I need a wife…

I am a stay-at-home mom… my third time around in that role. Unlike the first couple of times ~ a year after the birth of my daughter, and 12 years after the birth of my son ~ this time wasn’t voluntary. I went back to working in an office when my kids were teens, and after being at that particular job for about four years, I was laid off. That was more than 18 months ago.

When my kids were young, I could fill our days with trips to the park. I’d plan fun crafty activities, we’d build couch-cushion forts and have picnics in the living room, I’d hide little gifts for them and draw treasure maps… I was a fun mom.

Now, my oldest is weeks away from 22, and my baby just turned 18. Forts and Perler Beads just don’t entertain like they used to.

They have their own plans, I have my own pastimes…. and I have housework.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a terrible housekeeper. Any given morning you’ll find dirty dishes from last night’s dinner in the sink. Piles mountains of clothes will stay unfolded on the couch for days. I rarely mop, and periodic dust bunnies will float to the floor from fuzz covered ceiling fans.

My house is lived-in. Even if I go on a manic tangent and clean from top to bottom, end to end, within half a day my house will look like it did before I started. I can say that my house is NOT filthy, it’s more accurately chaotically cluttered.

Saying all that, I still get apoplectic sometimes just thinking about how all of the chores inside the house (and a few outside) are by default entirely my job. Four people live in my house, four adults if we’re being precise.

Why should I be expected to be the only one washing clothes and dishes, vacuuming up pet hair from animals that are technically not even mine, caring for said pets, cooking all the meals, paying bills, mowing lawns, blah, blah, blah…

I give credit to my husband. He works very hard at his job. But it wouldn’t break him to scoop out the litter boxes on the weekends, or switch a load of wet clothes from the washer to the dryer in the mornings… or at least do it without acting like I’m a gulag commandant, or completely incompetent.

My kids know how to do dishes and laundry, but if I rely on them no one would have clean underwear and we’d eat off paper plates ad nauseam. Those pets? Yeah, they belong to kids who swore they’d take full responsibility for feeding and cleaning up after them…. lasted two days, tops!

If something doesn’t get cleaned, fed, or fixed, somehow it’s all my fault.

So you know I’m not a complete shrew, I do tell my husband ‘thank you’ all the time. I spread the appreciation around to my kids too. I’d just like to have a little gratitude back every so often.

When I’m being all introspective I tell myself it’s reasonable. I’m home all day, I should be in charge of the house. Hubs brings home the bacon, I fry it up in a pan. But, day-um it gets old after a while.

*Here I was just yesterday saying I wanted this space to be ‘brighter and hopeful.’ Eh, tomorrow. Tomorrow it’ll be back to unicorns and rainbows, today I’m gonna bitch.

Submitted as part of Shell’s “Pour Your Heart Out” writing prompt at Things I Can’t Say. Please stop by to read the other posts, and give a little comment love.

29 thoughts on “I need a wife…

  1. I can totally relate. Same stuff over here: everyone is SO busy with “their own thing” that the house gets neglected.

    We cleaned house like maniacs before Momo came to visit. I recommend having someone visit you. 🙂

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  2. Oh yes! And the reason I am over now is because I just threw a mother of a tantrum declaring your exact thoughts (so I’ve slipped off to my computer to regain composure).

    The sound of children throwing things and giggling hysterically in the rooms above me tell me that my hissy fit fell on deaf ears… sigh.

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  3. The girls and Colin have to-do lists, complete with (age-appropriate) awards and consequences. I go a bit lax on these as I’m a bit of a clean freak and like my own way (ie. loading dishwasher, folding laundry, all the big stuff like floors and bathrooms) but it works! I don’t want to hear it all changes when the kids are older 😦

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  4. Yeah you should be in charge of the house, but that doesn’t mean you can’t delegate. They could help out a little more or be a lot more grateful. My husband works outside of the home a lot more than I do, but he does a lot around the house too. My kids are still little and when I work outside of the home 2 days a week, when I ccome home my husband looks so relieved. He seems to think I have an easier time taking care of the kids and cleaning up, I don’t. I just don’t have a choice. My house is a “beautiful mess”.

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  5. I am always amazed when I read one of your posts that it almost sounds like something I would think or say (except you do a WAY better job at expressing yourself). As usual, I loved the post!!!

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  6. I need a wife too! Preferable one who does not require a salary. If you have any leads, please let me know. So, why not go back to work? There are other options even if you are burnt out on journalism. For one, you can go back to school and be a nurse 🙂

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  7. Oh I so know what you’re feeling! My husband is great, works hard, and all that jazz, BUT nothing gets done around here unless I do it myself. Some days it’s hard. Hoping you get a break soon!

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  8. Oy. I cannot IMAGINE how frustrating that must be! Makes me pull my hair out with just two of us (and C is good about doing stuff… on his own good time, which NEVER jives with my idea of how often the floors should be vacuumed… ).

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  9. Tara R. – I “retweeted” this gem. Thanks for your honesty! I told Mr. Fairway today that life would be easier for him if I became a SAHM the second time around…

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