I’m so grateful to be married to the father of our kids, because I don’t think I could handle the parenting thing without live-in support. Though my husband and I don’t always agree on everything, at least there is someone who understands when I’ve reached my limit and need to put myself in a time-out before I explode. But for as much as we’re on the same parenting journey, I do wonder what my husband is thinking sometimes. If only I could ask my partner some of the inappropriate questions that pop into my head without him feeling offended or worried about my lucidity.
When you live with someone for as long as my husband and I have been together (married for 12 years, and living together for an additional two), you think you know each other extremely well. In some ways, I totally do know my husband both inside and out. I am aware of every food he doesn’t eat (all dairy and most vegetable products), what TV shows I should watch solo (anything without explosions or time travel), and that he sees no value in separating the dark from the light clothing when doing laundry. But there are things I wonder about myself — things I don’t have the answers to on this parenthood journey — that I’d like to get his perspective on.
Some of it is weird, though, so I don’t bring it up. And some of it is hella sarcastic, because even though he’s my parenting partner, there are times when I feel like I could save myself the hassle if it was all just left up to me.
So with all that in mind, here are some of those inappropriate questions I, as a mom, wish I could ask my partner:
This is a ridiculous question. I know. We can’t undo our son’s circumcision. But I do wonder if, seven years later, my husband still feels like we made the right choice. Because while I won’t apologize for circumcising my son, I can’t say I feel great about it.
My husband’s mother was a saint, and now she’s an angel, having passed away five years ago. When I seethe and blow up at our kids, I can’t help but think that his mom would never exhibit that loss of control. So I guess I know the answer to this question already. Asking him might either cause him to lie to protect my feelings, or have me face the truth, which is that no one would ever be better than his own mother. Honestly, I can’t blame him for thinking that.
I have found myself admitting that it’s just so much damn easier when one kid is around while the other is at a sleepover or something. The ratio of two parents to one child stacks the deck in the parents’ favor, and that is a good thing (for me, as a parent). While I love both my children equally, and could never choose one over the other, the notion of having just one child does seem attractive at times, and especially when the kids are screaming and legitimately trying to kill each other.
This is the post-kids version of: "Do these jeans make my butt look big in a bad way?” The changes to my body have been so gradual over the years, with two pregnancies and over four years of breastfeeding. Plus, I’m getting older, which naturally makes everything more susceptible to the effects of gravity.
I want to know, and I don’t want to know, if he notices.
While my husband and I do try to evenly divide the tasks of parenting, I can’t help but think I do all the executive management of our family, which uses up a lot more brain space than, say, picking the kids up from soccer practice. I want my husband to have all the same contacts on speed dial as I do, including but not limited to: the doctor, the sitter, the school, the parents of their BFFs. He needs to be able to participate in the playdate scheduling sometimes, too.
I’m just annoyed that all the mundane scheduling tasks fall to me. I’d happily trade him some of that emotional labor for some of the manual labor he’s in charge of, like tightening the kitchen cabinet handles.
What I really mean to ask is: “Could you please do something about that snoring before I lose my mind?” My husband tells me he actually likes hearing me snore, because it means I’m peacefully asleep and that comforts him.
Whatever, dude. I do not feel that way. Ever.
I’m the worst, because I’m the best.
Actually, it’s a good thing I have a partner to keep my self-righteousness in check. Because I really do think I’m right, like, all of the time, and that’s probably impossible.
I hate myself for even thinking I could think it.
But the truth is, I’m a human first and a parent second (or maybe third, depending on how long my workday is on any given day). I have feelings, and they get hurt — often — by little children who are self-centered and blunt and know no gentle way to convey their emotions. So when they tell me they hate me, I can get pretty riled up. I’m learning to deal with being on an emotional roller coaster in response to my kids’ ever-evolving way they navigate the world as they develop their people skills. So while I love them fiercely, and will always, love them, I also have less kind feelings about how they are acting and I kind of want to know I’m not alone in that.
Honestly, I’m just digging for compliments. I did not feel beautiful when I was at my most pregnant. At least, I didn’t feel I was the epitome of the “conventional” version of beauty, as I had absorbed my whole life through images of cellulite-free women in the media.
Maybe I will go ahead and ask this one.
Check out Romper's new video series, Bearing The Motherload, where disagreeing parents from different sides of an issue sit down with a mediator and talk about how to support (and not judge) each other’s parenting perspectives. New episodes air Mondays on Facebook.