The other day, one of our awesome Her View From Home writers published an article called “Stop Being a Butthole Wife.” I read it and knew it described me. I am a butthole wife. If you haven’t read it, take a moment and read it, then come back…

Now that you’ve read it, you either agree or are defensive. I was both. After reading it I knew I was guilty of everything mentioned in the article but felt I needed to defend my actions. My husband is amazing but I find faults. I’m currently a stay-home mom because of our situation, so he works hard to support our family. After reading the article, I mulled over it for a week, and tried to put it into action. However, I always came back to this thought:

“I am a butthole wife and mother, and it’s not going to change any time soon because no one listens or respects me and what I do. Apparently, I NEED to act like a butthole to get results.”

Instead of appreciating my husband’s hard work, I am jealous. He goes out and interacts with people. My conversations are limited to 8-and-under year olds. He is on the road so he eats out; I’m stuck with leftovers or figuring out what to feed myself and kids. When I want to go to events/activities in the evenings or on weekends, he wants to stay home. I’m up at the crack of dawn to exercise ( even at 35 weeks pregnant) and then to get kids ready for school; he sleeps in (except certain times of year), and stays up late watching movies. He leaves clothes everywhere, tosses the laundry I have folded, ignores dishes, and makes a HUGE mess when cooking (admittedly, the meals are awesome).

Then there are my kids. I love, love, love my children but there are times when I really can’t stand their behaviors. My toddler still wakes in the middle of the night and I’m the one getting up.  My middle child is so sweet and sensitive, but to the point of crying over everything. The toddler beats him up. My oldest is JUST LIKE ME, and we butt heads at every turn. I ask them to help with things and they “don’t hear” me or outright ignore me, so then I’m screaming and they’re crying “You always yell at us.”

I’m left feeling ignored, angry, guilty, and acting like a butthole. All life’s positives seem to get overshadowed by my self-centeredness. My butthole-ness.

I love to help others. Honestly, I do. I give of myself but I also know how to say “No.” However, “no” is not an option when you’re a mom and dealing with a sick kid in the middle of the night. Or piles of laundry. Or mountains of dishes. Or arguing kids. Or figuring out what to feed everyone.

I should be thankful for all these blessings-in-disguise. I am, honestly. I just don’t act like it. I want my husband and children to help me. I want my husband to find a hamper, instead of the floor, couch, chair, etc. I want my children to learn how to take care of a home. I want them to HEAR me the first time I ask, not the tenth time I’m screaming at them. I want to communicate better with my husband, instead of having all the “misunderstandings” we’ve had lately.

I know acting this way doesn’t help my family but I can’t – won’t – act like a slave. I am not made that way. Being a stay-home mom wasn’t something I ever planned for myself but I’m also not a quitter so I don’t want to give up.

I know I can’t change them. I need to change myself. It’s my expectations and ideas of what “should” be that are causing the butthole-ness. It’s my need for order that stresses me out since I cannot maintain order in my household. It’s what I think others are thinking when they see my children acting out that causes me to shame and guilt them for being and acting like children. It’s my ideas of what a marriage “should” be that causes my anger when it is not what I expect.

Perhaps that is what hurts me the most – knowing I am negative and damaging to my family but refusing to let go of the butthole because I want things to be better for me. I feel disrespected, even when it’s not intentional. Some may call it entitlement. Perhaps it is.

I need to change. I need help in changing. I pray for that change, and I try to make small changes in my thinking and behaviors.

It takes time, and I’m not patient. How do I stop being a butthole wife and mother?

I don’t know the exact answer. It’s part of my journey and growth. I will have to sit back and do what I learned in my master’s program – trust the process. But, wow, that is difficult. For now, I will have to take a few deep breaths and realize the “butthole within” isn’t going to vanish overnight.

Jessica McCaslin

Jessica is a Stay-At-Home-Master-Mom who is learning to cope with the daily challenges of being a full-time parent. She graduated with her Master's degree in community counseling from the University of Nebraska at Kearney in 2005. Jessica joined Family Resources of Greater Nebraska in January 2012. She worked with children, adolescents, adults and families in and around Broken Bow, NE. Her attention has now turned to raising her children while doing online work for Family Resources of Greater Nebraska. She loves horses and has attended several Level 1 Equine-Assisted Growth and Learning trainings, where horses are used as a co-therapist for mental health issues. It's a dream to someday be able to incorporate horses into her therapy sessions. She resides near North Platte with her husband and children.