I spend a lot of time worrying that I’m a bad mother.

Do I feed my kids healthy meals?

Do I give them enough one-on-one attention.

What will they be telling their therapists about me in twenty years?

The internet is a wonderful tool for feeding these insecurities.  When my youngest son was six weeks old, he got a minor sunburn on his face.  I felt terrible and decided to Google what I could do to make him feel better.  I was immediately inundated with articles and message boards chastising me for ever having my newborn in the sun and accusing me of child abuse.  Within fifteen minutes, I was convinced my baby was going to die in my arms and called his pediatrician in a tearful panic.  It was after hours on a Sunday and he was not impressed.

Of course, my son was fine and I learned never to Google my mistakes again.

After expending so much of my emotional energy convincing myself that Child Protective Services wouldn’t care that my baby was eating dog food while the three year old was standing naked on the back deck peeing into the wind, I sometimes forget that I have other responsibilities in life: I am more than just a mother.  I am also somebody’s wife.

Since having children, my poor husband often gets pushed to the bottom of the priority list.  If it’s between the kids, me, or him going hungry because I had to leave the grocery store when my three year old refused to get out of the freezer and the popsicles were melting, he’s going to have to call Dominos.  It may not be fair, but it is the natural order of things.

That having been said, it’s nice sometimes to take the time to think about my loyal, loving husband and his needs.  So, just for today, I’m going to spend a few minutes feeling guilty about what a terrible wife I am instead of my questionable mothering skills.  You know, for a change of pace.

Ten Reasons I’m A Terrible Wife

1.  My libido definitely leaves something to be desired these days.  Clearly my husband didn’t squeeze two hefty children from his loins and then let them use his body as their own personal playground for the next four years, but I did.  Needless to say, sex is usually the farthest thing from my mind.  When I run out of creative ways to say “no,” I will sometimes invite my dogs into the bed to act as a furry sex-barrier.

2.  When the furry barrier fails I’m often too lazy to kick the dogs out of the bed before we do it.  Then I laugh when the dog sniffs my husband’s butt half way through.  

3.  My most expensive lingerie are nursing bras and the closest thing I have to a thong are my pre-baby underwear which are too small and bunch unflatteringly between my cheeks.  Most days I wear whatever I can locate while groping in the dark before the baby flips out of his crib and onto the floor.  Last week, I wore a pair of bikini bottoms for several hours before realizing it.  I only noticed because I was getting a bit worried when my pee smelled like chlorine.

4.  I sometimes watch Grey’s Anatomy or The Vampire Diaries on nights when I know my husband is going to want some “private time.”  So far I’ve refrained from yelling out Ian Somerhalder’s name in bed, but it’s only a matter of time.

5.  I have no idea how to make a Tom Collins or a Manhattan, I used to think a dirty martini was some kind of body shot, and I frequently find myself wondering what is so neat about Scotch?

6.  When my tired husband arrives home from a long day of work, I should give him a quick kiss and hand him a stiff drink.  Hey, I watch Mad Men.  Instead, I usually toss him a fussing, snot-covered, baby and deliver the news that he needs his diaper changed before he has a chance to take off his suit jacket.  A good wife would let him change out of his work ensemble before handling the children.  A mediocre wife would take his dirty suits to the dry cleaner the next day.  I usually pretend I didn’t see the unidentifiable white stains down his back and trust his colleagues will be too polite to point them out.

7.  There are times during the winter when my legs are hairier than my husband’s.  Ok, Spring, Summer and Fall too. I’ve actually gone through several razors during one shower trying to clear-cut the forest that has sprouted on my lower half.  Don’t even get me started on the mess that is my bikini area.  Speaking of furry sex-barrier.

8.  I used to perform all sorts of romantic gestures for the man I loved:  I left sweet notes in his lunch, sent messages with song lyrics expressing my endless love, cooked his favorite meals when I knew he’d had a hard day, and waited on him hand and foot when he was sick.  Then we got married and had children.  The last time I surprised my husband, it was with news of our second child.

9.  The closest my husband ever gets to kinky sex is when one of us throws out our back flopping into missionary position, and the last time I asked him to fondle my boobs was during a breast exam.  We’re 50 Shades of Boring.

10.  Before we had kids, when my husband snored in the night I would gently wake him by stroking his back or kissing his cheek before asking him sweetly if he could turn over so I could go back to sleep.  Now, if a swift jab to the ribs doesn’t rouse him, I just flip him straight out of the bed.  Mommy needs her sleep.

Basically, I am the opposite of an old fashioned housewife.  I used to think it would be wholesome and pleasant to be a mom in the 1950s: baking cookies in a frilly apron, wearing my hair in curlers, sipping tea, gossiping with the neighbors, and sitting on the front porch in the evenings.  Turns out, I would have made a terrible June Cleaver.  My first day on the job I would have burned the roast, put too much vermouth in the Manhattan (is there vermouth in a Manhattan?), and brutally rebuffed Mr. Cleaver’s attempts to push our twin beds together.  I would have been out on my ass faster than I could say “furry sex barrier.”  Sorry, honey.

Can The Beaver come out to play?  Apparently not.

In what ways are you a terrible wife?  Or is it just me?

Mary Widdicks
Author

Mary Widdicks is a 31-year-old mom to two boys and is expecting the birth of her first daughter in February, 2015. Being outnumbered in the family means that sometimes her voice gets drowned out by fart jokes and belching contests. She started Outmanned so she’d have a place to escape the testosterone and share her hilarious life with the rest of the world. Mary’s writing has been featured on popular parenting sites such as Mamapedia, Mamalode, In the Powder Room, Pregnant Chicken and Scary Mommy. She has also been honored as a 2014 Voice of the Year by BlogHer, and Badass Blogger of the Year for 2014 by The Indie Chicks.

40 Comments

  1. Kristen Mae

    I do all of these except for the dog thing. He has to wait outside the door while me and the husband get kinky (throw out our backs). We learned the hard way. Our last dog would sit on the side of the bed grinning at us the whole time, and that would throw me into a fit of giggles that was impossible to stop. Totally ruined the whole thing. 😉

  2. LOL funny! Very much spot on for me too sadly, fab read, and thank you for making me feel less guilty about my inadequacy as a wife. Bravo!

  3. I too have a duck dynasty beard growing in my in-betweens, and I hear it’s the new in-thing. Some women are vajazzeling their junk, but me, I’m sporting my lady bits in a nice fur coat because I’m classy like that.

    If you ever get a break from the kids for this… Have you ever did body shots with tequila? You mentioned it. Well I have a new way of doing body shots. Let the men provide the salt. BJ’s is where it’s at. That salty nectar isn’t so bad when chased with tequila and lemon. Now you can win wife of the year award with that 15 minutes of your life.

    June Cleaver wouldn’t hand a poopy baby over to her husband because he wouldn’t know what to do with it. Men have evolved enough in this day and age to trust them with important tasks like that.

  4. When he tries to talk to me while I’m reading blogs (my internet addiction), I say uh huh a lot and feign interest as if I heard anything he said when really all I hear is wah wah wah wah wah like Charlie browns teacher.

  5. Oh..this had me (silently) laughing sooo hard (there is a toddler in bed next to me…ugh) Which I may add is very hard to do! I love the pictures your words painted and they sounded very familiar to me, minus the dog. Obviously I use a sleeping toddler as a buffer!

  6. Mary Widdicks

    When it finally gets hot enough to have to wear shorts I’ll have to bushwhack those suckers!

  7. Mary Widdicks

    Ha ha ha. I’m still laughing at Duck Dynasty beard. Oh my god, I wish I had thought of that !

  8. Mary Widdicks

    Shhh, don’t wake the baby!! Toddlers are definitely equally effective furry sex barriers.

  9. So funny!!! My husband is in the same boat. He comes last poor guy. Luckily he is a good sport. I feel like the store underwear got smaller after I had kids. My pants size went up a little maybe, but I feel like I went up 20 sizes in underwear. A large is not what it used to be, so I just buy huge, comfy granny panties and have given up on anything cute. I loved reading this!

  10. Love it and agree with so many of these! The biggest one I’m guilty of is horrible TV. Shows like “Pretty Little Liars” and “Gossip Girl” are my weaknesses. My husband always points out I have a law degree and prefer to watch shows aimed at teenagers. I don’t care. Blaire and Chuck soooo deserve to be together.

  11. Its the little things that add up. I spent 15 years in a marriage where I didn’t feel appreciated. Taken for granted. The last two years I told my wife I wanted to see some effort. Any effort. Not every day, once in a while. Hell once every 3 months. But apathy had set in and she took me for granted. She moved into her new place next month. I am saddened by this. I think a males value in family has been eroded to the point of a 1950s house wife these days. It is acceptable to take a man for granted. Joke about not respecting him, cut off sex to get what you want. The pendulum has swung the other direction as they say. Respect what you have ladies. I know life is hard, tiring and you wear so many hats. But myself, I just woke up one day and said, “I can do so much better than this.” And that was it. It was over, I had made up my mind. It was a total lack of the little things that made me feel loved and respected.

    It started slow. But over the years, It would be a year before I would get some loving gesture. It is easy to fall into a rut and not realize how long you have been there.

  12. I also think it’s appalling that these women think being crappy wives is funny. I pride myself at trying my best at everything. These ladies apathetic attitudes make me sick. How pathetic!

  13. I really needed this article today. I am not the perfect wife and I don’t clean every freakin’ day. Sometimes I want to get home and cuddle with my baby, while watching Netflix! And no I don’t want to have sex and no I will not give you a Bj! Go take care of yourself in the shower!!!!!!!!!!

  14. I’m just horrible I guess. I don’t have the excuse of children. We’ve been married for 3 months (after we both got through crappy divorces) and I’ve already lost my libido, don’t shave my legs or wax the vajayjay, and I just got laid off. Anyone else here divorced? Is this a normal pattern in a second marriage?

  15. I used to tell my husband after working months on end of 12 hours a day, 7 days a week that I never wanted this! I never wanted a career, I never dreamed of being a big head honcho at a Fortune 500 company! I dreamed of being a wife and a mom! Until it happened! We are a blended family and only recently have any of our 5 combined children decided they were tired of the other parent so they moved in with us for a change of pace. Now I’m home…. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Or so it seems. Two “tween” girls!! It’s murder. They plotted and are working together to slowly but surely put good ol mom in a psych ward!!
    Needless to say….sex isn’t exactly on my to-do list these days. My poor husband will go weeks without it and then I feel so badly that his needs are ignored that I have guilt sex which….it’s been so long it’ Coke with the same excitement and nervousness of losing ones virginity! Ugh….I’m a terrible wife! I live my days in sweat pants and messy hair while cleaning house barefoot and trying to figure out if I really want to mess up that clean kitchen with senseless cooking, or if we’re going to McDonald’s! I can certainly relate!!! To every one of those (and we have 3 dogs 1 cat and a fish)!! It’s so good to know that I am not alone!!!

  16. Pingback: Ten Reasons I'm a Terrible Wife

  17. Wow… Can you imagine being her husband !?! She can’t been get a meal in the table or control her kids and she’s acting like its a joke ?! Believe it or not buddy there is SO MUCH BETTER out there for you !

  18. Enjoy the validation for what’s it worth because your husband is living in hell but perhaps too scared of never seeing his kids again and paying you for the pleasure to set things straight. What kind if existence is this ?

  19. Have you ever thought of changing this. You’ve just described not pulling your weight, denying affection to your husband, and being an all around bad wife.

  20. No, this is a normal pattern of someone bound to have multiple marriages

  21. As a husband I love my wife. If the society norm dictates that it is ok for wife to take so many things for granted and yet the husband should take all these without much improvement by the wife (believe me, I have talked with her about these and quite often it just ends up in big quarrel and her being ultra defensive), then why are husbands being ostracized when they take their good wives for granted?

    I believe that both husband and wife must not take each other for granted. It just annoys me that it is ok if the wife does it. All sorts of reasons (she is tired, insecure of her self-image, etc.) but the husband is not allowed to also have his tiredness, down days, etc.)

  22. All that time writing a quite well written article. All that time you could have spent not heading toward divorce. Guess you will look back and regret, maybe.

  23. It’s hilarious that your husband is miserable. It’s hilarious that your husband, if he’s like most guys, gets ZERO attention from the opposite sex. Your husbands need to fool themselves into believing that at least their wives desires them to make the lack of attention (the constant reminders that no one in the entire world thinks they are sexy) bearable.

    Please just be honest with him that you no longer find him attractive, and it’s not going to change. If he’s going to stay and be miserable, he deserves the truth.

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