When you’re on maternity leave, you grow accustomed to doing pretty much everything around the house, after all, it’s only fair that when your partner is working full time and you’re at home with the baby, that the lion share of the housework falls to you.
But something is really starting to wind me up, and surely, I cannot be the only one – my husband keeps doing things for me.
Now, I must admit, I do have my own way of cleaning and cooking and I do get slightly irritated when others try to ‘help‘, especially my toddler who seems to create more mess whenever he is insisting on assisting me with whatever chore I’m doing; but that’s not what this post is about. This is about when my husband lets me know he did a certain house job or task for me.
Not for Felix or for Dexter. Not for the family or for himself. But for me.
Since when was cleaning bottles a benefit for me? Surely we clean bottles for Felix?
“I cooked for you,” he told me the other night.
He hadn’t. He’d cooked for the boys, not me.
“I washed up for you,” he proudly announced last week. It wasn’t for me though was it, although it was one less chore on the endless to do list of cleaning and tidying that my life has become.
I can’t complain too much as my husband is an incredible dad. He helps loads with changing nappies, feeding bottles and playing with both of the boys while I’m cracking on with some cleaning and cooking. But this phrase of ‘for you‘ is really starting to grate on me; especially when I can’t see how I benefit at all from the job that’s been completed.
Perhaps each time I change the bedsheets I should let him know, “I have put on clean bedding for you”
Or, next time I scrub and polish the skirting boards, furniture and TV I should proclaim, “Look at what I did for you.”
Or, maybe next time I plan our family holiday, organise the flights, book the accommodation, pack the suitcases, arrange the car hire and sort out the airport parking I should announce, ‘Look at everything I did for you.” But I won’t.
After all, everything I do is for this family. It’s for us, for the boys, for everyone here. Nothing I do deserves praise or reward, just as I wouldn’t expect to dish out praise to my husband for completing simple tasks.
And, as for having to be the one to remember everything, including where the wet wipes are kept, despite constant reminders, is another blog post entirely. The mental and physical load at times can be all consuming. But we carry on don’t we? After all, how lucky are we to get to be off work with our babies, watching them grow and develop…in between cooking and cleaning of course.
It will be interesting to see how things develop when I’m back in work in January. Will the lions share of the housework still fall to me? Or will we see a more equal share? All I know is, if I get told one more time that a household task has been completed ‘for me‘, I’ll be ready to change the locks!