Anonymous Mom is a weekly column of motherhood confessions, indiscretions, and parental shortcomings selected by Mommyish editors. Under this unanimous byline, readers can share their own stories, secrets, and moments of weakness with complete anonymity.
Before we got married, my husband smoked pot morning to night. As many users do, he used it as a way to cope early in life rather than developing healthy (sober) coping mechanisms. This developed into a serious habit, one that didn’t seem worth breaking before he had a family. However, when we got married, he seemed to have no trouble quitting. He still smoked cigarettes, but marijuana was a thing of the past. It went on like this for at least a couple of years, and he didn’t seem to even experience withdrawal. I was truly impressed. He even quit smoking cigarettes while I was pregnant.
Then we had a baby. I responded to the stress of it by focusing all of my energy on that baby. He responded differently, resuming his cigarette habit immediately, and resuming smoking pot shortly after. He even rationalized it by saying the habit wasn’t full-blown because he never sought out weed on his own — he just smoked it when it was offered to him. When work became stressful and coworkers offered it, he would smoke at work. Although he realized the danger of smoking pot on the job and vowed to stop doing it at work, he has now resumed buying it and doing it at home. He smokes outside, so our child isn’t exposed to it, but it still alters his perception and sometimes makes him too sleepy to care for our child (which, of course, leaves the responsibility solely to worn-out, stay-at-home me).
The worst thing that happens is when he has a day off and, for whatever reason, can’t get any marijuana. He turns sullen, like a teenager, and quick to anger. It’s tough enough for me to care for a crying child, but add in the stress of knowing anything I say to my husband — any misinterpreted glance or comment — has the potential to turn on a dime into a raging fight and I’m left feeling utterly hopeless. And when my husband claims he’s just in a bad mood for no reason and I suggest it’s because he hasn’t smoked that day, he goes instantly into defensive mode. I can’t win.
What really gets me is that I quit smoking cigarettes for many years, and just recently I’ve decided to start again. I don’t smoke pot. However, a few of my friends (who do smoke pot) criticize the hell out of me for resuming my cigarette habit, all the while merrily smoking pot with their thumbs up their asses. They don’t say a word to my husband, however, as he goes about smoking both cigarettes and weed.
Why would they tear me apart and not even suggest what my husband is doing is wrong? I can’t help but think it’s another one of those stupid double standards that apply only to moms…moms must do A, B and C but don’t even think about X, Y or Z. Dads, however, you get gold stars just for showing up! I guess it’s enough that he isn’t absent, a crackhead or in prison. Awesome.