Can I Get a Smile, Baby? You’re Too Pretty to Look Sad

It’s Sunday and it feels a little like spring. I took a nice walk and I have some delicious coffee.

Im going to clean my son’s room today. He is so happy when it’s clean, but he struggles to keep it that way. It’s kind of a daily habit he hasn’t developed yet. I help him break it down into pieces when we do chores: first, put all clothing where it belongs. Then, put books away. Clean up the video game/movie area. Straighten your bed. Get food and dishes to the kitchen. Pull everything out of your closet and reorganize it and more stuff will fit in there. The only reason I can even do this is because my husband’s family is super clean and I have worked enough with them that I learned. They have come over and helped me until I caught on.

Cleaning can be an overwhelming task. I myself grew up in a family that lived in utter filth. I just don’t wanna do that to my family. A clean environment feels so nice.

Then there’s the respect thing. We are sharing a space, and you can piss your roommates off pretty quick by being a slob.

Is the family home the new place to have no respect, to let it all hang out, and to stubbornly ignore the needs and preferences of those who live there?

I don’t even know what my job is. I could seriously work here about 2-4 hours a day and it would look great all the time and my efforts would never compare to the 60+ hours my husband now works outside the home.

I still don’t think that means I am a worthless creature. The invisible labor I perform, the kind that that is intangible, is labor women have done for generations. Emotional labor. Connection. Empathy. Understanding. Endurance and strength training so that a family can come together and each person feel heard and understood. This is unpaid and undervalued labor, and it is TIRING. And sometimes I feel like I have parasites hanging off me who DON’T CARE HOW I REALLY FEEL.

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