The annoyance I felt has built into anger. I really should just throw away the mountain of toys I have organized and reorganized for the tenth time today. Directing the children to clean up their mess only works for the first five minutes before they are back to playing and making a bigger mess. My day started at five in the morning. Three if you count waking up with my two year old who came searching me for me in the middle of the night. I am currently doing contract work for a partner corporation and my days go from ten to twelve hours depending on family obligations. When i walked in at almost seven this evening my house was a wreck. Toys, snack wrappers and clothing strewn everywhere.

The sight instantly brought on a mild anxiety attack. After almost fifteen years since my first apartment, I have learned that chaos and disorganization in any physical environment immediately bleeds into my brain, paralyzing my productivity and stealing my sanity. I despise a messy house. Cleaning for me is almost therapeutic. The finished product gives me a deep sense of satisfaction like nothing else even if the process is not always my idea of fun.

I took my shoes off, drop my purse on the couch and immediately began the cleanup process. After the living room looked livable again, I attacked the kitchen with vigor. Dirty dishes were enemies to be vanquished; food stains and crumbs were obliterated with an arsenal of brooms, mops and cleanser. Then it was time to make dinner. Nothing fancy – salmon and brown rice for my husband, pasta and sauce for the kids. After dinner, I washed the few dishes left and hurried the kids upstairs for baths and pajamas. My day officially ended when they fell asleep – a circus that typically winds down anywhere between 9:30 and 11:30 in the evening.

I am tired. I am tired of working 50 hour weeks outside my home only to turn around and work another 40 hours maintaining our household. I’m tired of not getting a break between roles to just sit and breathe and remember who I  am outside of wife and mother. I’m tired of killing myself trying to be everything my family can possibly need and having nothing left for myself. Mostly I am tired of not being helped. Who helps the helper? Who gives me “a night off” when the weight of the world is on my shoulders?

So far, no one.

Sometimes I watch my husband with a mix of envy and rage. How come he gets to sleep when he comes home from a 15 hour day and I don’t? Who dealt these cards anyway? Why do we live in a household of four people and I’m the only one who cleans? Again, who helps the helper? The rage climbs on and on as I can literally feel my blood boiling.

It’s not fair. He knows I need help and he won’t help me. My thoughts crash into one another and all I want to do is scream, cry or break something. I’m tired of being needed. I want a break.

“Babe, you’re doing a great job with the kids. i really appreciate all that you’ve done to make things run smoothly at home. I’m lucky to have you,” the man I love says casually as he wraps me in a hug.

And just like that, the rage dissipates. All I know is his arms around me and all of a sudden the world makes sense again. A few words of affirmation and my once rebellious heart is perfectly content.

It doesn’t take much. But it does take effort.