I’m not sure how it happened. Or when it happened. Maybe it’s been going on since the beginning of time and I haven’t been around long enough to know it.
But somehow, women asking or expecting their husbands to help out got labeled as nagging.
I hate that word. Nagging.
If you Google it the first thing you’ll see is an angry woman with her hands up in the air and a man cowering away from her.
It gives the impression we are angry and complaining in an annoying way that is almost obnoxious. That what we’re needing is useless and unimportant. The Urban Dictionary lists 20 related words to nagging, a few of them being bitch, annoying, pester and complain.
But that’s not what we’re doing. We aren’t pestering at all. We’re expecting our husbands and the father of our children to carry some weight. And many times we have to ask for that help even though we’d rather not. We would much prefer that you just look at the kitchen and see it needs cleaned. Or smell a dirty diaper and change it. But so many times they don’t.
And it isn’t even their fault. I’m telling you, men don’t always look at things the same way we do. They don’t have the motherly instincts that we do, or the mom ears, or the mom nose. Sometimes they aren’t getting up with the crying baby because they just don’t hear them. So you have to roll over and poke them in the arm and say hey, can you go get the baby? As a mom, my ears work completely differently than my husbands.
I loathe the idea that woman think they can’t ask for help because they don’t want to be a “nagging wife”. We are probably the ones that let the stereotype grow, really. A few men said it first, and we grabbed ahold of it, so worried that we would become that pushy version of a wife we don’t want to be.
But there is a difference in that angry woman living in our mind and the mom that reminds you that this week I’ve changed 18 poopy diapers for every 1 you’ve got. It’s OK to say “I need a nap, could you take care of lunch and play with him for a bit while I rest?”
Don’t let yourself walk around huffing and puffing and slamming doors because you want your husband to realize you wish he’d prepare the night time bottles. Don’t wait for him to figure it out, just ask him. You’re not nagging.
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Liz is a just a mom trying to keep it real about how little she sleeps, how often she gets puked on and how much she loves them. You can find her here every day writing about real-mom moments.