Thursday, August 23, 2012

"If you do not do laundry, I am buying the kids a whole new wardrobe!"

I am always so conscious of that balance between keeping it real, but being productive and positive about my life. But there are times when I just come undone. I mean really. There are only so many times I can have the same conversation with people and as a teacher, my fuse is already short. I say, "where is your pencil?" 9,872 times a day and I hate repeating myself; so when I get home and I have to ask and ask and ask for something to be done, it's like nails on a chalkboard (I'm sure it's nails on a chalkboard to the people who have to listen to it as well).


So, I took it to a whole new level yesterday. A level of complete and utter desperation. My kids were throwing a fit at 7am in the morning when I was trying to get everyone dressed, fed, and out the door by myself (Isabella was upset that I wouldn't carry her around; Aiden was upset that I wouldn't take him out of his crib; Connor was demanding that I get his "Mater underwear" rather than the plain blue underwear I had picked out). The laundry hamper was overflowing from the last time I did laundry (a week ago); there were diapers sitting on the changing table that hadn't been thrown away; and clothes in the middle of the nursery floor that had been thrown there instead of the hamper.

I. Was. Coming. Undone.

Thoughts of WHY AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO EVER DOES LAUNDRY??? WHY AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO DOES DISHES? WHY AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO PUTS DIAPERS IN THE TRASH?? came flooding to my brain. And in complete desperation, I did the only thing I could think of to do - you know, the thing where I transform from nice, kind, loving Mrs. Howard into the lady who has  tear-streaked marks all over her face, the lady whose voice is raised and is barely making any sense, the lady who has completely lost touch with reality and is instead shooting steam from her ears.

I called my husband and in desperation gave him an ultimatum. Either he needed to help me with the laundry (have I mentioned he has never done the kids laundry since Connor was born - 3 years ago?) OR I was going to go out and buy the kids all new clothes. Seriously. Did I mention I was desperate? Of course, looking back, it was a silly thing to threaten. And I'm kinda surprised he didn't laugh at me. But in that moment, I was serious. Had he told me that he wasn't going to do laundry, I was prepared to take the credit card to target and buy all three kids a new wardrobe. Have you ever met the Mrs. Howard who means what she says and says what she means? Yeah. That's the teacher in me. If I tell a kid I'm calling home. I call. Because the one time you don't...the one time that child sees that you don't do what you say you're going to do - that is the exact moment when you have lost all credibility with that student. Of course, the same goes if I tell that student I'm going to go to his basketball game on Saturday. If I say I'm going to do something, you better believe that I will move mountains to do it. So, with my credit card in hand - ready to go purchase new clothes - I prepared myself for battle.

But the truth is, I don't want to battle. I want peace. I want the fairytale where the housework gets done and everyone effortlessly works together to get it all done. I want to wiggle my nose and wave my hand and watch as clothes dance across my floor into the closet - perfectly pressed, and diapers magically walk themselves out to the trash. I want a husband who is never tired and who somehow manages to help me with the housework, spend time with the kids, and cuddle with me on the couch. And most importantly, I want to be super-wife, super-mom, super-teacher and I want to always remain calm and understanding in moments of stress.

But that's not the reality. The reality is that marriage is work. Being a parent is work. And there are never going to be enough hours in the day to get everything done that we want to get done.

So, while I hate the woman who temporarily takes over my body a few times a year when I come undone, what I love is the opportunity to remember that we're all human and that no one is perfect. My husband may not help with the housework like I'd like, but I also need to be better about communicating my wants before they turn into frustrations. My kids may not be perfect and are going to throw fits, but it just means they're here with us to throw them. My husband and I may fight, but it just means that our marriage is worth fighting for. And I may be the crazy woman who shoots steam out of her ears, but it just reminds me that I'm no better than anyone else. We all make mistakes.

We all come undone.

4 comments:

Tesha said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Love this! Ha I turn into that woman a couple of times a month, I am sure my family wishes it was a couple of times a year LOL. My husband has always had two demanding jobs Pastoring and running his own business so I am the hose keeper and baby watcher. When they get older he spends huge amounts of time with them and trains them to be a huge help to me but I remember when I had just babies and it was so hard. Sounds like your husband responded lovingly because you can smile about it today. I love a woman that keeps her word, I would also love a new target wardrobe for the kids ;)

Pam said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Love the honesty! We've all been there. Whether it is laundry, dishes, diapers or cooking - we've all lost it! Its normal. We are woman and its allowed.

The Schult Family said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

That last paragraph is the best. I like your perspective on things....D

Barb said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

It's true, we do all come undone now and again! I once started throwing dishes on the floor when they needed to be washed and I realized that I was the only one that ever did them. This was very early on in our relationship - about 18 years ago. He's washed a lot of dishes since then. And, so have I! So, I'd say were even - lol!

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