Asking for Help is Hard: Chapter 3

Getting the hubs to contribute.

There, I said it. This may be one of my biggest challenges: where do you draw the line between asking for help and nagging? It’s so frustrating when I have to ask my kids multiple times to put away their toys or dishes, but the hubs should know better, right?

Don’t get me wrong, the hubs is the best. My love for him grows daily. He’s an incredible father to our kids. He works his ass off at his job and comes home to his 3 girls asking more of him. That’s the challenge though, shouldn’t he instinctively know when I need help? We’ve been married for over 12 years now… shouldn’t he understand how much it irritates me when he puts his dishes in the sink when there’s a dishwasher with dirty dishes 2 feet away? Or a basket of laundry sitting next to him, desperate to be put away as he “naps” on our bed waiting for our 6 year old to get her teeth brushed & jammies on? Maybe he does? Maybe it’s out of spite? Is he waiting for me to ask him? Because I really don’t want to turn into that wife. Maybe I already have.

Why am I writing this today? Because we are in the middle of an Everybody Loves Raymond-esque standoff. Remember the episode where neither Debra nor Ray feels they should be the one to put away the luggage, and it sits on the staircase for two weeks until Ray puts blue cheese in it? Yeah, that episode. No, we’re not at the blue-cheese level. And I think both of us love cheese way too much to waste it & use it as a weapon. Here’s the thing — I’m a klutz, especially around stairs; having to store the decorations in the basement puts us into a situation where roles are played. He brings the boxes up & down the stairs… usually he helps me put the decorations up and sometimes he helps takes them down. This year, he’s been working quite a bit, so I took them all down on my own, but the decorations have been sitting in the living room, waiting for my big strong man to take the remaining Christmas crap down the stairs.

What is this, 1960? I mean, geez. Why can’t I get up off my lazy ass to care of this myself? It’s the principle of the thing. Could be pure stubbornness. But, I have asked, multiple times. And now, I feel like if I ask one more time, I will officially be in the land of nag… the hubs likely already thinks this. So, the standoff continues. Am I wrong? Probably. I try to pick my battles, and this one, as I write about it, seems silly, to a degree. The putting away issues seems to be one of the biggest challenges for my entire family, me included! I usually end up being the one to sort it all out and put it away eventually. Why is that? Can I blame my MIL for always picking up after the hubs? Never teaching him some level of priorities & responsibility? And sure, the Christmas decorations are definitely not priority #1… but a 10-day standoff?! Seriously?

The hubs does recognize when I need a break from the kids/house, which is huge! He’ll kick me out of the house or send me to our room and make me lock the door if he sees me stressed out when he comes home from work. This is necessary, and definitely ranks higher than the seemingly endless chores that pile up. I have learned to let that shit go, which is, again, huge. And I do try to get most of the chores done on my own since I am home, and that may be in my “job title” but some days, I really don’t feel like loading & emptying the dishwasher… again. Or folding & putting away the pink load of laundry. But it does need to get done at some point, and I’d like him to offer to help, but if he doesn’t, is that really wrong? Here lies my internal struggle. But the daily chores I can honestly handle — and if it doesn’t get done that particular day, it doesn’t bother me as much as it used to. It’s the extras, like putting away Christmas decor, getting the house ready for guests, packing/unpacking when we travel, etc. I can’t do all the daily bullshit and… fill in the blank. Something will suffer, and usually, our relationship does because this is the only time we fight — when the extra bullshit cuts into the daily routine, which also ends up suffering. When I’m drowning in to-do lists, am I really wrong to feel overwhelmed and needing to delegate? But, what happens when the delegations fail? I still get blamed for it not getting done? Or looked down upon for freaking out because I am so overwhelmed? What’s up with that?!

I realize some people may read this post and think I’m just a whiny, ungrateful bitch of a wife. Am I? Maybe. I am beyond grateful to have married a guy who loves to play with his kids just as much as he loves to play with his wife. I look at a friend who’s going through a divorce, and she envies the relationship we have; her ex never pitched in with shit, and expected the world from her. So, I’m back to where I started… where is the line drawn? When does asking the hubs for help turn me into the nagging wife?

As in my previous 2 chapters in this on-going challenge of Asking for Help, I’ve learned that even the people closest to you may not offer help if you don’t ask. Everyone has their own agenda in their daily routine, and setting that aside to help you may not be something they can do on your time-table. May be something they mean to do, but haven’t had a chance to fulfill their needs or yours. Life happens! And if it’s a messy, cluttered house you live your life in, is that really worth fighting over? Nah. I’ll grab some liquid motivation if necessary to get over this. Maybe it’ll encourage me to put the decorations away today without holding a grudge. Stranger things have happened.

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