Quote of the Day – Marriage Rocks (When I Stop Being A Baby)

Part of working on ourselves, in order to be ready for a profound relationship, is learning how to support another person in being the best that they can be.  Partners are meant to have a priestly role in each other’s lives.  They are meant to help each other access the highest parts within themselves. –Marianne Williamson

N wakes up at 4:30 a.m. and I roll over hoping S will get up.  But he’s not in bed and from N’s cries, he is clearly not in the nursery.  I get up to soothe her knowing that S is either in the guest room or E’s room.

He migrates to the guest room when he can’t sleep or has lost the BLANKET WARS.  An OFFICIAL loss is when I have pulled and wrapped myself in blankets to the point that they are actually keeping the floor next to my bed warm and I am forced to employ all of my sleeping strength to keep a little blanket on me.

Or our resident NO SLEEP sleeper, E, has woken up.  And S goes in there with such good intentions and at somepoint in soothing him, falls asleep.  We are pretty sure that E eventually falls asleep as well.  But have no real proof.

This particular night (morning?) it is the latter.  So when N wakes up AGAIN at 5:45, I am ticked.  I can’t go into E’s room to get my husband because if E wakes up as well, I can’t go back to bed.  Instead, I STOMP around in my best I’M SO OPPRESSED face and help N (who insists on staying awake) while picturing S and E sleeping peacefully for the past two hours in his room.

I hear E stir at 6:20 and I LEAP out of bed with N and run to his room.

S: Hi.

Me, in my best over-wrought mother voice: Here is N.  I’m so tired.  I’m going back to bed.

Before he can protest, I run back into the master bedroom and hide under the covers for 45 minutes.

He comes tromping in with E and I am rudely awakened.

S: I have to round at the hospital.

Me: Where’s N?

S: In the sun room.

I’m annoyed.  I don’t want to get up.  I don’t want to parent or be present.  I AM TIRED.

So I keep my mouth shut.  Although I notice that E is dressed for school which I appreciate.  I dont appreciate it enough to not believe that I DID MORE LAST NIGHT, but I do tuck it away with my better self.

E won’t leave my husband’s side so he attempts to bring him on rounds which doesn’t happen and they end up going to Starbucks before school.  (His teacher HATES when we hop him up on caffeine.  But WHATEVER.)

S calls to let me know they are at Starbucks and that he has to round over his lunch hour.

And then he asks: What happened last night with N?

Which I KNOW is a set up.  I KNOW that getting up three times with her happens.  I KNOW that I was a baby.  And I SO want to say that I was up with her for HOURS.  But I can’t lie to him.

Me: I was up with her at 4:30 and again at 5:45.  But you were in E’s room SLEEPING.

(Also known as lobing the set-up back to the husband)

S:  Oh.  Well E was up a lot.  We were probably awake then.

Me:  Is that why you asked me?  To compare?  To win?

S: Well.  Yeah.  I just don’t think that you did SO MUCH last night that I deserved all that attitude in the morning.

Me: So you’re saying that I don’t have a right to be tired.  That I didn’t do enough.  And that I’m a baby.  Thanks.

We get off the phone.

And I TEXT HIM!  Because I’m SO MATURE.

iPhone: Why is being up w her from 11:30-12, 4:15-4:44, and 5:45-6:20 not good enough to b tired and ask for a little more sleep? I didn’t ask u to take e to the hospital. I didn’t say anything.

No response.  And at about twenty minutes of me grump-ing around with N in my arms, I realize.  I DON’T WANT TO FIGHT WITH MY HUSBAND.  And I remember that E was dressed before S woke me up.

So I muster all the humility and God that I can find (which is about a thimble-full), and I call him.

Voicemail from Me: I don’t want to fight.  I wish that I hadn’t been such a baby.  I was wrong. (I sort of babble here. Blah blah blah.)  Please just let me know what I can do.  I love you.

I start the call with the thought: I’d rather be happy than be right. But by the end of the call, I have surrendered and I am so relieved.

The fact is this morning I WAS A BABY.  My husband works really hard and is an amazing man.  He is there for me and the children and his patients and his friends in ways that I couldn’t be.  And I spent the morning treating him like he is the CAUSE of global warming and small children dying of diarrhea in Africa.

I also get a voicemail in return: I’m sorry, too.  I wish that I hadn’t been such a baby.  I wish that I hadn’t taken out my tiredness on you.  I love you.

The best part of marriage is that we both want to grow into our best selves.  And although it isn’t as much fun when the other person is being a chump, we always have two choices:

  1. Be a chump, too.
  2. Or love the heck out of that chump.

Within two hours on no sleep, we both chose the latter.  Marriage rocks.

Alex Iwashyna

Alex Iwashyna went from a B.A. in philosophy to an M.D. to a SAHM, poet and writer by 30. She spends most of her writing time on LateEnough.com, a humor blog (except when it's serious) about her husband fighting zombies, awkward attempts at friendship, and dancing like everyone is watching. She also has a soft spot for culture, politics, and rude Southern people who offend her Yankee sensibilities. She parents 2 elementary-aged children, 1 foster baby, 3 cats, and 1 puppy, who are all Southern but not rude. Yet.

9 thoughts to “Quote of the Day – Marriage Rocks (When I Stop Being A Baby)”

  1. I love this one! We have been there so many times! I've noticed whenever I feel like I'm not getting what I need, it's because I'm not giving it in return. Whenever pride becomes more important than the relationship BAD times are a comin'! E and N are so blessed to have two parents in it together that realize that.

  2. I love this! I constantly flip between feeling guilty that I'm not being a good doctor's wife when I let my husband get up multiple times in the night while I sleep even though he has to be up at an ungodly hour, and being mad when I'm the one trying to soothe a resistant toddler to sleep over and over again. I think we say some pretty cranky things to each other under the influence of sleep deprivation, but we get over them in the end.

  3. I love this ode to a beautiful marriage. You are both rare and wonderful people, in all your humanness. Thank you for sharing that humanness with me. And Scott is right; you ARE a VERY good writer.

  4. hey alex, im friends with your sister katie (love her)…and i check your blog when she posts…i looked through your older posts from this week and came across this one…GREAT post. it's all so true and so right. being happy and being at peace with the one you love most is so much better than having to be “right.” thanks for sharing! -HKA

  5. Yay! K does rock! I'm so glad that you came to check out my blog too! And that you could relate to this post 🙂
    If you click on Networked Blogs in the righthand column of my website (this link works too i think: http://apps.facebook.com/blognetworks/index.php) you can follow Late Enough (without having to friend me — although you can do that too) and when a new post goes up on my blog, it should show up in your newsfeed on facebook! If it's not working, lmk! [email protected]
    Thanks for your comment! -Alex

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