Monday, October 11, 2010

It's Not Fun, It's Annoying

I spend way too much time on the weekends doing laundry, cooking and cleaning.  Yet, I can't figure out how to change that.

Mr. Helen normally works on Sunday but had yesterday off. (All you people who grocery shop on Sundays, can thank me.  He's a butcher and someone has to be there to cut meat.).  He got up, gulped a cup of coffee down, then went out fishing.  When he got back home at 1:00, I was already in the kitchen working on our meals for this week.  He had a bite to eat then got on the treadmill for a fast run.  Came back inside, got cleaned up, then went to the family room where the giant tv is to watch football.  At 6:45, I called to him to come upstairs for dinner.  I had never left the kitchen.

When he came upstairs, he said, "I had NO IDEA that it was this much work for you."  I replied, "So, when you get home at 6:30 on Sunday nights and I say to you that I just sat down, you didn't believe me?"  He said "Well what did you want me to think.  When I get here, the kitchen is cleaned up."


Actually this is one of the reasons I hesitated to start martial arts - it would mean at least a couple of evenings out of the house. Mr. Helen is a fabulous martial artist which takes a lot of dedication and practice.  For 8 years, he was out of the house 4-5 nights a week for 4 hours at a time.  When he came home at 9 p.m., dinner was served because I was there to cook it. After he gave up teaching at the dojo he wanted to keep going a couple nights a week as a student, so he kept bugging me to join.  My first question was, "Who will cook?" He said it would work itself out. Uh-huh. The first year I did martial arts I gained 6 lbs because we were eating like CRAP. That's right, I added 2-3 hours a week of exercise to my routine and gained 6 pounds.  Which is what happens when you have a combination of a bad thyroid and a husband who says, "Let's just boil some hotdogs and have french fries" when it's 8 p.m. and there's no dinner ready because you were both at the dojo. 

Not good.  See, I *told* you I cook in self defense. 

The thing is, I really enjoy cooking and having a neat and clean home.  But honestly,  I don't love the fact that I spend almost all my free time on weekends taking care of that stuff because there is no time during the week.  As much as I like to cook, I don't love spending 6 hours at a time in my kitchen.  Eventually, I just feel flat out annoyed.

For example, not only did Mr. Helen have yesterday off, he had taken off Thursday and Friday as well because he had use it or lose it vacation time.  Since Monday is a regular day off for him, that gave him 5 days off in a row.  What did he do?  Golfed, fished, worked out, visted his parents.  Well, he did do a small project in the garage and the yardwork for about 2 hours so let's give him credit for that.  But, do you think when I got home on Friday even one room had been vaccuumed or one bathroom cleaned?  Nope.  I'm very sure if I had asked he would have done something.  But I get sick and tired of asking... which sounds martyr-ish even though I don't mean it to.

Which brings us to this morning when he tells me that he needs my ATM card.  He's going golfing again and needed cash - and the banks are closed.  His ATM card stopped working, oh, say 2 months ago. During which time I've suggested maybe half a dozen times that he go get a new one.  "Perhaps one of the times when you're actually in the bank making a withdrawal because your ATM card isn't working? Just ask?"  But no, he's a procrastinator to the ultimate degree.

Somehow this aggravated me more than it should have.  After he left, I literally had an out-loud conversation with me, myself, and I as I got ready for work.  The dialogue went something like this:

"Do you mean to tell me you just had three days off when the banks were open and you couldn't get your a** to the bank to get a new card?"

"I don't even get time off - I spend my whole weekend cleaning your house and cooking meals!"

"You need to realize what's going on around here and get off your procrastinating butt and take care of simple things like going to the bank!  And helping me by vaccuming a room wouldn't hurt either!"

Saying all that to him would have solved nothing and that out-loud dialogue with myself actually didn't even help me feel better.  I feel annoyed.  Annoyed at him and annoyed at myself for not being able to figure out how to do any different than what I'm doing now.



  1. I don't have any insight to offer on this one. It's always a tough thing to find balance in these issues.

    BTW - I'd be 6 foot tall if I didn't have so much turned under for feet ;-) Size ten feet.

  2. I can't offer any suggestions at all because I suffer the same. My weekends are full of working the home just like you while Mr. Sandra is retired. To help my sanity, I've started leaving him "Honey-Do" lists because on his own nothing gets done. It helps my relationship because at the end of the day when I get home from work and I still have to get dinner ready, if he has done nothing my dander goes up and crabby Sandra shows up. Lists are saving us. :)

  3. I once heard a woman say that she wished she had a wife. I know exactly what she means!

  4. My weekends are spent the same way. I just have other things to take care of during the week. The weekend is for making things spick and span. Start out slow. Try every other weekend. Plan things in advance and look at your calendar with excitement about whats coming up :)

  5. you can ask him to help vacuum. Give him a chore list. YOu sit down and say "honey, I should not have to spend all my free time cleaning. On mondays wednesdays and fridays I would like it if you would do dishes. On Saturdays I would love it if you would run the vacuum. Seems like dude has enough free time to help. Or pic the days when you would like a day off and get help then. OR,
    call in merry maids.

  6. Well - that is a tough one, but I think that it might help you if you didn't ask for help, but tell him to help you. If you ask, there is always a way out. If you tell him you have to have him help, he might actually get it. You could hire a service to come in and clean, and if your husband doesn't like that, then tell him that he can do those things.

    People have to 'train' each other in marriage, and sometimes that training goes the wrong way (like when one person does all of a chore and hates it, but never says anything).

  7. Arg - I so understand the fury. Not only the cooking AND cleaning the kitchen, but all the shopping in order to be able to cook! Husbands can be so freaking clueless. Example: I'm always reminding mine to NOT wear his hiking boots into the house. He did Saturday morning right before he went off the a boy scout event - left a huge dirt clod in the kitchen. So I left it there until he came home on Sunday - he noticed it and asked "how did this get here?" - dur, how do you THINK?!? Sigh.

    Are you going to propose that he pitches in with the housework, since you obviously do the majority of the cooking?

  8. Men suck. There, I've said it. (and I'm happily married. LOL)

  9. Yuck.

    I hope you find renewal and rejuvenation somehow/someway. ANd that you'll be able to find something SOMETHING Mr. could do amiably to help. :)

  10. I am glad you got that off your chest! It feels better to vent sometimes, just writing it down gets rid of it!

    Yo do work hard and sometimes it sucks to be a woman!

  11. I totally understand. Now our 23 y/o son is home and it's absence of help times 2. I do ask on occasion, and thy do what I ask. But do they really need me to say that the den needs vacuuming? You could build a new dog from all the hair that is on the rug, but they don't "see" it. It's classic learned helplessness.

    AND, when I do ask and they do things, it's a crappy job. My theory is they do a crappy job so we stop asking them. Sorry for my rant. The inequity of all this is ridiculous. I get the whole "I need a wife" thing for women! I have a friend who says that other than the sex, she totally gets lesbianism! Women get women.

  12. OMG!!!!!!!
    Not 2 minutes ago (or the time it took to read this post) I posted almost the same thing, just add 3 kids.
    I'm about to lose it!!!

  13. Well, ditto here too. My husband can be off work all week and still not manage to vacuum. It makes me crazy. If I complain I get that "well, I took care of the lawn" which takes a big two hours a week in the summer and maybe once a month in the winter. I spend a good portion of my weekend cleaning house and doing laundry.

    I am also annoyed, but I don't know how to fix it. Maybe because it's gone on so long that it's too late to fix it. All I know is that I'm tired, very, very tired.

  14. you may NOT WANT my answer as Im a stubborn misfit :)
    when I wasnt working I did it all happily (ok not happily but I knew it was part of my "job") and since Im back full time I gave the husband a list and I dont do whats on his list.
    and that sh*t (pardon my french) has piled up up up up up before and I STILL DONT TOUCH HIS LIST STUFF

    and now he knows.
    and he likes a clean house.
    so he does whats on his list.

    I refused to cave :)