Very rarely do I use this space to bitch about the Huz. Mostly because he’s a good huz. Also, because I figure our problems are between us and who wants to hear that crap? However, I think this is a pretty generic and common complaint. And it has been bugging me for a week now, so, to try to let it go, I’m going to first let it out.
Last week (Monday and Tuesday especially) just sucked. I was kind of down and out, having an episode of what I call the “mommy blues.” First, let me get this out of the way: I love my life, and what I have chosen to do with it. ‘Nuff said. But as all moms can attest to, the daily grind can be, well, grinding. The constant demands of everyone, the repetitive cycle of daily life at home with two babies, all the things that need – nay, have - to be done around the house… it was wearing on me. More than these things, however, I was bummed about the lack of appreciation and recognition.
Story old as time, I know.
So, on this particular day of last week, I cooked dinner, served it, and escaped to take a shower. Yes, that day, I was much more concerned about standing under hot water than feeding my hungry belly. I did not want to watch kids pick at their plates, throw their food, or mush dinner into their hair. I thought maybe a hot shower would help me relax. It felt like the closest thing I could get to a break at that moment in time.
Why, then, if I felt that way, did it enrage me beyond reason when I returned to the chaos to hear the Huz say, “Did you enjoy your break?”
Why is something that is considered vital to health and hygiene classified as a “break” for me? Yes, I took said shower at an unusual hour, but that only affected me. I made sure all the kids who need to be were strapped in, and that all of them were served. How hard could it have been to sit and watch them eat while he ate? Seriously, people.
It really bothers me that a shower taken when all the kids happen to be awake, or a solo trip to town for groceries, is deemed a mommy-break. In the interest of full disclosure, grocery shopping is a 3-hour round trip when you live where we live. And yes, it’s easier sans kiddles. It’s nice to take that long drive without screeching, crying, kicking, and nap-interrupting. When I happen to make this trip alone, it means Daddy does the kid-duty. So, in that sense, it is a break.
Nevertheless, I would classify this as an extension of my mom-duties. Um, we have to eat. Or, more accurately, I have to feed everyone. And, to paraphrase one of my best friends, as if grocery shopping is sooo fun that I’d choose to do it in my free time.
Therefore, in my mind at least, “me time” would consist of something I like to do, is not necessary, and benefits only me. Well, aside from the benefits of having a sane wife and mother that the rest of the household would enjoy.
I guess it bugs me because I don’t consider his time spent at work as a “break” from the kids. I know that he works hard, and when he comes home everyday, I try to make this as relaxing an environment as it can be. Which, okay, falls short of relaxing much of the time. But I try.
And, really, that’s not a fair comparison to make. He works a physically demanding job and still comes home and helps (as well he should). He is not the guy who comes in demanding his dinner be hot and waiting. He changes shitty diapers. He helps clean. He’s basically wonderful, except he doesn’t understand.
It’s hard for me to put into words for him the frustration that I feel. It’s hard to explain the level of mental and emotional exhaustion I feel sometimes. It’s hard to justify “me time” when there is so much more to do.