Magic Words

One of the things I am struggling to accept is that the SAHM’s To Do list is NEVER completed. I have just carried 16 things into this week from last week’s list. This morning we needed to drop one of the cars at the mechanics, and usually I would want to head straight back home as soon as possible to get on with all my chores and lists, and my husband and I would then spend Miss M’s 90 minute nap in separate rooms doing our own thing. Today I decided to stop worrying about all the stuff I have to do, be in the moment, and put Family Time first. Instead of rushing home I suggested that we take Miss M to the play park and then have a walk to the marina, during which she would fall asleep and my husband and I could be alone together during the day without distractions – a very rare occurrence! The sun was shining, the waves were crashing against the rocks, and we walked and talked about our plans for the year ahead, and our goal of buying a house by the end of next year. We even did some snogging on the harbour wall, which was rather lovely!

However, experience has taught me that throwing caution to the wind with regard to household management for even half a day in an unplanned manner can cause a chaos spiral, so after a happy family lunch I consulted my organiser and I got stuck in to some baking and cleaning. While my husband fell asleep on the sofa. And thus The Resentment started to simmer beneath my surface. Being mindful, I told myself that he had been up since 5am, that he would be doing dinner and bath later, that he deserves some down time too; and I managed to put a lid on it. Until Miss M decided the TV was boring and being in the kitchen with mummy and her floury hands and hot oven was way more fun, and he did not respond fast enough to my call. Then some milk was spilled (literally), and my red mist descended. All my good intentions and a lovely morning spoiled. And I felt so ashamed because while my daughter is too little to understand an argument between her parents, I’m sure she gets the vibe. I struggled to regain perspective and control, and eventually managed to explain to him how resentful I was feeling and why his reaction to the milk being spilled angered me (oh, how trivial it all seems now!!). An unhappy silence reigned. But then, a short while later, he said the magic words: “would you like me to do the hoovering?”. And just like that, peace was restored. While certainly unpleasant, this horrible quarrel was shorter than most – perhaps in part due to the beautiful morning we had shared.

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.


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