The week Mom moved in was busy as you can imagine. Cleaning her old apartment, getting her new room at my house ready. I could see how hard this was on her. She’s still young, but here she is moving in with her daughter. She still works, but here she is moving in with her daughter. She is still independent, but here she is moving in with her daughter. I could see it written all over her face. She was giving up so much. And, there was little I could do, but reassure her that she was more than wanted in our home even though I knew deep down this was not the core, central issue to her struggle.
The day we added her kitchen stuff to our kitchen stuff was a day full of lessons. First, as all my family knows well, I am a BIT of a control freak. Just a little… So, for me I just wanted everyone to get out of my way and let me do it my way. Well, that isn’t a solution. There were three adults that needed to be able to use that kitchen effectively. There was J who was watching all of the hoopla and trying to make his own suggestions as his control freak wife was going behind him moving everything he had put up. He muttered, “I’ll just wait until you both leave and then move everything back to the way I want it.” He was our passive aggressive participant. And, then there was Mom probably wondering what the heck she got herself into and making suggestions about flow since she likes to bake. She was also taking it all in, and now as I reflect on it, probably wondering where she fits in with all this action and how much she should speak up with her own opinions. Oh, and we had the Munchkin dying to help and Pup-Pup underfoot. As Munchkin would say, “It was cray-cray.”
But, it was just a small test of the adjustments we were going to need to make. I am going to need to dial down my control freak nature. I’m going to need to share decision making in many areas that have been exclusively mine for 13 years. J is just going to need to go with the flow and listen to me the first time. Just kidding—hee hee. On a serious note, being passive aggressive isn’t going to get any of us any closer to living together without wanting to commit a crime. And Mom, she is going to have to figure out her new role in the house, but also assert her needs as the house is very much hers as it is ours.
All of this goes back to my first paragraph. As a family, we are still young so we can be taught new tricks and learn to live together. All three of us are independent but are living together and need to be mindful of how our decisions affect everyone else. Finally, we all work hard and contribute to the running of the household and each person needs their contribution valued.
Is this all Pollyanna? Ha! Nope. Just ask J who still has a coronary every morning as he opens the fridge and sees a half empty can of Pup-Pup’s food. Or, the first night when Munchkin and Mom got their showers/baths first and I ended up with a cold one because I didn’t think about the amount of hot water used. I was a little irritated in that shower. I bet if I asked Mom she would have a list a mile long of things we’ve done to irritate her just in our short time together (i.e. J’s constant comments that he is going to let Pup-Pup run away or take her to the pound). Yes, we all have a lot of work to do and it won’t be perfect. More than likely it will still resemble a three ring circus. But, it will be our circus and that makes it Pollyanna in our own little way.
So, at least I learned a lot from our kitchen experience that day. I’m sure the rest of my family is just still recovering from Dictator Dr. Sociologist.