Saturday, February 6, 2010

I need this: (some things we argue about)

I am in desperate need for a holiday. Not one of those holidays where you leave your home for two weeks in order to rush around to visit friends and family all over the place and end up in more need of a holiday when you get back than you were before. No, I mean, a real holiday, sunshine, swimming pool, coconut smelling sunscreen, Margarita in hand, just the four of us, no one else.
Have talked to the husband about this, and he agrees. I'll book something, he says.
A week later nothing is booked. I gently poke him, but nothing happens.
Finally, he says:
- Well, I'm stuck at work, you're at home all day, why don't you book something.
This is where the argument explodes.
Let's not go down the: I'm working and you're at home doing nothing all day - road, shall we, instead, let's look at this objectively.
I mean, I think we all know that being a SAHM equals paid work away from home (not measured in money paid in to account every month, but rather the sheer exhaustion you feel by the end of the day), so it would be futile to start arguing about that.
No, I am carefully picking this apart and looking at it objectively:
I organize play-dates.
I research, and sign up to after school activities.
I am responsible for summer camps.
I book medical, dental and hair cut appointments - heck, I'm the only one who has these numbers in my phone.
I did the pre-school thing, with researching, filling in applications, going on tours and doing the follow-up's.
The rabbit, the vet appointments, becoming bona fide rabbit expert on food, molting, spaying etc, is my thing.
Library books, new clothes, old shoes, that's me.
Scheduling anything that has to do with up-keep of the house, chasing work-men, staying at home for hours waiting for them and then having to endure their work which always takes longer than they first say - oh, that would be me.
If my husband suggest we go out to dinner or a movie, he will always say: I'll book something, which he never does, and it falls on my in the end.
I am also room-parent for Kate's class this year, and I am not going to tell you how heavy that email-load is sometimes....

So, would it be nice to have something that didn't become my responsibility, just because I happen to stay at home all day?
Yes, is the answer.
I have no idea why all of this became my territory in the first place. So he's working? Big fucking deal. I seem to remember being able to schedule my own optometry appointments when I was still working, for my husband it is a miracle if he can call his dentist once a year, it's more likely to be every other year.

OK, so my husband is not a total looser, far from it. He's a great, loving, fantastic husband, who is never expecting any of this to be "my job". He never expects dinner on the table or the kids to be in bed when he gets home.
But if I don't do it, it just doesn't get done.
It doesn't matter if you live in the most equal marriage in the world, if one of you stay at home while the other one is working, the one at home will be the one who all the menial tasks fall upon, there is no way around it. The only way to change it is for both of you to go to work.

So, I have become one of those women.
And I don't like it.
I should just stop doing it, and wait for someone else to realize that it needs to get done.
But I do want that holiday, desperately.


  1. First of all, book the holiday yourself. Then you get too make all the choices to suit your own desires!

    Second of all, I will share a recent realization of mine with you, because your post makes me think of it.

    As a recently divorced mom whose children have mostly left the nest, I spend a lot of time with the place to myself. To my complete surprise, there are still messes! And things still get lost in the shuffle even when the chaos is purely of my own making.

    Here's what I found: sometimes, I will wait to make the appointment, tidy something up, or whatever only until it becomes clear no one else is going to do it (which of course, was clear from the start, but I needed the problem to be more urgent before I moved it to the top of my list).

    I sigh, and finally do it.

    Also I even realize I have some annoying habits, habits that annoy myself (leaving dental floss on the bedside table, for example). I pick it up in the morning and throw it away in irritation, but there's no one to say anything about it to.

    My point is, if you want someone else to step in and take care of things, you have to leave them not-taken-care-of, or no one is going to notice the necessity to get them done. Human nature.

    But definitely don't leave your holiday unbooked :)

  2. Hi Indie - you are so, so right! It doesn't help sitting around waiting for someone else to do your "dirty" work for you, and I wouldn't want to become one of those women who is completely dependent on their husband to get things done. Proven point: I grew up without a father, when I was 12 I knew how to change a punctured tyre on my bike, my mother taught me. It took a while, a whole Sunday to be precise, but I got the job done.

    I think the petty arguments between me and my husband - who is a great man, and the best man:) bolis down to what we tolerate and what we don't: I hate dirty laundry on the bedroom floor, he can step over iles of it for weeks without even noticing it, I leave left over food in the fridge for weeks and he has to clean it out.
    We are actually a very good match because we compliment each other quiet well. Arguing when you have a family with young children is inevitable, I think, the important thing is that we are both happy once we make up again:)