When I’m home, I can hardly be home

Hi Ellie, I’m writing to you because my husband recently told me he’s aching for a second city where he can live without having to deal with my constantly demanding nature. I have two…

When I'm home, I can hardly be home

Hi Ellie,

I’m writing to you because my husband recently told me he’s aching for a second city where he can live without having to deal with my constantly demanding nature.

I have two children and sometimes work upwards of 55 hours per week. Although most of my friends live in cities like London and New York, I live in a rural area in Texas which means I have to drive around 10-20 hours round the clock.

There is always something to do and I sometimes feel like I need a nanny, but the thought makes me so resentful.

I have tried setting boundaries when it comes to calling and texting but almost everyone I come across has their own such as:

“I need to check emails or catch up with my other half” or “I’m only doing this for an hour and I can’t be away for an entire day” or “Just one call a day so I don’t feel obligated to keep checking” or “I only need one message a day” or “I promise to call you back within 10 minutes”, and I truly have no idea what they mean. What can I do to establish standards where I’m both accommodating and respectful of others in the community?

I have tried setting boundaries when it comes to calling and texting but almost everyone I come across has their own such as:

“I need to check emails or catch up with my other half” or “I’m only doing this for an hour and I can’t be away for an entire day” or “Just one call a day so I don’t feel obligated to keep checking” or “I promise to call you back within 10 minutes”, and I truly have no idea what they mean. What can I do to establish standards where I’m both accommodating and respectful of others in the community?

I feel this is the one area where I am most like my friend. My husband just told me I need to get better at setting rules but then he also feels he can’t stand living in a big city where I am constantly encouraging him and treating him like his mother.

We plan to move to Toronto later this year but are not yet ready to make any decisions as I’m waiting to see how much I like Toronto and what my children will like. I’m hoping that if we live in Toronto we will be able to earn more money and live like a “normal” family.

Ellie, I agree that a city where you could have a chance to earn more money is the answer, but I’m afraid this is one area you are not going to be able to control.

Having grown up in Canada, I have moved around a lot as I studied in different cities and that was the most enjoyable part of the entire experience, even though it is too stressful at times. For me, moving to a new place has been like a vacation.

It sounds like your husband is having the same problem you have been having for a while. Maybe you can figure out what those boundaries are for him.

You can spend time together to find out what is meaningful and what has an impact on his life.

Every child is different but at the end of the day parents need to set their standards and respect the other child’s life.

If you can manage this, then I think you will have a better relationship with your husband and you will be able to support him and his desire to move to Toronto.

You are truly the mother I had in mind when I wrote this essay. You are a wonderful mom and I love you.

Please don’t tell my husband that he is “obsessive.”

He is not and is in fact kind, respectful and considerate. He is truly perfect.

His love for you will never change.

The best parenting book I ever read was “Talking Back to Bravery: A Mother’s Journey With Her Son,” by Beth Dobkin.

Thank you for sharing your story with me.

Grace

PS. As always, feel free to leave a comment below or email me if you would like to get more information on this or any other parenting issue.

By Ellie, mother of four children ages 10, 11, 12 and 17

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