My weekend started off on a pretty good note. Friday I took the kids down to the carnival and we had a good time, and then on Saturday for the first time in ages, I had a babysitter! In the two decades I’ve been raising kids, I’ve had a babysitter maybe 5 times, and I’m not kidding. The truth of the matter is that my childhood was less than copacetic, in fact there are portions of it that were down right scary. I’m not dwelling on it by any means, or using it as a crutch, but there were some trickle down effects we just can’t ignore.
One of which was the overwhelming need to micromanage my children from every angle. I didn’t trust anyone else to take care of them, ever. The oldest two didn’t go to daycare or anywhere I wasn’t going to be for the majority of their young lives. But I’ve learned to recognize some of that over-protectiveness is based on irrational fears, and I’ve learned to let a few people in. I’m still very guarded when it comes to my kids, but I’m working on it, because I know I have got to carve out a space to be me again.
I guess its fair to say that no matter how much I tried to distract myself this weekend with a Bacardi Big Gulp and a street dance, and hanging out with my good friends, I knew the moment of meltdown was fast approaching. (Bacardi Big Gulp- that’s my new drink- did you know a Big Gulp has enough room for an entire bottle of Bacardi and just enough coke to balance it out? Crazy!)
A person can only hold on to the side of a cliff for so long. Eventually they have to do one of two things: climb up or fall. I think I’m falling, but I’m trying desperately to climb up. The past two years I have realized a few things about myself. Mainly, I try so hard to make everyone else happy that I have often lost myself. I have given my husband too much lead way. I have tried so hard to be the wife he fits in with that I’m no longer me.
For example, I love the ideas of education. I embrace the belief that education is the way out. As a kid, all I wanted was an education. I was the A+ student. I was the classic overachiever. My husband didn’t do so well in school. It was a big struggle for him. He got mad when I used to push our kids to be honor roll students. I let him win for a while, but recently, I realized, I am cheating my boys. They are as smart as I am, they don’t have the road block he had of a learning disability. They do have ADHD, but they are capable of being A students, and recently I decided, slacking is no longer gonna be tolerated. He refuses to join me in pushing our boys to do better, he thinks passing is acceptable. Average is not my goal for them, and I am reminded of that saying; “Lead, Follow, or get out-of-the-way!” I’m thinking he might just have to get out of my way!
I can’t live in this messy house another day. I can’t continue to spend 5 and 6 hours a day washing clothes and cleaning rooms to have them come home, throw things everywhere, leave food places, and then look at me like I am the maid. I wasn’t born to be a maid. I grew up having chores, but early in my marriage my in-laws put me down for making small children learn to pick things up! Well, guess what? Small children become big children who become grown men that can’t pick up their own underwear off the floor. Its time for change.
I was standing at the end of a weekend that had gone pretty well. Everyone spent it having fun, laughing, playing, but I was standing in the middle of a disaster area. I started trying to clean it up. I asked my husband if he could cook hot dogs. HOT DOGS PEOPLE! For nearly 20 years I have been dishing out gourmet meals and he acted like I had deeply offended him, expecting that he could heat up some weenies. That’s when I felt my insides drop out. Then I insisted that the boys gather the dishes from the living room, and when one of them said “OH MY GOD” because I made him empty the hot sauce into the trash can, it was the last straw.
And that’s when I threw a glass, and shattered it on the kitchen floor. Completely shocked, my husband started to sweep it up. Then he made the fatal mistake of saying “you wanted all these kids, you should have to take care of them.”
I do take care of them. I take them to the dentist and the doctor, help them with homework, go to all their parent conferences and wash their socks and cook their meals, but I’m a person too. I can’t go on tolerating any form of disrespect. There should be time in my day to write a blog, enjoy a walk, read a book, I’m a person too! So then he said “don’t get mad at us just because you can’t keep the house clean. You wanted to be a stay-at-home mama and you can’t even do it right.” I was still cleaning out the dishwasher at that moment, and I just dropped everything in my hand, and walked away.
Minutes later, in our bedroom, I broke down in tears and said “I need a partner, a real partner…”
…………………….to be continued…………………………