Is that helping?
Ooh, whenever my husband says these words to me, I see red.
Night fights are probably the biggest thorn in our marriage’s side, and these three little words have the capacity to send those spiraling into chaos.
Before we had Lily, Russ and I hardly fought. I would even say rarely. And then came the kid.
We stopped sleeping; we started arguing in the middle of the night.
Core-deep exhaustion and frustration over an awake or fussy baby do not mix. Oh baby, do they not mix.
And when I’m vocalizing my frustration, whether in words not meant for wine blogs or in guttural animal sounds, my lovely, attentive, incredibly-helpful husband likes to ask me, “is that helping?”
Of course, I know he’s just trying to calm me down, by asking me to look at my reaction and work to fix the problem, instead of spiraling into anger. But in the middle of the night, do you think I hear it this way?
You get one guess.
No, I typically then go in exactly the wrong direction with my anger.
Is that helping? Am I meant to be helpful to the children only every second of my life? Can I not vent my frustration to help myself? Am I not allowed to have negative feelings?
My poor, sweet husband–who, at this point is also frustrated, probably with the situation, but definitely with me for “overreacting” to the situation and certain comments.
The worst part about night fights, though?
We know we’re overreacting; we know neither of us means the things we say to (and think of) each other in those moments.
But we Just. Can’t. Help. It.
In the end, the only thing to be done with a night fight is to huff ourselves to sleep, sheepishly apologize to one another in the morning, and try to forget the whole ordeal.
Because we’re all human. We all get frustrated. None of us can handle losing massive amounts of sleep.
And I’m betting we’re not alone in these night fights.
So whine about it, wine about it, and sleep on it. If you can.