Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The bad wife

Okay, I'm not really a "bad wife" (whatever that means - I'm sure there is a wide range of definitions and opinions on the topic), but I do feel, at times, that I don't help out around the house as much as I should/could. We have a pretty unequal division of labor, in part because I have a MUCH higher tolerance of dirt and grime and in part because Michael is working from home, so he can pick up some, or a lot, of the slack around here. And he also keeps a better house than I do.
That said, it doesn't lessen the guilt that sometimes creeps up as I wish that I were more of a clean/neat freak or more of a "home-maker". Instead, I am a breadwinner! Rosie the Riveter, eat your heart out. Whatever that means.
Today, however, I felt more like a L-O-S-E-R than anything. One of the perks (in my view) of working from home is that Michael spends quality time with our dogs, Gus and Milo. I often walk with them on weekday afternoons and weekends, but forget about weekday mornings when I go into work at 7:00 am. Today, after a busy day (I can tell when it's a busy day by the number of emails I send Michael throughout the day; today, I sent him ZERO), we went to the gym for a quick workout and then went to walk the dogs. Half-way into the walk, I just wanted to go home because I was so tired.
Pathetically, I did so.
I just needed a MOMENT to not have to do anything. Of course, sitting here typing away, I wonder if I could have pushed through the walk. After all, it's not as though we walk vigorously with our dogs. They are on the older side, and Gus definitely takes his time! Still, it was just that small window to come home and putz around the house.
Michael, being the freaking saint that he is, totally let me off the hook. I owe my sanity to him on a daily basis.


Kim said...

You are not a bad wife! You were just tired. I think division of labor and responsibilities is one of the hardest things to navigate in a relationship. It seems like someone is always feeling guilty (usually the woman). I'm sure your husband appreciates the hard work you put in outside the house and maybe it works best for both of you if he does more of the house stuff, including dog care. Of course you love your dogs (and your home, and your husband), but there are days when I'm sure work is exhausting. In response to your comment on my blog, I'm always appalled by how people make teaching seem like an easy job. It's probably one of the hardest, most intense jobs out there. Like you said, you are always "on" when in the classroom, and have a ton of work outside the classroom. It makes no sense to me that teachers are underpaid, relative to other professions. I'm glad you enjoy what you do. I'm sure that translates to your teaching style.

fancythatfancythis.com said...

I can SO relate to this post! Between work, my daughter, cleaning, cooking, etc. sometimes I just a minute of downtime. But then I feel guilty and like a horrible mother and wife.

Feeling guilty is such a bad thing because it isn't so terrible to take a minute for yourself! I know I need to practice what I preach but you are a great wife! Don't feel bad.