Since you've been gone

4 years ago

My kids have been poorly trained to help around this house. I have written this before.  They don't do much. This has been, for the most part, my own fault for not training them.


My mom never made me do anything around the house. And I mean nothing. She made my bed, dusted, vacuumed, brought me a snack while I watched TV, everything.


She even cut my meat. I remember eating dinner at my best friend's house when I was in like 6th grade and we had steak. I sat there feeling like a tool because I couldn't even cut my food. I was in shock that it wasn't presented to me already nicely cut up and ready to eat. When I asked them to do it, they laughed at me a little.


I was spoiled rotten. But then again, she died when I was 16, so that was over right then.


I've created the same lifestyle for my kids. Some of them don't even know how to hang clothing on a hanger.  I won't name names, but that came back to haunt him, the same way the steak thing haunted me.  Embarrassing.


I am not going to Bob bash (yet) but he also set up no rules for the kids to help out around the house.  And if I tried to set up these rules, he would never back me up.  Order has never been important to him.  It is extremely important to me, but I didn't have the energy or the time to make it happen.  I didn't have a family who even cared a little.  Like I said, I am an unorganized perfectionist.  If I can't have it perfect, I won't try.


Now, I don't plan on being that mom who spends ALL of her time cleaning the house.  Because for one thing, I hate cleaning.  And I want to do fun things too.  But I aim to get this place into shape. A place for everything.


Since Bob has been gone, (it will be one week tomorrow) I have had my many moments of tears in front of the kids.  We have cried together.  They see my emotion and as much as I am trying to act normal, they are old enough to tell that I have some stress.


I have asked these boys for years to PLEASE not kick their shoes off at the bottom of the stairs and run up, as this picture shows here.




This is how my front entry way has looked for as long as my kids could take off their own shoes.  I have complained about this and even fallen a few times as I have tripped over these shoes.  No one cared.  No one.  Bob never said a word about it either.  I have been the only person who has been stressed out and bitched about it. 


I told them this week, that I would really appreciate it if they would start putting them in the closet. That I really needed them to step up and help me around here.  I also mentioned that I was going to start throwing them into the snow, and they could find them themselves.  


For the past two days, my kids have been putting their shoes here, like this.  Every time they walk into the house.  




I have expressed how grateful I am to them for this, and how proud I am that they are helping me.  They are taking turns taking out the garbage, and my daughter folded and put away about five loads of laundry yesterday, without being asked.  She also often does the dishes.


These are small things that make a big difference.


This might be a normal thing for most people in their homes, but it isn't normal for me.  What this shows me is that my kids love and respect this situation enough to step up to the plate, and help out as a family.  They WANT to help me.  They can see I am having a hard time, and they are helping me through it.  I am helping them through it too.  That is what families do.  


This has been a tough week for us.  And there are going to be many tough weeks ahead of us.  But I have great kids.  They are smart, empathetic, caring and awesome.  It makes this so much easier to know that together, we will get through this.  









Betsey DeGree

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