A Nagging Old Hag

September 27, 2011

Today I woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Not the Oops! I spilled my chocolate milk! side of the bed, the really, really wrong side of the bed.

I spent the night tossing and turning, and when I did doze off for a minute or two, I was dreaming about A) snakes, or B) the teenagers I teach from church. Now don't get me wrong, I love these teenagers madly, but I see them in my living room every morning at 6 o'clock, we really don't need to frolic in my dreams.

So when the alarm went off at 5, and I rolled out of bed, I was feeling much less than fresh. I was jealous that Jared was still sleeping, I was annoyed that Tuesdays are work days, I was beyond frustrated when I heard Maggie fuss, and I kind of felt like throwing a cinder block--you know, just because.

After seminary was over and the kids filed out, Jared rolled out of bed. He walked down the hall yawning, stretching his arms over his head and let out a sleepy, but happy good morning.

Instead of a hug and a kiss, or a Hey J, or a smile and a wave, I laid right into him. "Remember how you crapped on me for never picking up after myself?" I prodded, "Well you made popcorn last night and didn't pick up any of it."

He said, "You're right. I'm sorry. I'll pick it up."

And then, still feeling pretty combative, I launched into a dramatic soliloquy about our evil bills and their impending, fiery due dates.

Now, three hours later, I'm sitting at my desk, with my head in my hands, asking myself why I have to be so mean. But not only that, why do I have to be so mean to Jared?

Hey you over there. Yeah you. The one who's my loyal husband and the devoted father to our kids. Come over her so I can CRAP ON YOUR HEAD.

Quite seriously, there are days when I'm embarrassed to be myself. I can't even muster up the energy to make excuses for myself--I just suck.

Last night, I rocked both of my kids before bed, and I'm not even kidding when I tell you that we sang along to a song called I'm Trying to be Like Jesus. You know--kind, patient, loving, understanding, helpful, self-controlled, forgiving, and one million other fabulous characteristics.

Then this morning I was all, "Hey kids, watch this! Mommy will now show you the opposite of being like Jesus. And she will use your father as a prop!"

The bottom line is: I AM SUCH A BLOW HOLE.

And there's an addendum to the bottom line: Even if your car is being repossessed while your dog falls into a pit of quick sand, and your jello mold cracks down the middle while a 2,000 pound bag of rocks falls onto your newly re-shingled roof, BEING CRAPPY TO YOUR SPOUSE WON'T HELP ANY OF IT.

So today, right now, I'm recommitting to live a life that's more like the life of Jesus--especially in my dealings with Jared.

1) We will start by having fishes for dinner tonight. I have a whole bag of frozen fishes from Trader Joe's, so this line item works particularly well.
2) I'll remember that Jared's doing his very best.
3) I won't raise my voice or push his crap around unless he's selling discounted iPads at the Temple--which I've never seen him do.
4) I'll stop being selfish and greedy and stingy--because if I'm being straight up honest, I'd LOVE to roll around naked in a big pile of $50 bills.
5) I'll be a team player, because somewhere in the scriptures I think it says something about a house divided collapses on your head, and believe me that is the LAST thing we need right now.
6) If I feel like being wretched, I'll say some prayers and hope it changes my mind.
7) If it doesn't change my mind, I'll remember that Jesus wasn't wretched.
8) I'll do some extra service for Jared--like fold his laundry or clean his shotgun.
9) I won't pick on him for things I'm equally bad, or worse at.
10) I'll just be nicer.

I'll probably skip the part where I preach to him and call him to repentance. Actually, I've been doing that for a while, and it's not effective.

Are you wretched sometimes, too? Any other tips for being less of a nagging old hag, and more of a helpful loving wife? I could use 'em.


paige said...

I did that to Neil last week too... For a whole week. Honestly??? In all seriousness... Prayer and fasting every Friday- for family... Has become my new goal. I want to be *intentional*.

David said...

Guilt is stupid. Forgive yourself for being normal.

And make hush puppies with the fishes. Hush puppies are awesome.

Mindy said...

Oh, there are SO days that I feel embarrassed to be myself. I'm right there with you. There are times where my husband will tell me I'm not very much fun to be around, and I have to agree... I tell him that I actually have it WORSE because I can't get away from myself. Anyway, I don't know what the answer is. I hope we can both find it. :)

Megan and Sean said...

I was laughing as I was reading this then at about half way (okay, maybe a paragraph) in I stopped abruptly......and thought crap this sounds exactly like me..... Then I pondered how I make things all better when I'm a wench. Sex. Lots of sex. I can manage to be nice, sweet and fun for a half an hour couple times a week!

joolee said...

Yup. I'm with you. But keep in mind that Jesus wasn't married. Not sure that it's possible to be both married and sinless. Just sayin. But keep shootin for the stars Amy;)

Sarah said...

Girl. With ya. Srsly. So hubs and I were doing so great and sweet and lovey dovey and last night? Shouting match over where a watermelon was placed in our kitchen. Not. Even. Kidding. Man. Life just reaches up and grabs you sometimes.

To some degree I agree with David -- kicking yourself about it only goes so far. But Jared would probably appreciate it if you would, instead, just change what you are doing. And maybe pull off Megan's suggestion. :-)

Kirsty said...

I'm with Megan. Sex pretty much always cures whatever ails him (because of you).

Karen said...

Just keep in mind that everyone has their days, and beating yourself up about it isn't going to do any good. I bet a simple request to Jared for forgiveness will settle everything.

Jessie said...

I know we don't know each other (I'm Annie's sister), but I'm the exact same type of wife to my sweet, unsuspecting husband. Thanks for making me laugh about it.

CarolF said...

I don't have any great advice, except about the snakes in the dreams: maybe open a window? I usually dream about snakes when the room is too warm. I live in Arizona and I have seen a pattern.

Anonymous said...

You could think of me...divorcing my spouse after 13 years because he's a drug addict and has been arrested several times for a DUI and can't hold down a job, and now I have to raise 3 kids and hope I can keep my house..... :)

lauridawn said...

The upside is that you are at least communicating and you recognize that there's some fine tuning that needs to happen. You also have some major self-discipline skills with running that you can apply to any difficult situation.

RosieReader said...

We're all works in progress. We need to be compassionate with ourselves as we strive to be better.

Jessie said...

Me again. Apparently you don't know my sister Annie and now I've outed her as one of your blurkers. Ha! But you're hilariously honest, so I'll still have to check on your blog regularly now that I know about it.
I do wish I had some great pearl of marital wisdom for you, but I suck at sharing and being unselfish and all that. I plan to take the rest of my life getting better at it little by little.

Amanda @ Click. The Good News said...

I hear ya loud & clear! It's difficult to remember the positives and I tend to forget that he's NOT doing these things intentionally- he's just usually clueless and I'm being impatient. hope all is better :)

jadine said...

I'm in your comments section because I see me in your post, and wanted to read the advice of your fabulous readers. I agree with most, but the last thing I want to do when I'm annoyed is sex with the annoyer. I guess that's part of the problem --- thinking about myself :)

Loralei said...

Before you keep beating yourself up, let's remember that Jesus took a whip and got the money changers out of the temple (that was kinda mean) and he also did/said things to tick people off (Pharisees) because they needed to be challenged. You need a Spin Doctor, Amy! ;)

Kristine said...

Hi Amy! I get that way at times, too. Those funks can be aweful. :( My latest mantra has been "ec,ec,ec." Executive control = self control over my emotional expressions. Mantras work when running gets hard, so why not try it when your mood tries to hyjack your personality?

Michelle Glauser said...

Jared is lucky to have you. Because at least you think about these things.

sarah marie said...

I'm totally a nagging hag sometimes too.... can't believe my good husband keeps forgiving me. There's something about me working hard and him having a moment of leisure (sleeping in, etc.) while I clean up, which I usually perceive to be all after him even when it's my crap too, that pushes me over the edge. Like if there were any divine fairness in the world we'd both be doing the same amount of work at the same times. Oh wait, except actually, I'd be sleeping in while he works. Right... i'm a wench.