Keep On Trying

I’ve been slipping back into some old patterns of anger.  Who would have thought that this is such a recurring theme for me?  The past couple of days I have been cleaning up the kitchen at night and I get so cranky.  It just sucks to cook and then clean up the same mess.  And last night, I tried a new recipe but Nova did not want to be put down.  So I’m eating right-handed (awkwardly) and I’m trying to scarf it down so I can bounce with her.  I couldn’t even get five minutes.  I was thinking idly, how many women in the past killed themselves when all they could see ahead of them was a lifetime of drudgery?  Because it’s hard, harder than it looks, to be the mother and wife of a household.  Oh, and my husband thinks he does so much (and to be gracious, he does do a lot), but however much he’s doing, I’m still doing more.

But when I am calmer, it is all understandable.  Nova had her 4-month shots yesterday and was cranky too.  She nursed for a solid hour at the end of the night, not because she was that hungry, she just wanted comfort.  And it’s hard to step back and realize-This is what I should be doing.  A clean house and making a nice supper, she doesn’t care.  She wants to be held, to be loved, to be wanted.  Nova and Rowan don’t care if all they get to eat is macaroni and cheese from a box or hotdogs and biscuits.  It’s me who cares.

I think in a way, Leif has a point.  He doesn’t have all these shoulds running around in his head.  Here I am, with a running tally of what needs to be done,
catboxes, dishes,
laundry, lunches,
supper, pumping,
flossing, brushing,

and he is immune.  Because to him it is a spiritual endeavor to be the best father he can be, by being there.  To give his kids what he lacked.  And his simplistic view, I have to admit, is the right one.

It’s my shame I’m carrying around.  Growing up in a cluttered and disorganized home, I never felt it.  And we always ate so well, even if the kitchen was a mess.  It was years later when Leif got to see the home I grew up, that I saw us as others must have.  We’re driving in, and I see the piles of black garbage bags filled with leaves all over the back yard, and the cruddy clothesline, and I realize we were trashy.  My parents didn’t smoke and drink beer and watch television all day, but I thought it was normal to retreat into books and just let the house fall apart around us.

So here I am, trying to be a clean, organized person, teach myself new tricks, afraid someone will figure out that I’m trashy.  Oh sure, I read a lot.  But what do I do?  And it is that I’m trying to fight against.  But part of me misses my slovenly ways, misses doing nothing, misses reading my vampire novels, misses the rich fantasy life I used to live in.  Me?  I have to be me?  If I don’t have time for makeup anymore and I’m not supposed to wear my contacts (much), can I still be beautiful if I’m plain?

At least I don’t wear sweatpants.

And look at what I DID do last night:
I made Chinese curried chicken from scratch
I nursed Nova for over an hour
I read to Rowan
I cleaned up the kitchen after dinner
I baked brioche with thawed dough in the refrigerator
I made cold brewed coffee for the next morning
I made a marinade for chicken wings (Rowan is really into chicken wings)
I pumped and got Nova’s milk ready
I got Rowan’s clothes ready
I cleaned the catboxes
I did my nightly pushups

Okay, so I did do a lot.  I should be proud, not crabby.  Tonight-chocolate ice cream and Firefly.

Author: ~R

I write about life, people, and the things that interest in me. Which often includes death, sex, friendship, and the future of humanity. I hope for the best in people and I prepare for the worst. But no matter what happens, change is constant and everything will be ok.

4 thoughts on “Keep On Trying”

  1. I can totally relate to this! How many times have I told Eric, “Sure honey, you do stuff, but I do more!” And how much time have I spent cleaning when I could be playing with my kids? I have been trying lately to let some things slide in order to take the kids outside, now that the weather is better. But the clutter bugs me. Like you, I grew up in a cluttered house. Not quite to to point of your house, but there was clutter everywhere. Half the time we had to clear the junk off the kitchen table if we actually wanted to sit down and eat together. So now I’m a fanatic about the dining room table always being clear!

    You really did get a lot done last night! Most nights I just manage to re-heat leftovers for dinner and that’s about it. The dishes pile up until Saturday (unless Bill and/or Olya are coming over then I try to make an effort Wed night). The table gets cleared by Eric (sometimes with help from Alex), so I can’t even claim that task.

    Here’s to letting the house get a little more cluttered and spending more time with our kids, who could honestly care less that the mail is still sitting on the counter!

  2. I have to say, you certainly got a lot more done than me, and I don’t even HAVE any kids to use as an excuse for not getting anything done. I think one bonus for you to help you see that you got a boatload done is to write it down after you do it, or right before you go to bed. I always know that when I go to clean at all, I always feel like I didn’t get anything done, but seeing it on paper might help you realize that you are getting quite a bit done, and maybe figure out a routine to where you don’t have to do everything at once. Writing everything down for awhile might help you figure out what could have been left for later and what had to be done right away. Who knows if it’ll work though, I don’t ever get anything done so my advice might not be the best.

  3. You totally did a lot! I grew up “trashy” too, but my parents did smoke and drink alot (well my Mom didn’t drink) but they both smoked like fiends. I used to think the few friends I had had such nice houses, pure luxury to have soft towels and clean sheets and blankets. You could see their counters for the most part and their weren’t boxes of just random junk laying around.

    Sadly, I run into boxes of “stuff that has to be sorted” all the time now. So my place is still cluttered — you are right, we are spending the time with our children and that is what really matters. We will have all the time in the world to make our house magazine ready later on, until then … it’s comfortable. Lived in. And, I thought your house was great and super clean. 😉

  4. Just want to say what a great blog you got here!
    I’ve been around for quite a lot of time, but finally decided to show my appreciation of your work!

    Thumbs up, and keep it going!


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