Oh man. I think I’m a nag. I hate to admit this, but I’m sure that my husband would love that I finally copped to it. I just feel like I do everything right — and when I say this I am only referring to household operations. This would include things such as: loading the dishwasher, packing our daughter’s lunch and getting her dressed, folding towels, putting pillowcases on pillows, etc. I know I sound scooters, but this is the reality of my need to control how shit gets done round here.

This is a terrible situation that I’ve created for myself. I need help around here. Scratch that. I think I want help around here, but I just can’t seem to let go of my need to have everything be my way. And I’m passive aggressive. When I’m doing the nightly cleaning the kitchen / packing the lunches routine and my husband is relaxing in the living room, I am guilty of excessive sighing. I also (until pretty recently) unconsciously would involve my husband in my cleaning. “What’s going on with this towel?” “Are you going to be wearing these shoes or can I put them away?” “Are you still working on these Cheez Its?”

I mean, don’t get me wrong, everyone in the house should pitch in, right? And it might be true that sometimes my husband doesn’t care as much about cleaning as I do. (Or is it possible that he pretends to not know how to do particular chores well to get out of doing them?) But I also think that I maybe don’t give him enough credit for the things that he does do, the responsibilities that he silently shoulders without the sighing and the guilt trips.

I don’t expect to let go of my need for control. Not at all. I actually think that it’s part of what makes me who I am. And don’t get me wrong — I’m not touting myself as the world’s finest cleaner or saying that my house is super spotless. Not at all. But my compulsion to get certain things clean right now is what both comforts me and causes me stress and anxiety. There are times when i just CANNOT relax because I feel like the floor is filthy or the pile of mail HAS TO BE HANDLED IMMEDIATELY. But now I think that it may be important for me to make modifications around it — not only for my own sanity, but for the health of my relationship with my husband and as an example of modeling balance for my daughter.

In an effort to create a little harmony for myself, and maybe those around me, I’m trying to make baby steps. I’ve started to relax a little in the one place that I think is the most important place to relax: my daughter’s room. While lots of clutter and STUFF make me feel overwhelmed and chaotic, I’ve allowed myself to be lax about it in her room. It’s certainly not a room that would be featured in Pottery Barn Kids and is not the picture of a single-themed simplicity. Toys are separated into bins to keep pieces and parts together (that’s all me); however, it’s also very busy with toys and books and her crafts. And as I see it, it’s a place for her to relax, have fun, and be creative. I’ve been aware of her picking up on my stress-based cleaning and I don’t want her to think that’s the only way to be, but rather there’s a time and a place for focusing on obsessively cleaning, and also a time and a place for playing, having fun, and not putting things away RIGHT NOW.