Married Single FatherWhen I got engaged, my future wife told me she was unwilling to change her last name, and I nearly called the whole thing off. It seemed to me as if she cared more about being politically correct than letting her kids be part of a whole family instead of a partial family with an unrelated mom. Nine years later, I think my instincts were right and she really never wanted a family.
I've been a stay-at-home father since our oldest child was born; it was a no-brainer since my wife was making decent money while my after-tax pay was barely more than the cost of day care. But more and more, it feels like I'm a single father. A friend has even started calling me a single parent because Mom is never there for the kids. I've had people who know my kids ask if I'm a widower, because they don't seem to have a Mom.
My wife is a lawyer and I understand that she has to work long hours, but she is really never there for us. Even on the rare day when she comes home before the kids go to bed, she basically just sits on the couch watching tv and ignores them. If they start demanding her attention, she tells me to take them away. I sometimes wonder how much of her absence is truly work-related and how much is just wanting to avoid the kids. She never seems to have trouble making time for her friends or for political events, it's just school programs and the kids' birthdays that are an impossible conflict with her schedule. If I call the office late at night, there's usually no answer, and she hasn't answered a call I made to her cell phone in years. A few weeks ago my wife even said she wouldn't mind if I had an affair with the woman who cleans our house, since she's more of a mother to the kids (she's here two hours a week).
All of this is really starting to take its toll on me. I never get enough sleep and I'm taking care of little kids without a break from the moment one of them wakes me up in the morning until the last one falls asleep at night and I can finally crawl into my own bed. On top of it, my wife is always leaving me lists of things she expects me to do because I "have so much more time to do these things" like installing new shelves so the kids can't touch her stuff or preparing the spare bedroom for her friends to visit. About every three months or so I manage to squeeze enough out of the housekeeping budget to hire a babysitter for a few hours, but it seems like I always get called to fix my in-laws' sink or something like that during those precious few hours.
I finally felt like I just had to get this off my chest, so I'm forcing my one-year-old to sit with me by the computer while I type it out. My kids are the most precious thing in the world to me, but I'm just so worn-out and I wish they had a real mother. If only there was a way to make my wife care, but I know there isn't.
DrawingDad 31-35 5 Responses 3 Aug 20, 2012