Reasons to be Grateful


Dear Husband,

As I write, you should be touching back down in the country after your trip to Brazil. I’d love to say I’m glad you’ve had such an amazing trip, but from three scant emails in 2 weeks I really don’t know if you have. All I know is that (unless your plane has crashed, and tbh I haven’t heard so) you’re alive, which wasn’t necessarily a given when you left. But I’m sure you’ll bore us fill us in on all the details over the coming days/weeks/months, regaling friends and neighbours with your adventures whilst I nod along, having heard it all a hundred times. The food you’ve eaten, the things you’ve seen, the places you’ve been, the music, the people, the escapades. Yes, how exciting it must have been! ‘Wouldn’t it have been GREAT to have been out there?’ *Forced smile to keep things civilised.* Note how the smile doesn’t reach my eyes.

Have I missed you? Can I be honest? No. Things haven’t been any more difficult without you. But then you normally just sit plugged into your music and sitting on Facebook anyway. We’ve got through all the normal stuff – work, school, kids’ stuff, cooking, cleaning – without you. Plus we had the police at our door, a modelling trip for Boo and a hospital visit and croup with Noodles. It didn’t seem any harder without you.

Plus I had the bed to myself. (Bliss.) Or, often me and Noodles. But it still made for a better sleep than being crushed in a toddler bed.

And no nagging. Ah, the lack of the stream of questions about things I’ve bought has been heavenly. I’ve been more relaxed. Unless I start shop-lifting things cost. Get used to it.

Boo has been in a better mood too. You’ve not been there to ignore her, so she’s been upset less frequently. It’s been nice. Please don’t change that balance just by being you, expecting everything to revolve around you and only you.

There have been some changes, you’ll find. I dug through the junk in the bottom of my side of the wardrobe for a start. Could you please do something with what turned out to be mostly your stuff. We do not – and I suspect will never – need an electronic typewriter. Please get rid of it.

The house is still a mess, mind you. It’s not been as bad as normal as your papers haven’t been strewn all over the sofa. But toys still don’t put themselves in the toy box and teenagers don’t tidy up after themselves. The ironing pile is still huge (mostly mine and the kids’, but it’s tricky when there’s a clingy toddler hanging off your legs) but the washing mountain has been significantly less without you here. At least until today, when your holiday washing will come back with you (worst luck).

What I’m saying, I guess, is that you need to count your blessings and not fall back into your old routine. Because it would be easy to think that it’s actually nicer without you and I could do it on a more permanent basis.

May I suggest:

• Rather than planting yourself back at the laptop, consider engaging with us all instead.

• But not just to nag about things you don’t like. (Hypocritical, in light of the nature of this post, but this is MY blog, so suck it up and learn.) Yes, I used our joint account to buy stuff (mostly food). Get used to it. It’s what money’s there for.

• Do things because it’d be a help to me, not just because it’s convenient for you. Work from home so as to do the school run when I have to work, NOT just because you can’t be bothered to catch the bus that day. Cook the dinner (including shopping for it) if you’re home and done for the day before me, NOT just sit there waiting for a barbecue-worthy afternoon. Or give me a night off by stumping up for a take-away occasionally. Cooking for 6 each night, with everyone having different foibles, is hard.

• Do the things you say you will. Get the windows sorted, arrange some family days out to compensate for a lack of a family holiday, take me with you on a trip to the cinema. If you say you’re taking the kids to visit your mum, take the kids to visit your mum.

• Be glad I didn’t just go ahead and arrange all the things that need doing in your absence – including the installation of a new kitchen – having you come home to a pile of invoices. Believe me when I say I was tempted.

• Be glad that it’s just the typewriter, not ALL of your stuff – and YOU – that I want out of the house.

• Realise how lucky you are to go hither and thither at will or the say-so of Sepp Blatter, leaving your family behind. If only the rest of us could justify temporary escape so easily. I don’t mind your absence so much as your sense of entitlement that you can do such things.

• Don’t expect sympathy for your jet lag.

Maybe if you did these things then I would be a better wife. I’d be less tired, feel less as though I’m constantly the person who sorts everything out. The one whose left holding everything together. (Although then I’d have to think of a new tagline. but just sometimes would be nice.) Maybe I’d have some energy left for you, for us. Maybe I’d even be kind to you when your adventures have impacted on your (not as young as it used to be) body.

Finally, for your sake, I hope you’ve brought some good presents back. (Although I doubt it, especially after your efforts for my birthday(s).) At least there won’t be a vuvuzela this year. There are some reasons ALL of should be grateful. The lack of a vuvuzela is definitely one.


GSM xx


22 thoughts on “Reasons to be Grateful”

  1. They never realize what they have… but you should definitely let him read this so he can know what you expect of him. 🙂 I liked this a lot. Maybe I need to write my dummy, i mean husband, a letter to!

    1. I’m glad you liked this. I’m sure Husband very much wouldn’t. The truth tends to sting a bit. I’ll let him know in dribs and drabs, more or less bluntly depending on my mood/how much of an arse he’s been.
      But if your husband is resilient enough then, yes, a letter is possibly a good idea. If not, at least venting online is cathartic. 🙂

    1. It’s a good job I’ve got Eve and my dad to help out. I’d rather they weren’t the first port of call for help, because it should be Husband’s responsibility before them, but I’m glad they’re there and more happy to help.

    1. I had a bit of a panic when he didn’t actually come home on Friday night. I thought he’d read my post and wasn’t impressed. But it turned out he was just (JUST!) stuck in Portugal when his connecting flight got messed up. Apparently it’s impossible to phone from Portugal.
      He’s stuck himself onto his laptop and upset Boo already, so I assume he hasn’t read it. I don’t think it will be long before things are said aloud. 😦

  2. He sounds like he needs a ‘to do list’ on the bench when you leave for work each day. But I guess it is only more frustrating when they don’t complete it! (Mine takes my daily list as stuff to do sometime this month…) My mother in law often apologizes to me for why he’s accustomed to the above life you described! So, blame his mother!!! Good luck with trying to train an old dog new tricks!!! 😛

    1. He was the only child of a single parent, so I think she did dote on him rather too much. And he grew up not needing to look after anyone outside of himself.
      But at the same time he USED to cope when he lived alone. What happened?!
      Maybe an actual on paper To Do list would help. It’d save me from nagging – I could just underline things and stick it to his laptop for when he logs into Facebook…
      …or – even better – POST the To Do list onto Facebook and shame him in front of his Friends when things don’t happen.

      1. Hahaha. Public shaming is always so tempting. I know, it’s amazing how they cope when there’s no one to do anything for them, and yet they become complete helpless slobs when we are around! I supplement the list with lots of capital letters, underlining and high lighters… He tells me that everytime he reads it, it felt like I was yelling at him 🙂

  3. My husband is gone for the next three and a half weeks. I miss him, but I have to wonder why my house is 90% with only one fewer person in the house, and that one person is the other adult….I’m glad your husband returned safely, even if he does need a talking to.

      1. That doesn’t surprise me at all. Men are just big kids and don’t think of picking up after themselves. Thankfully you seem to be doing a better job of the next generation, as evidenced by the fact that there’s 90% less mess with just your husband out of the equation.

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