As a mother of 3 and wife to 1, I do it all. I wash (and fold) multiple loads of laundry every day, I wipe snotty noses all day long, I referee fights, I pay bills, I negotiate contracts, I register the kids to school, I coordinate multiple doctor’s appointments and I even act as a consultant when a family disagreement comes about. I literally do it all–and many times without a simple, “thank you” from my family.
Just the other day, I was so exhausted that after work I decided to go upstairs to take a nap. As I went upstairs, I noticed there were dishes in the sink. However, there are at least two other capable people in the house who could take care of them–or so I thought. When I awoke from my nap, I went downstairs to start dinner but as soon as I crossed the threshold I was greeted with a nightmare. There were even more dishes piled up in the sink (some not even rinsed off), there were open containers of food scattered across the counter tops and someone had the nerve to load the trashcan with more trash without even pushing it down.
Needless to say, I LOST it. I caused so much commotion, that my entire family scattered in fear that World War III was about to erupt. I was so freaking angry at everyone in my family. WHY do I have to clean up when there are at least 2 other people who can significantly contribute to the upkeep of the household? Who puts more (stinkier) trash on top of trash with out taking it out? WHO thought it was a good idea to open food and then leave it on the counter? WHO?
You see even though I was pissed about how my kitchen looked, I was more pissed about how my family (at times) does not exercise thoughtfulness when it comes to me. They ASSUMED that all because my title is MOM that I want to be a full time housekeeper for them.
They are dead wrong.
Even now when I think about it now I get mad as hell. So to show them that they need to respect what I do around the house I decided to go on strike after that incident.
No, I didn’t go and get a sign and start marching. I did something more subtle, yet effective. I refused to cook/clean/be concerned for 4 straight days. I did not even look at their endless laundry, instead I simply washed my clothes and dried them. When they needed something clean, I deferred all decisions to their Dad. Instead of cooking, I ate “take out ” every day and left the receipt for my husband to see. More importantly, I didn’t clean any bathrooms, kitchens, or common areas for 4 days straight. In addition, I only made lunches for myself and I definitely didn’t suggest solutions for any common household problems.
I was on strike!
Before I tell you guys the outcome of my “strike”, let me tell you how things went. Days 1 and 2 were easy– I got take out for me, while I watched my family struggle to do all of the things that I normally do. I went to bed early and even had time to read a book before dozing off. However, days 3 & 4 were hard. My kids looked helpless and my poor husband looked like he was about to “crack under pressure”. By the end of day 4, I decided I couldn’t let my family suffer any longer– I rightfully took my place back as doctor, referee, negotiator, and general awesome mom. After I put everything back in order, I was still a little upset about not being appreciated until my husband said, “You know what babe..I don’t know what we’d do without you.” Just him saying those words made me feel appreciated. So for now, I’m not going to go back on strike. But I now know what to do to prove my point!
BMWK – Have you ever gone on strike in your household? How did it go? Please share your tips for getting your family to help out around the house and to appreciate the things that you do.