Sunday, May 10, 2015

On Being Happy: Mother's Day

Mother's Day (Image Courtesy of Baby Gizmo
I'll be honest: I am writing this post before Mother's day, because I have hopes that Mother's day will be busy with other things.

At the very least, I am hoping I get to sleep in, and maybe get breakfast in bed. I suspect I will get that because James has been watching all of these breakfast recipe shows on Youtube with me. I think he is fishing for an idea.

Mother's day makes me a little bit sad.  I know, I am sure there are people out there thinking "Wait, what? You are a mother who isn't happy on Mother's day? Someone is doing something wrong!" And the thing is, my husband pulls out most of the stops for Mother's day. I usually
Every Other Day (Image Courtesy of School of Hard Knox)
get breakfast in bed, house cleaned, all the meals made by someone else, and a massage, or go do something special just for me kind of thing.

What makes me sad is that my family thinks that they should only do those things on special occasions like my birthday, Valentine's day and Mother's day.

Now, I am not saying that I should be pampered all the time. I never wanted to be a princess and I'm not going to start now. But I have noticed (especially in this last year, when I went back to a "real job" and am trying to balance that 40 hour work week with my writing, being a wife, being a mom, and not living like a slob) that I do chores every single day. No one else in my house can say that. I never have enough time to get everything I need to do done, and always feel harried and harassed. Why are my wants and needs only important a couple of "special days" a year?

I don't think that Feminists anticipated by "encouraging" women into the workforce, they would create a society where women had to work in order for their family to survive. After all, when most families have two incomes the cost of living goes up.  Even living in Utah, a state where a large number of women stay at home, my family cannot afford for me not to work. Partly because I need to pay off my student loans, but a lot because the cost of living is so high. We struggled for a little over a year doing it and it just didn't work.

I have debated hiring a maid. We have tried every form of bribery possible to get the children to do it, but it just isn't happening. I am very sympathetic with my husband's desire to kick back and relax after work. After spending 12 hours out of the home working, the last thing I want to do when I get home is a bunch of chores. I am doing good to cook dinner most nights. We went from hardly ever eating out to eating out a couple of times a week. That already takes a good chunk of my salary. Adding a maid seems impractical, but I can't keep living in the mess.

Add on top of that, the fact that I try to spend an hour every day working on my writing career... and it is no wonder I never have time. I need to start making time to work out too, but where am I supposed to squeeze everything in?

There are not enough hours in the day, and I just don't have the energy. I have tried to incorporate my family so we are spending time together as well, but no one wants to work out with me, no one wants to clean with me, and everyone gets mad when I don't have the energy to play a board game one night a week, do family movie night, play video games, read every night, or go out on the weekends.

I feel like a bad mother because I struggle to make time, but I feel like no one is making time for what is important to me.

See why I struggle with being happy?

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