Friday, May 23, 2008

wife/mom

There's a line women must walk. Actually, maybe not all women. Maybe it's just married women with children. The line between treating their children as children and their husbands as . . . well, not as a child. It's a very difficult line not to cross and probably nonexistent to some, but it has been revealed to me several times over my 20-year marriage.

When I was in my twenties and thirties, for some reason, I had this idea that everything just had to be a certain way. The house had to look a certain way, it must be cleaned a certain way, and everyone had to do everything a certain way or it wasn't right. Thinking about it now, no wonder I was so stressed and acted like such a . . . well, never mind about that. But I definitely understand why I was always exhausted.

Anyway, so when the kids would clean their rooms I would always go in and check to make sure it was done "right." You know how kids are. They'll throw everything in the closet or under the bed and tell you they've finished cleaning their room. I know I did that. So I made sure they knew I wasn't going to let them get away with it. And that's ok, if it's your kids. But when your husband is helping you with the housework the rules are completely different. As a matter of fact, if your husband is helping you at all with housework he deserves mass quantities of wild sex -- from you, his wife, of course!

But if he, for instance, is helping with the laundry and asks, "Uh, honey, how do you fold these sheets?" You say, "Anyway you want!" Because, let's face it, does it really matter, in the big picture, how the sheets are folded? No! Really, it doesn't.

This past weekened I had the opportunity to pass this knowledge on to my daughter. Earlier, I was in the kitchen washing dishes and thinking about all the other work I still needed to do and kind of getting a little upset, because RL was in the front room watching tv. Then a few minutes later, I realized, yes he was watching tv, but he was also folding laundry! OMG!! I thought I saw a glow of light around his head. I heard a choir singing and harps playing. Then I turned back to the dishes hoping that it wasn't all a dream.

Later, my daughter got home from work and sat down in the front room to watch tv. She noticed the stacks of her clothes that had been folded and asked why her clothes had been folded wrong-side out. Well, I have to tell you, my head nearly spun around like I was Linda Blair! I told her, basically, that you don't complain how someone folds laundry when they usually never fold laundry. It's enough that they even tried. Be thankful it was done at all, especially when she can do it herself!

So ladies remember, children are children and need instruction and discipline. You're not your husband's mother and that's a good thing, because that's just gross when you think about it. In conclusion, husbands can fold laundry any way they want (if they want) and children can fold their own!

13 comments:

Sailor said...

And since laundry, like dishes, is a never-ending chore, it's always good to both help out- and have the help.

I confess, I'm not so good at folding, because it's usually done when I get home from work. I'm a whiz at putting it away and having the kids do theirs, though!

for a different kind of girl said...

Oh, this is such a concept I struggle with, especially as I watch my husband struggle more with the simple folding of a shirt. A shirt that takes him forever as I go through one after the other and watch, then (head bowed), take it from him and 'show' him how to do it. If I can get him to put them away, I'll fold. It's just sometimes it takes him days to put them away, and that's a whole other ball of wax!

But regardless, I always, always, always thank him for helping me!

The Silent Male said...

I have seen so many studies that show that many men stop being helpful because of being criticized for not doing it the right way. It kind of makes me think there might be some truth to the studies.

For me, I have been guilty of showing frustration and pointing out that I was and am capable of taking care of myself. I believe my wife is thankful for me being helpful. We get along well about household issues.

flutterby said...

Good points, Phyllis.

"You're not your husband's mother and that's a good thing, because that's just gross when you think about it."

Hear, hear!!

XI Summit said...

Someone get the memo to Queenie. Mum still treats Pop like a kid and, since Queenie grew up in that environment she still regularly attempts to parent Xi. Oh, Xi makes sure to correct her when it matters but she's one stubborn Mother ....

And for reasons already stated here I do a considerable amount of laundry but will not and can not fold any clothing but my own and sometimes the daughters. Because I do it wrong. Every time. And it's not worth the battle. And there are other things that I will not do for her as well. Far too many things.

That's it for today ...

Rat In A Cage said...

I wish more women understood that, and I am so glad you had that epiphany. My ex treated me like one of her kids with that same stuff. I used to help clean every week, and when she started to re-clean what I had cleaned I wanted to strangle her. I was already doing the laundry, making the lunches & helping with the homework. Never a think you, but never ending with the redoing things the "right" way. It finally drove me insane & I had to leave. If you can give that lesson to your daughter, you have given her one of the best lessons ever. Good for you & for your new lower stress level. Happy belated mother's day.

Therese in Heaven said...

I think it goes the other way too. RS asked me to sweep the driveway, which I willingly did, and then he went and re-did it because I didn't get absolutely every last blade of grass.

The Silent Male said...

I have to give that point to Therese.

aphron said...

Bless you!

One of the running arguements Sybil and I have is folding laundry. If I don't fold t-shirts just right we have to have a hour long "discussion." I think the fundamental difference between men and women is that women get bent over such trivial things. If I don't fold the t-shirts just right, it doesn't mean I don't love you. OK?!?

Thank you for the post. If more wives got it, there'd be happier marriages.

Desmond Jones said...

The whole wife/mother 'duality' is a huge challenge for married women. 'Cuz somehow, 'mommy-dom' doesn't just flow smoothly into 'hot lover'.

It's odd - Molly and I have actually had to deal with the dichotomy from the opposite direction - we're very grooved into our marriage and the husband/wife thing; our challenge is to let the lovin' mojo flow out to our kids. . .

And, just for the sake of sayin' so, I'm much more likely to launch into 'lecture mode' on Molly than she is on me. . .

Therese in Heaven said...

'Cuz somehow, 'mommy-dom' doesn't just flow smoothly into 'hot lover'

I was talking to a friend recently who has a baby and she said that at the moment she had spit up, urine, and poo on her. Is it any wonder that mommy doesn't equal sexy?

Slick said...

Geeez, I'm printing this out for all the times I've screwed up trying to help! :p

FTN said...

Strangely enough, I think I fold things with more care than my wife -- she often ends up folding shirts inside out, and half the time she doesn't hang up my laundry at all. :-)

But she doesn't generally criticize the things I do, which I am thankful for. It may be because I'm not really "helping" her with the housework. It's more like I'm just doing another job around the house, whether it's cooking or doing dishes or folding my laundry. I don't really think of it as "helping her."