I read an article once on a blog a lot like this. It was titled something along the lines of “she divorced me because of dirty dishes” and no, it wasn’t truly about dirty dishes. I mean, to him maybe it was but to her it was much more. You see, the story starts out a lot like many of us. A wife or mother who works her tail off and in return is just hoping that will come back to her once in a while. SPOILER ALERT! It didn’t… all she wanted was for him to clean up after himself. To clean the dishes or notice a few things that needed attention and help out in appreciation of all her hard work. Maybe he’d handle a few things without her asking, or maybe even with her asking but without a fight. No strings attached. Just a simple “we are in this together and I will take care of you like you take care of me” but, he didn’t understand that those fights about dishes weren’t actually about dishes. They were about her self worth and how she equated him helping her in those ways (or lack there of) to how much he valued her and all she did for their family.
Sound familiar? Yeah, me too. I can’t tell you how many times I have tried to write the blog on this subject. It’s been written and Re-written over and over. I was scared. Scared to post something that may make waves, air dirty laundry or step on toes but, I’m not scared anymore. I know I can’t be the only one who just wants to not clean up the same things every single day.
Being a grown up sucks! Okay? We all feel that way when it comes to bills and chores and honey-do-lists but, it is what it is. Now, how come I know that, suck it up and do whatever needs to be done with the determination to not let any of the people I love down but that never comes back around? I know, I know… that sounds so selfish when I say it out loud but, seriously!! When do I get to have someone to take care of ME?! When is someone going to swoop in and take something off my plate, catch me when I fall and handle the crap I am up to here trying to handle? Anyone know these answers? When does the rescue boat come? Sometimes I feel like I am failing at life. Like I am drowning and I need a life preserve and while I know I am the mom, the glue, the fixer, the saver; sometimes I have to be saved too.
This is where all that love and support from the ones I share my home with are supposed to come in…SPOILER ALERT… It doesn’t. Not the way I need it to anyway.
I want to go to bed when I’m tired, sleep soundly and fall asleep easily, have someone pick up where I left off when I need to tap out . You know, the way I do for others. You know what though? More than anything else; I need to be noticed, appreciated and thanked for my hard work and sleepless nights. Not because I do them to get a “thank you” but because it’s so hard to keep going and doing when you feel like you are invisible. It’s incredibly difficult to want to help people while they whine about helping you, undo everything you worked hard to accomplish and leave what they don’t want to do for you to find time to fix. I need someone to rely on too! I start wondering “Is this all I am here for? To find your things, do the wash, cook and clean up after you?” Am I right?
I’m not asking for a pat on the back or big to-do though. I’m just saying once in a while you notice when I’m dragging. When I’ve had enough or need a break, let me have it. Not all the time but, some! Take it a step further even and keep your own mess cleaned up. Handle your own responsibilities without me asking or reminding you and please for heavens sake do NOT mess up the things I worked all day to clean, prep and fix. Can you think of one thing you’ve ever worked hard on that you thought “eh, if someone came and dismantled all this it would be okay.” NO!!
Don’t get me wrong. We live here in this house and I don’t expect it to look like a museum or for everyone to be on top of their sh** all the time but seriously, make a good effort!
If you are reading this right now and wondering if your spouse feels the same; they probably do now, have in the past or will in the future. So when she starts yelling about clothes on the floor or fights with you about why the repairs haven’t been made or is being oh-so-dramatic about some silly dishes, just follow though. Show her through actions that you care. Sweet gestures are great but, they won’t save you in a fight like this. DO THE DISHES!! Trust me, she’s easier to please than you think she is! And no, I don’t mean “DO THE DISHES this will fix things.” I mean, she’s waiting for you to prove that you appreciate her hard work but not undoing it. So, pay attention and lend a hand. I promise, she will thank you even if you’ve never thanked her for doing the same exact job.
P.S… she still loves you.
The infamous article can be found here: https://mustbethistalltoride.com/2016/01/14/she-divorced-me-because-i-left-dishes-by-the-sink/