I’ve been slipping back into some old patterns of anger. Who would have thought that this is such a recurring theme for me? The past couple of days I have been cleaning up the kitchen at night and I get so cranky. It just sucks to cook and then clean up the same mess. And last night, I tried a new recipe but Nova did not want to be put down. So I’m eating right-handed (awkwardly) and I’m trying to scarf it down so I can bounce with her. I couldn’t even get five minutes. I was thinking idly, how many women in the past killed themselves when all they could see ahead of them was a lifetime of drudgery? Because it’s hard, harder than it looks, to be the mother and wife of a household. Oh, and my husband thinks he does so much (and to be gracious, he does do a lot), but however much he’s doing, I’m still doing more.
But when I am calmer, it is all understandable. Nova had her 4-month shots yesterday and was cranky too. She nursed for a solid hour at the end of the night, not because she was that hungry, she just wanted comfort. And it’s hard to step back and realize-This is what I should be doing. A clean house and making a nice supper, she doesn’t care. She wants to be held, to be loved, to be wanted. Nova and Rowan don’t care if all they get to eat is macaroni and cheese from a box or hotdogs and biscuits. It’s me who cares.
I think in a way, Leif has a point. He doesn’t have all these shoulds running around in his head. Here I am, with a running tally of what needs to be done,
and he is immune. Because to him it is a spiritual endeavor to be the best father he can be, by being there. To give his kids what he lacked. And his simplistic view, I have to admit, is the right one.
It’s my shame I’m carrying around. Growing up in a cluttered and disorganized home, I never felt it. And we always ate so well, even if the kitchen was a mess. It was years later when Leif got to see the home I grew up, that I saw us as others must have. We’re driving in, and I see the piles of black garbage bags filled with leaves all over the back yard, and the cruddy clothesline, and I realize we were trashy. My parents didn’t smoke and drink beer and watch television all day, but I thought it was normal to retreat into books and just let the house fall apart around us.
So here I am, trying to be a clean, organized person, teach myself new tricks, afraid someone will figure out that I’m trashy. Oh sure, I read a lot. But what do I do? And it is that I’m trying to fight against. But part of me misses my slovenly ways, misses doing nothing, misses reading my vampire novels, misses the rich fantasy life I used to live in. Me? I have to be me? If I don’t have time for makeup anymore and I’m not supposed to wear my contacts (much), can I still be beautiful if I’m plain?
At least I don’t wear sweatpants.
And look at what I DID do last night:
I made Chinese curried chicken from scratch
I nursed Nova for over an hour
I read to Rowan
I cleaned up the kitchen after dinner
I baked brioche with thawed dough in the refrigerator
I made cold brewed coffee for the next morning
I made a marinade for chicken wings (Rowan is really into chicken wings)
I pumped and got Nova’s milk ready
I got Rowan’s clothes ready
I cleaned the catboxes
I did my nightly pushups
Okay, so I did do a lot. I should be proud, not crabby. Tonight-chocolate ice cream and Firefly.