Pregnant Princess Seeks Knight In Shining Armor
Knight Rider photo by .Robert.
I’m a huge fan of your writing, and do not even want to contemplate how many hours of company time I’ve spent reading your blogs. If anyone will know the answer to this question, it’s you!
I’m 26 and pregnant with my first baby (a boy due the first week of June, 2010). I’m still working full-time, my husband works two jobs, and we only have one car. Since he has two jobs — one of which is temporarily located an hour away, neither of which are on a bus route — he always gets the car, and I am stuck hauling my preggers butt on the bus. Needless to say, it sucks!
While I appreciate that my husband works very hard, I am annoyed that he gets to drive to/from work in comfort while I’m dying of back pain as I waddle to bus stops in all of my preggiosity. I get short of breath easily, and sometimes climbing the hills makes me feel faint.
I have begged him to talk to his supervisor about being a little flexible with his arrival/departure time until the baby comes, so he can drive me sometimes, but he refuses to even ask. He says I either need to take the bus or beg friends/family for rides. This the cause of many fights lately.
Oh wise and wonderful Amalah — is my husband lacking understand of how physically difficult pregnancy can be, or am I just being a preggo princess?
Thank you in advance!
So the first knee-jerk thing I typed after reading your question was something like this: HE WON’T EVEN ASK? WHAAAAAT?
That was about an hour and two cups of coffee ago, as I decided to take a little more time to let the situation noodle around my brain for a bit. And honestly, my first question is still the same, though maybe without the caps lock: He won’t even ask? Why the hell not?
I feel like maybe we need his side of the story here: Is this job not exactly on super-solid ground, either company-wise or personal-performance-wise? Is he perhaps not sharing details like poor reviews or an extremely difficult-to-please boss because he doesn’t want to worry you? Are flex hours simply NOT DONE or generally frowned upon? Or is he just being a selfish jerk or doesn’t want the added hassle of chauffeuring you around in the morning?
I can’t really make that call since I don’t know him, don’t know your commutes or any of the reasons WHY he is refusing to ASK if there’s a possibility for him to help you out, even occasionally.
Look, plenty of pregnant women rely on the bus or subway for all nine months. I’m sure you know that. Provided your doctor has no problems with you keeping up this level of activity (and I’m hoping you talked to him/her about your feelings of faintness and being out of breath?), sometimes we all just have to do what we have to do, pregnant or not.
BUT! BUT BUT BUT.
What worries me, though, is an apparent lack of sensitivity on your husband’s part, the refusal to take even one little step in the direction of making your life a little easier. This is something that a good spouse SHOULD JUST DO, even when you’re not pregnant. Don’t you think? If you say, “hey, such-and-such is getting to be too much for me, and I think if you could just do this-and-this, it would really help me out,” your significant other should have a little more to say than just, “no, I won’t.” What would it take, I wonder, for your husband to give in and ask? Early labor? Blood pressure concerns? Doctor’s orders? Why isn’t the fact that you’ve simply asked for help enough? “Ride the bus or beg for rides?” Really?
(Now go back to third paragraph re: his side of the story, rinse, repeat as needed.)
And beyond back pain and swollen ankles and bladder issues and squished-up lungs and organs and the other VERY VERY REAL AND NON-PRINCESSY COMPLAINTS OF PREGNANCY, what’s going to happen when the baby is born and becomes even less portable? Will you be returning to work and expected to lug a carseat and supplies across town to the daycare center? If your child gets sick at school will he be willing to ask his boss for an early dismissal or will that all be “your job”? Who calls in sick for an ear infection, or spends their entire lunch break at the pediatrician or pharmacy? If his job is REALLY that inflexible and he’s that unwilling to approach anyone about that inflexibility, I’m worried the bus fight might simply be the first of many.
Or not! Maybe he’s just being a typical guy who doesn’t get how physically hard pregnancy can be on a woman. Maybe his mother was of the “give birth in a field and then get back to plowing” stock and he expects everyone to be like that. (My husband never, EVER fully understood the Food Thing for me, the aversions and cravings and how they WEREN’T AN OPTIONAL SUGGESTION.) If so, copy and paste this column into an email and erase all those worries about him not helping out with the baby, but leave this part: Pregnancy sucks. Your back hurts, your feet hurt. You have to pee every time you’re someplace (bus) that doesn’t have a bathroom (bus) and are unable to get to a bathroom at 20 seconds’ notice (bus). Pregnant women are easily overexerted and can pass out just from standing up from a chair. Your lungs are crowded and your ab muscles overextended. It is one of the most physically demanding experiences a human being can go through. So sack up and give your wife a ride to work once in awhile already. God.