I am presently in the death-grip of premenstrual hell, thus I am forcing myself to write as objectively as possible. It is so, so, so easy to be negative and unpleasant when my hormones are raging.
Jack had to go out of town this past week, leaving Tuesday and arriving home late on Friday night. Being a teacher and a rancher, he never really leaves an 80 mile radius of our property (and by extension his wife), but this was a coaching conference that he really needed to attend. He was kind enough to arrange for our daughter to visit with his mother from Wednesday to Saturday so my responsibilities would be slightly alleviated. I really wanted this to be a positive experience for him. I packed his bags carefully; shined his shoes and belts, starched a nice outfit for him to wear (just in case), cleaned his golf bag.
He got a late start. Our six year old daughter was “cleaning” and moved his wallet and checkbook to a “safe place” inside a drawer we rarely peek into. He was about to walk out the door when he realized his wallet was not in the appropriate place on top of his dresser. The search ensued. Where could it be? We searched the house, I tore all of his clothes from his dresser drawers, thinking maybe it slipped in. We were soon combing the areas around the barn and goat pen in 101 degree heat. In my mind I began to play out possible scenarios…he must have set his wallet and checkbook on the kitchen counter as he often does when he arrives home and goes right back out to work. I began to blame him in my mind for all of this unneeded stress at his moment of departure. “How can he expect me to be responsible when he himself is not?” I wanted to say something that was sure to be incendiary, to blow off steam myself, because when he left I would be alone with the children and things were not going the way I had hoped.
But I didn’t. (Thank God I wasn’t PMSing earlier this week!)
I kept it together and I eventually came upon the wallet and checkbook when we began looking in less likely places. I was so glad that I kept telling myself, “Be positive, think kind thoughts, he is your husband.” If I had lost my cool or said something sarcastic (which I am totally guilty of in the past and time to time nowadays), he would have been sent off on a seven hour car ride angry and frustrated with his wife. It would have foreshadowed his entire trip.
Okay, now here is where I did screw everything up.
I was very proud of myself for the entire time he was absent. I made a point of speaking kindly to the boys, of enforcing rules and bedtimes with love, of being supportive whenever Jack called. But the whole time, in my heart, I was jealous. I wanted to go with him. He stayed in his own room for all but Tuesday night, he played poker, ate steak, golfed, hung out with the other coaches, and apparently learned a lot. He needed this trip. But I had to stay home and cook, clean, care for children and livestock, take care of some very important paperwork that he did not have a chance to do before he left. Where is my vacation?, I asked myself. Even the oldest two children went to my father-in-law’s house for Vacation Bible School and afternoons at the zoo, movies and water park. His grandmother, who lives next door, was (and still is) in Reno, house-sitting for her rich son. What do I get? What I always get, I groused. I alternated between self-pity and self-loathing nearly the entire time. How unattractive.
Jack called me when he was two hours from home to give me his e.t.a. I was frustrated because I had high expectations for the evening. We hadn’t been intimate before he left and I was hoping for some romance, despite the negativity I had secretly harbored while he was away. However, during his phone call I interpreted a comment (about a chicken sandwich, no less) as harsh when it wasn’t meant to be, and began sobbing on the phone and in front of the boys. Jack had no idea what to make of it and became irritated with me. He hates when I cry, which is really hard for me to deal with, because I am one of those women who need to cry regularly in order to be “okay.” He ordered me to pull myself back together, which I did, and apologized for his comment.
After I got off the phone with him, the boys and I ate a light dinner and went out to check on the animals before nightfall. While I was checking the cattle trough, my four year old left the gate open to the goat pen and our labrador began to chase one of our new goats around the field. My two year old began to scream because he was picking stinging nettle, and when I looked to my side I noticed three cows in the round hay bale pen. It would figure that absolutely nothing would go wrong until the last minute…then all hell would break loose! I calmly directed the two year old to wash his hands in the house with his brother while hauling a square bale to the pen to lure the goat back. After that, I chased the cows out of the hay pen and went back into the house to nurse fire ant bites.
I was in the shower when Jack got home. I didn’t feel romantic. The kids were not in bed and wanted to spend time with their father. He wanted me to have a beer; I was exhausted, but I began to drink it. The kids went to bed, and despite my hopes, I wanted to go to bed, too. Jack would not have it. He ordered me to stay up, despite my bed time. I became irritated and resentful and began voicing some of my jealousy and frustration when he was trying to relax in the bath after his seven hour car trip. Things got out of hand. Within minutes I was in my bed, sobbing and screaming “F-you!” Welcome home, honey.
He left the room to calm himself down and returned shortly. He lectured me, spanked me, I apologized. The evening ended well, if not very late.
Because I rarely drink, I endured a slight hangover while his mother visited the next morning, followed by a child’s birthday party in town. I got into bed late again last night because I came home and fell asleep nude on the bed for a few hours. Today I have been spanked again for my attitude, but I cannot help it to some degree. When you think about it, if your menstrual cycle lasts 7 days and your PMS lasts for only three or four days, that is nearly 1/3 of your life that kinda sucks. Does anyone have any advice for this particular problem? I cannot imagine I am the only submissive woman who loses her cool once-a-month!