Kick that 'tude to the curb
Are you done being a martyr? Sighing or making passive aggressive comments about that thing in your life that you do but you hate every minute of it? Well guess what? Maybe you don't have to be responsible for it anymore. Maybe there's another way...
I hate housework!
There might be some moms who enjoy cleaning. They get a rush from scrubbing a toilet or a high from vacuuming the carpets. But for many mothers, it can be quite the opposite. For Tynia Johnson-Anderson, mother of a 3-year-old daughter, the thought of cleaning the house disgusted her. "I began to despise the life I had chosen, which was to have a family. I would let it slide so much that when I needed to clean it was overwhelming. This started that vicious cycle all over again."
Sherri Mills says her attitude about cleaning was so bad she went on strike. "I did the superwomen bit for 12 years, all the while steaming with anger, resentment and sometimes pure hate for my husband. He was a wonderful guy. He was the life of the party when we were out with our friends, he was a loving, playful father... and he was a super male chauvinist, who did absolutely nothing around the house."
I went on strike
Mills, the author of I Almost Divorced my Husband but I Went on Strike Instead and the soon to be released, Marriage 101 for Men: Why Taking Out the Trash is a Turn On says, she knew she had to do something drastic. "I finally decided to write up an elaborate professional looking contract that left nothing to the imagination, including 74 separate chores. Then after I mustered up the courage, I went on strike. It lasted eight days and at the end of the strike my big strong husband was horrified at how much work he was expecting of the wife he proposed to love."
I hired help
Johnson-Anderson knew the only answer to saving her sanity was to hire help, even though it did make her feel guilty. "I work a 9 to 5 job, have a one hour commute to and from work, have a military husband who's here and there, and a very active toddler. During my husband's last deployment I broke down and hired a cleaning crew. They did everything except laundry. What would take me the entire weekend to do with a 3-year-old in tow, they did in 1 hour."
"I recommend to a lot of women I work with in my business Liberated Motherhood to delegate anything you do not want to do. This eases stress and anxiety. And if you can afford to pay someone else to do it to save your sanity, then why not. I really did have to get over the fact that I felt less of a woman to not be able to do everything with a smile on my face. But I came to the conclusion that you cannot be everything to everybody all the time."
Ainley Dixon, mother of four (10-year-old twins, 14 and 19), says she learned very early on that instead of hiring a nanny, I would much rather hire a housekeeper. "After all, what did I really want to spend my time on — burping the baby or mopping the floor? "As for how her attitude has improved since hiring help, Dixon remarks, "My husband says Wednesday is his favorite day of the week since that is when the housekeeper comes!"
I hate cooking!
For some moms, cooking is a zen-like experience, pulling them into a zone much like that of meditation. It's calming and peaceful. For others, like blogger Kelly Bonanno, it's the complete opposite. "It stresses me out and I hate it. I can't stand even thinking about what the heck to make each night that everyone will like." And Julia Magnusson, mom to a 2- and 4-year-old, who agrees that making the family's meals puts her in a bad mood, says, "Takeout is almost more stressful because I want them to eat healthy."
Obviously cooking is a tough one because the family's got to eat. So what's the solution for moms like Bonanno and Magnusson?
I asked for help
Stacey Glaesmann, mom of a 14-year-old daughter who says she'd rather poke her eye out with a pencil than cook, decided to ask for help. "I handed the reins to my mom, who cooked a fancy spaghetti and meatball dinner with garlic bread. I noticed that when I was in her vicinity as she was cooking, I felt super guilty... So, I mostly stayed in my bedroom, relaxing (or trying) while watching a TV show I had on my DVR."
"I wasn't cranky about cooking, so the me time I got instead really made a difference. My mom and I talked about it and we're going to alternate nights cooking and eventually assign a night to my 14-year-old daughter to help (she actually does like to cook). After this whole experience was over, feeling guilty seemed silly to me. I had to give myself permission to let someone else help me with this and by them being eager, it validated the freedom I gave to myself," says Glaesmann.
Anne Kimball, mother of six (13, 14, 15, 15, 17, 18) who says she would rather scrub toilets than make dinner for her family, leans on her kids for help in the kitchen. "I do have a Dinner Helper. Over the years they have been helping me in the kitchen when making dinner, by chopping veggies, making a salad, browning the beef, etc. My plan has been to train them to the point that one night a week, the Dinner Helper makes dinner completely on their own."