I returned from a friend’s place the other day grateful for my single, no kids status.
She’s a lovely friend and we have, or maybe had, lots in common but she now has a two year old running around and is firmly entrenched in domestic bliss.
When I was there she was busy making the cooked lunch and supervising the toddler, the husband wandered around not doing anything, and she was preparing for a birthday picnic tomorrow with all the relatives. I know I shouldn’t judge the dynamics of the family based on one instance but I have never seen the husband helping with the cooking; I guess he does other things like mowing the lawn. Plus she was reasoning with the two year old to get him into bed for a nap.
Anyway, she was telling me about their respective in-laws who were all staying at various times in the coming week. That got me to thinking about the times we entertained the in-laws, or had them stay, or were obliged to go over to their place.
Look at my language: “obliged”. Yes, that’s how it felt to me an obligation. And I’m very happy I don’t have to do that now. I don’t have to prepare meals for anyone but myself, I don’t have the to deal with the negotiating required to divvy up the housework, I don’t have to see anyone I don’t want to see.
I can come home to the peace of my little house, turn the heater on if it’s cold- I don’t have to adjust my thermostat for anyone else - and cook, or not cook as I see fit. Nor do I have to spend all my patience on keeping a little one amused, clean, fed, and with enough sleep not to turn it grumpy.