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When It's Hard to Feel Blessed

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Most days I feel completely blessed for the wonderful life that I have. Three beautiful children, a loving husband, dear friends and family, good health, and the list goes on and on.

I am grateful for it all, but there are days when I forget to appreciate my good fortune.

It’s been a long day. My family is tired. My two older sons have been resisting finishing their nightly homework and I have finally sent them up to bed. I am feeling frustrated, defeated and find myself face-to-face with a toilet that needs cleaning.

Tonight was a power struggle with my kids. And as they grow older, it is a clear reminder of how outnumbered I am. As one complains, the other validates his point and the youngest is like a tiny parrot, repeating every word.

It is a battle of three to one. It can be difficult to come in ahead against those odds.

They can’t help it. They are only kids but they stick together and their will is strong. They procrastinate doing their homework and they distract each other.

The angrier I get, the more they exchange looks and giggles until I finally wonder where my time would be better spent. On nights like these, it is exhausting.

My husband walks in the door from a long day at work. I mumble hello as I rinse the dinner dishes and place them in the dishwasher.

I glance at the clock. It reads 8:30 p.m. Sensing the tension, he asks me what’s wrong, probably with regret as soon as the words leave his mouth. I begin to vent about a stressful day, my words filled with frustration.

He listens, follows my hand gestures with tired eyes and rubs his forehead as I continue. The verbal release doesn’t make me feel better. I don’t think he can quite understand.

I look down at my hands that are wrinkled and pruney from the dish water. I walk to the bathroom to find lotion. That is when I notice that the bathroom that I rarely use, needs to be cleaned.

As I scrub down the white porcelain, I am still fuming with anger. I do not feel appreciated on a night like this. But the time alone cleaning the bathroom gives me some time to think.

It is not easy to be a wife.

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I read your posting and am particularly concerned that parents like you are in the position you describe. I think parents should have more control over their homes, and be able to make the final decisions about what to do when homework problems arise. There are other, better ways to handle situations like this. The problem is usually that most teachers don't recognize the problems they are causing over homework, and most parents don't have a model with which to use to take charge. You might find my website helpful in that regard. Kenneth Goldberg, Ph.D. www.thehomeworktrap.com.

February 23, 2012 - 7:34pm
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