Monday, October 23, 2006

I need a maid

Yesterday, I lost it over a tube of chapstick. Totally lost it. The kind of “mamma’s gone around the bend” losing it that sends the children scurrying into safe places far from my wrath.

Julie and Maddie were fighting over chapstick. “I want it.” “But it’s MINE.” “But I found it!” “It’s MINE!” “Then why did you leave it lying around?” “Why did you take it if it’s not yours?” “GIVE IT TO ME!” “BUT IT’S MINE!!!”

I spun around from where I was taking cups out of the cupboard, slammed the cupboard door shut, and shrieked, in an evil “mamma’s possesed by a demon” voice, “GIVE IT TO ME!” And when it wasn’t offered up immediately, I shrieked louder, “I SAID GIVE IT TO ME RIGHT NOW!” Defiantly, Julie clutched it, daring me to snatch it from her hand. “But it’s MINE and Maddie took it.” “I didn’t ask whose it WAS. I said GIVE IT TO ME. NOW. If you fight over something, you lose it.” And then I snatched, opened the cupboard again, and stashed the offending chapstick on the highest shelf.

Fuming, I stormed out of the room, and did the only safe thing I could think of – gave myself a time-out in the bedroom. With the door closed, and the pillow squished against my face to hide the seething anger and overflowing tears, I took a few deep breaths.

The thing is, I wasn’t really angry at the girls. Oh, I was plenty annoyed with the constant bickering, but that didn’t really warrant the spinning, shrieking, and snatching. I was just annoyed in general, and because they were there adding to the annoyance, they reaped the wrath of Mommy.

Sunday often seems to be my grumpy day, especially if I haven’t gotten enough done, the housework is piling up, and I feel like resting but can’t justify it until I’ve done 6 loads of laundry and cleaned for a few hours.

Our house has fallen into disarray again, and that always makes me grumpy. I’m having a bit of trouble adjusting to Marcel’s full-time school schedule. When he was home, he kept up with most of the housework, and I did laundry and some of the deeper cleaning on the weekends, and it usually seemed bearable. Now that he’s at school full-time and usually has to study in the evenings and weekends, everything is falling behind. It makes me really cranky. It makes me do stupid things like blow up at my kids over some chapstick.

I need a maid. When Marcel and I were both working full-time, we had a housecleaner come in every second week to whip our house into shape, and it was a delight. We could keep up with the day-to-day stuff as long as someone did the deep cleaning every couple of weeks for us. It was downright dreamy coming home on those days when she’d been there. I’m far from a clean-freak, but a clean house always makes me happier.

Yesterday was just too much. I was tired and really wanted to nap, but I knew laundry and cleaning needed to be done. On top of that, Nikki was bugging me to work on her Halloween costume (she’s never happy with the last minute stuff I’m usually guilty of), Maddie really wanted me to look through her memory box with her, and Julie wanted to play games, etc., etc. So I lost it. And then, because losing it is not healthy for my family, I picked myself up and got myself out of the house. I spent an hour thrift-shopping, bought myself a new winter wardrobe (2 sweaters and 3 shirts) and some juice glasses for a grand total of $14, and then came home much more refreshed and ready to tackle the mountain of laundry.

Thankfully, my family caught on that Mom needed a little help (or therapy - take your pick), so everyone did their assigned cleaning, Marcel tackled the kitchen and entrance way (so at least it LOOKS reasonable should anyone enter), and by the end of the afternoon, the house was at least presentable and the laundry was almost caught up. I still seem to be stepping on squishy things on the basement floor, but I can ignore that for now.

I actually managed to relax at the computer and watch a little TV at the end of the day. I didn’t get a nap though. And I still need a maid. And perhaps some therapy. Or maybe just a vacation.

Oh, and I think I need to apologize to my daughters tonight.


schoolboy said...

What about apologizing to your husband?


Stephanie said...

What is it about messy households that really can just push us to the brink of sanity?

I long for the day when we can have a maid. I'm already telling my family that they can all chip in together and get me a cleaning service for a baby shower gift. I don't need onesies. I need the bathroom floors mopped.

Gina said...

I know, when the house is messy, my brain feels messy too.

Perhaps you truly could find a reasonably priced maid?

It is so difficult for even me to keep up, and hi, I stay at home. I can't imagine having to work all day, deal with the kiddos and then have housework hanging over your head.

Or even better, perhaps you could barter for services?

ccap said...

What a coincidence! (No, I didn't just get a maid.) I just bought a sweater at the thrift store too!

Swampwitch said...

Well, reading that made yesterday when Bubba had a close encounter with a skunk not seem so bad.
After reading today's post, I scrolled back to yesterday's post. A-h-h ! Those beautiful innocent faces.

Linda said...

I remember those days. I'm glad you did the right thing and went out. I'm afraid that I would have started cleaning like a demon-possessed mom and would have scared everyone away. I do not enjoy cleaning but I hate a messy house.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Heather
You are an amazing writer. I'm sure that your family will forgive you. Its great that you are able to take time for your self when you things are steamy...

The very nice man said...

We will be praying for the right maid to come along and give you that much needed breathing space!

BarnGoddess said...

"I feel like resting but can’t justify it until I’ve done 6 loads of laundry and cleaned for a few hours"

I cannot take a nap when my toddler lays down for his, even if I am exhausted. I might doze off but then I wake up seconds later in a jolt feeling like I am doing something bad and had better get to my chores.

Sometimes even a hour away can repair major mental stress, I am a firm believer in that.

I get horribly cranky when my house is messy, I am obsessive/compulsive about it and I dont even know why, its not like we ever have a lot of company!

Amber said...

Nice to know I'm not the only when in need of a break due to breakdowns. You DEFINITELY need a date..and a maid!!

Hope said...

mama meltdown
shit happens
have a great week heather

Liz said...

I can't tell you how many times I have looked around my house and said, "you guys know I am not the only one who lives here right? I need help with this house!" Sometimes it works, but I'm also the one who is home the most. Thank goodness my husband started doing his own laundry a year or so ago!

wordgirl said...

I think you and I are soul sisters. I need a maid too. Badly. I don't really want someone touching my stuff, but I desperately need someone to do the deep cleaning that I have neither the time nor the inclination to do.