In March of this year, my family started yet another "new" chapter in our lives. We purchased a bigger house for our five, yes 5!, kids. This house has one more bedroom, an additional living area, a formal dining room and best of all...sweet LAND (an acre lot). That way when Rob and I get tired of hearing the screams and stomps in the house, we can shove the kids outside, close the door and let the screams be heard by all the neighbors. Nothing says welcome to the neighborhood like screaming children. Hoo ya, buddy!
To get in the house was NO small feat. In fact, there were many times that Rob and I almost threw in the towel and said UNCLE UNIVERSE you can just keep the damn house, we will live in a trailer for the rest of our lives! You think I'm joking? Oh no, we lived IN A TRAILER beside my dad's house for 2 weeks, when the stay was only supposed to be ONE, yes 1!, day.
I'm pretty proud of myself because in that two weeks, I only broke down one time. Maybe that was because I was highly medicated the rest of the days and that ONE day I ran out of Lexapro.
I kidd, maybe.
Since the day we got the keys and moved into the house, we have worked very hard at making it our home. But with a much bigger house comes added responsibilities, such as MORE cleaning and MORE yard work - two things I never really considered until we got moved in and adjusted.
I got divorced in 2008 and the one thing I have prided myself on since then was keeping a positive attitude and always seeing the good in the things happening around me - good, bad and ugly.
About a month ago I stopped seeing the good. I was angry and frustrated all the time and couldn't put my finger on why this was happening. And the fact that it was happening made me even more angry because I could not control it. Finally the straw that broke the camels back was the dog taking the brand new comforter and tearing a hole in it before I even got a chance to put it on the bed. Small thing, I know...but that was it.
I sat in the middle of the living room and lost it - crying and mad BECAUSE I was crying and couldn't stop it. I HATE to cry, to me it's a sign of weakness or a sign of defeat - two things that don't represent who I am.
As I cried, Rob sat down beside me and held my hand, scared to death of what was happening. All I could say to him was "I'm just so angry...ALL the time." He said that right thing when he said, I know and I'm sorry.
As I sat there thinking about why I was angry, it dawned on me that I was giving my life to this family and feeling like I was getting nothing in return. I was in essence a glorified maid and housekeeper. And it wasn't fair. I would come home to a kitchen that was a mess, rooms that weren't picked up and a fiance that was sitting on the couch relaxing from a long days work.
From the second I entered the house I was on the move - answering questions from all the kids, cleaning, picking up, laundry...it just never stopped. It was like groundhog day and I hated every second of it. I no longer enjoyed going to what we now call "home". I dreaded driving up to the house knowing the tasks that stood in front of me.
Some may say that's what a mother does and for those who say that, I will argue all day long that's NOT what a mother is. A mother deserves the same respect she gives the members in her family. She deserves to have a mate that helps her EVERY second of EVERY day. She deserves kids that pick up after themselves so they can grow up to be respectful and responsible adults. She deserves to have time to herself to recover from the day so she can maintain her sanity and be the best Mom she can be.
After that day, and the weeks that have followed, a lot of things have changed in our house because they HAD to and NEEDED to. I don't feel like I'm walking into a house where I am raising 6 kids not 5. And the odd thing about it is there is no other way for this to have happened had I not opened up and became human - let that vulnerability show. Because in the end I will always me a mother, wife and friend, but most importantly I will always be ME.