If you’re a husband/partner who praises their other half often. Who doesn’t make ‘funny’ comments at inappropriate times, this one ISN’T for you. If you think that maybe you do, ahem. Read on.
The other day, Daddy Pig made one of his irritating comments.
You might know the type. They’re slightly snarky (under the guise of being funny), they come at inappropriate times and they are never funny.
On this particular occasion, I had forgotten to strap one of the kids in their carseat. ‘I’m not strapped in,‘ came a tiny voice from the back. ‘Oh dear,‘ said Daddy Pig. ‘Mummy doesn’t seem to be very on it at the moment.‘
This comment came on a Saturday afternoon, after I’d been watching the kids all week. On my third day of putting all three kids to bed on my own, because Daddy Pig had been working late. Just as I was dropping him off AT THE PUB, before going home to put the kids to bed. On my own. Again.
Seriously? Like, really? Are you flipping kidding me?
‘I’m only joking.’
I managed to ride the comment out. This time. But only because he saw the look on my face and backtracked quickly. ‘Just joking,’ he said. Maybe he was. Maybe he wasn’t. It doesn’t really matter.
Comments like this drive me potty. POTTY. It’s not just my husband that makes them, before you tell me I should ditch him. Many of my friends are victims of the ‘jovial banter’ too.
They don’t like it much, either.
Here’s the thing, boys.
As mums, we can just about accept that you forget to praise us.
Yes, sometimes we are a needy bunch. Amidst the lack of job satisfaction some days and the tears and tantrums, we really need to hear ‘you’re amazing,’ or ‘you’re doing a great job.’
But when you forget to praise us and make a ‘funny’ comment, because we’ve got something wrong or not done it at all, this just feels like criticism.
I mean, have you met our employers? They’re a pretty critical bunch in their own right. ‘Why is there cucumber in my sandwich? I HATE CUCUMBER! YOU’VE RUINED MY LIFE!’
You get my gist.
Taking our eye off the ball (kids).
We know that you have been working hard all week (thank you, we do appreciate it).
But so have we. Even though it might not seem like it. And it looks like we’ve been burgled most nights. That pile of stuff on the stairs that we haven’t got around to moving yet? The car that looks like we’ve had a picnic in the back of it (because we have)? The nappy station that hasn’t been refilled? We weren’t being lazy. We just haven’t got around to it yet. Because we’ve been keeping the kids alive. And sometimes it takes all our focus to do this, with kids that have kamikaze tendencies and an endless string of demands that means we get ABSOLUTELY NOTHING DONE EVER.
So, yes, when it’s the weekend, us mums might take our eyes off the ball a bit. Because, guess what? You’re there. Which means we can relax a little. Possibly even eat our dinner with two hands. It’s the weekend. It’s both our jobs to keep them alive.
That’s the deal, right?
So, please don’t try and justify your comments to yourself.
By thinking we’re ‘mental’ or hormonal if we go off at one of your ‘innocent’ comments. Or rolling your eyes. We may or may not be hormonal but hell, even if we are, that doesn’t invalidate how you made us feel. You still said something a bit stupid.
It’s not that we don’t have a sense of humour. It’s just that your banter wasn’t funny. Going for the cheap shot, to get a laugh or make a point, doesn’t really work for us. When we’re this stretched, emotionally and physically, a large dose of sincerity is all we want and maybe a bit of physical contact.
(No, not that sort of physical contact).
We don’t want flowers, chocolates or grand gestures.
These days it takes very little to make us feel loved. Some nice words. And maybe taking the bins out or emptying the dishwasher. These things say, ‘I thought about you.’ It shows you’ve appreciated that something that will only take you five minutes, can take us 45 minutes, as we rescue the baby from putting his head in the oven or cat flap whilst stopping the toddler from making toilet roll soup. Again.
You’ll get a whole heap of gratitude for helping us when we haven’t even asked. Believe me.
And crikey. Failing all that. If you’re actually on your way to the pub, know when you’re onto a good thing and remember what your mum used to tell you.
‘If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.’