I wasn't as successful yesterday with childcare as I hoped. While I did get some things done, I didn't get my goals done. I've become so frustrated. If I don't do the things the grandmothers expect, they'll take liberties with my home and do them. However, they do them the way they think they should be done, and not how I do them. For instance, one sees a pile of laundry, folds it and puts it away in the drawers that she thinks it should go in. However, that was dirty laundry, and she puts them in drawers I don't think to look. After a few weeks of giving up on the "lost" laundry, I discover moldy, fuzzy clothes. Another unloads my dishwasher - and puts my dishes in the cabinets wherever she chooses. I regularly spend days undoing the puzzle. By the time I have it back together, she comes again. I ask, beg and plead for them not to "help" but they just shift their "help" to another area of the house. What would I really love? If they would just do the very specific thing that I've asked them to come over to do: child care. I can't get out the harsh chemical and scrub off the mold from the windowsill with children climbing up my legs. I could with them distracted and supervised in another room or playing in the backyard. I feel judgment that I don't keep a clean enough house for the children because we have mold on the windowsills. They both expect that children to just play by themselves at one and three. One strongly encourages plopping the children in front of "educational television" so that I can "get it done." This is what neither I nor the Vintner approve for our children. During early childhood, our children come first, the housework must come second. Although, the house work still must be done. I'm so frustrated that I can't get through to them. I would have thought that child care would be a grandparent's first choice, not five minutes of a two-hour visit.
I would appreciate any insight. I try to understand: they see laundry. They think, "I can fold laundry. That would help." They hear me say, "Don't bother with that. Please help with the children." Why they ignore that I can't understand. The reason the laundry is piled up is not because I need help with the laundry. The reason the laundry is piled up is because I need help with the children. Before I had children, I was a home maker who ran a tight ship. I know how to do all these things, and love doing them, and am passionate about home making. If I could just get help with my number one priority, then I could get to my other priorities on the list. I get so frustrated that others see all my other priorities and want to take them over. That leaves me with no break from Job #1. As much as I love my children, I also love being a home maker. Not getting my time to do that work frustrates me.
I try to see that they have different values; they have both been career women. Being a home maker is "boring drudgery." They can't imagine that someone would love house work and not have it all done. They can't imagine spending all this time on child care, when there are dishes to be done. The children can just play with their toys and I can just talk over my shoulder to them. That's the way they did it when their children were young. I just need someone to show me how this is done. I'm doing it all wrong, right from birth (insert various comments here from infant care on up through age three). I look at that point of view and the criticism. I can't do it. I can't wake up and be a different person. I can't tell my children "just a minute while I finish this," twenty times a day. I can't run around cleaning when my children sleep. I can't do things the way they think they should be done, from child care to house work. I don't value "having it all done so I can get on with things," because the things of the home are the things most important. I've tried to examine myself and see myself as "just being difficult." I'm willing to consider that I am "wrong," but I have a hard time seeing how someone can be wrong for being who they are. I've tried saying to myself that I should consider my blessings, and see how fortunate the children are to have grandparents. I've bit my tongue due to this last reason for, well, over three years now.
Perhaps it's just the pregnancy hormones making me extra sensitive at this time. I know the Vintner is always frustrated that his wife's way of running the home is criticized. I know he's not happy that they do these things. I know he doesn't want their way of home management. He's point blank said, "As long as you don't run the house the way your mother does..." and "I hated the way my mother ran things. As long as you don't do it that way..." "Our children always come first..." So, I wonder if I should just continue to bite my tongue during the pregnancy, and let him handle it if it gets out of control.