Wednesday, February 15, 2012

My Clean Valentine

Flowers are very nice. Chocolates always make me happy. A piece of jewelry is always appreciated. But, if you really want to show me you love me, clean my house. Fold my laundry. Empty my dishwasher. Now that is romantic.

Hubs and I have been together for 13 years, and eight of those we have been married. That is a lot of Valentine's Days. I used to think that he didn't love me if he didn't bring me flowers and a card. Since having our world turned upside down and rearranged by Her Highness, there is a new language of love around here. Household labor. Want to show me you care? Wash those dishes. Sorry you made me mad? Change the sheets. Forgot to get me a card? Vacuum. We used to split all household duties down the middle, fifty/fifty. That was when we were both working full time. When it was voted on by the household (I got two votes since I was carrying the child) that I would work from home, it was discussed and agreed that I would do more of the around-the-house business. I was cool with that. I thought it would be easy. EASY. I would have many hours in the day to do my work, enrich my child with educational play, watch some Law and Order reruns, walk the dog, clean the house, do the laundry, and have a beautiful and interesting meal on the table. *Insert snort here* Fast forward a bit. It goes a little more like this. Entertain Lady Baby with Mickey, Gabba, Elmo or the Wiggles, dust half the den, work while child is napping, empty the dishwasher only to refill it to the brim with dishes that have been accumulating in the sink for the last two days, cook a Stouffers lasagna for dinner, wipe the sink in the bathroom, and put clothes in washer where they will then be forgotten about. A little different than I expected. That is because I was a fool. After a few months of being the maid, the butler, and the cook, I was close to a serious meltdown. Time for renegotiations. 

Now that's hot.
After several false starts in the division of labor talks, we finally reached a decision. I just had to say what I needed help with. Apparently my husband is not a mind reader, nor is he interested in guessing what I need for him to do. These days he almost always does the laundry. Nothing makes me happier than when the laundry fairy pays a visit. That means all laundry is done without me helping. It goes from dirty clothes basket to drawers without ever passing through these two hands. Just that alone is cause for rejoicing. It takes a big job off of my plate and leaves me time to do other things. Like my actual job I get paid for. And eat lunch at the table instead of hovering over the sink. Jackpot.

We still have the occasional argument about housework, but for the most part things are better. A lot of my friends say that their husband doesn't help out because he doesn't do it right. That means one of two things. He ether does not complete it the way she thinks it should be done, or it is not up to her standards. Fortunately I don't care how he gets the laundry done, as long as it is wearable. He can haul it down to the stream and beat it on a rock for all I care. Also, my standards for most everything are minimal, so that is not an issue either. If anything he has much higher standards than I do, so usually that is a reverse problem. And I tell him exactly what I would tell my friends. Don't complain unless you want to do it yourself. Nothing worse than a cleaning martyr. 

I have learned that I can't get mad about no help unless I have asked for help and am not receiving it. I have learned that I cannot expect things done my way unless I am the one doing them. I have learned to not question the help, to simply accept it gracefully. I have learned that nothing makes me realize how much I love my husband like seeing him trudging up the stairs with a stack of folded laundry. 

Men, if you love your wives and appreciate what they do for you, show them with a toilet brush. Or a broom. Or a magic eraser. That is the fastest way to your woman's heart. 

                               Becks just ironed this dress for her.
He scrubs the grout in Bey-bey's tub every
Saturday afternoon.

Don't believe the rumors. Demi was doing whippets
because he never cleaned the toilet.


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