husband and wife

Posted: September 10th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Fiction | No Comments »

Woman: I have been home all day taking care of our child. I haven’t spoken to a single adult all day. I miss being able to talk to people, seeing people, being responsible for only myself, I miss playing a different role in this society other than being the mother of mankind. I have been doing this for two years and though I love our child dearly and appreciate my time with her, I long for the company of others, people I can have intelligent conversations with, people who understand me, whom I can share my feelings with and who can share theirs with me. You get to be out in the world all day mixing and mingling with your peers, learning new things and taking in the condition of the world, surrounded by people like you, who have full lives. A family is important but surely it is not all that an individual person needs. I, and my adult mind, need more from the world and from myself than this.
Man: So our family, our child, and my love is not enough for you? We don’t make your life fulfilled? You have a roof over your head and people who love and support you. Why isn’t that enough? You get to stay home everyday and do as you please and you get to spend so much time with our daughter. Do you know how much I want that, how much I wish I didn’t have to wake up early everyday and slave away at my company, do you know how much it takes out of me? By the time I get home I am so tired I hardly have enough energy for you and Maggie. You are so lucky, you don’t have to work, you get everything you need and you don’t have to do anything at all. All you have to do is play with our child all day, how hard is that? And after all, I would think you would enjoy it and feel thankful that I work everyday to provide you with this life. Do you k now how many women would trade places with you in a heartbeat? I don’t mean to hurt your feelings but don’t you think you are being a bit ungrateful to me? You should thank me that you don’t have to give your time everyday just to live. Here you are sitting in this nice house complaining to your husband who works so hard just to make you happy. Unbelievable.
Woman: Why do you have to make me feel so bad that I want more out of my life than taking care of another person day in day out? You wouldn’t understand what that is like. You are hardly ever here, you haven’t spent two days alone with Maggie since she was born, not even three hours with her by yourself, you don’t know all she required, how much it wears on you to care for her. You think it’s all just happy days, playing, laughing, and having fun. I’m basically her private nanny. I hardly feel like myself anymore; I feel like a servant just here to take care of you two, there is more to being a person than caretaking. Yes I appreciate having so much time with Maggie but I need to do something else, why can’t you understand that? Instead it is you who are ungrateful for what I am doing for you and us. I am sacrificing my mind and body to take care of our child and keep you and her clothed, feed, and happy. You don’t ever have to lift a finger around here. I cook all your meals, wash all your clothes, and keep this place in order. Sure you are sacrificing your time but you get money, respect, and a dignified position in this society in exchange. What do I get, spit up on my dress, dirty dishes, on the off chance I do get to go out, someone asks me what I do and then I have to see that expression of superiority and dismissal on their face, oh, I am just a housewife, how archaic. Your job ends when you leave you office, my job is constant, twenty-four hours a day seven days a week. There is no off time or vacation or sick leave when it comes to being a mother and I don’t even get paid and if you bring up you financially supporting me again I swear to god I am going to scream, as if you are paying me to be your wife and mother your child, then I really am a servant, actually a slave, I am just here to rear your offspring. You have no idea what it is like to be dependent on another person for everything. If I need anything at all I have to come to you and ask for money. I don’t have my own money. It’s like you have two children living in your house, yes I said your house, I certainly don’t feel like it’s mine, you picked everything out, bought everything, and I am merely a guest, a slave, here to take care of your inheritor. I am just the means or the bridge between you and the ability to carry on your genes. I don’t even feel like my own person anymore and if you can’t find one ounce of compassion or sympathy I don’t know what I will do.
Man: Are you seriously saying you feel like a slave? That is absurd. I understand that taking care of a child and a home can be hard work but are you actually trying to say that what you do is more difficult than what I do? As if dealing with a two year old could compare to having a full time job? How hard is cooking and cleaning and how mentally draining could it be to play with a two year old? My job is way more mentally exhausting than yours and you know it. And what am I so ungrateful for? I am simply trying to say that you should appreciate what I do for you more. This is your life; this was your decision, no one said you had to be a stay at home mom. We both agreed it is what is best for Maggie, and shouldn’t that be the most important thing to you, being her mother and all? I am doing my job for this family and you should do yours without complaint. You take care of Maggie and this house and I provide you with the money to do so. If anything I am working for you, it is I who is a slave to this family and if this is anyone’s house it is yours, like you said I am hardly here. If you feel like a stranger in this house than that makes two of us. I never know where any of my stuff is because you are always moving it around everywhere. When I get off work I feel like I am going home the place I keep for my wife to take care of our child. I don’t feel like I have any other part here besides providing the money to make it run. You and Maggie have a private bond of which I am no part of, though she has my genes and my name she is ultimately your child and I am the one supporting this, you have never gone hungry and have everything you need to raise Maggie. I cannot understand you. I do know what it requires to take care of Maggie because I foot the bill for it everyday and I come home to this? Awesome, what am I working so hard for then if what I do is not even appreciated.
Woman: There is no point in trying to reason with you. You aren’t even trying to understand how I feel. You think just because you pay for everything here that I have to be silent and respect your pocket? When you take care of Maggie on your own for a week then you can talk to me about whether or not it is mentally exhausting. And I would appreciate what you do for this family more if you had the slightest appreciation for what I am giving up for you and Maggie. My whole life revolves around this family; you have a separate world that we are not a part of. I want that, I need that or I think I will die. And if is how you see this home, as a place you keep to raise your child, then I am right, I am a slave and I need to take my child and get the hell out of here. We can’t both be slaves so if you cannot even try to understand and work with me here then I cannot continue to live this way and that is all there is to it.

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