Today was decidedly a better day than yesterday. I took the kids to Whole Foods for some rice pasta, chocolate, and Echinacea tea. Even though it is a 30 minute drive, I like going there because I always see someone I know. Today, I saw a guy who recently told Hal and I that he is going to become a father. Hal is very excited about this because he’s a fellow punk rock comrade. I’m excited because he was just so thrilled to be expecting a baby and I love it when the fellas get excited about babies.
Hal will find out this week if he got hired for a position in the county library system he applied for last week. I have every bone in my body crossed hoping he does. It would be a nice change of pace for him. Change is good.
The one thing about Hal’s current job that I absolutely love, is that he has a set schedule. If he gets this new position, what-ever schedule he has, I hope that it is the same every week. Makes it easier to plan a life that way.
There are some things about how our marriage runs that are pretty standard/conventional. We are in a heterosexual and monogamous relationship, we have two children and one dog, we own a house together, we both own a car, Hal works and I stay home with the kids. All pretty standard American stuff. What is not-so-conventional in our marriage is the way that we function as a couple.
I don’t do all the cleaning, cooking, and caring for the kids by myself. The daily grind of caring for our children plus my physical limitations wear me out beyond recognition. By the time Hal gets home from work I could care less about food or what the house looks like. I keep the house in fair order throughout the day but what-ever it looks like at four o’clock is what it looks like until the next day.
Hal cooks dinner every night when he gets home from work unless I get a wild hair to do it myself – which hasn’t happened in months. He usually does all the laundry while I fold it and put it away. He almost always does the dishes at night – by time night arrives I’ve already cleaned the kitchen twice… that’s my limit per day.
I actually like cooking and am looking forward to doing it again – just not any time soon.
Hal also sleeps in Max’s room at night. Usually, Max will fall asleep in my bed (with Bella and I) and when Hal is ready to go to bed, he’ll transfer Max to his room. Hal sleeps on an air mattress on the floor in Max’s room. Not very comfortable but Max isn’t ready to sleep alone and I can’t have him in my bed all night. One baby is enough.
Hal gets Bella ready for bed every night while I brush Max’s teeth. Hal does everything else for Max: vitamins, nappy, lotion, PJ’s. I usually bathe Max but Hal will also do it.
Hal takes care of Max’s breakfast in the morning. He also changes Bella’s first nappy of the day. I stopped drinking coffee about a week ago, but when I did, it was nice that I’d wake up to brewed coffee every morning, courtesy of Hal.
On Hal’s days off from work, I don’t change any nappies.
Hal does all the grocery shopping. This is only because I spend too much money when I do it. Groceries are my weakness.
Hal tends to go out with friends more than I do (heh, which isn’t often for either of us), but that is only because Bella is still exclusively nursing.
I do the daily light house work: vacuuming, cleaning bathroom area, keeping floors picked up, kitchen stuff which includes prepping veggies while Hal does the work that takes a bit more elbow grease: cleaning the bathtub, mopping kitchen floor, taking out garbage, dinner dishes, mowing, and any lifting of items that need to go downstairs.
I wanted to write this out to have a record of our domestic life because I think we balance the house work and kids out quiet nicely. Neither one of us believe in a strict division of labor – he goes to work outside of the house and I take care of everything in the house. I think we both realize that isn’t a fair division. Maybe if he worked construction, roofing, or some other physically demanding job or a job that took him for more than 40 hours/week our situation would run differently. I think every household has to find their own “balance” with this stuff and I’m just happy that we have ours. It’s temporary and fluid but for now, its working.
The other way that we function as a couple that doesn’t seem to be the norm as far as I can tell… we talk about everything… neither one of us believes that it is healthy to have secrets from each other. I know secrets are fun for some couples, I’m not knocking it, but it just doesn’t work for us. The problem we have right now is that we just don’t get to spend enough time alone. We are dieing to have a regular date night without the kids every week and a couple hours at night together after the kids go to bed. Ahhhh, one day.
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