Back in the day when hubby and me married, we agreed that whichever one cooked dinner the other would clean the kitchen after dinner. We were both working and shared all the other house work. For the first few years this system worked great, but somewhere along the way my dearly beloved decided that he was done cleaning the kitchen.
As I look back, I have to take some of the blame for his actions (or lack thereof). After I had our son I was in super mom mode. I was trying to do it all and while hubby was still helping out, it wasn’t quite as often as it had been. Then toss in the unfortunate motorcycle accident that landed him on his butt for six months. At that point I was operating in super woman mode. Thankfully, he made a complete recovery and returned to his household duties. All except cleaning that damn kitchen. I had gotten so accustomed to cooking and having to clean up after that I just kept doing it. Now don’t get me wrong, if I were in the hospital or laid up sick at home, he’d jump in and make sure everything was handled. But who wants to be sick just to get help with the kitchen?
My mother always told me to start out the way I could hold out. That’s what I called myself doing, but why didn’t I speak up when he first began to slack off? Was I following the example my mother set as opposed to the words she spoke? Growing up my mom cooked dinner every day except for Friday. Not only did she cook for my dad, her parents and six kids, but she was often the one that ended up cleaning up behind everyone. Yes, we had chores growing up and sometimes took turns cleaning the kitchen, but more often than not, my mom did it. For years I watched her cook dinner, fix my dad’s plate, and clean up behind him. I guess it didn’t help that hubby’s mom modeled the same exact thing for him growing up. So was that what he expected me to do all along? Was his master plan to drop this household chore after a few short years? Okay, maybe I’m getting carried away with the conspiracy theories, but you see where I’m going with this.
Our son is now fifteen years old and I cook at least five days a week. I cook their meals, fix their plates, and clean the kitchen when they’re done. I’ve fussed at them a multitude of times, reminded them that my name ain’t Hazel, Florence or that of any other maid (for those too young to remember those characters, google them). But something snapped the other day. After shopping for groceries, putting the groceries away, cooking the food, and serving the food only to have them get up and walk away without a second thought, I was done! I cleared my throat and made it known that I was tired of their lack of consideration. I also announced that I wasn’t cooking again until they learned to clean up after dinner. My son immediately asked, “What are we going to do about eating?” Hubby went into denial mode with “Baby, I didn’t hear you ask us to clean up.” Really dude, that’s the best you got? I advised them that I didn’t care what they ate and I shouldn’t have to keep asking. Both are strong, able bodied males that should be happy to help.
For the past few days they’ve been eating sandwiches (because hubby can’t boil water) and without fail they’ve either left the mayo or bread out or forgotten to wipe down the table. I’ve reminded them that each day they forget something is another day added to my strike. They will learn soon enough. So ladies, stop playing the role of an indentured servant or live in maid. Throw down those aprons and demand the help, consideration, and respect that you deserve. And in case you’re a stay at home mom, remind your hubby that you are working one of the hardest, 24/7 jobs ever!
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