Jennifer Pitt

Beating My Crazies

My 8-month old daughter just peed on our bed – on my side. I am crying; literally bawling my eyes out. With laughter.

My husband thought it would be easier if he changed her on our bed, instead of her change table, because she bumped her head on the top rail (admittedly, she is getting a little too long for it; I dangle her feet off the front of it). After decommissioning the current poop catcher and partially installing the new one, he decided to leave the room: voila! Diaper kicked off on to floor, pee on bed.

A few weeks ago I would have been furious. It would have compounded all of the other things he doesn’t have the ESP to know, and I would have added it to the pile of reasons why I thought it would be easier to be a single mother. Looking after an 8-month old is work enough, without adding a 40-year old to look after too, right?!?!

The holidays always stress me out but I never notice it. The stress camouflages itself with self-righteousness and being the only person in the house to EVER. DO. ANYTHING. Add to that a 36-hour power outage two days before Christmas, and, well…..I was out for blood. I cried every day over spilled milk, never mine, though! Always someone else’s, spilled all over MY neat and tidy life.

A few days ago I decided that I was tired of being a bitch and I just wanted to be happy. But wait, Bitch said. We’re giving in again?!?! We always compromise! Now is the time to take a stand! No, I told her firmly. I don’t want to carry around all this extra baggage…I need to put it down some time.

What example did I want to set for my daughter, who watches us like a hawk and learns through our every move? Do I want her to remember a tense mama who sighs and curses daddy under her breath all day? Definitely not. What I do want her to learn is compromise and how to ask for help. Because these last few days, that’s what I did. I asked for help. Instead of muttering curses and being angry that my husband didn’t just know what I wanted him to do, I asked him to do it.

Today, for the first time in all our 15 years, he took care of the laundry mostly by himself. Brought it down, sheepishly asking for my help to learn to sort it, and brought it all upstairs for me to fold – we both know he can’t fold a napkin never mind a mound of baby girl clothes, most of which he doesn’t recognize as actual human clothing. And then brought it all upstairs, folded, to our bedroom.

And today, for the first time in a while, I shared. I shared my chores, I shared my responsibility, and he shared my laughs at the pee stain that now resides at his feet, instead of my shoulder.

I’ve had enough of sharing my crazies. I have so much, SO MUCH, to be happy about. It’s time to appreciate that more often.

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