The stove top was covered in layers of grease.
Piles of clean clothes took up permanent residence in laundry baskets.
I needed help putting the freshly washed sheets back on the bed.
Remember the movie The Breakup? When Brooke wanted twelve lemons, but Gary only got her three? I felt like Brooke. Hurt. Unseen. Like what mattered to me didn’t matter to anyone else.
One night, I couldn’t take looking at all the undone chores anymore, and I lost it on my unsuspecting family.
“I’m not the maid,” I declared.
“No one appreciates me,” I cried as I raced to get my purse and keys. I needed to a time-out.
Then I realized I was barefoot. “What if I wanted to browse somewhere,” I thought as I pictured myself escaping my reality in the aisles of Target. So, I went to my closet and fumbled through the shoe organizer.
“These shoes don’t match my dress. My outfit won’t coordinate,” I thought to myself.
I decided it was insignificant considering the circumstances and slid my bare feet into the black flip-flops. I proceeded to storm out of the house when Matt intercepted me in the master bathroom.
I let it all out. I told Matt about the greasy stove top. And changing the sheets, and making the bed, and putting away laundry, and keeping a clean home and how I work, too, and why didn’t they see them as daily priorities too…
In the distance, I heard the clinking of dishes being put away. Then, the whirring of the vacuum cleaner. My daughter was doing her chores.
I started to calm down.
Then, Matt said something about all of us cleaning together on Saturdays, and how it won’t take that long if we all work together.
I felt relief, hope even.
The truth is, not much has actually changed since that night. My house sometimes still gets too dirty for me to handle. But, thanks to a shift in my mindset, and redefining my daily priorities,”I don’t get nearly as upset over the undone chores.
Instead, I catch myself reminiscing over meal prep and dinner time as I wipe down counter tops. I feel a sense of pride when I deliver a basket full of freshly cleaned laundry to my bedroom. Peace washes over me as I fluff pillows and push the reset button on the living room.
Then, in the quiet of night when my family is safe and sound asleep, I smile at tomorrow, knowing it’s the messes don’t matter, not even the greasy stove top, because my people are my priority.
Sharon, I need my house to be clean too! When things aren’t going exactly right….I clean. When I was teaching and had a rough day…I cleaned. It’s one thing we can kind of control. Right? Not in an OCD way but the world just feels better when our homes are tidy.
Yes, I’ve said all the words you said. 🙂
Mary Jo Hamilton says
Boy do I know the feeling….my situation though is a little different….I’ve always been a full-time homemaker, but sometimes even when you’re home all the time, you think they expect so much more out of you. I don’t mind doing “more” since I am home more, but simetimes it’s just nice to feel appreciated and have “some” help at least, or work together as a team on some things. 🙂
Mrs. Hines says
I’m so glad you understand. 🙂 And that I’m not alone. Thank you.
Mrs. Hines says
I’m home, and this blog is my work from home job. So, I feel the pressure of doing more because I’m at home during the day. But, I also feel responsible for my blog. It’s a juggling act.
Mary Jo…I could have said that…
I had a part-time job for over 40 years but it looks as if everyone can leave all behind, bags, coats, shoes, cups, plates…really everything. And why…because mom cleanes.
Mrs. Hines says
Exactly! We Moms need to let everyone pick up after themselves. I’m working on it.