I have been feeling a little undervalued of late and getting a bit resentful that so much of what I do seems to go unnoticed or unappreciated. Obviously maintaining a house and raising your children is a far cry from overcoming world hunger or curing terminal diseases, but Luke’s not doing either of those things either, so it won’t hurt him to get involved in the domestic duties occasionally. It’s the catch cry of mum’s around the world and sometimes it bothers me more than usual – this week was one of those weeks.
Its a general arrangement in our house that as Luke is the sole bread winner and does work long, labour intensive hours, that the majority of jobs around the house are my responsibility. That’s fine by me (mostly) because I am grateful that we are able to make the choice for me to be at home with Skye while she is still so little and housework is just an unpleasant side effect of that. But, like everyone, doing the same job day in-day out starts to wear you down and every so often I go on strike – like last weekend. This time I decided to take a new approach however, rather than huffing and grumbling while carrying out whatever task I was hating at the time, I figured I should just speak up. I often have to remind myself that subtle or even blunt hints rarely sink in, I really just have to spell it out. The conversation went something like this:
Me: “I’m out, I am not washing up again for the rest of the Long Weekend.”
Me: “That means you are on duty.”
Luke: “Whatever has to happen mate.”
I was bracing myself for having to assert my position further when he simply turned to me, wrapped his arms around me and gave me a hug. I would like to think that is the marital equivalent of a hand shake and Luke is very serious about his handshakes – he has already taught Skye how to shake a person’s hand correctly so I figured my point has been made.
We had been out for most of the remainder of the weekend catching up with people and I had not cooked since my previous kitchen clean up so I was beginning to think Luke had managed to avoid making good on his deal. It was getting late in the afternoon and Luke was getting ready to go out with his friends for a motorbike ride when he went into the kitchen and began rinsing and stacking. I cannot tell you the appreciation I had for him stepping in without prompting to clean the kitchen up before he went out. I have never been so pleased to see our dish drainer stacked full. In fact I even resisted the temptation to check that things were properly cleaned. Me? Control freak?
So the lesson of the day is – if you want something, just bloody well say so! Why on earth would Luke volunteer to do these things for me if he thinks that I have no problem with it?