Express yourself, or quietly suppress and let your man love you: a Victorian false dichotomy. It’s human to feel like crap, because parenthood is tough, tough stuff. In my clinical opinion, the last thing a woman needs who is battling feelings of self-worth and exhaustion, authentically displaying it to her husband is to “suck up your pride, your anger, your frustration, and your crazy.”
I recommend authenticity and processing. And depending on the situation, therapy. Irritability and feelings of worthlessness, along with not enjoying the things you used to enjoy (like, sex or spending time with your partner) are hallmark symptoms of depression and/or anxiety. A counselor can help appropriately diagnose and get you the help you need to feel better end enjoy your relationships more. Perhaps, if the original post brought up a ton of guilt or shame, considering scheduling an appointment with a counselor. At the very least, I recommend processing your feelings about the post with an empathic friend or your partner. You’re not alone. It’s normal to want to be real in your own home and the thought of sucking it up and pretending everything’s coming up roses feels either: a) exhausting, b) anxiety provoking, c) guilt-inducing.
A counselor can also help process how current relational dynamics are working/not working for you.
To be specific, this post seems to highlight how very black and white division of labor between home and career just doesn’t work for so many. It will work for some, I acknowledge that, but far too often after a few years of this set-up something’s gotta give: and all too often its the wife who “sucks it up.” Usually men work toward their careers, women work at home. This is not the kind of post to argue which is better for men and women: only the individual can decide that (P.S. End Mommy Wars!). I’m only here to gently suggest that reassessment at some point between the couple on how to help each other (whether it’s doing more housework or meal preparation together, husbands taking the *entire* evening/night shift–rather than a 1-2 hour “break” for mom, supporting mom if she really wants to go back to school or work outside the home) is beneficial.
So I talked a little about processing above (with your partner and perhaps a counselor). Let me just end a little on a note of authenticity. First, my own: I completely resonated with her exhaustion with my 2 babies 18 months apart. Some won’t though, and that deserves mention. Men and women who have carved out work and home in different ways won’t relate much at all, and that should be acknowledged. Given that caveat, I personally can very much relate to how smelling like vomit, being climbed all over all day can be soul-crushing. Of course I haven’t believed my husband when he compliments me. And yes, I could say “thank you” more often. But there’s nothing wrong with speaking your mind, with processing how you’re REALLY feeling. Lots of women have been trained since they were children to keep words and actions in pretty-mode. I imagine the author of this article did, too, as highlighted in her comments: “Dude, I so get it. It was such an eye opener for ME when I stepped outside of myself and saw what my man comes home to sometimes. Not pretty.” I totally did it when I was younger. In college, I remember dating some guy who even said after a few months, “you know, I wish you’d express more how you were really feeling–I want you to vent, express, be REAL with me.” And I did, and I married him, dear reader. Best decision I’ve ever made.
I emphatically and unequivocally support being yourself, expressing yourself. Let your partner love you AND be real. It’s not an either/or, folks. Personally, I don’t want to be adored/pedestaled. I prefer to be loved, as myself–exactly the way I am, feelings and all.