I’ve seen a lot of Facebook posts lately about women venting about their spouse or significant others not ‘helping’ around the house or not helping with the baby and then, becoming resentful towards each other. In my practice of self-care, it took years (8 years to be exact) to realize that resentment can build up because of skewed perspectives in difference of doing things for yourself and for others. In a Catholic Retreat, my husband and I learned that doing things in the act of love is called being life-giving. What it failed to teach me too was that you need to also realize that if you are life-giving, you are also taking care of yourself. So, here is my post about how I’ve balanced being a mother and a wife.
It is all about how I perceived my actions. Letting go so much of the martyr complex that would’ve been detrimental to our relationship was a process in itself. I used to wake up early in the mornings, glance over to my sleeping-in-peace husband, and walk over to the nursery to tend to my baby and go about my day cleaning and organizing until the floors were spotless. I then felt a pang of jealousy to my sleeping-in family and resented how messy they are and feeling the house was always upside down when my husband had a day off. I remember always arguing with my husband about putting away the blender into the cabinet daily because we didn’t have the space or I refused to reorganize the kitchen to his liking. I knew then and there that, that was not a healthy mindset. I used to think to myself that I do SO much for this family, feeling I was being taken for granted and feeling resentment towards my husband because he gets to go to work, while I stayed home and housekept and baby-raised. I can also blame postpartum hormones for feeling more-so than usual. I felt my actions were unnoticed; dishes to doing laundry to sweeping the floor every morning. You can imagine when my husband would wake up or return home from work to a passive aggressive wife cleaning. But, what exactly SHIFTED me to rethinking my subconscious to conscious acts of love?
I reevaluated why I do the things I do for my family. I do it for me. I love cleaning, de-cluttering, organizing, fluffing those pillows on our couch, making the bed, and putting away the dishes that were washed the night before. I do this for me. And, once I made the conscious decision to change my perspective on the daily things I do for my family to include that I’m doing it all also for me, resentment vanished.
The purpose of marriage is not to change your spouse into someone more convenient or fitting for you, even though I’ve diligently tried, haha. To be honest, the people in my household can care less of how white the tiles are or that all the keys are aligned exactly in its place in the key bowl. So, whenever I got a ‘break’ from raising my baby, from baby being in daycare for a few hours to my husband volunteering I take a few hours to myself, I ended up wanting and liking to tackle pending tasks in the house. This was my act of life-giving to myself. Then, I added a cup of tea and a chapter to read in a book and I was absolutely happy. And, when my husband once again woke up in the morning or came home from work, I no longer was the passive aggressive and resentful wife! I am a happy and grateful, and well self-cared woman.
We have to acknowledge that when we are taking care of our families, know that you are also taking care of yourself.
Say this in your head or aloud to start your journey to a happier life, “I am doing it for me.”