Mr. Mom

Man doing laundry

Sunday I really let go…really, really let go.  The house looked crazy by the end of the day.  I was so burnt out from cranking out a new book in a few weeks and all the research and reading that goes hand in hand with that writing, the 3:00 am writings, the 2 hours on the tread climber trying to continue my challenge, the stacks of books on the machine that I would read through while sweating.

When I write a book it’s often like cramming for intense finals at a college.  The computer begs for a break, the kids get shorter park days, the library gets lots of my business, there are books opened on the tread climber, the kitchen table, the bathroom, the bedroom night stand.  It looks like a mad researcher.  The house suffers a little.  It stays pretty clean and tidy because I can’t work in a mess, but the deep cleaning doesn’t happen for a couple to three weeks or so.

After the book is published there is a mini celebration, a field trip to the forest for a long day with the squirrels and birds, there is major cleaning (like today) and fun.  But before all that, there is a day of burnout from trying to do it all, run a home, love on children plenty, support a husband in his long and hard hours building a business and building my career as a writer.  I also get absolutely no help from the outside.  I am in a new town and have no community and the group of friends to help.  There are no breaks from the kids or babysitters.  95% I don’t mind…then there is the 5%.  Most of the time I have learned to clean smart, read and write in the pockets of opportunity, power through, rely on coffee.  Then I burn out and need a full day to recharge the old battery.

Bali is a great father, but when he “tends to the children” it is with a constant dialogue and request for assistance.  He acts as though he just met these children and doesn’t live in this house and has no idea what to do or where simple items are kept, such as the spoons and bowls.  He will beg me to help him change a diaper or sit with the kids outside.

Maybe I had the look of death in my eyes yesterday, but he left me alone.  He took the kids as I ask and he cooked and handled everything.  The children brought home a pile of foliage, literally, and spread it all over the living room floor making it look like the forest floor.  They tore through a pile of laundry that was neatly folded but I had foolishly not put away.  They decorated the other room making it look like a laundromat after a hurricane.  The kitchen had dishes and stuff everywhere, a filthy floor and just crap, crap, and more crap…just like the picture above.

I didn’t care.  I lay in the bedroom and watched the new Star Wars movie on the movie channels.  I ate chocolate, colored in my mandala book that is supposed to be coloring for the adults (I still feel like a kid).  I enjoyed almost the whole movie (usually I have to watch a movie 5 times to get through it).  I don’t even think I ate anything normal.  I was in HEAVEN!  Then later that night an old movie came on, Mr. Mom.  What a good movie.  The man looses his job and bets his wife a hundred dollars he will get a job before her.  He loses the bet and becomes Mr. Mom.  He tries hard enough at first, then time goes by and the day in and day out drudgery kicks in.  He starts letting himself go, getting fat, drinking, and is hooked on soap operas.  He’s made it in with all the housewives in the neighborhood and he starts a  gambling group with coupons and one of them is hot for him, of course.  One day he has a nightmare and “wakes up” to his slovenly ways, that he’s doing a really shitty job as a househusband and neglecting the kids.  He starts over and there follows a montage of him pulling it together with the Rocky theme in the background.  I love the montages.  I won’t ruin the rest of it for you.

But what I could relate to is that part of me that sometimes wants to sink into that slovenly, fat, soap opera watching, poor me thing.  Not often and once in awhile it’s good to do it…for  a day or two, then you can’t stand yourself or the house.  Then you put on that Rocky music and brew the coffee and get to work!  Like I did today.  I think that I only had it in me today because I allowed yesterday.  Today I was filled with enthusiasm, complete with rubber cleaning gloves and my artillery of cleaning products.

Get lazy sometimes and let the dad do all the work for a day.  It’s great for you and great for him to get a taste of it.

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