arms for awhile and all her basic needs have been met, I don’t give in as readily. If I have to go to the bathroom, I’m not skipping it to attend to her need for me to cuddle her. I’m not forcing myself up to assist hubby during the wee hours when she’s been crying steadily. Why am I doing so for DH but not my daughter?

I think its self-preservation. I love my daughter too much to allow her to climb all over me like her dad gets to. If I allow both members of my family to climb over me, I’ll go insane. If I allow myself to raise a human being that climbs all over a person, I’d be providing a disservice to my child and to the world and her future spouse.

I guess my tolerance level has increased for my husband but balance things out, I’m a bit more observant to not allow this to happen with my daughter. Who knows; maybe I’ll completely wuss out in a few years but for now, I have a strong conviction to teach my daughter a medium between self and others. I’m not sure what that is and how to instill it but I want to learn and share it with BG.