Since getting pregnant, the James couple has been in major survival mode.
With me being sick, my husband, Toby, has been left to deal with a lot of the household chores. From dinners to clean-up, he has really stepped up his game these past few months.
Like, a lot.
I’d be so tired, I’d leave my empty plates on the couch and crawl up the stairs to bed for the night.
Understandably, he’s worn out. Alex has been getting up at 5:30 a.m. each morning and Toby works from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Monday to Friday. He’s then been taking care of the house duties on weekends.
But our biggest struggle doesn’t have to do with this shift of household responsibilities. It has to do with my guilt over not contributing and being a lump on the couch. It’s my obsessive need to have fair game in all facets of life.
I blame my childhood.
Hear me out.
As one of four children, you immediately had to state your rights to property or at least eat as many cookies as possible before they were all consumed. Everyone had to have their turn while contributing to the house’s operations. There’s now a rule in our current house that you’re allowed to consume only half the pieces of pizza, even if the other person hasn’t yet touched their half of the pie.
So this need for consistent balance has once again come into play throughout the pregnancy. By not contributing at least half of the time or effort, I feel like I’m failing.
Toby says the only time he’s frustrated is when I’m sulking about how I can’t help out. The sulking, it turns out, doesn’t help!
Now that I’m back in the game (at least physically. The emotional side? We’re not quite there yet), I’ve been able to help out again. I cleaned the house from top to bottom last weekend and even did all the laundry (where’s my gold star? Or my pizza?).
And, when I actually BROUGHT my plate up from the couch and to the kitchen counter last night, I started getting flack about it.
“What?” I asked.
“I’m just shocked. You brought your plate to the kitchen. Great job.”
“You know what you sound like right now?” I replied to Toby in a defensive state.
“A nagging wife. You sound like a nagging wife!”
We laughed, and started to play the, “oh, you wanna go there, do ya?” game.
The next morning, when Toby had already left for work, I found this from his previous night’s snack:
I fired him a photo of the evidence and, with his quick wit, replied that he wanted to help even out the score for me.
We’re back to a fair game.