And I have to check myself.
I just did.
Aaaaaand that’s why I am here right now. Remember how I said (on several occasions, I believe) that writing is key to my sanity, and a technique I use to process my feelings and check my potential irrationality?
Now is one of those times.
Admittedly, some of my frustration spilled over from last night. My body has not been doing so well the past few days. I have been in some serious pain. You ever take a woodshop class? (I did in middle school; LOVED IT. Schools need to bring those types of courses back and add some–let these kids know it’s okay if they’re skilled with their hands. Everybody doesn’t want to go to college). It feels like someone has placed each one of my bones, from the big femur down to the little metacarpals, in a vise and tightened it.
Yet, somehow the mess that was made after I cooked dinner, which everyone ate, apparently was invisible to everyone but me, and after I woke up feeling a bit better after a short nap, I was dismayed to find that no one had even bothered to clear the dinner table. Everybody was just as happy and carefree as they could be, getting bathed and not thinking of how much it hurt me to carry the laundry baskets back and forth to make sure everyone has towels and washcloths, and how whereas it would have only taken them two flipping seconds to throw their remaining food in the trash and at least put their plate in the sink, it took me well over fifteen minutes to clean the dinner table.
So yes, I got angry. And I will admit. I cursed like a sailor as I cleaned up and packed my son’s lunch. (I have asked for forgiveness. But I’m honest. I was ticked).
AFTER that, I looked down at my FitBit and found that I was lacking in the steps department, and that made me angry too–I didn’t get my steps in because I was dealing with my baby throughout the day and when she would lay down for a nap, then I would work with my five-year-old on some of her lessons. So I put on a scenic walking video and got to my step goal. The exercise and subsequent shower lifted my mood and I felt good getting in to bed and falling asleep to the Golden Girls.
This morning when my alarm went off, I wanted to throw the phone and watch it smash into a million pieces. I didn’t sleep good, and am paying the price for overexerting myself yesterday (the bone-in-vise-grip-pain). It doesn’t help that my alarm ringtone is super cheery–that only made me even more annoyed. I might change the alarm tone to something more brooding.
I got up and all of us took Jayden to school. We are going to hang out at Mom’s until it is time to pick him and my niece up, because Mom won’t be able to get them and she asked my husband to do so. Since her house is only five minutes from the school, we figured we’d stay there, Matt would get some sleep, and then he won’t have to worry about having to wake up at 2:30 and hurrying to make the twenty minute drive from our house.
On our way to Mom’s he asked if there was anything there to eat. I know he is not a huge fan of waffles, and that is typically what Mom keeps. She’s not a huge breakfast person. The waffles and link sausage are there for us. I knew that there were ingredients to make French toast, one of the few breakfast items HE likes, even though I’m not a huge fan, and offered to make it.
So we get to Mom’s house. I wobble and grimace around the kitchen as I beat the egg, add the cinnamon and vanilla, add in some milk, whisk it up, etc. Layla requested some as well, so I’m making French toast for two people, link sausage for her, sausage patties for him. Mind you, I haven’t eaten breakfast myself, but as usual, figure my needs will come LAST.
I get done fixing the food and ask Layla to tell Matt to come to the kitchen table, as I am probably not in the best shape to bring the food back to the guest bedroom, where Matt has gone with the baby.
Layla comes and tells me that Daddy has said for us to go ahead and eat, and this puzzles me. The French toast was NOT for me, so no, I won’t go ahead and eat. What are you doing back there??? I think to myself as I head back to the room.
He is in the bed patting the baby, who is falling asleep, and instantly my blood pressure went up because I knew it was only a matter of minutes before he fell asleep with her.
And that’s exactly what he did. After I have WASTED time and ENERGY in the kitchen fixing a breakfast I DON’T EVEN WANT, he is in there snoring away.
So now I’m angry. Petty? I guess. But I was angry. The French toast is now sitting there waiting on him to wake up. I ate the sausage patties with the eggs I fixed for myself. I thought about waking him up out of spite. Part of me wanted to dump the French toast on his HEAD. That is what led me to my beloved blog. I had to read what I wrote and see how silly it is.
It made me think of a discussion I heard on a radio show the other day about family dynamics. A question was posed about whether the kids should come first in a family. A lot of people were calling in and saying that this elevation of children to a pedestal has become problematic to where the parents are neglecting their relationship with each other and themselves. I agree. Undoubtedly my kids are important. My love for them is beyond measure. But the relationship between my husband and I comes first. Why? Because if we are not strong individually and TOGETHER, those kids will suffer. If we are looking at things from a Biblical perspective, we understand that when we get married we are no longer two people, we are one, and that the goal of raising children is that they might grow up and become Godly, productive individuals who then leave the house to cleave unto their OWN spouse.
(Sidebar–my son’s school held a talent show last week. He came home and told me all about it. I asked him, “Who won?” He almost looked puzzled and replied, “There weren’t any winners. It was just a talent show.” I’m sorry, but I am not with the whole “everyone’s a winner” philosophy that people are pushing these days in child-rearing. Umm, no, everyone is NOT always a winner. It hurts children’s development to never be exposed to the agony of defeat. Defeat and the ensuing feelings develop character and resolve. I think it’s very destructive to protect kids from losing or failing. But I digress).
I think of some of the stories I have read on the birth board I belong to. The stories women tell about husbands who are still dependent upon their mothers as though their moms were their wives are absolutely flipping disgusting. THAT is what happens when a parent focuses more on their kids than their spouse–when that child grows up Mommy (or Daddy) is still unable to BACK OFF. And the child either A) doesn’t realize the attachment is unhealthy or B) is guilted into keeping it going, even if they don’t want it to. So, no. In my home, my kids are praised and rewarded, but they are also held accountable, taught realistically (when my son did not make the basketball team, I allowed him to cry and tell me about how it felt, but then I informed him that gave him an opportunity to take the time and practice so he can try again, and even if he didn’t make the team, that did not mean that he couldn’t play at the local rec center or with myself and my husband for fun. I also informed him that even if basketball wasn’t his strong suit, there were always numerous other things he can try. He’s very good at baseball, for example), and as often as we can, my husband and I steal away for couple time.
Anyhoo, I’m still annoyed, no doubt. But I feel a lot better and have put things in perspective. He works overnight, and usually goes in with minimal sleep. And although I was irritated that he even sat on the bed, knowing he was tired and can fall asleep within seconds, I know he didn’t do so purposely. His dedication to his job has been fruitful in the fact that we have a great house, reliable transportation, we eat well, our children have their needs and most of their wants met regularly, we get to go on family trips, and best of all, he and I have gone to places I would have only imagined before I met him–Sybaris, the Poconos, etc… So the French toast can wait. And I’ll make the best of it–since he was able to get the baby to sleep and I am exhausted, I’ll take the opportunity to get some rest myself.
Love is sacrificial. Yes, it hurt to make that food with every step that I took and every movement of my aching arms and hands. But he makes sacrifices for me regularly. And who knows–maybe the French toast will taste better reheated. Because although my mood is better, I still expect him to eat it. 🙂