In our house, I’m The Locator.
My kids will joke that I can find Jimmy Hoffa, and they are two generations too young to know who Jimmy Hoffa was. You name it, I can find it. Beloved stuffed animals, the remote control, the checkbook, the washing machine.
In addition to being The Locator, I’m also The Fixer. I can deal with the IRS, manage out-of-state rental property repairs, juggle money between 3 different banks, and other adult things. And also I’m the Social Secretary. I know all the birthdays in the family, shop for presents, and send the cards.
I’ve realized that a lot of what I’m doing is called emotional labor. It’s stuff that Big Sarge could do, but it falls to me either because he’s busy, or I’m “better at it,” or it’s just assumed that because I’m the woman that I’m SUPPOSED TO.
Let me tell you, friends, emotional labor is exhausting. It’s like being a grown up for two. It is thankless, unpaid work. It is the behind-the-scenes work that is desperately necessary to keep order in our family unit, and it is CONSTANT.
Which is why, when Big Sarge has a week-long trip out of state, I’m kind of okay with it. Don’t get me wrong, I miss him when he’s gone. I miss watching Marvel movies with him. I miss his goofy jokes and the way he plays with the kids.
But I don’t miss the phone calls at my job asking if I can find the tax transcripts from 2014.
As I’m sure many of you do, when the love of my life is gone for a while, I like to hunt the good stuff. The sharp decrease in the amount of emotional labor demanded of me? Definitely a “good stuff.”