Actually, by the time you read this it will probably have been a few days ago that I was sad.

But I am/was.

I’m generally a pretty happy person.  It really doesn’t take much to brighten my day – my tea mug turned to the perfect direction to pull it out of the microwave, my dog’s cutie-eyes as she begs for attention, a hug and kiss from my kids.

Today nothing was making me happy.

Let me explain – last week was my birthday and after a lack-luster Valentine’s Day performance by my family (no one even hugged me), I told them that for my birthday I wanted to feel appreciated.

So I went on strike.

I told them all that I wasn’t going to pick up after anyone except myself for the entire week and that they would be responsible for picking up all of the slack.  I know it sounds like a punishment, but the goal – which I clearly explained to them – was to show them how much work every day takes.

So they’d appreciate me.

My plan didn’t work.

Hubby continued his regular routine of dropping laundry everywhere.  The kids didn’t pick up after themselves and dishes were strewn in every room.  Carpets were filthy with food crumbs and pet hair, laundry was neither done, nor the previous week’s put away.  The sink was full of dishes most of the time, the floors were gritty from everyone walking through the house with wet and sand-coated boots.  Food in the fridge was covered with mold and left there.  Counters were splattered with food and crumbs…  I could go on and on and on.

Chloe spilled half a box of cereal on the floor this morning and yelled at everyone for causing it – then she called Lacey to eat it all off of the floor.  Yes, my dog gets treats, but half a box of Captain Crunch is not good for her, and dog saliva does not constitute a clean floor.

I’m frustrated, sad and feeling really UN-appreciated.  So much for my birthday gift.

I’ve tried to explain my feelings to them several times – I even went so far as to compare my job to Hubby’s  and ask him “if I were to go into your work and undo all of the sales you worked so hard to achieve, would you be upset?”.  For a very brief moment he was able to empathize – but the feeling clearly didn’t leave a lasting impression.

I know I’m not the only one, male or female, that feels this way – like an unpaid maid and punching bag when laundry isn’t done for green day, or the Captain Crunch spills, or the lunch wasn’t what they wanted, or the income tax isn’t completed the day he asked me to do it.

I’ll be fair and say that Hubby cooks 3/4 of the time (when he’s home), and he does take on the challenges of homework and bedtime – so I’m grateful to have him spare me those additional chores.  He works hard with long hours and certainly ‘brings home the bacon’ – but pretty much everything else falls to me – which means my job is hard and has long hours too.

Is looking for a “thank you” here and there, or a little effort by my family members really that much to ask?  Is it just my brain that processes the needs of others before my own – (eg.  we have a lot of whites here, that means the kids are low on underwear and socks, I should do this load first.)

Does marriage and children automatically mean your value as an individual is reduced to nothing – where your sole identity is that of a wife, mother and labourer.

Why was my ‘strike’ such a fantastic failure?

How do I go about creating little people that don’t take people or things for granted?

How do I make sure my girls don’t feel this way themselves someday?

If you’re feeling the same way – just know that I appreciate you – truly and deeply.  The blog stats from day to day show me how many people have swung by for a visit and every single click validates my efforts and I thank you.

Enough whining – it’s just a bad day.

Thank you for lending me your ear (eyes).