Thursday, July 29, 2010

Things Seem Unbalanced

When Beatrice was born, JD really stepped up to the plate. I was suffering from the postpartum blues for the first month of her life (not to mention major sleep deprivation) so I was grateful when he took the reigns on the whole baby raising thing. He changed diapers (never poopy ones), gave baths and prepared meals. While I cried and cried. It was great. I still had to nurse and get up a bazillion times a night, but JD was there keeping the kitchen clean and our laundry folded. Then he left for 5.5 months for job training out of state. I maintained everything in our house while he was away. I did what I had to do for our little family and eventually, I fell into a great routine and started enjoying all of my responsibilities. Every once in a while I felt overwhelmed but knew that God doesn't give us more than we can handle. So I pressed on knowing that my husband would be home soon.

When JD returned home I thought, great now I have a helper. I imagined that he would take over Beatrice's bedtime routine and maybe handle a few dirty diapers. My load would be a little lighter so I could have some extra time for me. Oh how naive I was. When he returned, my work load doubled. I barely cooked when he was gone so all of the sudden, I had to meal plan and cook. Every night. I had more laundry, more dirty dishes, more everything. And it's great, it really is. I was so lonely without him I never want to complain about the extra work because it means he's here with me messing everything up. 

I'm at the point now where I am really good at this stay at home mom thing. I meal plan like a chef, my laundry baskets aren't overflowing, my floors are clean. Except for the cat litter, see post below. But it is becoming more and more obvious to me that the work load between the adults in the house is not balanced. While JD occasionally gets Beatrice up in the mornings, he still calls me when she poops so really it's not all that helpful. It's the thought that counts though, right? I make our coffee, all of our meals, I make our bed, I clean, I pay the bills, I run errands, I make appointments, I shop, I do most of the household chores. And while I don't take for granted that JD is the sole provider and without his efforts at work we would ultimately starve and be homeless, it is becoming more apparent that I do a whole lot more at home than he does.

I find myself saying things like "put your feet up and rest honey" or "go take a nap," "sleep in" to him. But I never take naps, sleep in or really stop until bedtime. Isn't this kind of the way that it is though? Don't most wives/moms carry the majority of the household chores while the men relax? It's like men get to be relieved for the day once they get home from work but women, no matter if they work outside the home or not are on until bedtime. I remember my mom folding laundry while we watched TV with my dad. She was washing the dinner dishes while we played games. She cleaned while we fished. We played, she worked. Always.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. Just observing. I love my life and love having a husband to cook for and clean up after. He said the best thing to me the other day. "I really appreciate everything you do for us and I am aware that you do 99% of the work in this house." Honestly, all I needed was for him to know that I do it all. He never has to thank me or remind me of how hard I work because knowing that he knows is enough. I really do relish in my role as housewife. Even if it means endless work and little thanks.

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