Why do we martyr? Anyone??
This week has been a challenge for me in a variety of ways. I underwent a very minor surgical procedure on my feet Tuesday afternoon which I was to have recovered from quickly, keeping me from functioning normally (working, walking, driving, etc) for only a couple of days. Unfortunately the physician clearly did not take into account that I had BOTH feet done at the same time and sorely underestimated my recovery. Add to that a severe reaction to the pain medication with no pharma alternatives (other than good ol’ Tylenol…really??) and you’ve got a Momma who is a hot mess.
I’m not going to take up your time bitching about all of the things I’m unable to do but my limitations certainly have spurred thought. I haven’t been this incapacitated since giving birth to each of my children. Even THEN I was on my feet doing normal daily duties the moment I walked back in our front door. I realize the gentleman is not accustomed to administering many of responsibilities that historically have been under my charge. This whole issue was unexpected for both of us. I would say he’s trying…but I’ve found myself more frustrated than thankful over the last few days. Poor guy. I don’t make a habit of publicly grumping about my man…and while I’m venting some frustration the point is to shine light on WHY I’m so damn particular with a tendency to martyr myself. I know I’m not the only woman who does this. Yes?
But why?? We take on multiple duties at home and with the kids maybe because we truly enjoy it, maybe our significant others simply refuse to help…OR maybe because we’ve never given them a chance to do it their way without being a complete and utter control freak hovering over their every move. I’m going with “C”. And it’s not just women who do this…men too! For example: when the gentleman and I were first married we thought it would be enjoyable “quality” time to do laundry together...awwww (PUKE). We were both folding sheets when he suddenly pulled one of mine from my “folded” pile and literally refolded it before my eyes. That was the last time I touched the laundry…and that was 11 years ago. Kiss my ass…you can get intimate with Downy all by yourself. Why WOULD I volunteer to take that on when I know in his mind I’m an epic fail?
Fast forward to this week…and my inability to do a God-blessed thing around this house. I’ve needed his help with the cooking, cleaning, book-bag sorting, lunch-boxes, kid dropoff/pickup, and helping me get from A to B when necessary. Thank GOD I don’t need assistance in the restroom or with bathing. (Shoot me when I get to that point. I will happen…it’s inevitable.)
Both sinks are piled with dishes, kids have been buying their lunch at school, not a single surface in our house has been wiped down, piles of clothes left scattered across the bathroom floor, doors are being left unlocked at night…I could go on but my head might explode. While I’ve had to pick up the slack on the door-locking (safety issue not worth arguing about) I am doing EVERYthing in my power to not hobble, begrudgingly, and audibly to the sink, sighing and grumbling under my breath to clean those crusted dirty dishes. I’m fighting the urge to sloppily, and with my one crutch, gather all of the clothes from the bathroom and dramatically drag them up the stairs one evidently painful step at a time (again, sighing and grumbling under my breath…that is a martyrdom requirement.) I’ve thought about offering to make dinner…picturing myself standing pathetically in the kitchen (don’t forget about the one crutch) magically making a phenomenal dinner that doesn’t include a cellophane wrapper or cheese in a foil packet. Why is THIS what I spend my time fantasizing about??? Someone help me understand.
Instead I lay here somewhat useless on the couch…legs propped as directed…being a good girl, not pushing myself physically but feeling rather frigid about it. Why the hell can I NOT just enjoy the fact that I don’t have to do a damn thing around this house for a solid week? Who cares if it’s not getting done the way I would prefer…it clearly doesn’t bother the gentleman. Why should it bother me? I shouldn’t be up on my feet looking at that mess of a kitchen anyway. (But I know it’s THERE.)
My point is this…we have GOT to keep the martyring under control. “No no no…I know you offered ten times but I’LL do it. Goodness knows you’ll do it wrong and I’ll end up redoing it myself anyway. Let’s just save us all time and let me do it to begin with. Alrighty?” So maybe I’ve never said that out-loud but it sure sounds familiar. My inner voice and I chat regularly…