"Being an At-Home Mom Is Ruining Our Marriage"
Her Turn"I'm Jealous of My Husband's Career"
"I always thought I'd enjoy being an at-home mom. But I totally underestimated how draining it would be, how isolated I'd feel, and how much I'd miss my office friends and the satisfaction of getting positive feedback at work. I hate to admit it, but I'm jealous of my husband's career. And ever since I quit my job, our marriage has been going downhill.
"Jeff doesn't understand why I'm exhausted, frustrated, and stressed-out all the time. He says I'm overreacting, and reminds me of our agreement that it would be best for Andrew, who's 6, and Hayley, nearly 5, to have their mother at home. But Jeff seems to think that they're my responsibility around the clock.
"I met Jeff in a computer class for a master's program. He was smart and funny, and we had lots in common, including our large Midwestern families and a passion for travel.
"Three years after our wedding, I became pregnant with Andrew. We moved out of our tiny apartment and bought a fixer-upper house. As a new mother, my days were a whirlwind of nursing, diapers, laundry, and cleaning. I felt anxious and overwhelmed without my friends and family nearby.
"I felt lost without my career -- and still do. I miss getting dressed up, going to business lunches, being around adults, the creativity of writing copy, a sense of accomplishment from doing my job well, and, naturally, the paycheck. Of course, the kids are a joy, but I don't feel intellectually satisfied. At heart, I'm a competitor.
"At night, I'm exhausted because I get practically no help. Jeff has been a little better about pitching in since our second child was born, but I never get a real break. Though he loves Andrew, Jeff is reluctant to be alone with him for long. As a toddler, he would scream when I left the room, and Jeff was afraid of losing his temper if he didn't calm down.