Thursday, May 24, 2012

the "you're not my mom" BLOW OFF

When I first moved in with the H bomb, back when he was still just my bf, I got two pieces of valuable advice from a dude who had just moved in with his girlfriend. He claimed that if I stuck to both, we would have a wonderful time living together and we would not break up. 

#1 Learn to be alone in the same space.  Done.  We're good at this.  We are both independent-- almost to a fault-- and we can be home at the same time and do our own thing.

#2 He already has a mom.  Be his girlfriend, don't mother him and don't nag.

I'll admit it: I sort of suck at this.  BUT I also hate it when guys use the whole mom argument.   I'm pretty sure they have this secret boy society where they've all decided that any time their girlfriend asks anything of them ever, their best line of defense is responding with "yes, mom."  It's kind of genius if you think about it.  If I say something like--- "hey, babe.  Do you think when you make your protein shakes in the morning you could wipe up the powder that spills everywhere?"  All he has to do is say "okay, mommy" and I instantly feel like I'm a horrible nagging typical female.  Not fair, men.  Not fair.

First of all, there are plenty of domestic pet peeves the H bomb reminds me of.  Like, I can forget to ring out the sponge or squeejee the shower or I hang my purse on the doorknob or I clip my nails within hearing distance of him.  But how come when he asks me not to do those things, it's not considered nagging? Okay, Bry just peered over my shoulder and read this post and said the difference is that women ask more of men then men ask of women.  I'll give him that.  It's probably true.  But I will say that's because we're very self sufficient.  There's just less things they're not getting from us that they need to ask for.  

Or maybe it's just the tone of our voice when we make requests?  Perhaps we sound a little more condescending or bitchy, because we are in such a state of shock that guys need to even be told to do certain things.  Either way, the mommy issue puts us ladies in a bit of a conundrum.   There have been times that I want to ask something of the H bomb that I think most people would agree is totally justified, but I panic on the inside about how to say it or when to say it so that he doesn't respond in that "stop nagging me" tone of voice.  This is where I should add that I have a very cool mellow husband who is cleaner than most guys and doesn't beat me or anything, but who can still respond in that "you're so annoying" tone every once in awhile. 

I'm not sure what the solution is here.  On one hand, I do think us ladies need to let more things roll off our back.  But the dudes need to stop relying on the "mommy" defense.  We get it.  You want a girlfriend, not a second mother.  Just like we want a man, not a little boy.


  1. I totally agree. I've never lived with a boyfriend but I have lived with guys as roommates for almost ten years now. There is literally no way to ask them to be cleaner without them being defensive.

    However, I am also really good at #1. To the point where my roommate will tell my shocked-family that I'm quiet and don't talk a lot.

    I also take showers to be alone. And not like "alllooooonnnee" but seriously, just to be by myself.

  2. This is such a double edged sword! It's a fine line to walk, because most men love being taken care of. So they don't think of it as "being a mom" when you are cooking, etc. But the moment you want them to do/change something, that's how they perceive it.

    There are certain issues I found myself wanting to nag about when the bf and I first moved in together, so I just approached it from a different direction. Waiting until I was less irritated and then saying "I know it annoys you when I ___, and it annoys me when you ___. I'll make an effort not to do that if you can do the same." And it's been more effective than any nagging I did in past relationships! :-P


  3. R, that is such good advice. i'm totally going to try that next time! You are so wise.