Luck Has Nothing to do With It

When I’m chatting with ladies who don’t know me all that well, who are only acquaintances, sometimes the topic of household duties comes up.

Oh, I’m so tired of cooking! Say, what are your favorite recipes to make for your family?

Internally, my eyes roll back in their sockets before I respond.

Actually…my husband cooks in our house.

And then I brace myself for the two-pronged response that I almost always get:

First is SHOCK: Whoa! What?!

Second is: Wow, you’re so lucky! I wish my husband would do that!

I have so many issues with this. First of all, just because I’m female and I’m a wife and a mom does not mean that I like to cook, or that I cook at all. That bias is still present for me, hence the jolt of weird guilt that goes through me when I end up confessing shirking my domestic womanly duties.

Second of all, luck has nothing to do with this arrangement. I chose a dude who doesn’t adhere to rigid gender roles, just like me. I find that attractive in a partner. Also, the way we negotiate the household duties is based on practicality and it’s on a fluid, ongoing basis. We do what we’re good at, what we like, and what works better for our family. Why the frick should I cook simply because I’m female? Doesn’t make any horsesense to me.

Third, it makes me so mad that it’s flippin 2020 and we’re still having these conversations. And the pandemic is only making things worse, as I saw a headline recently that reported several million American women left the workforce since March. As for me, I didn’t leave it, but it sure as heck delayed my entry back into it. Because, while other countries have social/government run safety nets, the United States has women.

I recently saw the interview Melinda Gates did with Dave Letterman on his Netflix show. In it, she said that when her oldest kid was in preschool, her husband Bill and her decided that he would drive their kid to school two days a week. That’s how they negotiated the household duties that would work for their family. As the school year went on, Melinda noticed that more and more dads were also driving their kids. When she spoke to the other moms, they said that once they saw Bill driving his daughter, they went home and told their husbands that if Bill fucking Gates could drive his kid to school, those husbands could, too.

And so. If my husband can cook dinner like a boss, yours can too. Let’s show each other that gender roles are bogus and all they do is hold us back, men and women both.

Luck has nothing to do with it.


Day 14

Not Bella Notte

Let me preface this to say that I hate doing the dishes.

I grew up having to do them, and I think I’ll forever hate doing them because of that.  And yet, I do them every single day because I hate cooking even more and we split those chores.

Soooo, when I’m doing dishes, I just wanna get shit done.  Get out of my way so I can sit down, watch the Kardashians, and yell at them through a mouthful of mint chip straight from the carton (because that saves me having to wash a bowl).

The scene is last night right after dinner and I’m doing my thing at the sink.

Brian comes up beside me and yanks the faucet away just as I am reaching for it and our hands mash together that can in no way be thought of as romantic.

Me: *glare*

B: Aww, look, how cute!  It’s just like in Lady and the Tramp!

Me: No, it’s not cute.  If lady were real, she’d have said to Tramp, Hey Tramp!  I’m fucking hungry!  Give me that spaghetti or I will cut you.  And then she does that guttural dog growl so show that she’s not messing with him.

B: …She seemed pretty nonchalant about it in the movie.

Me:  That’s because she was took one too many Xanax because she was on a first date with cameras around and it’s a lot of pressure to live up to a name like hers in today’s society.

B: I think you’re reading into things a little too-

Me: A little too what?  I’m washing knives right now and my hands are quite slippery.  Wouldn’t want anything unfortunate to happen.  *guttural dog growl*

B: *Backs away slowly while singing Bella Notte under his breath*

Me: Damnit, now I want spaghetti.

On my back on a park bench

I just needed a break.

I hadn’t been outside all day, so I stomped outside to our tiny sideyard and started blasting the hose watering the garden like I do most evenings.  And then I just started crying.  So I cried, finished watering, and then left.  I just left.

I took a walk not really knowing where I was going (like how I am writing this blog post).  I just needed a change of scenery.

I ended up lying flat on my back on a park bench and watched the fading light reflecting off the clouds for I don’t know how long.

Sometimes, when I feel overwhelmed, it helps me to just manically tackle my to-do list so I’ll feel some sense of control and competence as soon as possible.  Other times, I just throw my hands up, say fuck it, and walk out the door.

This was obviously the latter, although it was just a short break from chores that I completed upon my return.

Since having a kid, one of my biggest struggles has been trying to accept that I will rarely get to do things that I want to do when I want to do them.  On the surface, this is easy to accept.  I have a kid and of course his needs usually come first.  Yup, no problem.  But living this every day?  It’s fucking hard.

I’m a reasonable person (don’t ask other people to corroborate this).  I am a planner.  I’ve scaled my daily goals waaaaay back.  Things like: Today I am going to do one load of laundry.  Tomorrow perhaps I will clean the kitchen.  Shouldn’t be too hard, right?  Ugh.

Yesterday, I just finished (well, kind of) a project I had been working on for months.  It was a struggle to finish.  I just wanted to FUCKING GET IT DONE.  And I was pushing it to the limit – Dylan needed to go to bed, there were chores to do, there was screaming and poopy diapers and food on the floor (thank goodness it wasn’t poopy diapers on the floor)- but goddamnit, for once I wanted to accomplish something for myself.

And then in my haste to finish, I made mistakes and when it was all said and done, I didn’t even feel any satisfaction.  No pride.  No accomplishment.  Ok, well, maybe a little.  But it was such a s.t.r.u.g.g.l.e and a letdown.

And so I cried and then left.

I don’t know what the answer is.  I wonder how to change my mindset so I don’t continue this struggle that makes me and everyone around me feel like crap.  But I also want a house that feels like a home.  I want to do projects.  I want to feel accomplished.  And I have no problem doing this after I ensure that my kid, myself, my family are safe, fed, and clean.

Well, maybe just safe and fed.