We love our husbands -- so why are we so angry at them, so often?Mad at Dad? You're not alone Parenting's exclusive survey reveals that an alarming number of moms are totally overwhelmed -- and fuming about it
By Martha Brockenbrough
My husband and I just celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary. I'd say we have a great marriage. There's no one I trust more, no one else I'd rather talk to, and no one who makes me laugh harder.
But that doesn't mean I don't get furious at him from time to time.
Once, when I was dangling at the end of my rope, I insisted he go to the doctor for a hearing test. I was quite certain the man was deaf. How else, for instance, could he have taken my grandma's books to Goodwill instead of the antique-book dealer, as I'd asked when he was cleaning out the basement?
Just as I'd gotten used to the idea of the man I love with hearing aids, the news came in from the doctor. My husband's ears work fine. Better than mine, actually. (Related: Want more to get done around the house? Quit nagging and let him do it his way.)
I know I'm not the only one who gets Mad at Dad. Whenever I see the phone number of a certain close friend on the caller ID, I know she needs my understanding ear because her husband has dropped a wad of cash on electronics while telling her she can't have someone in every other week to help clean, or because he let the kids eat junk food and play video games while she was running errands, and now they're glassy-eyed and glued to the ceiling. Meanwhile, his whiskers are in the sink and his boxers are on the floor, making her feel like she's married to nothing more than a hairy man-child. (Related: They just can't win: Why good dads make moms jealous.)
These are the kinds of things we see parodied on TV sitcoms, where bumbling husbands get laughs for feeding the kids frosting sandwiches and sending them to school in scuba gear. These are the kinds of things we moan and groan about when we get together with our other mom friends, often playing our irritations for laughs. Honestly, though, it's not that funny. None of us signed up to live in a sitcom. (Related: Secrets of a made-to-last marriage.)
Life for women may be better in many ways than it's ever been, but we're far from whistling show tunes. According to Parenting's nationally representative survey of more than 1,000 mothers on MomConnection, an online panel of moms, the majority of us confess to feeling anger at surprising levels. We love our husbands -- but we're mad that we spend more mental energy on the details of parenting. We're mad that having children has turned our lives upside down much more than theirs. We're mad that these guys, who can manage businesses or keep track of thousands of pieces of sports trivia, can be clueless when it comes to what our kids are eating and what supplies they need for school. And more than anything else, we're mad that they get more time to themselves than we do.
HOW ANGRY ARE WE?
- 46% of moms get irate with their husbands once a week or more. About half of the moms describe their anger as intense but passing; 1 in 10 say it's "deep and long-lasting."
- Many moms -- 44 percent -- are peeved that dads often don't notice what needs to be done around the house or with the kids (it jumps to 54 percent for moms with three-plus children).
- 40% of moms are mad that Dad can't multitask.
- 31% of moms say their husbands don't help with the chores -- in fact, they generate more.
- 60% of moms don't tell their friends what they're going through, or they make light of it.
More from Parenting.com:
Video: "Daddy Doesn't Do it Right!" : Why you should let your husband fail at the little stuff
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