I wrote that post on Monday, about how well I’ve been handling all of this. And I do believe I’ve been handling it well. Not just the emotional turmoil but also the increased workload at home.
The thing is, Mi.Vida is having a hard time with all of this. He has been pretty negative about the changes in diet and gets moody when I get upset over a shitty test result. He thinks the last few months have been excessively stressful. When I try to explain how emotionally devastating our diagnoses would be for most people, he seems suspicious at best. He is unwilling to accept the difficulty of our situation or the positives of the diet and instead comments on how hard and stressful it all is.
So I’m trying to make it easier. Every day, in every way I can, I’m trying to make it easier. I’ve taken on 3/4 of the cooking responsibilities, which totally destroys are hard-one but ultimately fragile domestica equality (which was never equal but felt more equal than anything we’d had or ever would have, I was sure). So now, on top of all the laundry and picking up and cleaning and dishes (and the lion’s share of the child rearing), I’m also cooking (from scratch) 4-5 meals a week. Mi.Vida, is cooking maybe one.
I’m taking this on because Mi.Vida’s biggest concern with the diet is the time and effort it requires. The truth is it only takes so much MORE time and effort because he wasn’t doing much on the cooking front to begin with. If he had, cooking from scratch a couple of times a week wouldn’t have been such a huge undertaking.
I want to have another child and Mi.Vida is content with life the way it is. Because this is my thing (the diet especially as Mi.Vida doesn’t have much faith it will help), I am taking on the brunt of the work. My basic belief is, if I want to do this, I have to be willing to DO this. I know that if Mi.Vida were the one who felt driven to have another baby I would expect him to spear head the efforts. And so I am trying to do that.
And it helps, it does. If nothing else it has helped me to see that Mi.Vida’s negativity is about HIM and not about ME, as he so skillfully leads me to believe. The reality is he probably BELIEVES it is about me, but it’s not. These are his issues and we will be working on them in therapy soon, I’m sure.
In the meantime I’m stuck taking it all on, and getting very little support or appreciation, for my efforts. And that is hard. I’m already stuck in a career where I work my ass off for students who don’t give a shit (at best, at worst they openly resent my efforts), plus being the mother to a 2.5 year old girl is not all about recognition or even simple thank you’s. And while I do get thank you’s from Mi.Vida, I don’t think he really sees how much I’m doing, or understands the sacrifices I’m making so this can work.
And maybe he shouldn’t have to. Maybe, if I want the second child, this is just the burden I have to bear. If we do end up miraculously pregnant surely it will be worth it. But if we don’t, will I have anything left to get me through the impossibly hard work of coming to terms with my never realized dream?
I know it’s not healthy to create discrepancies like this. I know that in an ideal situation, a couple works together, they form a united front or at the very least function as partners. But this is not an ideal situation. This is pretty far from fucking ideal, actually. So I feel my best bet is to just soldier on and hope I don’t eventually break down.
Because the thing is, if I do break down, that will be all Mi.Vida sees. He’ll only see the emotional toll this journey is taking, he will point to my break down as reasons 1, 2 and 3 for why we should just stop trying to have another kid. He won’t see all the dozens of meals I made from scratch or the hundreds of dishes I washed and put away or the thousands of pieces of clothing I folded. He won’t see all I achieved. He’ll only see that one night when I cried for an hour because it was all too much. And then I’ll resent him for looking past all I was able to do and focusing only on how I failed.
It’s clear that we need to revisit all of this and I don’t think we can do it effectively without professional help. It looks like some more couples counseling is in order. I just have so little faith that he’ll ever want to enter into any of this equally. I have a feeling if I really want this, it’s all on me.