I was putting a huge amount of effort into getting the house cleaned up. Will was turning four on the 29th and his party was the following Sunday. People coming over=clean up the house. While I was putting off the main living areas of the house, the bedrooms were big messes and took quite a bit of time to get completely picked up and vacuumed. There were also several loads of laundry that were done, but needed to be put away.
No matter how much effort I put into the kitchen, it was immediately cluttered again. Partly because of the accumulation of dishes, partly because of the kitchen stuff I had collected from other rooms and dropped onto the counter to be dealt with later.
As the big areas of the house were in need of attention, I was finding it impossible to relax. I just looked at all the chores that needed to be done and felt guilty for sitting down to rest when there was so much I was neglecting.
I was doing this all on my own, which is no surprise, especially that week. Zoe had a science fair project due on Wednesday. This in addition to her regular homework, two single page worksheets, one four page worksheet and a 20 line composition. Then spelling words to practice and the multiples of threes to learn.
I have never done a science fair project. I understood the concept she was presenting, just not how to put it together or the information the judges would be considering. It made me feel stupid and ignorant. How was I getting through life with the massive lack of knowledge?
Then there was the constant chorus of "mom! mom! Mommy! Mom? I want a drink of water. I want chicken nuggets. I want candy? Why can't I have candy? I need a pencil. WWWhhhhhiiiiieeeeeeee???? I don't want to. NO." which made me put my hands to my eyes and take deep breaths. I disliked my children when the made these demands on me, when they screamed they didn't want to do something, when they deliberately disobeyed me. No matter how many times my kids told me they loved me, I still felt that I was being sucked dry by the never ending cries of "mom!".
Now I was a stupid, ignorant, bad mother of badly behaved children.
And I was doing it all by myself. And I got more and more resentful. I call it "The Housewife Moment". The moment when you feel very, very defeated. Very resigned to the fact that you are going to just continue to take care of everyone around you.
As a stay-at-home mom, especially if you're good at it, the family you love and take care of develop an expectation of what you will do for them. It's not any different than a person having a competent executive assistant. The person they assist, becomes accustomed to the excellent performance of their assistant.
When you, as a housewife, realize that this is your job. Your more than full time job with no pay and very little thanks given, well, it's very difficult to not grow resentful.
I ended that week desperate for a break. I didn't want a break by myself. I wanted a break with Scott. Just a few hours, go to the Alamo for a movie and a beer. Pretend to be a grown-up.
On Friday I started to send out emails to my mom friends. I asked everyone. And everyone had plans. I resigned myself to the fact that I wasn't going to get a break until the next weekend. I started to sort the laundry into baskets. I took each basket of laundry to the room of the person to whom the laundry belonged. I did another load of dishes. I picked up the living room, mostly.
Then I went back to what I knew worked. My lipstick. I got myself done up as Miss Retro when we took Will to Chuck E Cheese for his birthday. We ran around and played games.
When I got home, I had an email from a mom friend who got me in touch with a friend of her daughter's. The daughter's friend could babysit.
I had a babysitter. Scott would be able to take me out of the house for three whole hours. I almost cried I was so glad.