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I ask her about her day with the boys. She tells me a little bit whilst she’s still getting stuff done. I can see she’s trying to get stuff done but we begin talking anyway. I use that as open licence to talk about mine. She’s usually cleaning the kitchen or still getting the kids ready for bed. Rarely do I ever get home and she’s sitting down.
Normally after a few seconds she cuts me off. “Can you do the bottles” or “can you give Finn his medicine”.
I continue to talk as I go. I’m a pretty terrible house worker at the best of times so when I talk I become agonisingly slow for her to watch. You can literally see her twitching as I use the wrong sponge or boil an already boiled kettle. Then I stop and stand as I talk through the next part of the story because apparently men are shit multi-taskers.
“Knox needs a singlet under his shirt”.
I keep going at the same pace and keep talking. Eventually it gets to a point where she has to just cut me off.
“Brad can you just help me?!”.
“Calm down hun, I’m doing it!”.
“Well babe I’m tired. I just want to get them down so I can get some stuff done and rest”.
I normally reply “fine” or something short. It sets a shitty tone for the next little period.
That’s the bit that gets us. It’s the bit where she wanted me to just shut up and help for a short while. The bit where I ridiculed her reaction and insinuated she was snapping at me for no reason. It’s the bit where frustrations beat us both and our separate days failed to become one.
I’d like to make a mental note that I never get laid on those nights...
She doesn’t mean to snap. She’s just tired. I know all too well how that feels. I think back on the days when I’m at home with the boys and she gets home. It’s like a saving grace. She normally walks in the door and says “where are we up to?”. We get shit done and then we sit down and talk about how tired we are.
If I got home and she was loading wood into a trailer, I’d probably help without needing to be asked or reminded to keep going. But for some reason I have a different attitude towards housework. I normally think ‘it can wait till later tonight’.
I think we just need to remember that our partners at home don’t have a set finish time like us.
For as long as there’s washing in the basket, rubbish in the bin and dishes in the sink, her day isn’t finished. And whilst she’s still working and I’m still talking, I’m normally just getting in the way.
Next time you get home from work, whether she asks you or not, show her you care. Let her know your day isn’t finished either. Get in, get shit done and spend the rest of the night enjoying each other’s company.
And on that note I’d like to finish with a very reputable statistic: Men who help around the house get laid a lot more, nomsayin?
This is a long one so if he reads this entire thing he should get laid tonight anyway...