March 15, 2007

Score one for Nurture

Apparently I have a problem. Not a huge one, but its something about myself that I am now aware of and have to try and change. Some background…

My parents are currently visiting from out East. My dad is a politician and had some time before the assembly started sitting again, so they came out to watch the kids while the sitter is in Vegas (lucky beotch). My dad is…special. He is very high maintenance. As in he doesn't do anything for himself and my mom basically waits on him. She doesn't do it willingly mind you…she gripes and growls that he's quite capable of getting his own damn tea etc. etc. But she still does it.

They've visited before, obviously and I've just let it all roll off me…its not my problem, its my mom's. For some reason this time, its REALLY bugging me. I've bitched about it a little to Jon for the past two mornings on the way to work. He's been noticing the little things too…I guess dad is going all out this visit. This morning Jon asked me if he was like that, to which I replied "Oh gods, no!". He may be annoying and clueless some days, but he's nowhere near as bad as dad is. To which he replied "Let me know if I get that bad, ok?" "Deal…"

We chatted some more and it came out that I sometimes act like I'm trying to control the house (not in a bad way, apparently) and he never knows what he can do that won't disrupt the "flow". Its true, I guess. I have my little routine that I do every morning, then have the things I do in the evening to get ready for the next day. Get the kids' clothes out, put Iain's diapers together and in the bag, feed the kids dinner, bathe them if its that night, make our lunches (sometimes…) get the cats fed and medicated, make our dinner etc. If I have time, I try and do some little bit of cleaning…a quick round of the bathroom, change someone's bedsheets, clean fingerprints off windows, throw on a load of laundry etc. Somehow the house still always seems messy and disorganized, but I guess that's to be expected when you have two kids. While I do all this, Jon is downstairs on the computer so he's "out of my way". Yes, its annoying and gets on my nerves, but that's not the point today.

As we were chatting in the car about my dad and everything my mom does for him, it hit me. I am my mother. Growing up, I watched my mom essentially run the house. She was the secretary, cook, plumber, cleaning lady and everything in between. She did it out of necessity because my dad did not help a whit. I do it now because that's what I've seen the woman do. Granted, Jon is nowhere near as dependant on me as my dad is on my mom. He is at least capable of cooking himself something if I'm not there to do it and he has no problem taking care of the kids if I have to do the shopping or whatever. But I still have this need to "control" (that's not the right word IMO, but I can't think of any other word right now) everything and make sure it runs smoothly.

As some of you may recall, I am
adopted. I've always wondered where I got certain traits and habits…apparently I "came with" stubborness and a temper. I think this characteristic is one thing I can definitely count as a learned behaviour.

I've made a decision that I don't want to do that anymore. Mainly because I don't want us to become like my mom and dad. I don't want to wait on Jon hand and foot because he gets lazy and expects it, and I certainly don't want to be stressed, bitter and snippy like my mom. So starting next week (since my parents leave on the weekend), I am going to try and relax. I will do the bare minimum and take the time to enjoy the kids in the short two hours I have every evening before they are in bed. If the house is messy, who cares? If the fingerprints stay on the window 'til the weekend, that's ok. Certain things can't be put off. Newton needs his dinner and insulin every evening and its really much easier if I get the kids' stuff ready the night before. But the small stuff can be put off.

Talk to me in a month to find out if I've caved and started being a freak again...


Anonymous Andrea said...

Yay for you!

(But be careful not to take all the blame, either. Been there, done that, paying the legal fees.)

I think it's great that you're seeing a pattern and working to change it. Good luck!

15/3/07 13:21  
Blogger themikestand said...

A little inside tip from a husband: Control-freak wives instill a sense of "stay out of my way and we'll be just fine" in their husbands.

If at any time it seems your husband isn't pulling his weight, it might be because you're carrying his share. I say this in defense of him, and spouses the world over.

15/3/07 15:53  
Anonymous Amy said...

I have to agree with Mike on this one. I guess I'm like that too- only I didn't realize it until Levi went away to work for 4 months then came back. I had no problem doing ALL the work when he was gone, it was easier actually. When he came back we (I) actually got into a screaming match because he was in my way and screwing up my routine with the kids, the laundry, the homeschooling, the housework, my exercise time, everything. It was then that I realized how anal I was about everything and just not giving him the chance to do it on his own. (Which he does wonderfully by the way, I just need to relax, bite my tongue and let him do it his way once in a while!) Best of luck with this!

15/3/07 17:22  
Blogger Tanya said...

mike, thank you for that! yes, i am that way. and its so hard to let go...but i'm determined to kick it.

amy, that sounds very familiar. well, not the screaming part...i tend to just stew. i am getting good at letting him do stuff without "hovering" as he calls it. except laundry. he always managed to somehow leave splotches on shirts and shrink things... but that's ok too...right?

16/3/07 09:33  
Anonymous TT said...

Really i think im like that to. Somehow us woman are just better organized and we can multitask. Watching my hubby try to do simple chores drives me nuts. he has to do one thing at a time and it takes FOREVER!!!! im so not that patient. i can do more in an hour then he can do in an entire day.
But i dont mind at all.....I guess with him gone all the time im use to running the household.

I've learned to let alot of things slide....and not so i can spend time with the kid in the evenings. So i can blog and read the mommy forums. HAHA.

But kudos to you. You can do this......I vote for Less Cleaning, more scrapbooking!!!!!

17/3/07 20:20  
Blogger JC said...

Awareness if the first step! You're doing great!


21/3/07 20:05  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home