September 9, 2013

on saving my Sundays...

Recently, it's become quite clear to me that Sunday is not my day. For some reason, I'm always struggling with that end-of-my-rope feeling on Sunday—from the moment I step out of bed in the morning, to the moment I fall back into bed in the evening. I'm out of patience, I'm grumpy, everything bothers me, I am just…over it. Which I find a bit ironic, considering my level of rage before heading to church is always slightly terrifying (not to mention a little embarrassing).

I'm typically fine by time we get to church, and while we're there. (Except when Eisley is getting all dramatic and emotional in the pew and I feel like I'm the only one in charge of parenting. Believe me, we're working on this.) But by time we're back in the car and heading home, I can feel my temper already becoming a bit more…heightened.

I think a lot of it has to do with simply not giving myself enough time to get ready before we have to leave for church, and always feeling like I'm rushing, rushing, rushing. I hate leaving a messy house (which almost always happens on Sundays) and I hate running out the door only to realize once we're halfway to our destination that we forgot something essential—like Eisley's blanket or water cup or our offering envelope.

So, this week, I began what I like to refer to as The Saving of My Sundays.

To begin with, I didn't beg Jay to let me sleep in, but instead woke up with him once Eisley started singing in her crib. It started off the morning in a positive, family-oriented way…Jay and I were able to be silly and snuggle a few minutes with Eisley on the bed (before she made it clear that she would absolutely die if she didn't have a bowl of cereal within the next twelve seconds).

She woke up just before 6:30, which meant I knew right away that I had just shy of two hours before we had to step out the door, and already I felt less rushed and crabby. I was able to linger over a cup of coffee (and clip a few coupons from the Sunday paper, which I always look forward to a little too much), and even had time to curl my hair and pick-up the mess in the living room and kitchen before we stepped out the door.

It's amazing how much lighter I feel when I give myself the "luxury" of more time.

Similarly, I've noticed how annoyed I am by how messy our house is, and the general disarray that happens by the time Sunday rolls around and six days have passed since my weekly deep-cleaning-day. This week—instead of letting everything get dusty and crumb-covered and generally dreadful between Monday and Sunday—I did a mini-cleaning-day on Friday. To be clear, I organize and pick-up things every single day, but I just don't clean-clean (dust, vacuum, Swiffer the kitchen, etc.) any other day except for Monday.

Doing this mini-cleaning on Friday made me feel much, much, much more relaxed the entire weekend. I mean, it's enough having to clean up after Eisley (and Jay—let's just be honest here) throughout the weekend, but eyeing the dusty tables and walking through a crummy kitchen would set me off every weekend at some point, never fail. So, doing the extra work on Friday was totally worth it.

I've also decided I need to be more vocal when it comes to telling Jay when I need his help. Whether it is toddler-calming during church, dish washing after lunch, or picking up all the godforsaken shoes and socks that he leaves in every room, I have always struggled with letting him know what I need him to help me with—before I get to the point of annoyance that he doesn't somehow just know what I need based on my facial cues and frustrated sighs. I will forever find it tragic that the man can't read my mind after more than seven years of marriage, but people keep telling me that it's just not going to happen…so, perhaps it's time to finally let go of that expectation.

(And he did help me clean the kitchen during a football game this Sunday without my having to ask him, which was kind of the best thing in the world. Confetti and angels singing and all of that!)

As with everything, baby steps are important. If anything, I feel like I'm at least making some sort of progress now that I've pinpointed the things I do that end up creating a negative environment—the ones that essentially set me up to become a total negative nancy at some point during the day. I feel like this week was better than the last, and hopefully next week I will refrain completely from any sort of rage-filled cleaning activity.

I know my husband deserves a happier me, and my daughter does, too. And I have no doubt that I would benefit from less frustration every weekend.

Let's see what happens, shall we?

7 comments :

  1. This was so timely. I have been feeling much the same way lately. So nice to know I'm not alone!

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  2. That's great that you did something you needed to do, clean, ahead of time, so you felt more relaxed about everything after that was done. It's always a good feelings knowing that something you wanted to do is already taken care of, so you don't need that worry.
    And I'm glad you said that you're being more vocal about getting your husband involved with things you need done! When I was reading about how you try to clean a lot, I was wondering why it was just you doing it! So I'm glad that you're getting help now and then. You deserve a break! :)

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  3. Yay for you also thinking that facial expressions should be enough communication! Yay for knowing I am not the only one who reaches my sanity's edge when it isn't!
    Marriage is fantastic. And exhausting.
    PS any updates on that little creepy Disney character you hide for each other? I think that is the most adorable story ever :)

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  4. This is a marvelous idea!

    I always struggle with the cleaning throughout the week and by the time the weekend rolls around, our house is out of control. The sad thing is that we don't even have kids yet.

    Somehow men are oblivious to facial cues, dramatic sighs, and general exasperated disposition. You really do think they should pick up on things like this after 5+ years, but so far it has yet to happen in my household either. I legitimately feel you on this one. So, when I started to ask for help, imagine my surprise when the Husband started chipping in more! You really do have to ask for the help. Save the frustration, hair tearing out, and happy time it costs you and just ask.

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  5. This is so me, too, although not specifically on Sundays. It can happen anytime! The cleaning thing really helps me as well, and it's the reason I do all my chores first thing Saturday morning. Also, David makes just as much mess as Meredith does and when things need to be done he just truly does not notice so I have learned to be very direct in asking him for help and not feeling guilty about it. The only thing I'm still working on with him is getting him to wake up earlier on the weekends. I'm a morning person and he would sleep in until 2pm if he could so I don't mind being the one to get up with Meredith most days, but sometimes I'd just like to sleep past 6!

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  6. That 'facial expression' line totally got me! I think everyone had the same situation in marriage. I never used to ask my hubby for help, because I thought I can clean/cook/etc. much better than him, and he'd never be able to do the way i want it. When I first started asking for help, it started to stress me out because i was supervising whatever he is doing. Recently, I started to let go a bit more and stop worrying how things are getting done. Although i hAve to constantly tell myself 'it is getting DONE. that's all that matters'. :)

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  7. Little cleaning moments during the week really save time! I hope this new approach will help you relax more. And asking your husband for help - directly - is the only way to get things done, trust me. I've been together with my husband for 10 years and unless I tell him what help I need things just don't happen (because he doesn't see it).

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