The End of My Beloved’s Rope

I’m one week shy of being eight months pregnant. My back has gone out twice. I’m tired. I’m cranky. I’m usually half covered in chocolate ice cream smudges. In short, I’m not at my finest.

For the past two months, Bean has been sick off and on. He’ll go about a week feeling great and then he crashes. It’s that same cold virus that’s been going around and the constant flux from cold to warm weather doesn’t help things.


Any time something goes through his daycare, Bean’s going to get it. And then he’s going to bring it home to me. And I’m going to get it because during pregnancy your immune system is just for show.

Basically what I’m saying is that Chris’s life has sucked for the past two months.

With me unable to contribute very significantly to the day-to-day operations in our house right now and Bean a walking, talking, snotty, coughy, whiney mess, it’s pretty much left Chris to not only fend for himself but to provide for the rest of us, too. And he does it like a champ. He never makes me feel guilty. He never complains. He never gets a bad attitude. He just digs deeper and does whatever it takes to keep our house from exploding.

But in the past week, I’ve noticed some changes in my beloved. For example, when I was sitting on my heating pad one night, unable to move any more that day, I asked him to please bring me a bottle of water. To which he replied, “Maybe I should just get you a bell and then you’d never have to get up again.”

He laughed.

I didn’t.

And then there was this weekend when Bean was feverish and sick and whined for about 48 hours straight. To which Chris replied, “Okay, Bean! We get it! You’re sick!”


But today, I think he crossed the line. Cracked up. Reached the end of his rope.

This morning at 9:00am, Chris started cleaning. It started simply enough. He was cleaning the kitchen and I started doing some laundry. After the kitchen, Chris moved on to the living room. He vacuumed. He dusted. And then he pulled out the ShopVac and started cleaning the couches. And then under all the furniture. And then under all the area rugs. From there, he moved on to the bathrooms where I’m about 98% sure he used a toothbrush to clean the grout.

He continued like this all day long. All day. Until about 6:00 tonight. All day he cleaned and scrubbed and vacuumed and dusted. All day he didn’t speak to either Bean or me as we wallowed in our misery, except when he mumbled towards my general vicinity at one point, “I’m going to scrub all these damn sick germs away so you people will get over it.”

I have to admit, my first reaction was, “What the heck is HIS problem?!?!” which was immediately followed by my second thought, “He needs to suck it up and get over it!”

But then I realized that it’s probably about time he hit the wall. Eight months of pregnancy, including two months of an immobile wife and a sick son, and I guess this is what happens to you. It’s understandable and I don’t blame him.  So tonight I’ve tried to take some time out for him.  A back rub while he gave Bean a bath.  A few extra hugs and kisses as he was cooking dinner.  Because I do appreciate him and I do acknowledge all he’s done for our family during the past few months and I do understand that this hasn’t been easy on him.

But I’m giving him a week to get himself back together again. He gets a week.  A week should be enough time for a sane, healthy, able husband to get himself centered again.  I mean, it’s not like he’s growing a human being or anything.  And then after that week if he hasn’t gotten himself together again, I’m going to sit on him.  Which at this point in my pregnancy is a very scary threat.

Until then, maybe he has earned a little break.

(NOTE: There are no pictures of Chris cleaning and/or breaking down in this post because when a grizzly bear is frustrated with you, you don’t stop to take out your camera.)

Today I am thankful for Lysol.

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23 Thoughts to “The End of My Beloved’s Rope”

  1. Maureen

    When I’m felling life slip out of control, I clean too. It’s soothing: a job that has a beginning and an end, plus you can be productive without having to use your brain. And such a relief after a day of cleaning!!

  2. Since I’m not preggers, I’ve been downing Zicam and Cold Ease at the first sign of a cold this season. It’s basically zinc, which has some magical power to knock those cold germs, well, cold. This season (knock on wood), Nate’s not had a cold. Not one. I just noticed yesterday that the Yo Baby/Toddler yogurt that he regularly eats is fortified with zinc. Curious if that’s the link. If Bean will eat it, might be worth trying. Nate really likes the pear and green bean one (sounds gross but, well, Nate downs it) and the apple and sweet potato one. He thinks it’s yogurt, I snuck veggies into him, and he’s a healthy, happy boy! Hope everyone’s well soon and that the carrier monkeys at school stop sharing germs.

  3. Awww, poor Chris. When I was pregnant with our son, my husband got so stressed out that he started sleep-walking! It was then that I knew he needed a break. Oh, what would we do without our wonderful husbands?!

  4. Poor Chris. He really is a wonderful husband. It can’t be easy being the only healthy one in the house. Heck, it’s not easy when one of us is sick and we’re only a two person household.

  5. I wish MY husband would get all cleany on me when he was frustrated and at the end of his rope. Of course, that may not be in his best interest seeing how I might tick him off just to get my toilets scrubbed!

  6. And here I thought Aaron was the only one to use our Shop Vac to clean our couches!

    Porter has been sick at least once a month since we moved here 6 months ago. And I have gotten his sickness every single time he brings it home. Ugh. Get well soon, Browns!

  7. I love seeing how you and Chris work off each other and work so hard to keep your family going. Bean has wonderful role models of self-giving and compassion (and humor) in you both. And man, is he a cute little guy, to boot! Hope you all feel better soon!

  8. Beth

    Chris is nesting! albeit in a frustrated, angry man way.

  9. Shelley

    I know I shouldn’t, but I’m laughing at the mental picture of Chris as a whirling dervish Mr. Clean.
    Really, what a good guy! Don’t you just love the daycare germ factory?

  10. I LOVE THE WAY CHRIS GETS CRANKY!!! If Rich cleaned when he was grumpy, I’d piss him off on purpose.

  11. Ashley

    Poor Chris! I’d probably lose my mind with all of that too. It’s a lot of stress. At least he cleaned the house, though. Can you tell me how to frustrate my partner to that point? The apartment could use a vacuum…;)

    All joking aside, I hope everything levels out for both of you soon. It is definitely not easy on you either.

  12. I feel so tempted to say “Poor Chris”…and my heart really goes out to him. But, at the same time, I think it’s just hard being pregnant. For everybody involved. =) On the bright side…at least there’s a clean house to show for his meltdown! Brad did the same thing through my whole pregnancy.

  13. My husband did the same thing when I was pregnant with my son. Why do they have to clean when they get mad? haha!

  14. What a sport! Men seem to pout in the most obvious ways…they aren’t nurturers for a reason 🙂

  15. Aw poor Chris. I hope that this week is a good one for you all so everyone is centered again. PS- I can’t believe that it’s been 8 months! WOW times flies when you’re having fun. Can’t wait to “meet” Grace 🙂

  16. What a stressful situation for everyone involved! If my hubby cleaned every time he was mad or frustrated, our house would be spotless this week as it has been a rough one. Instead, he just retreats into his I phone and to angry birds. That game is his stress reliever, he can yell and swear at the pigs (away from the baby, of course). Hope you all get over this sickness soon!

  17. Chris gets angry and cleans your entire house? Yeah… that’s possibly the least effective angry response ever.

  18. Can I just say, that first picture of Bean is the cutest/most heartbreaking picture ever…he’s such a little man…hope you all feel better soon

  19. This is hilarious, in a very real life, touching sort of way! You can really feel the dynamic as you read it over. Although I do have to admit, it’d be nice if my guy did some cleaning when he’s mad. 🙂

  20. I have the deepest and most profound sympathy for pregnant women! Pregnancy was not my favorite thing…like at all. I hope you get to feeling better. And I hope Bean Man gets better quick.

    Saying a prayer for you guys!!



  21. Cleaning is a great way to release frustrations. The way I see it, it was a win/win! Aren’t our husbands so great? I mean really, could you imagine anyone else putting up with us?

    I just found your blog through BlogHer, and I’m so glad I did. I’ll make some time with a nice cup of herbal-something and peruse. Looks like you have a lot of gems here.

    <3 Angela

  22. So that’s how you get him to clean.. 🙂

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