Sunday, October 4, 2009

Attitude Adjustment

For a few weeks I was unhappy. Not all the time, but often enough. I was resentful, frusterated and irritated about many things. So finally I sat down and asked myself what needed to change? Why did others seem happier than I am?
The answer is the way I look at things.
I am a stay at home mom by choice, a housewife by chance. When you are at home all day the household chores fall onto you. It makes sense and is fair in my opinion. But for awhile I felt like the work I do is not noticed, not appreciated. Well, putting dinner on the table is something I am always thanked for, but not with other things. Laundry gets done and sits on the floor because Jon does not think to put his things away. I grumble. I vaccuum while Jon naps becuase he is tired. Well I am tired too but things need to get done. I grumble again. And it goes on.
And then things that I wanted done that I am unable to do (car work, bigger household repairs) were not getting done when I asked. Several months after I asked.
And I was unhappy.
So I asked myself what can I do to make myself happier? Becuase it is no one's responsibility to make me happy. Only I can choose to be happy. I can ask for help if that will make me happy, but I can't expect others to read my mind. I can make decisions to live a life that makes me happy, or I can make decisions to be happy with the life I live. But no one can make me be happy.
I am happier now. I look at things differently. It is not anyone's responsibility to thank me for folding their clothes or sweeping the floor or cleaning the bathroom. I do those things to keep my home the way I would like it to be. And because this is the path I chose for myself.
If Jon's clothes on the floor are driving me nuts I just put them away. And I do it becuase he doesn't care but I do. So why shouldn't I?
If the floor needs vaccumming and I am tired then I need to either ask for help or choose to do what is more important to me at that time.
If I am doing things around the house while Jon is napping then I need to remember all the times he stays up late getting things done while I sleep.
If it drives me crazy the way things are handled when I sleep in then I have a choice to make. Either let it go or just get up and do it myself.

I don't thank Jon every night for going to work. I try to do it because I am thankful to him for going to work every day and bringing home a paycheck. It is the life we chose together, but it is still what he contributes and it is appreciated. But if I don't think to thank him every day why do I expect him to thank me?
And if he works all day why should he come home and be expected to do dishes after dinner? Is it fair to ask him to do things around the house when I am at home all day and am perfectly capable of doing them myself? And why can't I put away his clothes when I have time?
I am not minimalizing the things I do. I know I do a lot around the house and for my family. But so does Jon. And rather than look at things and say "why don't they thank me?" "why can't he do that?" I need to say "I am doing this because this is what works for us" and "I can do that so why should I expect someone else to do it?"
I need to look at my chores as being helpful to my family and myself.
It may sound strange, but I am happier because of this decision. It is much easier to do things for my family when I am choosing to do them, not doing them because no one else will. And I feel less guilty about asking Jon to do things when he comes home from work becuase I know I am doing as much as I can to make our life easier for us. I am not asking him to do things that I can do, I am asking for help with things I cannot do.
Things are not perfect. There are times when I do things less than cheerfully. Some things are still, and will always be, chores to me. But I am working on it. I still have my down moods, I have mood swings by nature. But they are easier to handle these past few weeks. The true test will be this week when I am pmsing. But I honestly believe that my attitude is what needed changing, not my husband's actions.
You can choose to be happy. I didn't believe it before, but then I tried it. And it honestly worked.

1 comment:

♥Amber Filkins♥ said...

Oh girl, you are SO dead on. I've found myself in that very same place before. And I had to really take some time to self-evaluate, and figure out the situation. And I came to the same conclusion.

If I HAD to go to work, I would miss all of these very things that I am grumbling about. When my kids are older and on their own, I will MISS all the toys strewn about, reminisce on the days when I folded their tiny undies & hung up all of the cute little clothes.

I don't thank my husband every day either, though I should. He wakes up at 5:30 every morning & works hard to provide for our family. But sometimes in the middle of the night when I'm the one up with Saylor and he's snoozing peacefully, I used to overlook that. I was even a brat about it. But now when I'm up or doing unpleasant things like cleaning up messes & such, I really try to be thankful that I am able to stay home.

It is a blessing. And it is NOT easy. It's hard emotionally & mentally. It's hard to be at home all the time.

Anyway, good message.