I Am a Domestic Goddess. Or a Spineless Gastropod Mollusc. They Are Still Fighting it Out

I’m starting this blog post on Sunday evening. A day of rest. Ha.

Today I did the following:

  • Fed and entertained two charming six-year-olds in the morning after a sleepover.
  • Washed two loads of laundry
  • Folded and put away four loads of laundry
  • Meal planned
  • Dropped off my charming six-year-old, B, at her friend’s house, and picked up my charming eight-year-old, N’s friend, and took the two lovely eight-year-olds to a birthday party at the trampoline place.
  • Went to my old haunt, the Rideau St. Loblaws, to buy groceries
  • Looked around Loblaws for the coffee stand but never found it.
  • Packed groceries into car then set out onto Rideau St. in search of coffee as it was too soon to pick up the girls from their party.
  • Noted that Rideau St. is still a seedy wasteland, as much as it has ever been.
  • I walked West (?) for a long while and never found coffee.
  • Saw Letellier in the distance and my heart jumped a bit because if I couldn’t get coffee, perhaps I could get a pair of cute ankle boots.
  • Got to Letellier. Closed Sundays. Came to the sad realization there would be no shoes or coffee for me this day.
  • Went back to pick up girls and was 15 minutes early. Waited to let the party wane and chatted with some other parents.
  • Drove home loaner lovely eight-year-old and exchanged her for my charming six-year-old.
  • Came home, put away groceries, cooked steak, spaghetti squash, and baked potatoes for the girls. Drank a Bud Light Lime while I cooked.
  • Tweeted and Facebooked a little while I was in the kitchen.
  • Supervised some homework.
  • Ate dinner with my charming six-year-old and lovely eight-year old and discussed some heavy topics like baptism, God, evolution, heaven, and what different people believe. I handled myself with grace and diplomacy.
  • Cleaned up kitchen, then kept looking at the basket of apples my neighbour had given me. Decided to bake some apple muffins.
  • Please note that I do not cook or bake under normal circumstances, and that Tony is the cook around here. Seriously, this was the first time in my life I have ever cooked a steak.
  • Read some bedtime stories to the girls and had happy loving snuggles before bed.
  • Took out the garbage and did the last of the kitchen cleaning.
  • Settled on the couch with a glass of wine and my netbook to do some more tweeting and blog post writing.

Now before you hate me, you need to know that this is a completely atypical Sunday for me. My normal routine would be to sleep in a little, get up and drink multiple cups of coffee while reading the newspaper. Convince Tony to go out and do all the errands that needed doing. He is not hard to convince as he seems to enjoy that stuff. Sit around, read, blog, tweet, more coffee. End the day by eating a delicious meal made by Tony In general, make a slug look like a productive being.

So what made Sunday so different is that Tony was away this weekend and I had to do it all. And surprisingly, it was not that onerous, even though I didn’t have any ‘me’ time or relaxing time at all. Even though I was much busier than when Tony is home, in some ways this weekend was easier. I knew what I had to do, and I did it. There was no negotiation about who will do what and when; no waiting to see if Tony would get up from the table and start the dishes, and no feeling of frustration when Tony would do things the opposite to how I would do them. A lot of this negotiation, at least for us, is non-verbal. We wait. Who will blink first?

I think a lot of stresses in a marriage come from the division of household chores. One of my friends told me once that he and his wife divided up these tasks, and that it did help to alleviate some of the tension in their house. Because let’s face it, if you have kids and a home and work, there is tension. It isn’t one person’s fault, but we are just pulled in too many directions, and we are all spread to thin to always give the best of ourselves to our partners. I have been thinking that assigning some chores around here could make things easier. Or even better would be to assign some to those gorgeous kids of ours. They have been getting a free ride for way too long now.

The epilogue to this story is that Tony came home this evening and I had a pot of chili waiting for him. I’m starting to think that maybe I can be a domestic goddess after all. She will just have to fight it out with my inner slug, but I think she has a good shot at dominating that spineless gastropod mollusc.

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About Finola

I am an Ottawa area Mom, writer-want-to-be and coffee legend in the making.
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10 Responses to I Am a Domestic Goddess. Or a Spineless Gastropod Mollusc. They Are Still Fighting it Out

  1. Finola, I am 'bach-ing' it all week as my husband is away. I totally agree with you that in some ways it is much easier (especially with the kids) because you just hunker down and 'get it done'. I have enlisted the kids to help out with some tasks which is hugely helpful…although – I have to confess – that I did, however get the car filled up at the Full-Serve Island Park Esso – as car maintenance and the regular fill-up isn't my 'file'.

  2. Nat says:

    The Man used to travel a lot and I found that we'd get into a routine. It becomes normal, and you get used to making all the decisions. I also found that it forced me to do things I'd otherwise never do because it's “his stuff.”

    (We're having steak tonight. Yeah. Definitely steak.)

  3. Liisa says:

    I find that when I am on my own, I can get it all done no problem and everyone is relaxed.

    I think the tension comes from expectations. When Derek is around, I expect him to do certain things, and if he doesn't, I get irritated.

    Sometimes being domestic can be kinda fun, especially when it's temporary or at least, not “expected”.

  4. zoom says:

    I was a single mom for most of my son's childhood. I found that while I was living with his father, a lot of energy went into resenting his father for being useless. Once we split up, I still had to do everything myself, but it seemed so much easier without the added weight of resentment.

  5. Sara says:

    Very impressive 🙂 It has taken 12 years to transform me into a domestic anything of sorts. Now I'm 1950s housewife extraordinaire (in some respects). For us it works right now because I am home. There's no tension about the house or cleaning or cooking because our expectations are clear. It definitely helps.

  6. Good for you! That actually sounds like a really good Sunday. And I think because it's important to relax and be productive. My husband and I seem to continually battle those two sides every weekend. I wish they could be more relaxing, but when I want them to be relaxing, I end up feeling a ton of ennui. Your kids sound like they're at good ages. I think I'll enjoy those ages.

  7. Wow, you are a total domestic goddess. And I so hear you on things being clearer in a way when you partner is traveling. I always dread when my husband has to travel for work, but it never ends up being as bad as I fear. (Then again, I know I wouldn't be as blase if he had to travel very often!)

  8. Finola says:

    Jen, Perhaps at piano this week you could share with me how you get your kids to be “hugely helpful”. My goal for my girls is that they not be a hindrance.

    Nat, Yes, I was out of my comfort zone a few times this weekend, but I actually enjoyed that part too.

    Fit for Kid, Yes, I'm guilty of getting irritated as well when things aren't done when I expect them to be. Seems to be fairly common among the women I know…

    Zoom, It must have been hard to have to do it all, all of the time. I think if I had to keep this up all the time, I would become seriously exhausted.

    Sara, Good for you! I would love to have the chance to stay home for a while. When I was on mat leave I used to bake a lot of banana bread and cook a lot of soups. Who knows what else I am capable of?

    Stella, 🙂 Just did what I had to do!

    Jana, This is a great age. I really do usually get some quiet time on weekends as the kids play with either each other or their friends quite a bit. It's much less demanding in many ways.

    Kristin, Thanks! I really was dreading it, but I ended up enjoying it too.

  9. Sid. says:

    Mmmm, Bud Light Lime. Like pop, for adults. Anyway yes, I totally support dividing chores. I grabbed laundry and vaccuming and the husband has grocery shopping, dishes and most cooking. Once the kid achieves a reasonable age, she'll have set of age-appropriate chores. I grew up in a household without any set rules/expectations around division of labour and it sucked. My mother always did way too much until she'd snap, scream at us all for being lazy ungreatful lumps and guilt us into helping with cleaning. Repeat bi-weekly. Good times for all. I am determined to not let my inner control/clean freak get in the way of having some semblance of consistency with respect to house stuff. Not when there's so much other stuff to fight with family about 🙂

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