Hi! In a funny scheduling fluke, I ended up on Kindred Mom with the last essay of January and the first essay of February.
You can read the whole piece here or continue on for an excerpt.
“So… dinner tomorrow. Any allergies? Restrictions? Strong preferences?”
“Nah. We’re pretty low-maintenance.”
I’ve had this conversation dozens of times over the years. In this case, we’d had this family over once, decided to make it a regular thing, and were about to head to their house for the first time. We both have relatively large families, but aside from sheer volume of food, all fourteen of us are easy enough to feed.
I’ve tried to be low-maintenance in as many areas as possible for as long as I can remember. It has its perks—I like being easy-to-get-along-with. It’s nice to be able to go with the flow, to be free of strong aversions. (Except scary movies. Hard pass.) But it has a shadow side, too. In the name of being low-maintenance, I’ve served others’ needs while completely ignoring my own.
Baby’s crying? I’ll go get her. No sense in you waking up when I’m gonna have to feed her anyway.
MAN, I’m hungry. Did I eat lunch? No, I don’t think so. Do six cold, half-eaten nuggets count?
Wow, it got late. But there are still chores to do. No biggie—I’ve been sleep-deprived since 2010. What’s one more hour folding laundry and washing dishes?
As I say it, I realize I sound like a martyr. I didn’t know, though. I thought I was being kind. Selfless. Serving. Those are good things, right? But I missed the growing resentment and the toll it was taking on my physical and mental health.
There were a lot of things I missed, actually… (read the rest here.)