Don’t underestimate the pressure a mother who does not travel has on her shoulders.
I am not the most patient mother, I must admit. And when I haven’t had any breaks from my children for a long time, in the evening in particular: my tolerance is at zero.
My husband travels regularly, and even if he notices that the same is true for him when he has not travelled for a long time, he tends to forget that as far as I am concerned.
When I talk to him about it though he draws the right consequences: I should take a break regularly.
Daily parenting is about repetition:
Day after day we repeat the same words until one glorious day these words have finally sunk in, and we can move on.
When for thirteen years I have been repeating the same things over and over, it takes a huge amount of patience and self-control to say them nicely when it is the end of the day and I am simply tired.
My husband is a great dad: it takes parenting at heart, and he will do his share of duties when he can.
So many things though are out of the scope of his radar. He is a man, and like most men the tidiness of our house is rather secondary. Unless they totally misbehave he does not notice. I will react on every please and thank you forgotten, he won’t notice that unless it is really obvious. The fact that so often my children consider the floor as their cabinet and dirty basket is some kind of torture for me, but not for him.
This is fine. It is a gender difference at play.
If the one who is left with the children all the time is the man in the relationship, he needs breaks too But his gender specificities make him less likely to overlook his needs for a break. Men are far more in tune with what make them feel better than women are.
The only solution to lower the feminine threshold and relieve the tension built up is to take a break, and go for a few days.
Find an excuse if you need to, and go for a few days ladies when you feel the cup is full. It is better than letting it overflow.