Filled with anger at the moment, I thought I would take a breath and write.
I have moved through the space of parenthood, grandparenting, being a daughter, sister, aunt, and every other title relating. Motherhood was fun and horrible at times. Perhaps I am not supposed to say that, but I speak truth. It is the title of wife that I write about tonight.
Growing up, I watched our neighborhood moms be amazing housekeepers, caretakers, chefs, nurses, seamstresses, and all those things mom’s do. I used to dream of the day I joined their ranks. Following my beautiful wedding, I would live in a cozy house, and care for my family with the same perfection my childhood memories showed me.
Those moms also never worked.
I entered marriage as a single mother, and he had a child. So, we began with a family of five. I had expectations of someone to share life with. Reality would prove dreams do not come true.
Though married, I remained single in the every day tasks of parenting, housekeeping, and other areas of my life. I bought groceries, prepared meals, cleaned, did laundry, attended school meetings, delivered kids to school and picked them up, made and attended every doctor appointment, alone.
I worked full time managing a dental practice, and I could not live up to the legacy of those moms of my childhood.
The failures haunted me for years. Guilt was a heavy weight I could not bare. Eventually, I gave up and reluctantly stopped trying so hard. My house was a disaster, dishes piled up, laundry stacked in baskets, floors not vacuumed. I am not proud, just honest. With no help from the one who chose to do life with me, I did not care.
Through the years, little changed. REPHRASE-nothing changed. Though I tended to my home better.
The mentality that ‘I work longer hours and make more money’ has thrust me deep in depression, multiple times. It seems my payment for being in this marriage is to be the overseer of all aspects of home life. After all, my measily financial contribution means nothing.
That brings us back to my anger.
With a total disregard for all I do do, I was shot with daggers when the tea he prefers was not here and waiting. Since I get home first, I should make sure those teas are in the fridge and ready for him. I do not drink them, in fact, no one else is allowed to drink them.
I am angry at myself for the defiant and rude response, “It’s not my responsibility to make sure the one tea you drink is in the house.” (Is it rude?)
You see, I do not mind picking these things up, the other treats are in the fridge right now. I am tired. Tired of the responsibility of being in charge of anything to do with household management, emotions, and all the waterfalls of life that want me.
I drove my mom to her new home state a couple weeks ago, and this house fell apart. Our grown kids living back home, went off the deep end! I am talking, I came home to hospital stays. I wanted to enjoy that trip with my mom, but it was ruined by frantic phone calls and distraught family members-NONSTOP.
Is this all I am? I’ve asked that question before, I ask it again. I’ve spent my lifetime holding every piece of the puzzle together, in every climate you can imagine. Without me at the center of this family dynamic, it would not exist. Is this fair? Should the responsibility of maintaining be solely on one person?
I feel used and abused after all these years. There is no appreciation shown, value placed, or relief sent my way.
It is 2020, and I refuse to do another 23 years in the same cycle. I am worthy of real love. I may never have expressed that boldly, and maybe being walked on is my fault. I chose to put up with more than I can take. I accept my shortfall in loving myself.
I pray this is the year it ends. Speaking up tonight may be the first step. Time will tell.