Mom = Default
This is a personal frustration that I just cannot contain any longer. So what better way to deal with it than to publicly vent into the blogosphere. Here it goes.
We’re getting ready to move back to Idaho, and our landlord has decided to sell the townhouse he has been renting to us. During this process, we’ve been working with the realtor to get everything ready including painting a bedroom, working with an interior designer and photographer, and just recently, readying the home for an open house.
In my family, my husband is the stay-at-home parent. This is a fact I’ve reiterated to the realtor, yet she continues to try to turn me into a middleman and have me schedule things for him. It’s taken an immense amount of self control to refrain from screaming, “I’M NOT HIS PERSONAL ASSISTANT!”
Listen, my husband is a very capable man. He indeed has the ability to look at a calendar and assess his personal availability. He does not need me to do it for him.
After the realtor’s latest attempt to treat me like Google Calendar, I’ve come to the conclusion (based on an extensive amount of unbiased and empirical data) that women are the default. More specifically, moms are the default. We are the first to be called if there is an emergency at school or if someone is due for a teeth cleaning. Heck, I still get called by the dentist to confirm my husband’s appointments.
To be fair, I think moms, myself included, often create more work for ourselves than is necessary. We volunteer for the extra church assignment or charge ourselves with throwing an over-the-top, one-of-a-kind, completely homemade birthday party (I’m looking at you, Pinterest).
To make it worse, we don’t let our husbands help, or when we do, we complain about how poorly they did it. Even more cringe-worthy, we refer to our husbands as our “second/third/nineteenth child.” I’ve found myself caught in this cycle, too.
Me: Dustin, will you do the dishes?
Dustin: Sure. I love you. You're the best wife ever.*
LATER THAT DAY
Me: Why did you load the dishwasher this way? You don't know how to load a dishwasher. Never touch it again.
But there is hope, and I am ready to share my discovery. You ready? The answer is to delegate. That’s right. Delegate. Let go. Let your husband take charge of tasks and don’t criticize him later.
I’m not perfect at this of course, but after attempting this several times, my sanity is slowly restoring. Slowly. It’s only a matter of time before I’m a fully functioning adult.
It's time for some real talk, ladies.
Sometimes being a working mom really does suck. There are days when the guilt is all consuming, and you wish you could be the superwoman you envisioned. But when superwoman doesn’t appear in the mirror, you overcompensate by adding more to the to-do list, filling up the calendar with tasks instead of looking for ways to simplify.
But I’ve found that being a working mom can suck a whole lot less when you start treating your spouse like a partner, and when you look over at the wonderful, capable, helpful man you married, hold back all criticism and say, “Honey, thanks for doing the dishes.”
Forgive my speaking in generalities. I understand that many families look different than ours. This has been my experience, and one that I believe is shared by many.
*Dramatization of actual events.