Aaahhh....this is the life.
I have a good job, two gorgeous boys under 3, a loving husband who works hard to provide for us, a big beautiful house (cos size does matter) and life is SO good. Or so I am told if I dare complain about being tired, overwhelmed and unsupported. I chose to have kids after all, what did I expect?
Yes, I chose to have kids but I didn't make that choice on my own and I didn't imagine I would be doing it all on my own either.
What I expected was support from the man who made that decision with me and now I expect validation and acknowledgement of my struggles.
Yes I have two gorgeous boys but the little fuckers don't sleep through the night and despite how loud they cry nobody can hear them but me.
Yes I have a big beautiful house but it takes hours to clean by myself and only stays that way if I chain my mess makers to the clothes line.
Yes I have a loving husband who provides for us but he, unfortunately, doesn't know one end of a mop from the other, can't work out how the washing machine works and believes that playing with the boys for 15 minutes in the evening is the extent of his parenting responsibilities.
I am overwhelmed, I'm exhausted, I'm riddled with guilt and I'm expected to suck it up. That's what being a mum is all about, right?
Maybe in the early 1900's!!!
The percentage of women in the workforce has dramatically increased since then but the expectations of who will carry the load at home has stayed the same. For me, the issue wasn't that everyone thought it was my job to take care of the kids, cook, clean AND work. The problem was that I BELIEVED that too. Hence the guilt for not being able to cope.
In hindsight there should have been open and honest discussions with my hubby about an equal division of labour, leaving no room for unreasonable expectations (from both sides) or assumptions. Instead I endured years of guilt, anger, resentment, fights, tears and the constant contemplation of divorce before things started to shift to a more balanced arrangement. It all sounds very formal and business like; discussing the terms of the marriage and the allocation of responsibilities and maybe in an ideal world, it's not necessary, but this is not an ideal world.
My advice, know what you want, be up front and honest (not bitchy #whome), be assertive, be willing to compromise but don't give up more ground than you are willing to. Making positive changes in your life starts with acknowledging your role in creating the current situation (what have you ALLOWED) and then making the decision to take action to create change.
Does this all sound WAY TOO FAMILIAR? Let me know in the comments if you resonate with this?