He wants to snuggle” a mom friend complained of her husband. Our kids were in a gym class together in the distance. “All of the time. It really irks me”. I nodded. Yes, I understood this. “Just leave me alone!”
She shook her head, clearly frustrated. The moms who sat in the perimeter started to lean in towards our conversation and were all nodding in agreement. She continued.
It was her husband. He was being too nice. He wanted to spend more quality time with her after the kids had gone to bed. He wanted to hold her. He wanted to connect. And she wanted to watch TV. It hit me. Were we, the moms, turning into the assholes in our relationships? Isn’t that the man’s role?
Looking back to my early twenties, I’m embarrassed about how my girlfriends and I behaved around men. My friends and I acted desperate. We just wanted to land the man and get him to settle down.
We used to get pissed off when he wouldn’t cuddle after hours of sex. We wanted to be held through the night. We wanted him to talk about his feelings. Yes, we wanted to snuggle on the fucking couch. If he didn’t, well, he was an insensitive asshole.
A flight risk.
It was a game of cat and mouse, and we were certainly the pussies on the prowl.
Fast forward a decade, or two, to now. We, as moms, bear the responsibility of the children born to these men. We spend the day with children jumping into our laps for hugs. We breast feed. We dress them. We wipe their tears. We bake while our shirt tails are being tugged from behind. We nurture. We hold – all. day. long.
And we love it. But come 9 pm, well, that’s our time. And we don’t want to be touched anymore.
Listening to the women commiserate on their exhaustion, disinterest, and sheer inability to do it all, I posed the question to them.
“Are they the desperate ones now? Are we the jerks?”
They stopped to consider this question. Guilt and regret began to pass over their faces. Perhaps it was true. Maybe it was time to make a change.
And then, as if on cue, my friend’s cell phone rang. After a series of “yes’s” she hung up.
“He’s got to go out of town for business tonight – again. But, to make it up to me, he called the cable company and upgraded the package.”
She couldn’t have been happier.
It’s official – we suck.