I remember my reaction when my 19-year-old boyfriend told me one of my responsibilities as his wife would be to put away his laundry. I believe my exact response was “OH, NO. I am not your mother.” This young whippersnapper was not going to tell me what to do when I was maybe, someday his wife. The kid didn’t say it in a chauvinistic tone either. No, it was more in a “I’m a guy. I’m 19. Putting away my laundry is a drag.”
Today, as I put away his boxers for the umpteenth time in our three years of marriage, I chuckle at my own young whippersnapper ideas. Not only do I now put the socks, boxers, pants, shirts, and scrubs away, but I move the boxers still in the drawer to the top of the new pile to ensure they wear as evenly as possible. I also don’t put a mateless sock away, they wait in the laundry room until the mate is coughed back up from some other load, some other day. Oye. What have I become?
I’ve become his wife. The woman who loves him, serves him, and respects him. And as crazy as those laundry shenanigans seem they are just the beginning. I cook, I clean, I had his baby, and I raise her all day, everyday. Just call me the domestic slave or goddess, depending on the day.
More than once my husband has come home with stories of the people he works with teasing him about his packed lunch. Packed by my hands usually late at night when I remember I forgot to pack his lunch. They use words like “spoiled” and “lucky” and he proudly agrees. He brings these stories home to give me validation I believe and I don’t mind knowing that in other peoples eyes, I am loving him well.
I never thought twice about packing a lunch for my husbands work days. He works in a hospital…they aren’t exactly known for their culinary expertise. He gets 30 minutes for lunch and we like to eat wholesome foods. Home cooking was the obvious and frugal choice. Who knew packing leftovers made you wife of the year?!
So yes, I now fold all the laundry and put it away. I cook the food and usually clean up the mess. I pack the lunch and miss the 10 minutes of sleep. Maybe he is spoiled or lucky. But really I’m just doing my job-my calling. I’m serving him. I’m not defeating the whole purpose of feminism with these tasks. Marriage was designed this way, for serving. For when I serve him, he also serves me. My husband has taken on the role of sole provider and he provides well. We never have want for food, clothing, or shelter. The two year old always has shoes, somewhere, but probably not on her tootsies. He has provided me with the opportunity to raise our girl full time, because that’s all I’ve ever known I really wanted to do. Those are just the more tangible ways he provides. His love, kindness, devotion, and leadership to us is unmeasurable.
So I guess most nights when I’m wrapping the left over pizza in a reusable sandwich wrap, putting a dollop of peanut butter in a bowl with an apple, and giving him the very last oatmeal raisin cookie to brighten his day with a little homemade from me, he might be spoiled. He might be lucky. But really he is served because I have been served. Or is it I am served because he is served? See that’s the thing about this marriage and love deal, “it keeps no records…”