My wife resents me with every strand of her hot little DNA. And it's not the never listening, the constantly open kitchen cabinets, or the vegetarian farts -- although they probably don't help. It's because I get to sit around crafting ambiguously profane "Wheels on the Bus" lyrics with our 2-year-old while she works 10 hours a day supporting us.
Every picture I share of our daughter and me bonding, every message about what she had for lunch or what new mall we browsed, kills her. (When Skylar spoke her first sentence, I had to pretend she didn't and wait until she repeated it for both of us to hear. Oops, did I just publish that?)
Of course, I'm oblivious to this raging jealousy in the moment. I only discover it during my wife's bi-monthly, bottled-up explosions at me. So, after I apologize and we make up, I assume for some reason that things are forgiven and return to all my inconsiderate behaviors. (I have never claimed not to be a moron.)
And the thing wracking me with guilt is that I want to trade places as much as my wife does. I love my daughter more than anything. Yet I would also give anything to go back to my former career as an award-winning newspaper columnist with medical benefits who pawns his kid off to full-time daycare. (However, because print media suddenly decided to do its best impression of the telegraph industry, the only menial full-time jobs I now qualify for wouldn't even pay for the daycare.)
I blame "The Brady Bunch." Possibly enough to sue. As progressive as it may have been for its divorce premise -- and for what actor Robert Reed was up to behind the scenes -- this twisted TV pestilence taught me that the husband is the provider, period, and the wife greets the husband in a floral-print blouse when he comes home from a hard day of providing. (I tried doing that once, but Tom, my across-the-street neighbor, complained.)
I know these stereotypes are neither legitimate nor helpful -- but I only know this intellectually, not emotionally. And so, while most of my guy friends think I have it made, I can't help but feel like an utter failure because I cook, carefully judge diaper bloat, and drink pretend tea for a living.
Are your parental roles reversed and, if so, does it cause any problems?