Never assume malice if you can explain it with lack of planning.

I like that quote I found, it was a sentence in a novel I’m reading at the moment.
In some respects it defines my wife’s attitude (this is my interpretation) to our family life. I’m sort of at my wits end regarding the mess we are in. We don’t work as a team, the burden of responsibilities aren’t shared. She won’t do anything about her ridiculous drinking, the children are becoming increasingly difficult to manage and I’m dog tired.

I tried ringing a support line yesterday but all that did was make me angrier, the young adult on the help line obviously had her own agenda. This was my question.

Can you recommend a coping strategy when you are trying to get two young children to behave reasonably without loosing my temper.

Well, her statements revolved around emasculation and anger management. When she started on the emasculation track after I pointed out I was the stay at home parent and that I’d given up the remnants of my career, so that my wife could pursue hers (this was part of the background questioning), she started wittering about my role as a man.

I pointed out that this is the second decade of the 21st Century and gender roles and responsibilities have changed enormously and men or women should not be typecast into a family responsibility gender role. There is a need for a support and logistics element in a family unit and I am more than capable of doing it.

Thing went down hill from then, she asked me what I do at home by myself all day long, I countered that by asking if she had been a stay at home mum as there is plenty to do running, managing and maintaining the family household, so she would understand it is basically a full time job. Her riposte that I didn’t need to know that. At that moment I realised that she was just a help centre talking head working off a script. I’ve used this help line in the past and the former working and stay at home mums have been much more forthcoming from personal experience. This one had no experience and was winging the script.

So the emasculation bit went nowhere, she couldn’t comprehend a man not interested in the perception of his emasculation by greater society and that it was only a very small part of this.

Then she moved onto male entitlement anger and that I was an angry man. Excuse me love, my question was coping strategies to prevent anger escalating with young children when they are being unreasonable klutzy dickheads.

So I just killed the call as it was going nowhere. I find this more and more in society now, social services and advice line are staffed more and more by young cheap inexperienced labour and do more halm than good. They work from checklists and scripts and thus interpret problem solving incorrectly.

So going back to the beginning, here I am trying to support my wife in a career and manage the family, with no support of my own. I had a bit of a rant at DW this morning, her drinking still isn’t under manageable control, I posed a question to her, Why can you not drink for a week – if you believe you don’t have a problem? My next point was that I’m fed up trying to do all the grunt in the family as I’m not getting anywhere. We’re not moving forwards and not moving upwards. Every attempt I make at planning is thwarted by lack of adoption, enthusiasm and involvement. Frankly, it’s lip service on my wife’s part rather than enthusiastic agreement.

I know we’re both tired and that things are hard, but we can lessen it by working as a cohesive unit. I don’t feel there is much cohesion at all in our family, at times it feels like a loose aggregation of individuals all with separate agendas.

Somehow she needs to understand that she has to pull her weight in this, when I was working full time I did most of this grunt work too.