October 26, 2022

a recipe & waving the white flag, or just plain hollering "DO MORE"

I think I promised a microwave update, and/or a daycare update in my comments yesterday. I thought I could cover those things and the below. Silly me. Those other topics will come soon. And a tailgate story. It's a doozie.

My frustration levels of late are sky high. It's cyclical and we're at the I-might-lose-my-mind part of the cycle. My mind-losing doesn't happen at the same time every year - I'd even venture to say it might skip a year occasionally. It's unpredictable is what I'm saying. 

Million dollar question:  



I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Just because I can do everything, doesn't mean that I should. And by this I do not mean to imply that I am actually doing the housework that needs to be done. The place needs a good cleaning.

In years past, I've had a day off during the week, but this year I don't. I like to pretend that Friday is my day off in a Jedi-mind trick kind of nonsensical way, because I only have 2 kids in the morning and then two preschool bus kids join us at 11. Easy-peasie, perhaps - but NOT a day off. 

I'm doing all of the laundry. Almost all of the groceries. 95% of the meals. I'm paying all of the bills, communicating with insurance, emailing teachers, updating the health office on Reg's medications, scheduling all of the doctor appointments, questions, and zooms, editing everyone's papers, and driving kids back and forth to sports and friends (Coach does share this duty whenever he is home). 

Coach works longer hours than me and it's true that I'm physically in the building during the day, but dang it . . . I never stop. EVER. If the phone rings, I hop over to the laundry basket on the couch and fold while I talk. Or, I empty/load a dishwasher. I make lists of phone calls I can handle while I'm on Bluetooth driving.

No one here unloads or loads the dishwasher anymore BUT ME. What happened? I think part of it is that Coach used to help more on Tues/Thurs mornings, but on those 2 mornings he now drives Reg and Curly to school. Reg can't drive again until Feb. 1 - assuming he remains seizure free. 

I enjoy a few of the finer things in life, and for me that includes:

I took this sunrise pic on a recent
early morning run. I knew my phone
 camera wouldn't do it justice.

    praying/attending mass,

    working out till I drip in sweat daily, 

    watching my kids play sports (only 2 kids home but they both play a ton of sports), 

    writing this here blog,

    and trying in my 'spare time' to write a book which includes attending a writing group twice a month and submitting stories/chapters to publications while I cross my fingers, hoping to get something published. 

I don't watch anything. * I am hoping to watch the new ADHD documentary called Disruptors tonight.* I read for a few minutes as I drift off to sleep. I don't drink wine very often, tailgating is the exception (my readers nod, suddenly understanding why I enjoy tailgating so much). I rarely see friends (see: LOVES to tailgate). 

Cowboy caviar recipe -
 per Beth's request.
For the love of everything, I have dreams, people and those dreams do not include:  cleaning toilets, sweeping the kitchen, dealing with a dog I don't own, vacuuming, WIPING down a perpetually messy countertop because my people do not wipe it down after they make a sandwich, snack, or cereal, collecting Reg's mislaid clothes from EVERY surface on the first floor, dusting, changing sheets, and locating items that smell bad in the fridge. 

I've waved the white flag. I addressed Coach, Reg, and Curly after dinner last night. YOU NEED TO DO MORE. I DON'T WANT TO MAKE LISTS. YOU ARE ALL OLD ENOUGH - DO SOMETHING WITHOUT BEING TOLD. 

Coach unloaded the dishwasher today. Curly emptied all of the bathroom garbages last night because I told her it needed to be done before I returned from writing group. Reg sat with me to finally register him for AP classes. Lad swept the kitchen today. 

I've been frustrated because the house is a mess.

I found this behind the door
when I cleaned out a small
 section of the laundry room
the other day. Small sections
 is about all I have time for.
One of Mini's best projects. 

I'm cracking the whip over here. I believe I have everyone's attention. I know with high school basketball starting in the next few weeks that Reg and Curly will be spread thin between homework, practice, and games. BUT - as I pointed out last night during my delightful after-dinner rant, it only takes a few minutes to wipe a counter or unload part of the dishwasher or carry your laundry pile up the stairs or empty the overflowing garbage in your bathroom. 

On a side note, I read a chapter about my freshman year high school basketball tryouts at my writing group last night- and received high marks. I guess that means that I'm not completely distracted by the housework I should be doing. 


I'd love to hear from you. Don't be shy, write a comment and let me know that my time spent writing is time well spent. 

What would you rather do than housework?  Is your home always in perfect order? Are chores shared equally in your home? Did you have chores as a kid? Our kids did, but if I don't write it on a dry erase board or remind constantly, they don't bother anymore. 

*I'm sharing my favorite Halloween costume picture on Monday. Get excited.*


Colleen said...

In my humble opinion, it seems like pwople assume that because you stay at home, you should be doing the housekeeping/cooking but what they fail to realize is that you are working a FT job during the day. Nobody expects me to be cleaning or cooking during the day while I'm at work! Moms totally just get more of the mental and physical burden or raising a family and keeping house, which is not fair, but seems to be how every household I know functions. Kids seem to be more willing and have more time to do chores when they are younger but when they get older and could actually be more productive, they are all so busy. I don't expect much from my kids...everyone has ONE daily chore and ONE weekly chore + clean their room/put their laundry away. I have to nag to make it happen, which I hate. The busy teens chores have to be something they can do at night, since school/sports/work means they're not home a lot. One puts her little brother to bed, one does a load of laundry each night, and one is the driver for any pickups needed.

Beth Cotell said...

Your family definitely needs to be helping more! Just because you are home working doesn't mean you need to be doing all the housework. Could you possibly hire some help?

Thanks for the recipe! Is it weird tgat it's 9:00 am and I wish that I had a big bowl?

Anonymous said...

I feel you! I am somehow responsible for almost all of the housework (I refuse to clean the tub in the kids' bathroom), pay all the bills, make the kids dr appts, transport kids to appts/sports/clubs/friends (unless I have a conflict, then I can get hubs or older siblings to do it), do the yard work, clean up after the dogs, do all of the laundry, plus I work a full time job (same hours as hubs), have an active side business, chair a charitable committee that takes 8-8 hours/week, and sometimes pick up odd jobs as a server for rich people parties. Whew! I want to work out, I want to do things for me, but there is literally NO TIME. I'm so frustrated and tired, and I've expressed such to my family many times over the years, but it's the same thing every time. If they make any changes, they don't last long. I told my hubs recently that he needs to step it up, otherwise I'll want a divorce after the youngest stepchild graduates high school. If I have to act like a single Mom, I'm going to be a single Mom. Mind you, this was already suggested to me by my 11 y/o. Ouch.

Ernie said...

Nicole - I am constantly in motion and my people can definitely do more. Sometimes it is easier to just do it vs write out a list and assign stuff, but I will do that because I am so fed up. How hard is it to wipe down the island after you've made a sandwich? I took the summer off of grocery shopping and it was a glorious thing. I still did Costco, because the kids said they gave them a hard time for not being the member.

I didn't mind getting everything ready for the tailgate weekends, because those were special events that came and went. Now - it is time to whip these guys into shape.

My writing group is very helpful. I really value the feedback and critiques that I get there. I'm so thankful that Irish dancing is over because that made it hard to get there. More time for me is on my agenda.

Ernie said...

Colleen - You are so right. I do appreciate having the option to throw a load of laundry in or the time to start the crock pot while I'm working, but my people tend to get comfrotable letting me do it all.

I agree, it was easier to have the kids pitch in when they were younger. Reg and Curly are very busy. I might have to just assign them each a set day to unload the dishwasher and have them wake up 5 minutes early. I argue that they probably spend at least 10 minutes doing nothing important on their phones. If they could just utilize that time to clean their bathroom countertop, things would be less gross here.

Oh how I love motherhood, but it can be exhausting. ;)

Pat Birnie said...

It is, sadly, an age old problem of mom doing it all, whether she has a full time job or not. I’d like to (gently) say that you are a little delusional to expect them to do things without being asked. When my 4 were home each had a job every weekend - vacuum, wash floors, etc. They did a poor job but they did it. Once a month or so I’d do a thorough vacuum etc. Re the boys - I always said I was raising future husbands and they need to know how to clean and that it sure isn’t women’s work. I left notes everywhere as reminders. Lordy even my husband doesn’t notice a lot of the tasks that need doing. Things are of course much cleaner with just the 2 of us. Try a note - wipe the damn counter lol. Ps I look forward to your blog all the time!! Love your stories, your writing and your family.

Ernie said...

Beth - I know they can do more and I feel like we've missed the boat on training them. It seems like we've raised people who are entirely too comfortable living in a mess. I'm on it.

I cannot justify hiring help to clean the house. Our medical bills after Reg's issues are outrageous. Plus Tank is studing in Limerick next semester and I'd like to go visit.

This is a really good dip. I was trying to figure out what photo to include in this post, and I thought HEY, I CAN STICK A RECIPE IN THERE. More recipes to follow.

Ernie said...

Anonymous - This is very troubling. I know that once I start barking about feeling buried, Coach will hop up and participate. I do hate that I need to complain about it in order to get people to pitch in, but I know that my demands will be heard.

I sincerely hope that your people step up to the plate. You are doing WAY too much. All of those extra jobs? Goodness. I can't imagine. What if you tie your chauffeuring or prepping favorite meals with jobs - as in, I can drive you once you've vacuumed this room, or clean a bathroom and your favorite meal gets bumped to the top of the list this week? All the best. Hang in there. It never feels good to be underappreciated and taken for granted.

Ernie said...

Pat - Ha. I might be delusional, but I'm really just asking them not to litter the house with their clothes and wipe down a counter after they eat. The other jobs I will definitely have to write down, as much as that pains me. I've never included Coach on my to do lists, but he's tall - dusting off the light fixtures in the kitchen is the perfect 5 minute job for him. Sometimes after school or sports, I will tell the kids: someone scour the kitchen sink, someone sweep the kitchen floor. There should be NO eyerolls or whining, but let's just say there is grumbling. Perhaps if I hold onto their phones for a few hours after school, they will suddenly realize that they DO have time. Enough time to complete a few tasks that take no more than 5 minutes each.

Thank you for the kind words. Always great to hear from you.

Nance said...

The more we do, the more we do, and it is ever thus.

My husband and kids were always famous for telling me to "Relax, you're sick (or tired or whatever). Just leave it." Did they then do it? NO THEY DID NOT. IT WAS ALL STILL THERE WAITING FOR ME ONCE I WAS FEELING BETTER.

I have no idea what I did to foster the idea that I was the only one to do everything. Merely being capable and doing it unasked, I guess.

Ernie said...

Nance - I so wish the house cleaning reponsibilities weren't linked to gender. Or at least not MY gender. ;)

I explained to Coach last night that it is OK that I can demand help and people will pitch in for awhile, but the issue really is that there is a mindset that if they all slack off I will step in and take care of it. It's exhausting.

Busy Bee Suz said...

I love Mini's found project; so very cute.

I used to have lists for the girls to tackle, small things like cleaning some windows, dusting furniture, vacuuming, etc...and when they were in High School, I stopped doing their laundry, which was a huge timesaver for me. know they would sometimes try on an outfit, decide they didn't want to wear it and instead of putting it back where it belongs, they'd toss it in the hamper. THAT MADE ME LOSE MY MARBLES!

I appreciate the Cowboy Caviar recipe too.

Congrats on getting good feedback from your latest writing class. Your writing is amazing and those classes are what you need to keep up; they're part of your passion. Not that your kids arent...but you know what I mean.

Ernie said...

Suz- I asked her if she wanted to hang that school poster up in her college dorm since it is still relevant. She took a pass but Curly doesn't want me to throw it away. I will add it to my basement decor.

I have made a calendar of chore assignments. It hangs front and center on the kitchen fridge. In other words: kicking ass and taking names. ;)

Fortunately my house could rock the condemned building look and I manage to tune out all that I should do and write. I so enjoy writing. I submitted two pieces today to magazines. Fingers crossed.

Ernie said...

Ally - Mini once looked extra plump when she was leaving for school. I patted her down and found that my 6 year old had tucked her bag of Easter candy into the wasitband of her school issued sweat pants. She cried when I busted her - I gave her sage advice . . . hide the bag in your underwear drawer. They won'd look there. ;)