He says she’s a great mother, but he wants to spend more time alone with her. She says he should be patient and enjoy the family togetherness for now.
To get some attention, he has started a Web log called HusbandOnStrike.com. And he’s going through - or to - the roof with it. He says he’s been staging brief protests in his yard and on the flat portion of his roof, using a tent and a “Hubby on Strike” sign.
Paging Dr. Phil!
Meet James Wilson and his wife, Valentina, who both enjoy a good debate. They’re telling their sides of the story - and they want your suggestions for resolving the dispute.
“After begging and pleading with my wife (because I adore and love her dearly) to stop spoiling our children and ignoring my feelings, I’ve decided enough is enough,” writes James Wilson on his blog.
The 33-year-old independent marketing consultant works at home and shares child-rearing duties for James III, who’s nearly 2, and Jayla, who’ll be 3 months soon. He says his protest is meant to be humorous. On HusbandOnStrike.com, he calls himself the self-appointed head of the National Association of Desperate Husbands.
But he insists he’s trying to make a serious point.
What are his demands? For starters, no children in their bedroom, unless his son or daughter is sick. The majority of the time, he says, Jayla falls asleep in bed with his wife, and he often retreats to the couch.
He wants their bedroom to be “our place of escape, not a dungeon filled with diapers.”
He also wants to go on dates with Valentina. For instance, he wanted to take her to a fancy restaurant without the kids for their fifth anniversary. But she wanted them to come along.
Speaking of alone time, he would prefer his son have an earlier bedtime. He estimates that James III goes to bed around 11:30 p.m. His wife, who’ll be returning soon to her job in social work, prefers the later schedule.
As a marketer, James has come up with some attention-getting ideas before. During the last presidential race it was politically themed toilet paper. His blog contains postings on his current situation, advertisements and a support petition.
He believes most men would agree with him. “We’re at a standoff,” he says with a laugh. “And this is war and I plan to win.”
Valentina Wilson loves her husband, but she’s not persuaded by his argument. She believes they’ll have ample couple time when the children are older.
“I feel he should just take this for the team and wait,” says the 32-year-old mom.
She and James spent three years alone before the arrival of James III and Jayla, her argument goes. Now she’s savoring the time spent with them.
She realizes her husband wants the bedroom to be a no-kids zone. But she says her daughter goes to sleep more easily and generally seems happier when she’s with her. James thinks otherwise.
“He said we’re going to remodel the bedroom in the summer and there’s going to be no kids allowed. That’s impossible. How are you going to have an infant and a toddler and they can’t come into the bedroom?”
As a working mom, she feels it’s important to spend her free time on evenings and weekends with her children. She says she told James that “maybe in a couple of months, we’ll go out for a couple of hours” on a date, adding her husband never wanted to go to fancy restaurants before they had kids.
As for James III’s sleep schedule, she says it makes it easier to spend time with him at night and get ready for work in the morning. And at this age, as long as he’s on a regular schedule, he doesn’t have to wake up at a certain time to be somewhere.
Although she admits she can be protective of her children, she feels strongly these early months and years with them are precious.
“I guess I’m just loving being a mother,” says Valentina. And this: “We brought them here, so we have to spend the time with them and nurture them.”
She thinks most mothers will agree with her position, “and even some fathers will agree, if they give it some thought.”
By JULIE HINDS, Detroit Free Press
Contact Julie Hinds at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gannett News Service