Dad of 4's honest family life confession: 'My wife gets hurt when I try talking about it'
'The only thing keeping me from walking away from it all is my deep sense of responsibility.' Whoa, this post is personal...
Here at MFM we read plenty of those 'raw confession' type posts from mums.
Remember the one about the mum crying after a nightmarish shopping trip with her little ones, for example?
Or the one from a mum who's at the end of her tether with a teething baby?
Now, we do get posts from dads - but they tend to be a bit more on the comedy side - like the Big Hands dads who wanted a solution for doing up baby grows.
Or - they focus on the mum - like the dad who told us how beautiful he found his wife's post-baby body (ahhhh).
More like this
So we have to say we were pretty taken aback when we read this truly open and honest post from a dad on reddit.
The post in full
The dad, going by the name spangermonkee, pulls no punches on saying exactly how stressful he finds family life. Here's what he says:
"I've had plenty of of rough patches over the last 13 years of parenting and I feel like I've done very well with everything, but now I'm just burned out.
"I currently have a 13yo(f), 9yo(m), and twin 21mo(f,f). I only can think that this is the worst hobby that anyone would ever think to have.
"All my time, energy and money go to my kids. I'm left with a house that gets destroyed on a daily basis, exhaustion and zero fulfilment.
"I thought parenting was supposed to be rewarding? Where's my fucking reward? Last Friday night was spent mopping up puke.
"Saturday was listening to nothing but whining all day. On Sunday, the two hours of spending time with just my wife was cancelled because our babysitter couldn't make it and my teenager couldn't be bothered.
"Today has been amazing since my oldest decided to rant about eating meat was bad whilst the toddlers tossed all their food on the floor.
"My wife is taking it all in stride and can't understand how I feel. She gets hurt when I try talking with her about it. For the most part, we have really good kids, but I'm seriously at the end of my rope.
"I disconnect from everyone as much as possible. I don't even want to interact with any of them. The only thing keeping me from walking away from it all is my deep sense of responsibility.
"I daydream about tossing my phone in the toilet, cashing out my bank account and just moving thousands of miles away...
"My wife (42) and I (40) intended to only have one more child for some insane reason. I was totally up for another baby. Four kids changes everything down to the car you drive.
"F**k a minivan or SUV. We stuck with our same cars and just take two when necessary. At least I get a car with just one kid and I get to pick the music.
"I play disc golf once a week. I get up early on Sundays just to fit it in. My wife does yoga once a week. We try to go out by ourselves at least once a week as well.
"We can't afford a housekeeper. The older kids do chores like cleaning the bathroom, doing dishes, folding their laundry and yard work. There is still so much cleaning and cooking that needs to be done.
"Depressed?! Hell, I wish I had time to be depressed. Maybe I can find a counsellor near my work and get in a session during lunch.
"In the mean time, I'm going to drink my brown liquor and fold some laundry while the sounds of novice musicians permeates the house."
The post certainly acted as a springboard for other dads to share some of their own, similar experiences and feelings.
One dad said:
"It's so weird. I was thinking today that I don't even remember what it was like to not have kids. To not constantly be tidying the same messes over and over.
"To get more than 3 hours of continuous sleep (my kids are almost 4 and 6 months). To be able to pick up and take off and do what I want. To not have cartoons be the only tv that I watch. To have a night out not include the kids."
"I know how you feel. I spent years feeling like I was in negative equity in the relationship with my children. The 21mo twins don't help, do they? (I have young twins too).
"I found that repeating to myself "This won't last" helps: if it's a bad time it gives me hope. If it's a good time it helps me relish the moment.
Also, as someone else said, find something to do besides work/home for an evening a week, and allow your wife to do the same. It will save your sanity."
And this advice came from a mum:
"I do think he should share with his wife too, of course, but I'm sure that she's also struggling more than she's letting onto him. too.
"This could just be me projecting. I'll often try to compensate for my husband when I know he's struggling, even if I am having a tough time too.
"His default stress/depression response is often to withdraw and disconnect, and counselling has been the only thing to make him aware of it and work on it. I don't think there's a human alive who wouldn't benefit from therapy."
Some really interesting stuff here - and we really like the fact a dad's found a space to be so honest - though we hope he finds he's able to open up to his wife at some point too.
What do you think?
Does your partner struggle with parenthood at times? Does he talk to you about it?
Are you able to share your concerns with each other or do you tend to bottle things up?
Tell us in the comments below or over on Facebook
Tara is mum to 1 daughter, Bodhi Rae, and has worked as Content Editor and Social Media Producer at MadeForMums since 2015
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