I’ve been struggling to write about the day I was compelled into taking the day off. Compelled, I know, but where others would swoop in at the chance, I find myself wanting a day off not for rest but for undisturbed housework.
It has come to that, I suppose, my idea of a day off is a day to myself to clean the house. And so I wanted to stress the importance of ‘me time’ in maintaining precious sanity (and the will to pick up that broom and rag again and trudge on because there is NO END to household chores).
You see, that day marked a boiling point. When we thought we finally had a maid again, she walked out on us. I could manage some cleaning here and there, but in spite of best efforts, our bathroom has clocked past the 2-week mark from being cleaned. The dog’s been peeing and pooping inside the house from all this rain we’ve been having. The absolute last thing I needed was to be woken up in the middle of the night feeling wetness on the mattress.
It was a day when the universe was like a giant primate throwing feces at my face. A day when a day off is in order and effective AF.
It was. But I guess that’s where my initial struggle stems from because the magic of the day off has worn off, and I find that I can’t just proclaim ‘me time’ as the answer to not having household help. I also doubt very much that the day off treat will work on a weekly basis. What to do then?
I am amazed at families that have made it work without the need for yayas and maids, but for us I find that we need that extra hand.
I need help with the household chores.
I need an occasional break from my super clingy child, even if it means just an hour of yoga or watching a movie that’s not animated and has a lot of swear words in it.
I need help because when I clean the house, the kid’s left glued on the iPad. And when she gets tired of watching, I’d hate it, because I don’t have the time for cuddling and whatnot, the floor isn’t going to mop itself.
Lastly, we could really use the help because we’ve now become more focused on having our individual day off’s. We don’t know what it means to spend time together just the two of us. How we soothe ourselves from stress hardly involves the other person anymore.
This current home situation is causing major friction in our family, and particularly in us as a couple. It exposed some facets of our personalities that are not particularly good.
I grew up with a mom that was hyper fixated on cleaning – the kind who would fluff and prop up the throw pillows on the sofa while guests were still sitting (they were my guests, but that’s no excuse right?), and gave the best nag-y, passive-aggressive mom speeches on our collective laziness and how she ends up doing everything.
The husband – in spite of being raised in the province – actually grew up constantly attended to by household help, pretty much like a little emperor. It did not help that his mother came from a generation with strong traditionally sexist norms, where he wasn’t expected to be neat or to help in the house because it’s the girls who do that.
We are aware, we know better now, but we are also products of our upbringing.
I am thankful for a husband that would insist that I go out and have a day off, but it tears me to pieces that the same husband would leave dirty t-shirts all over the house like they were clues to look for in Criminal Case.
I am not proud to catch myself shout and snap Ad Misericordiam rhetoric at my husband, or have him tell me off when it happens. I wallow in guilt when I find myself unable to even look at my kid and say, “It’s okay” when she wet the bed and said, “I’m sorry mommy, I won’t do it again,” over and over again.
The fatigue is real. The strain is constant. A day off – as much as it is welcome and appreciated – became a band-aid solution.
Is my perspective the issue? Is my unwillingness to accept a subpar home the root to my gnawing dissatisfaction at life? I was going to write about enjoying day off’s.