I wasn’t my best self last night. I came home from a very busy work day to burned rice and an overflowing sink and trashcan. I was tired and hungry and for some reason cold. all. damn. day. It was not a recipe for success.
After I frammed and slammed around the kitchen for a while, putting dishes away, washing dishes, putting dishes away -we don’t have a dishwasher and sometimes that makes me hate everything- taking out the trash, I made cornbread and fried apples to go along with my rewarmed chili and burned rice because I wasn’t about to allow being pissed off keep me from the ultimate comfort food meal. Anyway, after all that, I served up my dinner, left everything on the counter, texted my kids to coax them from their bedrooms, and took my dinner into my room.
And closed the door.
And turned on Netflix.
And channeled my own mother.
And texted swear words to my husband.
As you do.
My narrative was filled with should: Those are grown women. They should see what needs doing. They should do something about it. They should know I am going to come home dragging. They should should should should should.
Gross, right? I mean GROSS.
Do you know that when Craig and I first married, sometimes dishes would sit in the sink for an entire week until the apartment stank? It’s true. I’m not proud of it. We were two grown adults who couldn’t be bothered to even wash up after dinner. So I’m not going to sit here and pretend I don’t understand about mess apathy. I do. Back then, I was happy to leave that mess because I didn’t have a mom in the house to fram and slam around making me feel bad for not meeting up to expectations.
Should is a heavy burden to lay on someone, especially when those someones share our DNA or our bed. The fact is, as a grown, fully functioning adult, there are three words that could have diffused my temper tantrum fairly quickly. What are those words?
I need help.
I need help with the trash, with the house, with these tasks that never end because we just keep living here day after day. I need help living this life, as much as it pains me to say it sometimes.
We all need a little help.
And maybe we’re right. Maybe someone should notice or act or handle or whatever. But more often than not, our default setting is to handle our own priorities. We can be quite blind to things which don’t make that list. I am as guilty as anyone. Whether or not someone should do something, by our estimation, when they don’t, it’s our job to communicate what we need. Framming and slamming may be momentarily satisfying, but it still left me alone in the kitchen doing all the things I was pissed off about having to do. I didn’t prove anything except that I can slam the cabinet doors really hard and repeatedly, oh and isolating my family.
I could have asked for help.
And maybe then they would have frammed and flounced about, but maybe not. Maybe I would still have retreated to my bedroom for introvert dinner, but maybe not. Maybe I would still have texted swear words to my husband.
But at least I wouldn’t have should all over everyone in an unmet unexpressed expectations ambush like a martyr guerilla. Gross.
This whole being a decent human in a crazy world, having it all together, getting things done, not eating your offspring gig comes with an impossible list of things we should be doing. We absolutely can not do it alone.
We need a little help. We’ll probably have to ask for it.
It’s the very best way to receive what we need.