When someone asks me what I do, I always give the same answer. I'm a homemaker extraordinaire! That's not entirely true or untrue. I am in fact a homemaker, but there's nothing extraordinary about who I am or what I do. I cook (very well) and clean (not so well) and run the household. There's no pay, no vacation, no raises since there's no pay, and certainly no recognition of performance. Unless of course I'm not performing, then there's total recognition. And here's the kicker, I can't quit my job. My bosses, aka husband and children, would be furious and hurt. And I don't want to quit. But I wouldn't mind a few changes. Who do I talk to about that?
My husband is helpful around the house, so it takes some pressure off of me. Except of course he doesn't do what I do, so I usually have to finish what I'm doing and then correct what he did wrong. I've had to reload the dishwasher, I've had to reload the dishwasher with the dirty dishes he took out of the machine and put into the cabinets. I've had to rewash clothes to remove stains from color bleeds due to whites being washed with dark colors. I told my husband, "Only in this case is segregation not only acceptable, but encouraged". I've had to rearrange DVDs so the scary movies with ugly covers aren't next to the kids cartoons. Small details that can make a big impact on how smoothly things run. But hey, at least he tries.
My eldest daughter (10) is a great help to me, but I don't want her picking up my slack. It's not fair to her at all. She does have responsibilities, like cleaning her room and bathroom, but I make sure to pay her a little something if she babysits her brother so I can use the bathroom with the door closed. $2.00 is a small price to pay for privacy. She is still in the learning stages, so now I also have an apprentice in the kitchen. It's a messy situation that will ultimately pay off later. Not only will she be able to cook real food for herself later in life, but she can help with meals when she's older and I'm burnt out. It's a win win!
Occasionally my MIL (mother-in-law) will come by to help me around the house. It's very thoughtful of her especially since I never invite her to do so. Isn't that thoughtful of her? Not only does she fold the clothes that have piled up and have taken over my bedroom, but she makes sure to walk me through her process and gives me helpful tips on how to clean. How nice. While helping some time ago she said, "You see how when I fold the blankets the pile gets smaller and you can put them in the closet in a neat stack?" to which I replied, "I've seen a stack of folded blankets before. I have even done that myself a few times." Sarcastic I know, but she was driving me nuts as she talked to me like a child. Not a small price to pay for folded blankets. So, I excused myself to run a ton of errands since she was being so helpful. And off I went, to Starbuck's for a triple venti mocha and a book. Nutrition and literature are very important to me.
When I returned I needed a dish towel and couldn't find any. MIL already left and I didn't feel like calling to ask where they were. So I looked around in the obvious storage spaces, kitchen drawers, the neat stack in the closet, the pantry, even in the dressers and garage. I couldn't find one. So, I grabbed the smallest bath towel I could find and used that. About a week later my husband and I moved our dusty empty fish tank into the garage. When we took the decorative curtain off the tank lo and behold, there were my missing dish towels. They were there the whole time. They were in the stand of the fish tank! Now why didn't I think to look there? MIL put the kitchen towels in the stand of a fish tank that was never used, nowhere near the kitchen, and that was dusty and nasty. Wasn't that thoughtful?
While thinking about all I have to do here for the husband and children, I realized that I need help. But I can't afford a maid, cook, and driver. So who would do all those things for free? Then it struck me, I need a wife.