Exhaustion. It is a word that all mothers are familiar with especially the stay at home ones. It is a word that most men do not understand. “Exhaustion? You are here in the house all day with no boss or client to bug you.” That is, I suppose, what most husbands would say, if they dare at all, to their stay at home wives.
They don’t really get it unless they are the type who know how to cook, clean the house, wash clothes, and take care of a pre-schooler. I think my three brothers fall into this category. Thanks to the unusual training they got from our mom. My sisters-in-law are very lucky!
Exhaustion is a word that is akin to a ” melting candle” or what in our vernacular is succinctly described as ” nauupos na kandila.” I heard that phrase from my sister-in-law who has a full- time auditor’s job, who does not have a maid and tackles the laundry and the ironing every weekend. Silently, I agreed with her.
For me it means getting up at 5:30 in the morning to cook breakfast, sweep the yard, water the plants,wash last night’s dishes left by the husband in the sink and boil the brown rice. After an hour, it is time for that dreaded chore– waking up the five-year old, Sometimes I am tempted to throw a bucket of ice- cold water at his face. He simply loves to sleep just like the hubby.
Bringing him to school comes next even if he has a bus service. My son wants me there all the time so he can sleep for a few more minutes on my lap. But it is a good thing I have finally convinced him that I don’t need to wait three hours for him to finish school. Three hours! I can practically clean the bathroom, cook lunch and mop the floors in that amount of time.
He comes home almost at lunchtime and half of my day comes whizzing by. There is so much to do. Meals to prepare, assignments to teach, bills to pay, clothes to wash.My son does not like afternoon naps so I am at his beck and call the whole afternoon. And by the time 10 pm rolls by, I am so tired.
I have worked full- time for 23 straight years but I have never known exhaustion like this one. Who am I kidding? My mind is 30 years old but my body is in its 50s.My muscles are sore, my bones creak and my back pain is now part of my personality. My friends are aghast. ” Why don’t you get a maid?” I have been trying to hire one these past four months but I can’t find a decent one.
One night,as exhaustion puts me to sleep a small voice inside me pipes up. ” You are exhausted but you know that the dust under the bed has been swept well. When you had a maid, you always had to bend over to check it out.” I nod my head sleepily.
“You were thrilled when Josh got perfect test scores in Science, Math, Filipino, Language and Reading. And now he can read and learning to spell. Thanks to the one hour lesson review everyday” I yawn as I close my eyes.
” You had fun with the squash and shrimp okoy ( fritters) recipe.”
Yeah, yeah right. Exhaustion has its own rewards. Zzzzzzzz