Sunday, July 5, 2009

Mind Overload

I am typically overloaded. What mom of 3 small children isn't? It is because I am the primary care giver of my entire household that most of the tedious task associated home life fall into my lap.

Washing, drying, folding/hanging, and putting away laundry for myself and my 3 girls is a long process in and of itself. There are play clothes, dress clothes, casual every day clothes, pajamas, socks, underwear and bathing suits- all having a specific place to be for each child.... and though recently my oldest daughter (who is 6) has been helpful in putting her clothes where they belong, for the most part, it is only my responsibility to put everything away.

Then I've got my laundry. Gym clothes, dress clothes, hang around the house and clean clothes, etc..... All to be put in specific places, and all of them getting there ONLY if I put them where they belong.

For 9 years, it has been my sole responsibility to go grocery shopping. It's a long process for me, because I have to think carefully about everything we buy. I am a label reader, and try to buy the most natural and the most wholesome foods I can find. Since, for the most part, health food is the most expensive food, I have to be very careful to plan out my grocery trip, lest I spend $200 per week on food and hygeine needs.

Between my children and my husband, our yard stays in need of my attention as well. There are tools and toys to be picked up, hoses to be winded and spickets to be turned off. Misc. items that have been left outside, with intentions of being picked up later, and random pieces of trash or dishes that have been left. These are things I notice, and things that bother me, so they are left alone until I find the time to gather them up, and put them away.

And then there are the basic cleaning task.... toilets, sinks that require scrubbing, counters that have gathered random articles of daily living, anything from toys, to toothbrushes, sunglasses, loose change, empty containers of shampoo, and so on...... Linens that need to be washed, and put back in place, surfaces that need to be dusted, and shoes that have been scattered randomly.

Meal preparation is not optional either. Breakfast, lunch and dinner, snacks and drinks. All to be thought out, prepared, and then cleaned up.

My vehicle stays in need of cleaning, too. It gathers crumbs from our snacks on the go, water bottles and toys, mail, gum wrappers, diapers, and anything else that can be accumulated when traveling here and there with 3 kids and myself.

Several times a year, I have the overwhelming task of reorganizing closets,dressers and storage places. Winter clothes need to be exchanged for spring and summer, so containers full of clothes that have been packed away need to be sorted out... does this fit anymore, are there stains on that, can it be passed down to the younger chidren, or held onto for another year? Do we need these shoes, or those hats anymore? Or how about that toy..... should we hold on to the bouncy seat just in case, are we able to get rid of the double stroller yet?

Doctors appointments, trips to the dentist, clothing purchases, and educational stimulation are also a part of my duties as a mom.... all of the above are responsibilities that I carry on my shoulders, and mine alone.

In the past year, I added homeschool to my resume, but I was able to remove financial organizer, budgeter, and bill payer from it. I was also able to breathe the fresh air of freedom when we sold our business, and secretary, marketing director, accountant, and personal assistant were removed as well.

My husband takes on the primary role of provider. He has one of the most exhausting jobs out there as a roofer. As mentioned before, he has also taken over our finances, and he is responsible for his laundry, as well as taking out the trash, unloading the dishwasher, and when I am in desperate need, he will sweep up the living room/dining room, and finish cleaning the kitchen.

And though I am aware that his primary responsibility is working to be able to provide for our family, I have to admit that I do feel cheated. Certainly, I could not leave our house and hop on top of a roof, and know how to place shingles, or how to repair an oddly leaking chimney..... and this is what he says to me when I wonder why he is not able to call out the name of our daughters' pediatrician, or remember to change the oil in my van. I don't understand why he isn't able to pick up a gallon of milk when we run out, or atleast ask "Should I grab milk on my way home, I noticed we were out". I can't understand why I can't get in my car, only to see that he has taken it out to be vacuumed and washed, just because it was something that needed to be done, or why he wouldn't take in upon himself to wash our linens, or clean up our yard. And I can't understand why left overs in our refridgerator, or empty shampoo containers can't be thrown out by his hands, rather than being left for me.

I am exhausted. Overloaded. In my body, and in my mind. I tend to blame my husband for this, because I think that there must be more that he could take on, in order to remove the burden from me. I'm not sure that I'm right in my thinking, I would assume that most men would agree with his take on our situation. He provides the income, and I take care of our home and our children..... and I'll assume that most women would agree with me, that he should take on more responsibility with in our home in order make my job less stressful.

Eithe way, it doesn't matter. It is what it is.

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