When you become a stay-at-home parent, you soon discover that there are many changes in your behavior that you didn't expect. For instance, it no longer bothers me to have shit on my hands. I could look down at my hands right now, see some shit on them, and not give it a second thought. Where as before I would have thought, "Oh my God, I have shit on my hands!" Now I just think, "It's Monday."
Here's another change in my behavior that I'd like to call, "The New Car.."
Bobbi wanted a new car. She agonized about it for weeks. Back and forth, back and forth, trying to decide if she should get rid of her SUV and buy a nice little car like she used to drive. Whenever she asked my opinion I always told her that, while I thought it was impractical, I had no objection to her buying whatever she wanted. She works very hard and she should have whatever she wants. I'm a hell of a guy and it's a privilege to know me.
Then, she brought home the new car.
I don't want to sit in the car. I don't want to drive the car. I don't want to look at the car while it sits in the driveway. Suddenly, I am bitter about the new car.
I called some friends to tell them about my irrational hatred of Bobbi's new car only to discover that they felt it was perfectly normal. You see, when you're a stay-at-home parent and you have to drive a sensible car, one that will transport the entire family plus the strollers and the pack-n-play, the luggage and whatever else is needed, you rationalize the entire process. You convince yourself that you don't really want a nice little sporty car like you drove for your entire life before you had children. This strategy works just fine until suddenly one half of the marriage partnership decides to go back to having a nice little sporty car and you're forced to look at it every day. Suddenly, you're all alone in minivan hell. Your two weeks into your diet and the wife is working at Dairy Queen.
Let me be clear: This is not Bobbi's fault. I told her she could have the car. I was not expecting to feel this way.
Let me just jump in, real quick, and stop you from saying, "Why don't you just buy a really nice SUV?" I'll tell you why. Because I don't want an SUV. I want a nice little sporty car like Bobbi's new Lexus.... but I can't have one because I am a stay-at-home parent and my life as well as everything in it revolves around the children. Suck on that for a while and see how it tastes. Oh, and don't say, "You can put the kids in a car just as easily as an SUV. Just get a car." It's just not practical, and we both know it, so shut up already.
The good news is, the bitterness is starting to fade. Can you tell?