29 August 2012

PYHO: Why is It Just Me?

I've talked a lot lately about getting myself on track with housework.  I've been so proud of the fact that I've kept my house clean for over a week - an unheard of feat in the past.  I may have kept a room or two clean, but never everything.  There was always more places than not that needed serious attention.  But I finally managed to get everything under control, figured out how to make keeping the house clean work for me, how to get the groove going.  I was so proud of the fact that I could let maintenance workers come in without fear.  That I wouldn't be pushing hard to get the house presentable when the quarterly visit by the pest control guy happened at the end of the month (read: tomorrow, Thursday, August 30).  It felt good to know that I was finally on top of one thing in my life, and that it was just the beginning for everything else that would be coming under control as well.

That is, until I got sick/threw my back out.  I don't know if it was overdoing it with all the cleaning or just my back being persnickety, but from about Saturday on, I've spent more time in bed than out.  Trying to move to the bathroom hurt.  Trying to eat made me nauseous.  I spent more time asleep than awake.  I was just feeling completely and utterly horrendous.

My husband said not to worry. He'd take care of things.  He made sure that the kids had lunches and dinner.  He made sure Teddy's homework got finished and that laundry was done on Monday.  He went out to buy ginger ale for me since it was one of the easiest things on my stomach.  He reminded the kids that Mommy wasn't feeling good so no, going up to wake her up just to show her something on the Pokemon game wasn't a good idea.  He's a good husband.  Which is why I'm a little annoyed at myself with how annoyed I am at him and the boys for the state of the apartment when I finally dragged myself downstairs last night, knowing that I would have to do a lot of dragging today (since he had to go to work and I had to drive Pete to PDO).

I came downstairs to find books and toys littering the living room floor, dishes sitting on the coffee table with bits of yogurt stuck to the side.  I found paper plates littered here and there instead of in the garbage where they belonged.  Shoes weren't at the front door, and backpacks weren't in the bin at the bottom of the stairs but were instead hazards to avoid while trying to walk from room to room.  And the kitchen... the kitchen I'd been so proud of keeping clean had dishes piled in the sink, empty pizza boxes lying on the stove and on the counter, jars and containers taking up all the spare space on the counter tops.  Magnets weren't on the fridge where I'd been reminding the boys to put them after they'd been taken off.  They were, instead, on the floor in front of the fridge acting as caltrops to anyone foolish enough to try to enter the fridge with bare feet.

I couldn't deal with it last night.  But it simmered inside me, just waiting for some other frustration to push me over the edge.  And that frustration came this morning with kids refusing to listen to me, items missing from the backpack that were supposed to be there, and shoes lost amid the mess and clutter.

I'll admit, I lost it.  I yelled and screamed, cried and bitched.  I'd been working so hard at keeping on top of things and in less than a week of me being out of commission, I felt like I'd done nothing.  I felt like I was the only one that was keeping a lid on things and I felt like I wasn't allowed to have a down day.  I was angry because even though keeping on top of things at home is my responsibility - one of the jobs that I'm supposed to be paid for in hugs, kisses and love instead of cash - I felt like I wasn't allowed to have time off because if I did, everything would go to shit.

I hate feeling like it's all on me.  Yes, I'm the one that stays home.  Taking care of the house is part of my "job".  But everyone here is old enough to help out.  I shouldn't have to go after everyone and remind them that their clothes need to be put in the hamper, not on the floor.  Or that their dishes need to go in the sink.  Or the reason we have a trash can is for trash to go in it, not for trash to be left on the floor.  It's hard enough when I'm feeling 100% (or even 75%) and can bug them to do these things.  When I'm not up for bugging them and have to come down  to find everything that they should know better about doing being left for me is enough to make me wonder why I bother.

My husband told me he'll take care of all of it tonight when he gets home.  I'm going to trust him, because I know that he's going to try to make it right.  And I'm going to push the boys to make sure they help as well.  And hopefully tomorrow, I'll be back to 75% and be able to jump back to what I need to do.  Because we all need to remember that it's our house.  Not my house.  Not Rich's house.  Not Teddy's or Peter's house.  But our house, and that means we all need to work on keeping up with it.  Because I don't mind doing the heavy lifting, as long as I'm not the only one carrying all the weight.