There is a union for Mom’s, right? Oh what was I thinking, of course there isn’t, but in our little corner of the universe I’m thinking of starting one. You know what it’s like. You’ve picked up a million little things throughout the day, listened to bickering between the children, heard the heavy breathing from the teen while eye’s roll at your apparent stupidity, and watched your husband shake his head in disbelief that you could be upset over such “a little thing.” I thought they had heard of the old saying “if Momma isn’t happy, nobody is happy.”
I figured that in my role as wife and mother I’ve jumped through all the hoops one possibly can without being a side show at the circus. If something needed to be done, it was done, often leaving what I wanted to do to come last. Don’t get me wrong, it was my choice, but every now and then you want to know you’re appreciated. Yet, for some reason no one in my family can seem to do what I ask without heavy breathing being involved. Now I myself like a certain variety of heavy breathing but this particular kind isn’t what I have in mind.
In the course of a regular day, along with the things I have to do; helping out the kids, doing laundry, cleaning the house, feeding the dog and the family and oh yeah, going to work, I figure I add on at least twenty to thirty little things to do. I remind my children to take their shoes off the staircase and put them up. I carry several days of clothes down to the hamper in the laundry room AFTER I’ve already done three loads of clothes, or take the wrappers from candy and chewy’s out of the living room and put them into the garbage. Every Mom out there knows what I’m talking about. I don’t want an immaculate house; I just want a house I can walk though without it looking like it’s heading for an episode of “Hoarders.” I swear, if I didn’t pick up we’d be digging tunnels just to get to our rooms.
So a couple of days ago, I hit a wall. My hubby and I had butted heads over a simple task, and it seemed apparent to me that I was making much ado about nothing. The next day I got off of work early and was looking forward to spending time with my daughter. The “tude” that I got from her was enough to sink the Spanish Armada. Seems we differ on everything, very much like “The Taming of the Shrew.” I’ll say it’s the sun, and she will insist it’s the moon. What I hoped would be a small, sweet segment of time spent together, had knocked the wind out of me.
Then, in relaying what had happened to my husband, my son interrupted and yelled, “You have to play cars and trucks with me tonight.” It all hit me entirely the wrong way. Everyone could tell me what to do, infer that what I wanted was not important, and show their attitudes without hint of apology. Yep, for this I get one day a year called “Mother’s Day” and an ulcer.
I dropped my basket, lost my head, went out on a limb, and when I walked in the door at home, I wrote my manifesto:
“For the past three months I’ve been working outside of the home, and contributing to our household and family as always. But, no more.
Until I am heard, and treated with a respect I feel I have earned, until the “little things” I ask for are done and remembered, until I can ask someone to do a task without eye rolling or asking multiple times, I am on strike.
This means I will not:
Participate in family functions,
Go to the grocery store,
Go to performances, games, etc.
Pick up or drop off anyone to school.
I’m tired of not being listened to, of not being heard, of being talked down to, and underappreciated.
I will do my own job where they pay me and appreciate ME for trying to do my best, which is all I ever expect from all of you.”
Luckily, for the family, they had gone out and I didn’t stick around to see what they would do when they got home and found no supper on the table. I went to the bookstore, then bought some blouses, grabbed a sandwich, and read until 9pm with my feet propped up at Starbucks. It was wonderful.
We’re on day four of the strike. I haven’t cleaned, cooked or run a single errand and I feel like a heel, but I’m soooooooo relaxed. They’re looking a little wide-eyed and my daughter hasn’t rolled her eyes once. My son asked me to “Please play cars and trucks,” and I might, but for now I’ll let it ride until my demands are met.