“I did not get a Master’s degree in housekeeping!” I stormed at Frank as we argued over how precious weekend time would be spent. I don’t mind doing daily and weekly housecleaning myself, but sometimes it’s a two-person job. I wanted to spend Saturday morning doing some post-Christmas chores as well as some neglected-during-the-holidays household items. Frank, after a long week at work and a post-holiday cold, wanted to hang out, drink coffee, and go to the park with Bea.
This has been one of the hardest parts of staying home. I love hanging out with Bea, reading with her, coloring, and having tea parties. Even on the mundane days, I can see the big picture and realize that we have made the best decision for our family. Frank does a good amount of cooking and, with our new Crock-Pot, I don’t mind preparing a meal during naptime and having it ready for dinner. The cleaning, however, was not something I anticipated being so difficult.
It’s an area where I allow my insecurities about choosing to stay home to flourish. When life is good and I’m confident in my title as “mom,” cleaning the house, doing the laundry, those all somehow fit easily into our weekly routine. When I am feeling unsure about my decision, when I feel that I need a grander title, suddenly having to dust seems like the most demeaning task.
Obviously, this isn’t just about cleaning – we had had similar squabbles before I had Bea, except gender equality was the underlying theme rather than motherhood. The past year and a half, I’ve had to settle in and be comfortable with my role as mother, and to realize that, for this season, it is enough. I know this, but often I don’t feel it, which is when the insecurities arise.
Remembering my One Word for this year, I need to rest in Grace. Grace for myself, when my list of things to do is pushed aside for Lego building and endless tea parties; Grace for Frank as he works hard, struggles to balance life as a husband and father; Grace for my identity as I embrace “just” being a mom.
What parts of your identity do you need Grace? And, more practically: How do you divide household chores with your spouse/partner?