Couldn’t I be a stay-at-home mum without driving my husband (and myself?) crazy?
By: Samantha Darby Sollenberger for YourTango
When my husband and I were first married, I dreamed of being a stay-at-home mum. I envisioned myself hanging laundry on the line, chasing babies through the yard, spending nap times sewing costumes and making fresh, crumbly apple pie.
Those dreams came true when we moved out to the country with my two step-children and started talking about having more babies. Trips to the library, picnics under our two oak trees and playing hide-and-seek with the kids were all huge parts of my day; I was living the dream.
I was also, however, killing my marriage.
When we decided that having me stay home would be a good option for us, I took over all of the household duties. Cooking, cleaning and laundry were all my responsibilities and I relished in it. I realise that doesn’t always work for other families – and I get that – but in our home, I counted my husband’s 14-hour work days as responsibility enough. He took care of the finances and provided for us; at the least, I felt, I could handle the laundry.
Life was good. He told me he loved coming home to a clean house every night, to happy kids who were eager to see him pull in the driveway. I always made sure some sort of dessert was ready (his version of a martini each night) and followed my cleaning schedule exactly as it was written. Mondays meant fresh sheets on the bed, Thursdays meant deep cleaning the kitchen and Fridays were saved for groceries. Everything went smoothly for about a year.
But then problems started. I started letting my self-imposed duties pile up in order to chase my stay-at-home mum dreams. If I decided 6:00 pm was an excellent time to make crafts with the kids, that meant dishes piled up in the sink, dinner leftovers had to be tossed instead of saved and my husband came home to a disaster. The kids were usually amped up from our fun and I was trying to mash potatoes while there was still tissue paper and pipe cleaners scattered all over the floor.
And like giving a mouse a cookie, when you give a daydreaming mama a big overwhelming mess? She decides to ignore the kitchen and start a movie night. And her husband wonders what in the world happened to that wife who promised to keep the house in order for him.
I know some of you may be rolling their eyes right now.