When my Honey does the Dishes

Lidia Korinko

There are probably thousands of women who would object to me saying thank you to my husband tonight for washing the dishes. He never says thank you to me when I wash the dishes. It's not that I think a woman should do them; it's not that at all. I do the housework out of love. When my kids were still at home, I kept the house cleaned out of love. Every dirty sock I picked up, every dirty dish I washed, and everything I cooked, I did out of love.

I didn't always think the way that I do today, though. I was a woman of the '80s. Career-driven, independent, and believed men and women were equal in the workforce and in-home duties. I was once gifted an apron, and my thoughts were, what are you trying to say? I belong in the kitchen? Now I love aprons, cute ones. I have different ones for different holidays, and I put them on happily.

I still think men and women are equal, but we can separate duties if we want to. You see when I got married, and I went from being a "woman of the 80's" to a "mom of the 90's". Although I had asked the Ad Agency who I was working for to hold my job, once my baby was in my arms, I knew I wanted to be the one to raise him, so I didn't go back. Having a successful career didn't mean as much to me as being a good mom.

My marriage didn't survive the challenges many people face when starting a family; money problems because we were a one-income household; My husband feeling stressed and overwhelmed at having to support the family. Me, caring for two toddlers all day, I never felt like I had a break. In addition to all that, my husband dealt with it poorly and was verbally abusive towards me. Counseling and advice from everyone who wanted to put in their two cents didn't help, so we ended up divorcing.

After our divorce, I met and married the man I am still married to 20+ years later. Over these twenty-plus years, we have settled into roles. Our family primarily relied on his income even though I was working too. Once the kids were in school, I started my own business, a Graphic Design and Printing Company, but I made much less than my husband. Some people think that you have money if you own a business, but that isn't exactly true. I grew my business from nothing, and my income dropped when I started hiring employees because it was the only way to afford them.

My ex-husband and I had 50/50 shared custody of our two sons, and we were supposed to split expenses such as medical, sports, school events, etc. Sometimes my ex-husband wouldn't pitch in, and guess who would pay? My husband! He contributed financially to raise children who weren't biologically his. So, you see, my husband is a good man. He didn't have to do that. Since he hated housework a long time ago, I decided to do most of it without complaining or griping about him not helping as a way to give back. He works hard and sometimes must travel, so he puts in a lot of hours. Yes, I was working hard too, and after working a long day, I would stop at the grocery store, get home, cook dinner, wash dishes, help the kids with homework, do laundry, and then when I finally sat down to watch a little TV, at midnight, I would do it while folding clothes. Not unlike many other moms.

Do you know what my husband likes to do when he gets home from work? Sit on the couch and watch TV. Eat the dinner that I cook and then watch more TV. So, while I'm running around like a chicken with my head cut off, he's relaxing. And guess what, I don't care! I don't care because I'm doing what I want. I want to take care of my kids, and I want to take care of my husband. It fills a need in me. In turn, he supports me, and he is my best friend. He opens the car door for me and brings me flowers a lot, at least once or twice a month. If I asked him to run to the store and get me ice cream right this very minute (it's 8:30 PM, and he's watching football), he would. I wouldn't ask, though, because I already have ice cream. LOL. No, I wouldn't ask because I don't want to make him do that, but you get the picture.

When it comes to housework, I only want my husband to oversee the trash. One time I was getting tired of constantly dealing with a trash pyramid (that's when you have to start carefully stacking garbage on top of a filled trash can), and I said, in a stern voice, "you have one job! I do everything else, and I need you to take out the trash when it's full." Surprisingly this worked exceptionally well because he now knows that it's his job. Now when I ask him to do something in addition to that, he'll tell me, in a joking manner, that it's not his job and he only has one job. Yeah, so my words came back to bite me, lol.

Recently I was diagnosed with Lupus, and I've had some bad days. Days when I'm feeling weak or in pain, and you know what happens when I'm sick? The house starts to fall apart because I'm the person who does all the housework. But I made it that way. So, when I'm not feeling well, and my husband does the dishes, I know he did them because he loves me and wants me to rest. It's his way of taking care of me, and I'm so grateful. So, I tell him, "Thank you for doing the dishes, honey."

I told this story because I want people who are tired, stressed, and angry with their partners to take a hard look at everything they do that is good. Don't just focus on the bad stuff. Every couple has problems. Sure, I made my husband sound wonderful because I told you about some of his good qualities. But he's not perfect, sometimes we argue like children, and I could sit here and write a story about something he did that made me mad, but that's not the point. The point is that we should do for each other and appreciate each other.

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Everybody has a story and I'm fascinated with "our" stories... you, me, just everyday people. I like stories that we can learn from, stories that send a message, hopefully a positive message, and stories that make you think. This is a new journey for me and I hope you find my stories interesting.

Flower Mound, TX

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