The Engineer’s Baby – Personal Life Management

I love my wife.

(You know that a declarative statement requires a “but” to be applied after it, you are just hanging around to see how much trouble I’m going to be in.)

I love my wife. But, we don’t get much time together anymore. (Ok, clearly dodged that bullet.)

The fact is, the time in the evenings not devoted to sleep is usually devoted to “unwinding” which is an activity mostly occurring without our respective spouse. The trouble is unwinding what I think I need from what she thinks she needs and what the baby will definitely inform you that she needs.

I’ve seen and heard a lot about the distance that develops between a husband and his wife after the pregnancy. The mother has a full day of love and attention (from the baby) and just wants to be left alone in the evening. The father has a full day of work and is stressed and bothered in the evenings. (This isn’t unusual, with our without the baby. My work runs pretty stressful. I’m sure there are plenty of people who catch a nap at work, get some reading in, and maybe a couple laps at the gym. Not me.) As I stated before, I try to take the night shift so I’m a bit more stressed and bothered because I’m low on sleep. It doesn’t make for a comfortable house.

What to do about it? Well, complain.

Yeah, I know, sounds kind of lame, since as I guy I’m generally expected to “suck it up and soldier.” I’d do that, but women don’t see it. (Yeah, I know, how is this possible?) Frankly, if you don’t bitch and moan, women don’t notice. I’ve had a broken finger for a week and she didn’t notice until I couldn’t get the cap off of a new jar of tylenol. I was trying to go through the day without saying anything, but my hand was slowly ceasing to function at all. I’ve learned to do a mild level of bitching and moaning about injuries, just so she knows I’m all right and won’t panic when she finds out my hip is dislocated or my shoulder or ribs… Suddenly finding out I had a broken bone didn’t work well with her.

I don’t want to lump all women into one category…but… in general, I only see guys sitting around bitching and moaning on TV. I’ve never seen it in real life. I’ve been through a couple wives and a couple dozen female friends – they all do it. I need to “ping” her with my problems on a regular basis, just so that she can put them in her “to do” box.

Yeah, it feels a little weird to have to tell your spouse you need time, but hey, it works.

There is a second thing, and it is equally odd. Women don’t always have a good hobby that you can join into, not like a guy. Now that was “lumping all women together.” I’ve a friend who does art and would love her husband to come kvetch. I know a woman who watches football and her husband hangs out with her all weekend. (She also drinks beer.) Not every man gets that lucky. What do women do that you can join in on? Shop. Yeah, lumping, but just about every woman wants to hit the stores come the weekend. Sometimes, if you want time with your wife, you go shopping.

My lady is already planning this weekend, an arts and crafts show, a trip to Babies R Us, maybe a dinner … if only we had a baby sitter we could do more. It isn’t a romantic weekend, but it gets me time with the woman who means the most to me. Sometimes just time is worth a lot. Yeah, wild sex would probably be better, but that is a problem for another day.

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