Being Strong is Exhausting Work

So, here it is, Sunday evening and I am looking forward to having the last of the laundry folded and put away. I am looking forward to the kids finishing the dishes and then having some down time before bed. And I am looking forward to my two-and-a-half day work week!

I have been trying really hard to be good over the last few weekends, in the sense that I am trying to let go of those things that don’t matter if they don’t get done before Monday morning. You know something? It’s really hard.

There are six of us in the household so laundry is always one of the biggest weekend chores. When I was first married and had only one child I would wake up bright and early every Saturday morning to sort and pack all of the dirty laundry into the trunk of our one car. I was usually the first one at the Laundromat so I had my choice of the good washers and dryers. Once everything was clean, dry and folded or put onto hangers, I would be off to the grocery store.

Settled back at home with groceries and laundry put away and husband off to his job, it was housework time. Everything got done. Maybe even a fresh batch of cookies thrown in. And good old Sunday was left to watch football on our three snowy channels and wonder where we might want to go for the day.

I don’t recall when exactly it became so difficult to get everything done in a weekend. But now, Sundays are for the ‘second leg’ of our cleaning. We rarely go visiting anymore and if we make plans for a Sunday, we all need to pitch in to make sure that those two or three hours are made up for ahead of time. I use to have it all together, cleaned and occasionally rearranged just to give it some excitement. Now, it takes me and the two oldest children to rearrange one room. Then I’m usually sorry I rearranged anything because then I can see the original color of the carpet and it makes me feel like I should tackle the carpet cleaning next.

I do work 40 hours every week and get the kids to where they need to go. And thank God I am still married because I don’t know who would cook for us. Mac and cheese anyone? (I really am thankful for a lot more than just the cooking part!)

I know I’m not alone on this issue. A lot of you can relate to what I am talking about. You know about the exhaustion and the knot under the shoulder blade and the tired, dry-eye feeling as you’re staring at your computer screen the next day, trying to stifle a yawn during your morning meeting with your boss. And I know you know about the feeling of “Which night of the week am I not needed to pick up something at the supermarket and then pick up a kid who needed to stay after school?” just so you can plan to squeeze in a load of laundry and a quick spiff up of one of the bathrooms.

So you see? That’s why I am trying to let go of the despair I feel when some of the chores don’t get done. I’m exhausted! I am tired of being tired. But, I think that after doing this for 17 years I may have finally figured something out: I’ve been fighting a losing battle. I admit it and I fully surrender. The dirty socks can fight it out amongst themselves.

Oh, I’ll still be doing the usual 10 to 15 loads of laundry every weekend; but I’ll be more passive come Sunday. I won’t worry so much that it didn’t all get completed. The hair on the bathroom floor isn’t going to kill anyone and we all have clean underwear for tomorrow. And we will all live even if the last couple of spoons and forks didn’t get put into the dishwasher.

So, here it is. Sunday evening is upon us once again. And yes, I do have time for a cup of tea. Here’s to Monday morning!