Creative family arrangements bring creative family arguments

Filed under: Work Life, Activities: Babies, Sex

i'm sure we're about to argue about *something*I was so pleased with myself for having achieved the ultimately desirable lifestyle: a high-profile, highly-creative, work-from-home job that pays enough to support my family; adorable, healthy children; a husband who loves me and who does the laundry; and neither of us work either in a regular office or during regular hours. Our life is highly flexible and perfect for raising young children with love and commitment. I can look at my life, so proud of our creative arrangement. We've solved all of the old family problems. And yet.

How is it that we're just as creative in finding new things to fight about?

It's almost funny, really. Even as I pat myself on the back for bagging a husband who doesn't let his manliness get in the way of my need to stay far, far away from responsibility for the general cleanliness of our household, we're getting in strange new twists on the old arguments.He spends hours cleaning the kitchen, then uses his labelmaker to write a couple of haikus. Something along the lines of, "Please rinse your dishes / I look good in an apron / I am not a maid." They're placed right above the sink.

I want to make my own labels, that read: but it's so hard to rinse your dishes when you're balancing a baby on one hip and a conference call on the other, and why is it that you haven't mopped the floor in four weeks? But I resist. He goes on laundry strikes that are strikingly ineffective, because I have so many clothes. We fight over his need for reassurance when I go on business trips (he wants me to say, "I love you and I would never stray," I insist that he shouldn't have to ask whether I'd stray, because I've never given him any reason to doubt me). We fight about how much I've given him for an "entertainment" budget, and how much he's spent anyway. We fight because I forget to tell him about my conference calls until the last minute, requiring him to speed through a shower or go late to track practice so he can keep the kids from whining "mumumumumma!" when I'm in the middle of persuasion. We fight because I fail to listen to him when I'm in the middle of a particularly engaging IM conversation, and Everett is whining for me to answer a question. He tells me to go to the coffee shop and work, while I want to just stay home and bask in the home-ness of my work-from-home job.

In short, we fight in a reversal of roles, and we find all kinds of new arguments that seem made up just for our lifestyle. Yes our lifestyle is great, it's a hard-fought and highly creative choice. But couldn't we be just a little less creative in our ability to argue?

I guess it just goes to show: relationships are hard. Parenting is hard. And co-parenting relationships are tough to navigate, no matter how amazing and atypical your life might be.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.