Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A Solution Idea

So after a protracted blow up a new idea has popped up.
I know my daughter and I know what she is capable of. I know she has some challenges. Still here we are.

I would not say we fight. That is my daughters phraseology.
I know we disagree but I do not expect us to always think the same. Disagreement is fine with me as long as there is respect.
I have given my daughter a lot of room to live and breathe. 

Chores are minimal and the only other thing required of her is school.

When she goes off to visit friends she does and has done extensive housework. Because it was needed. Because she was asked. Without being asked.

In some ways she is like me. She rises to the level of the needs at the time.

So I asked her why she flat out ignored me when I mentioned she was slacking on her household duties.

Back pain and allergies she replied. I noticed that the bottom storage cabinet in the kitchen she used to keep organized and now is just a wreck.

The tub needed to be scrubbed and the bathroom rug needed to be shaken…

It hurts to bend and our bathroom has no window only a fan so cleaner fumes can build up.

Maybe if we worked on these things together. We do need to cultivate the time we spend together. 

What I have been doing is going downstairs to hang out. Sometimes I take the laptop. Most of the time I do not.
Her radio is always on. We laugh, talk, listen, sing, share. It seems to be working out well. I don’t criticize and she does not complain. 

The indoor out door neighbor cat has been enjoying more of our hospitality.

She does not want to wash dishes or clean the cat box. The last time she tried to vacuum her and the machine got into a tiff.
Still she wants to get a job and get busy out in the real world.

I asked her “What are you going to do about all these chores when you move out?” 

Disposable kitchen ware, microwaved meals and a bathroom with a window.

I guess that could work for a while. She is also talking about having roommates.  That has a way of self regulating.
For now I am more a roommate than a mom. I have executive authority but her will is fully established. 

She wants to get a job and do no chores. How about paying rent? Just enough to cover I don’t even know what since it is not really about money or chores.

The funny thing is this desperate idea about going to work started at the beginning of the year when we could not get financing but needed to buy a car.

She suddenly was not content to just be a dependent. I was not thinking she needed to go out and start working so soon. It never occurred to me to charge her rent when our commitment was to share household duties.

Merry Maids here we come.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Eruption

What is anything we get into disagreements over really ever about?

I do not know which is worse feeling like we keep getting stuck on the same issues or that every time we conquer one another one is around the corner. 

Never the less here we are.

So there is the ongoing issue of chores our relationship and mutual respect.

Normal stuff right?

Things began to pile up undone. I finally said something. I was rebuffed and ignored multiple times.

Now I can be confrontational and directive but that is usually not my way. I start off by making suggestions. Maybe I should ask more questions…

When things are good, once I mention things that should otherwise be getting done things get moving in the right direction and nothing more is needed.

Instead in this case outings and adventures with friends were on the agenda. 

Her “Can I go see my boyfriend?”

Me "Sure go ahead."

This extended into a two day marathon. With multiple siblings, a family from out of town staying in their house and the moving to a new first home out of a small duplex rental over there can be a huge time sucking vortex.

Anyone who knows a teen knows they would rather often be anywhere besides home. I do not mind letting her go when I know there will be activity and supervision.

It is not unheard of that they walk to see each other but more often than not the trips are carved out around transportation by one side or the other.

Off she went on a busy day. The day was so full with housework a teen in house wanted their hair dyed and that had gotten shelved. Thus day two was added after the long hours of one.

Fine it is summer a time for hanging out.

I was thinking when these adventures were over and things settled down my suggestions would get headed.

No such thing happened. Suddenly the month changed and suddenly on the heels of extended engagement it was time for an anniversary celebration.

“Say what?” I asked.

How have I been missing this every 30 days and why then had there been such a push to get together just a few days prior?

(And what about the household work that was being avoided?) Things left unsaid.

“What is the plan?” 

I asked looking for a time line or a time frame. I got nothing which I just knew meant 6-10 hours. Arrive after lunch stay through dinner and until bed time.

I called foul and my teen almost pitched a fit.

A few days ago I got a note in panic. Are you mad at us? Are you worried about us? What have we done?

Umm how did this become about anyone or anything besides the neglected housework? (A lack of (clear) communication).

Oy Vey

Words were said…

Monday, August 6, 2012

Error Mode Mom

Some days I wonder: How did I get here?

When things go wrong I try to look at the structures and rules we have in place.
In this moment they might seem a little lax.
We have lived a relaxed life.

I grew up with an unwritten code of conduct.

The thought of writing one up seems awkward... 

There has to be another way. 

It does not help that I have been a little distracted.
We are both going in our individual directions.

Words have been said.  Things have been left unsaid or at least it feels that way.

Things will be going along ok or even very well.
Then we hit a snag.

I try to live free of old hurts. If something is bothering me I like to get it off my chest. I do not hold grudges.

These are good tools for life. I wish I could make sure everyone had them.

Not everyone is so confrontational or forgiving. Some people just do not know how to communicate. Am I raising one of them? If so how did that happen.

I try to appreciate the basic differences between us and filter for whatever are doing or have tried. Some things just are. Others are actually result based.

It can be difficult to see where these lines are and how they criss cross.

The teen moved downstairs for a change of pace.
She said it would help her keep order in her room better.
I have not seen that.

We did have the multiple house guests over the past months and seasons. I know this put an emotional strain on everything. So, not much has been said.