When I was younger, around nine-years-old, my town had a tornado warning in the middle of the night. My older sister and I shared a bedroom, and when our dad came running in, he quickly woke us up, shoved a pair of glasses on both of our faces, and rushed us down the stairs to our basement. The entire time we were running, my sister and I were both stumbling around, essentially blind. When we got to the basement to meet our mom and younger sister, we drowsily realized we were wearing each other’s glasses. My first thought was, Ugh, mom would have known which glasses were mine, even in an emergency.
I often look back on that memory and laugh to myself, and recently brought it up with my mom. She burst into laughter and said, “Yep, I would have known.” I laugh about it, and other memories like it, especially now that my husband does similar things. Like when I have to point out which drawer we keep our son’s pants. Don’t ask me how many times I’ve had to yell “bottom right drawer!” from the next room. One time, I made the mistake of starting to ask, “Hey, do you know where the…” and he just looked at me like I was a fool for asking. Literally, as I am writing this, he is asking me where we keep the cold medicine. I know these things. He typically does not. That’s just how it works in our relationship, and according to my mom, it’s normal.
Now let me be clear: I am not dogging on my husband. This is me admitting that I have control issues. Because who cares if I have to remind him where the cold medicine is kept? I have been lovingly crowned a control freak by my husband because I often remind him, and even send him links to articles, claiming that I hold the mental load of our household. I know where everything is in the house, and I am in charge of keeping it neat and tidy. Minus the garage. My role in the garage is to drive in and out of it. Beyond the garage, and okay, my husband’s office, which is just a dark pit with his computer equipment and a dozen half-finished Sprite Zeros on his desk, I hold the responsibility as the keeper of the things. This likely stems from watching my mom know everything growing up, and my dad having to ask where we kept my pants.
Being a control freak, of course, has a downside. It’s responsible for about 50 percent of our arguments. It’s easy to get annoyed with your partner for doing things a little differently than you. For me, I have to continually remind myself that at least he is actively participating in parenthood with me. My husband is in this with me, juggling parenting tasks, work, and everything else in between. Every now and then, I stop and remind myself of that fact. Like when he puts the toilet paper roll facing the wall and not facing out. At least he’s changing the roll! That took eight years of threats to get him to actually change the roll.
One of the biggest things I am working on in my marriage is taking a step back and letting my husband handle things. Being in my third trimester of pregnancy, I have been forced to slow down and not do as much as I’m used to doing. I often have to rely on my husband to carry the physical load of parenthood, so I hate being a nagging wife when it comes to the mental load of parenthood. I’m letting go and trusting my partner. Because that’s what he should be, my partner. I’ve really tried to take a step back and let him take the lead. Even if it sometimes makes me itchy with anxiety.
And next time I’m just going to let him rifle through the drawers until he finds the pants on his own.