Thursday, 21 October 2021

Knowing my limits, and when to ask for help

 In common with lots of women, I expect, I do most things in the house, always have.  We don't have children (husband has grown up children and grandchildren from his first marriage - I never wanted any myself) and husband always worked far more hours than me, even when I worked full time as a secretary.  So it seemed only fair that I did most of the cooking and housework....even when he retired I carried on doing everything, as he took on lots of gardening and DIY work for neighbours.  He doesn't do as much of the gardening and DIY maintenance jobs as he used to, as it got to the point where he was working more or less full time, taking too much on and wearing himself out, now he does perhaps 1 day a week.  He's still known as the 'go-to' handyman around here for odd small emergency DIY jobs, he also dog walks for neighbours sometimes and puts bins out/feeds cats when neighbours are on holiday.  He's not now doing much in his veg garden, as we've made a mutual decision not to grow much for next year, as we'll spend most of our time at the caravan.  So he's pretty much abandoned the back garden, other than (very gradually) clearing the beds and cutting the lawn.

He does have a couple of jobs indoors - one being emptying the indoor bins and putting the rubbish out on dustbin day, the other doing the vacuuming.  He's always done the bins, the vacuuming he started doing a few months ago as he knows I was struggling to do it as it hurts my back so much.  However, I generally have to ask him to do these jobs, he doesn't seem to notice when bins are full up and the rugs are covered with dog hair πŸ˜’πŸ˜–

I do almost all the cooking, he will occasionally make lunch (more often than not, something on toast or simply serving up something I've made, like a quiche or soup).  He'll also usually do a cooked breakfast if we're having one at the weekend - we don't always though.

Husband will do whatever I ask him to (although it might take several days of asking before it gets done!), but isn't very good at offering to do things, or even noticing when something needs doing.  I guess I'm partly to blame for this - as I've always done everything, he's simply used to me doing it.  And I've carried on doing it, even when my back, hips and legs are killing me and I'm worn out because of pain and not sleeping.  I'm not being a martyr, I'm just like my Mum was - if something needs doing, I generally think it's quicker and easier to do it myself, rather than having to explain to someone who forgets things instantly, how to do it.  I could tell husband what vegetables to serve with dinner, e.g., and by the time he gets to the kitchen he will have forgotten what I said!

Anyway, I sat him down yesterday and said that with my back and legs the way they are at the moment and the amount of pain I'm in, I just cannot carry on doing everything, I need him to help out more.  He said he'd already thought of that, and agreed he would.  I've also realised that I can't push myself to the limit and try to do everything - I've got to be realistic about what I can do.  Doing too much in one day just results in me having even more pain and aches, and then I don't sleep very well at all, meaning I'm fit for nothing the next day.  And when I'm in pain, aching everywhere and worn out, I'm VERY crotchety (as husband and best friend will testify to!).

So I'm taking a step back and only doing what I can manage fairly easily - if a job doesn't get done, well there's always tomorrow, or the next day.  I'm not going to be doing all the cooking from now on, there are plenty of meals that husband can easily manage.  There's loads of home cooked ready meals in the freezer that he's only got to pull out and add veggies to, there are also several bags of various chicken pieces, fish, cubed pork or beef all frozen, jars of cooking sauces, packets of rice and plenty of frozen veggies.  So easy meals to be made.....although I will have to tell him what to do!

On a happy note, this afternoon I took the Christmas tree I bought last week out of the box and put it together.  Considering it's the first one I've ever bought, and (obviously) it's an artificial one, I really like it, it's quite realistic looking......although I wish I'd bought the next size up (it's a 4 foot one, to go on a coffee table in the corner of the lounge, I think a 5' one would have been better).  I know it's still October, but the tree can now stay there in the corner of the room!!  Don't worry, I haven't gone mad, I shan't be decorating it until December πŸ˜‚πŸ˜


  1. I'm with you on the hubby front. My MIL did everything for her "boys" (husband and 2 sons) so he's pretty useless at most household chores. He has started drying the pots as I wash them, but he wouldn't know which end of the vacuum to plug into the wall! He does do a lot of the cooking, although his repertoire isn't huge. As for bins, let's just say, if I didn't empty them and put the wheelie bins out, we'd be waist high in rubbish!🀣
    Glad you're starting to feel good about Christmas. You're going to make some good memories this year, I'm sure. xx

  2. Well done you, I found the same years ago, when I started back to work full time. I was exhausted doing everything, both hubby and I chose rolls, well he chose what he enjoyed doing most. Now years later it's easy as if it's his job not done then we know, rather than who's turn is it to do the task.

  3. That sounds like a sensible approach. There's always tomorrow and a bit of dust never killed anyone.

  4. I understand completely Sooze. Tom used to hoover for me because of my back and hip but can no longer push the hoover around. Luckily I have a lovely Daughter who is coming in every Monday and hoovering through for us. This means that I can just tidy with the Dyson if there is car hair or crumbs in the kitchen.

  5. My Harvey is the same way. I have to ask and then he is more than willing to help out. I just need to realize that things might not be done on my timetable. Something I find extremely difficult. I can't complain however as eventually things do get done and when I was down and out after my operation he managed pretty darn well.

    God bless.

  6. You can put up a tree whenever you choose...whenever it makes you happy...because of Pandemic, there was a movement across this nation, to light up in October. I usually put a tree up-albeit a small one November whenever I choose...but last year, I did the light thing to what men and women do...seems men retire...women never do...please feel better and let your husband do as much as he will...

  7. I think you're absolutely right and I completely understand. Once the new pattern is established, it should help quite a lot.
    I'm very glad Mr Sooze (!) agreed.


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