When I chose Mondays to write about marriage, I didn't realize how good the timing would be. After being home together all weekend there will probably be many Mondays I have plenty to write about. Today, for instance.
Last weekend, for the first time in several weekends, my husband was going to be home all weekend. That was good, because it was going to be a busy weekend. We were going to have my daughter's softball practice (it was actually a practice game) and game, a birthday party for both kids, Girl Scouts' April Showers bag drop off, a test for me, a daisies meeting, my half marathon, and my son's preschool's fund raiser. Luckily, none of it overlapped so we were going to be able to do it all.
So, my daughter's practice game was Friday night. My husband, son, and I all watched the game while my daughter played. After the game we needed to drop of the April Showers bags. (Those are the green bags you may have seen attached to your door requesting personal care items.) Our troop needed lots of help because our daughters are only in first grade and we had a lot of houses. Normally, I wouldn't have my husband come. Why? I don't know. I usually try to make things easy on him. It's really silly but it's what my mom used to do and is my first inclination. In the past, I would probably have sent hime home with my son. Really, though, there was no reason they couldn't come and help. There were going to be other dads and siblings helping. He was very quiet while we were doing it. After we put the kids to bed, I asked if I was reading him wrong because he didn't seem happy to be there with us. He said it wasn't that, he didn't feel well. (Yea, right.) I left it at that.
The next morning (Saturday) I had to take a test (it was to get an additional teaching certification.) The test was at 8. That meant my husband was going to have to get the kids ready and to my daughter's game by 9:30. I was excited about this because it was going to be one of the only times (ever) my husband was going to have to get the kids ready and out of the house by himself. It rained a lot, so the game was cancelled. I got home around 10:30. The kids were fed and the three of them were either watching tv or playing a game on the iPad. The breakfast dishes might have been cleaned up but they were still in the sink because the dishwasher was full of clean dishes.
OK, had I been home I would have done much much more by 10:30. I tried not to get too annoyed because my husband is not me and he is a little slower on Saturday mornings than I am. The problem is that he did almost nothing for the rest of the day. After I got home, I am putting things away, getting things ready for the daisy meeting that afternoon, getting the kids packed to go to my parents' house (because we had to get up so early for the race), making lunch, etc. I asked him if he was going to get the basement vacuumed and dusted this weekend (which is supposed to be his job every weekend, but I can on my two hands the number of times he's vacuumed in the last year and on one hand--maybe one finger---how many times he's dusted.) He either laid on the bed and watched tv or played a game on the iPad. I was very, very annoyed. It would be so nice to feel like there was so little to be done that I could lay on the bed and watch tv all day. Or, that there was someone else who was going to be sure everything got done so I didn't need to worry about it. I asked him to empty the dishwasher while we were at the daisy meeting, which he did and he loaded the dishwasher back up. That was it, the entire day home that was it. My daughter and I went to the daisy meeting and I'm pretty sure my son watched tv the entire time. I was so mad. I didn't say anything then because we were going to a dinner and movie together. Plus, I went to take the kids to a birthday party (which ended up being cancelled) and then out to my parents and still he did nothing else.
The next morning he says, "I'll get the basement done but I won't be much more useful." because he was so tired. He has been having problems sleeping lately, but I doubt he was more tired than I was after I ran a half marathon. He went to church while I was finishing my race and I had my mom bring the kids to me. After I showered, I took them outside to enjoy the weather. When my husband got home (he brought us lunch--because I asked him to) he sat inside watching tv while the kids and I were outside. Again, must be nice to not feel like you have to be the one to make sure the kids don't sit inside all day. We all went to the fundraiser together. My guess is, if I had offered for him not to go, he wouldn't have. I'm not doing that anymore. It's like the birthday party the day before. I didn't ask him to come, so he didn't offer. Why? Certainly not because he was doing stuff around the house.
We got home a little after 4 and he went into the bedroom and (guess what?) watched tv. The house was a wreck. There was crap everywhere. So, I went to work putting things away. I finished up the dishes. I picked up the basement. I didn't want to do any of those things but I had kids coming to my house early the next morning. I didn't have the luxury of doing nothing. I didn't want to clean, either. I was tired, very tired. And mad. I was really mad. He actually laid on the bed when I came into the bedroom to vacuum. Finally at about 5:30 he went downstairs and vacuumed. I decided I was not cooking. It was a yoyo (you're on your own) dinner. (Actually, I did the kids and mine.) He got himself something to eat and joined us. We cleared the table (I think he did the dishes) and I started showers. As I'm drying my daughter's hair, he came in and asked where we keep the dusting stuff. Yes, he dusts so little he doesn't even know what we dust with. I told him to get a microfiber cloth and get it wet. He left and came back and asked where they were.
So, he got his stuff done, but barely. I don't think what we want to teach the kids is, lay around all weekend and barely get your stuff done before bed on Sunday night. Plus, I feel like the vacuuming and dusting is the minimum. If the house is a wreck you don't get to only do that. He gets to dust and vacuum a very, very small part of the house and I am responsible for everything else? That hardly seems fair. I don't ask him to do anything on the weekends he is gone or super busy. I feel like the least he can do is help when he is here. I feel like he thinks because he "called it" on Sunday morning that he wasn't going to be able help much, that makes it ok. Once again, I don't have that luxury. Unless you are sick, you help. Especially if you haven't been here. He doesn't like when I tell him what to do, but he just showed he doesn't offer on his own, either.
I didn't say anything last night because it would have just turned into a fight. I'm not letting it go, though. It's not fair and it has to change. I'm going to bring it up tonight. I'm going to try to not be so nasty about it but he will still get annoyed. Instead of apologizing and admitting he was wrong, he'll get defensive. That's fine, as long as things change.