When was the last time you became irate with your hubby?
Was it this morning, as you made the kids’ breakfasts, or was it last evening, as you put the kids to bed?
Was it both? Even more? Do you become irate with your spouse at least one time per week?
Parening magazine recently surveyed 1,000 moms on Momconnection and found that almost half of them-46%-were irate with their husbands at least one time a week or more!
Notice the term: irate. I didn’t use angry or upset. I didn’t say that they were frustrated or overwhelmed.
This word, irate, does not conjure up a picture of a woman rolling her eyes and laughing-albeit sarcastically-about something that her partner has done-or failed to do.
No, irate to me means furious enough to throw something-or at least slam a door or two.
In fact, dictionary.com defines irate as enraged. Enraged! (Now, stop and think about how enraged feels-have you felt that way recently toward your spouse? Heart pounding, ears ringing, fists tight?)
Nearly half of the 1,000 mothers were feeling this way at least one time per week if not more!
In fact, 54% of those with kids under the age of one were irate at least one time per week-meaning over half of those with young babies. Now, imagine taking care of a baby while being irate at your husband-no sleep, upset, tired, distraight, and irate. Not a good mix.
Why are these women irate? It seems that 40% felt the husband could not multitask, 31% felt husbands didn’t help with the chores enough and 50% said that the men get more time to themselves than the women do.
Does this sound like you? Are you finding that you are irate about these things on a regular basis?
If so, have you opened up the lines of communication in your home?
Unfortunately, of those surveyed, 60% who were irate were not talking about it-even to their closest friends. Which makes me wonder this:
Why do women hold this anger inside?
And could this be the reason that we are so often irate?
Think about it: How do you know someone is angry with you if they don’t tell you? Sometimes you can feel it-or see it on their faces-or perhaps they avoid talking to you and you can sense their anger.
But many times you just know something is ‘off.’ It is a feeling. And if you don’t know why it is that someone is irate, how can you make changes so they will no longer be upset?
If you aren’t discussing why you are mad with your partner in very specific terms (ie: I need help at dinner time or I need a day off from time to time so I can recharge), then how is your spouse going to know?
Being irate is not good. It’s not good for you, it’s not good for your marriage or relationship, and it is certainly not good for your children. They can sense everything, whether you think you are hiding it well or not. They know.
We’ve got to start opening our mouths when we are feeling tired and run down! We have to ask for help when we need it.
Oftentimes women are so set on getting stuff done that we don’t stop and ask for help but we plunge forward without the assistance and then we run ourselves into the ground, literally. We think, “It’s easier if I do it,” but then we are angry that we are doing it on our own.
Doesn’t make sense, now does it?
The next time you are feeling irate-or even somewhat angry-stop! Turn to your spouse and in a calm voice ask him what it is you want him to do. “I need help setting the table tonight. Can you do that for me?” Simple, right?
Be specific. You can’t shout, “YOU NEVER HELP OUT!” and expect him to say, “Oh, okay, I’ll set the table for you tonight.” Be specific in your requests. “I need you to start washing the kids up after dinner so I can get the dishes done.” Chances are once you tell him what it is that will help you, he will understand and do those things. Our husbands want to help out and make us happy-we just have to let them know what it is we want.
Don’t point fingers. Don’t say, “You never do XYZ.” Instead, say, “It would help me so much if you could do this. ” I recall interviewing a psychologist once about relationships between men and women and her saying, “If you point blame first then someone else’s mind never goes further than that. They don’t hear anything else you say.” So if you start by telling your husband what it is he never does, he’s not going to listen to the rest. Would you? Instead, tell him what you need him to do.
Don’t forget to say thank you. There are so many times my husband will do something-fold the laundry, say-and I will forget to say thank you. If he is helping out, acknowledge it. Honestly, motherhood and parenting is a very strange thing-we do everything we can for these people we love and yet we rarely get acknowledgement in the form of a thank you; and sometimes that is just what we need! Say thank you, and mean it.
Have you been in this situation before? Did you find something that helped? I’d love to hear your ideas and suggestions that might help out other mothers in need of ideas to lessen the anger at home.
Have a great week, working parents!