Thursday, July 23, 2009

Sometimes I feel like Pond Scum

Okay, I'm the laziest person on the planet and in my infinite good fortune, I happened to find and marry the 2nd laziest person on the planet. Our courtship was unique, living in seperate cities we worked our jobs during the week and got together on weekends. The time together was spent lazing about the apartment (either his or mine) and we played games, watched movies, read books, took naps, dined out or ordered in, microwaved popcorn, etc. And we were content. We didn't nag each other or berate one another for not "trying harder". We were happy, it was fun. Fast forward and add a marriage license and three kids...we're still trying to live the lazy life and its not working out so well. Things need to get done, get washed, get dried, get picked up, get put away, get ordered, get mailed, get scheduled, get attended and so on. And things are not so content anymore. And there is a whole lot of nagging and berating going on. And things aren't going well. And I'm not happy, and it isn't fun. When I imagine the apparently well known, yet unpublished list of Essential Duties That Must Be Done Daily in a Home, I know we are behind on all of them. I suck and it sucks. I don't want to change but I have to. And it isn't easy changing. And it isn't fast. And its a painful. Because honestly if you take away our carefree and easy-going nature and replace it with a schedule and list of rules...what have you got? ...
I don't know. And I'm afraid to find out.

And its not equal anymore. I can't even use the "we" pronoun. Its "me". I'm the mother of these children. I'm suppose to make sure that the necessary things get done. If my new age husband agrees to help with any small or large aspect of the chore list, that's super. But ultimately, if there's cracker crumbs all over the carpet and the kids are wearing mismatched socks...who do people judge? The father...oh,no. Its the mother. Always the mother. Its a tall order to be a Mother, even if you don't count the actual "child-rearing duties". So many unwritten codes and policies that honestly I don't give a damn about...except...apparently I am being judged by them and failing. And that matters to me.


Looseyfur said...

I know people who do things like divide the chores. In a stereotypical 1950's fashion the woman takes the inside and the man takes the outside. The woman takes the primary parenting responsibilities, the father takes the secondary. Mom apparently readies herself and her children every day -- and the husband only has to take care of himself.

In our house, it turned out to be a lot like what you're describing. Everything is me. I'm the parent. I do all of the housework. I make all of the appointments. I know what size shoes X-man wears, that he hates shirts with scratchy tags, that every possible moment all he wants to do is soak down something (usually my back door) with the hose.

And it appears as if this switch happens not only because I'd like to keep the house as "decent" (the meaning of this word is so subjective) as me living in my own apartment would be. That's the level to which I judge my own house. Unfortunately, MacTroll and X-man have very, very different ideas as to what it would look like if I was the one with the full-time job that traveled all the time and made the money. It's not that MacTroll beats his chest and grunts, "I make money -- you clean castle." It's that he doesn't give a shit what the castle looks like -- ever. He takes no pride in housework or yardwork. And to them, a house isn't an investment, it's just a fancy cage that he lives in temporarily every other week.

Would he notice if I stopped washing the sheets every week. Not at all.

Would he notice if all of the gardens were dead -- maybe, but he wouldn't care to put forth the effort to fix them.

Does he notice that X-man has ketchup behind his ears at bathtime. Nope. Doing something other than washing hair is apparently not on his radar of good parenting.

It is horribly unbalanced. It is so not what I thought my life would be overrun with at 33. And it's ugly and stupid.

As for the other's judging, I never really had time for that worry. I was always too busy being overcritical of myself.

Loretta said...


You (and Loosey) have pretty much just described my life. And I agree that it sucks.
David actually had the audacity to tell me once that the reason he doesn't remember thinks like well-kid check-ups, vitamins, washing behind ears, cleaning the bathroom, etc. is because it's inefficient. Really, only one person should know or remember how to do that. Funny how it is somehow the mom's job to do that. David used to say that the reason I did more housework was because I wasn't working outside the home (the one year I was home when I was pregnant with/gave birth to Teagan), yet he didn't pick up any slack when I went back to work (even though I make more money than he does--at least for the time being...). Our house was just filthy if I didn't give up sleep to make sure it was clean. Funny how he never gave up his sleep...

We totally need a mom's night to bitch about this. While we're at it I say we figure out some sort of mom/kid commune and stick all the dirty, appointment forgetting dads in their own separate hovel. We could let them visit if they behave... ;)

Lavender Lemonade said...

Thanks, Loosey and Loretta, for reminding me I'm not the lone ranger out there. :)

Rudy said...

Me and Kyle are the same way... pretty laid back and not overly anxious to clean all the time. In my opinion... if your kids are happy and healthy, you are doing a pretty darn good job! And I have seen your kids so know for a fact that you are a great mama.

So much in life is peripheral for a reason. Enjoy your children and make the changes you can make but don't stress yourself out about the small things in life. Your children aren't going to look back on their childhood and worry about crumbs on the floor or eating too many PB&Js for dinner (or whatever else we, as parents, criticize ourselves for), they are going to look back and think about the fun memories you had so make that your focus!

We all have days where we are particularly hard on ourselves but we do a lot right too!