Three days after the birth of our baby he lost his job. He didn’t tell me until I came home. The tension in the house got worse. I guess it was because he didn’t have much saved up. The pressure on him must have been intense. It was a good thing I had decided to go baby friendly. That would help to save cost! The only expenses we had to deal with were for food, diapers, utilities and rent…which was still a whole lot!
He started a job hunt after about 2 weeks of being moody. He set out quite early in the morning and came back early evening.
It was very hard looking after a baby all alone, my breasts were often sore and my tummy hurt often. My physical pain was made worse by my constant state of fear. When he came home, he usually walked in like the principal of a school ignoring my “welcome home”. He’d stand in front of the mirror and stare at it looking for dust or finger prints. He would suddenly turn to me and ask:
“Since I left this house this morning, what have you done?’ The first time he asked me this question shortly after we got married I had laughed and laughed and teased him about him looking like the labour prefect. I had laughed even more and asked him whether I looked like the maid. He didn’t laugh back, in fact later, I came to understand that that was exactly the case- I was the Maid and he was my Master.
I had stopped laughing months ago. The question was no longer funny! Today, as usual I gave him the reply I knew he wanted to hear -a list of all the chores I had engaged in. He did the usual, walked around with his arms behind, slightly bending over and looking critically at the hairs of the carpet for signs of it having been swept thoroughly, then he would run his fingers on the book shelf and TV still looking for dust. My heart would be in my mouth, praying he wouldn’t find any dust. If he did find dust I’d be in trouble he would then go into the story of how when he was young, his father used to paint their faces with dust if he found any on the furniture. He threatened to do the same to me if I didn’t do a better job of dusting the furniture! My heart often beat faster when he knocked on the front door. My sadness worsened by the day and my memories of the laughter that was before the marriage were thinning. I keep asking myself how I got into this!