I came home tonight and could immediately tell something was off: my husband sat crabbily on the couch, the dog was in her kennel, the cats were scattered, and he didn’t want to talk about what to have for dinner. He told me that the cats had been sick, the dog had peed in her cage and then pooped on the stairs. My initial thought was simply to laugh it off—the same thing had happened to me so many times and he hadn’t been there to help me so while I understood the frustration of the situation, I didn’t have much sympathy. He did handle it, but he was definitely stressed out about it.
I felt myself thinking how ridiculous it was that he got upset at all. Again, this is something I deal with after working a full day and picking up my child as well. In fact I’ve come home to find cat puke still waiting for me or I’ve woken up to huge piles of puke left in front of the door because he “didn’t see it.” Now, regardless of what has happened before, I will give him credit that he did clean up the mess. I was grateful for that opportunity for him to take a step in my shoes. This is nothing new for mothers in particular: there are a million balls in the air every day and we are responsible for maintaining them all. Coming home to find your house destroyed by animals is small potatoes. Especially when it isn’t REALLY destroyed…just gross 😊
During the course of his detailing his saga, I realized that he sounded JUST LIKE ME. I heard myself voicing the same complaints my husband did and it made me realize I didn’t want to be like that. I want to be able to enjoy my life, not complain it away. We chose to bring these animals into the house and we have to deal with life with animals. We are fortunate enough to provide a home for our animals and our son. It gets chaotic as someone ALWAYS needs attention, but that is what we brought upon ourselves.
I can’t say that I will ever feel sorry for my husband having to hold up his end of taking care of the animals in the house—it’s a mutual deal. But I will definitely curb my knee-jerk reaction to frustration from now on. Clearly I have allowed that in my home and that is something that I want to practice being more aware of from now on. I want to make sure that we know what we are really reacting to: is it dog poo or is that you waited too long to take her out? Am I really mad at my child’s caregiver for what she did or am I just mad at myself for not being able to be home with my child and raise him how I want to? Is it my own insecurity?
Sometimes it takes hearing your words from someone else to realize what needs to change. I have been asking to be more authentically me, to have connection and I find that the universe is constantly bringing them to me. I know my initial reaction to a lot of those things is anger, and in those moments of anger and frustration the universe is kind enough to bring that emotion to my attention and to let me sink into the realization that I asked to change-and that happens through being exposed to the situation. It’s a practice and I am grateful.