it is time to say No! In my household/family, we all could use some lessons in applicable life skills, adult/wife/husband/or child, it does not matter. As of today I am no longer enabling/or taking care of every detail in this home. A similar situation in my previous marriage stole alot of life out of the relationship, as I was a stay at home parent/homemaker. I did not make any money(well sometimes I did but that is not what I am sharing about today) I instead used to do my best to be my then husband’s teammate and save as much money as I could. He also didn’t help with much or anything around the house very often. As you can imagine (because of my previous statement) when I asked my ex husband for separation back in 2016 I turned my world upside down, and lost my sense of direction for quite a while. Lots of unhealthy behaviors were encouraged or allowed, because I was just letting life happen and not being intentional in my situations/circumstances. I also just plain staring it in the face, knowingly made bad choices/decisions.
I am now in a place of intentionally attempting to mitigate the damage I have allowed to occur over the last couple years. I enable everyone to be lazy or think that their learned behaviors are okay by not changing any of the circumstances, but my emotions become volatile, and so does my expression of them. I have some type of illness, maybe a sinus infection, maybe an ear infection, but because of how the symptoms are presenting, counselors have actually begun asking me to wait two weeks before we can continue with appointments, to ensure I do not have Covid 19.
I remember lessons learned on how stress can affect health, and my diabetic qualities, and increase or extend an illness for me. I have stopped taking care of everything as of yesterday. When my husband complained and asked me to get up and help him find a rag, I said no. He wined and complained like one of the kids, but I expressed it was a problem he could in fact solve on his own. He is an adult I am not his mother nor do I desire to be his daily care taker. I made him work through the problem, wash the dish that needed to be washed and he cooked a full meal from a box by following instructions. He wanted to make banana pudding, it was important for him, and the ingredients were available during our last grocery pick up(alot of things were not.) I told him how I make it and told him it didn’t have to be pretty and supervised from a distance. Guess what he made it and it was good! My kids even were even pleased and satisfied with it. Spoke praises all day. By 8 P.M., the kids were hungry. My husband was unwilling to cook at this point. I didn’t want to either, but I didn’t fuss, because I know were are down to ingredients that have to be paired together in unique ways to make a meal. I found I had one can of re fried beans, though we have no bread, we have tortilla wraps, and two pounds of ground beef. There is no shredded cheese, but we used sandwich sliced white american cheese as a substitute. I browned one pound of ground beef which visibly does not look like much. I spread re fried beans on the tortillas like it was a sandwich spread and added a thin layer of ground beef to spread it out for the 4 of us. My daughter was so sure she didn’t like re fried beans. I gave her a colorful food being like art analogy, and that I had handcrafted her specific wrap just for her. Guess what?! She likes and actually eats re fried beans now. My husband said he did not want beans, (but constantly insists my kids are picky in there eating but he is not) I told him that he did not have to have beans, but his wrap or burrito would not be very filling. Guess who opted for re fried beans on his too.
I crafted the meal even though frustrated, I was able to provide a plate for everyone, and every tummy got full and satisfied. A neighbor left a cookie cake on our door step. It was a total unexpected moment, I have not spoken to any of my neighbors in quite a while, nor are we friends on any form of social media. It was random and unexpected in our corner of the neighborhood, and my immediate neighbor who left it lives in poorer conditions and has less resources than we do.
Last night at 9pm I got a message on my phone, from my ex husband asking what the kids were up to. I told him I was preparing to put our daughter to bed, and given the previous days episode of insomnia I was taking my sleeping medication and heading to bed, and our teenager tends to stay up late. His next message was then I will be there by at 12:30 A.M. to see the kids. I plan to begin a Dissecting the Situation series tomorrow and share about this and all of it repercussions, over the next couple of weeks as a substitution for not creating new shop products right now.
This morning, I made my own first cup of tea. Hot fluids keep things flowing and break up things that may settle in my throat. I microwaved water to make hot tea, but realized I really want a teapot for times like this, my kids like hot tea as well an often microwave their own. I did ask my daughter if she was willing to make me a second cup, as my throat is still not at peace. I need to hydrate anyway. I washed one dirty pot, and last night my husband emptied the dish washer, and no one is willing yet to wash a dish without a fight. I did thoughtfully load the dishwasher and will look up how to load it in the most efficient manner today, and if there are ways to reduce the projected cost of running the dishwasher. My husband does not have mental scars about washing dishes, he is just lazy. My teenager when asked to wash them will throw the dishes and refuse to wash them saying that is why we have a dishwasher. His new life lesson soon will be taking a turn to load the dishwasher, and he can unload it as well. I refused to wash a dish for him when all dishes were dirty. He could choose to wash one or go without. (He is 14.) Given the circumstances, both he and my daughter have both washed a bowl (though under great protest) and it had no negative impact on their health.
My nine year old has done two school lessons this morning, thanks to a middle of the night read of reader’s comments. I set a clear reward for her doing her lessons. My son does his school work on his own. He is now doing his lessons, my daughter gets a break, but is aware I will be looking over her shoulder later this afternoon and assuring we do a math lesson or five. I am going to have some intentional direct conversations about her IEP program with her teachers today to specifically glean information on what techniques they suggest or perceive as working for her. I found that schools zoned in slightly more posh neighborhoods (the richest part of the county it seems) teachers are still teaching through online instruction, not just throwing apps and assignments at parents by connecting through a an online message. Color me a little bit jelly as we are all in the same county and I assumed working through the same struggles with school.
I am not going to over do it. I will make things and take care of some things as I can. I am resting, I am not entertaining, or going on walks with my husband, he needs to work through his boredom, and these pandemic living circumstances on his own. I just can’t shield/ provide/protect/ entertain everyone. No one person should have to all of any one thing when you have a familial unit of sorts. These are some slow microscopic moves I am making to be more intentional with time, and participate in teachable life moments.
Love and grace to you as we grow,
Hiding In Plain Sight,
Masquerade Jade 🙂
(I did not take the photos, I have to give credit where it is due to an Uncle, but he wants to like me remain behind the scenes hiding in plain sight)