From Eric Knight, Lassie Come Home, 1940
"Just afore we go in, Joe," he said, "I want thee to think on thy mother. Tha's growing up, and tha must try to be like a man to her and understand her."
"Now women, Joe, they're not like men. They have to stay home, women do, and manage as best they can. And what they haven't got--well, they've got to spend time in wishing for."
"And when things don't go right, well, they have to take it out in talk and give a man hot words. But if a man's really got any gumption, he gives 'em that much. For he knows a woman really doesn't mean owt by it when she natters and nags and lets her tongue go. So tha mustn't mind it when thy mother talks hard at me, or if she sometimes snaps at thee. She's got a lot to put with these days, and it tries her patience."
I am the breadwinner for our family, and am very grateful that the children have a stay at home mother. If she worked, we'd just spend it all on childcare anyway, so what's the diff?
But she does feel stifled and frustrated sometimes. She sees things that I do that she feels she could do better. And, as far descended into the vale of years as I am, I still bristle with a thin-skinned flush of adolescent defensiveness when that happens. I've slowly learned to just let her vent, quit congratulating myself for being patient under the birching, & try harder to see things her way. An ongoing struggle, one of the many little trials & triumphs that have bound us together.
A couple of generic Xanax tablets don't hurt either, some days... :\