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Everyone has at least one list. For some it’s the List of Exes. For others, it’s a Bucket List. For a less glamorous style, it’s a simple List of Hopeful Accomplishments or the infamous To-Do List. For me, there is the “Things To Do for My Husband” list. I swear I diligently whittle away at it daily, but it seems that this list reproduces amazingly well when left alone on the kitchen counter overnight.
It’s pretty much a given though, that no matter how many tasks I’ve eliminated by noon, a quick phone call will force me to redouble my efforts for the afternoon. Once school gets out and I pick the kids up, all Husband Tasks are washed away in the flood of soccer practice, violin lessons, homework time, dinner prep, and family time before tucking the kids into bed, grabbing a glass of wine and sinking into a semi-conscious stupor on the couch.
While I never actually mind making phone calls or running errands for him, I usually end the day feeling like I’ve accomplished very little off of my To-Do List. The For-the-Kids List is done. The most pressing stuff on the Husband List is done. But dirty pots and pans still litter the kitchen counters, beckoning to the insects of the night. Dirty laundry is still overflowing laundry hampers in every bedroom. Clean laundry is piled up in baskets, waiting to be put away. There’s always a possibility that a load of laundry might be souring in the washing machine, forgotten from the day before. Vacuuming and mopping are done regularly, but the results seldom last past the two hour mark. Bathrooms are my nemesis with outdoorsy kids who think dirt is the new clean and is “In” for this Spring’s Bathroom Design Contest.
Some days I just feel like time beat me. I was slow out of the gate and my lists ran faster than I could. These are all just part of life and I accept this. My problem comes when I open my mouth to share my frustrations with my husband and his sympathetic ear; no complaining, just venting. He used to reward me with an absent expression as though he couldn't fathom that I spent all day doing a lot of tiring work for everyone else. His biggest mistake was to tell me one time, “Oh, just watch a movie with me and leave the cleaning for tomorrow. After all, you’re no Molly Maid.”
I’ve heard of volcanoes forming with less explosive force. The upside to this statement is that we can now look back and laugh at what a stupid thing that was to tell the woman who takes care of all our family's needs, other than earning a paycheck. He's just lucky I have a sense of humor.
My husband now advises his male friends never to make this kind of statement to their wives. I’d say that’s some sage advice.