Say what?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I've been signing into my Blog all week, creating a new post and then nothing. I see the white box just waiting for my words to fill it in. So much I want to say, so much has happened since I last posted. A part of me doesn't have the energy. I know I can't write brief quick entries. I like detail. I need detail. I have a lot I need to write. I'm holding it all inside. But it's going to be l-o-n-g. You've been warned. I hope you stick with me and stick around. One day I'll get this regular blog posting thing down.

Okay now that that's out of the way I have a problem. It's self imposed I will admit. But, still a problem. I'm a single mom of two children (in case you're just finding my blog) and I work full time. When I come home I make dinner, unload and reload the dishwasher, usually tackle some laundry and the list goes on. I always say my real job starts once I get home. My kids are old enough to help out around the house. I don't ask make them do very much. Their dad started giving them allowance twice a month. I in turn added some chores like cleaning their room, cleaning their bathroom and putting their dishes in the dishwasher.

The Z-Man gives me shit ALL THE TIME when I ask him to do anything. The Princess is still of the age where she loves to help. Once I get home I'm tired. I just want stuff done and quickly. I usually end up shooing them away and tackling everything on my own. Then I get a major attitude and crack open the wine bottle.

My love and I had a serious talk because she's of the opinion the kids should be doing a lot more around the house. I agreed but also pointed out that I suck at consistency. I told her I would pick one or two things that I can have them do every day and build a habit. For me and for the kids.

Fast forward to this past Monday. We came home and got settled. I asked the kids to unload the dishwasher while I started dinner. A lot of moaning and bitching ensued but they did it. Fast! Tuesday, same deal. A bit less bitching and add in some deep sighs.

Then tonight, I told them to wash their hands and unload the dishwasher. The Z-Man threw a fit. The Princess started the job singing Jingle Bells. I was in the kitchen with them starting dinner. My son is still alive after this conversation:

Z-Man - I don't want to do this again.

Me - Too bad, so sad buddy. I can't cook dinner in a dirty kitchen.

Z - But we already did this yesterday.

M - Yes you are correct. It has to be done every day.

Z - Well I don't want to do this every day!

M - Me neither. I work all day then come home and have to cook dinner, clean, do laundry, pack lunches etc... The least you can do is help out the family and unload the dishwasher. When you and your sister do it together as a team, it gets done in under 5 minutes.

Z - Why do I have to do this? It's your YOUR job.


Z - Well do I get paid for doing this?

M - Your dad gives you allowance whenever he sees you and you do nothing around the house to benefit our family. If you want the allowance, you do the chores. This is now one of them. EVERY DAY! (remember, I suck at the consistency thing so the chores I mentioned above don't always happen)

Z - Silence

Honestly, I wanted to smack him. I couldn't believe he made such a sexist remark. Am I raising a sexist pre-teen boy who thinks a woman should cook and clean for him. The answer seems to be yes! How do I change this? How do I make him grateful for what he has? How do I teach him to be humble, appreciative, helpful, learn empathy and sympathy? He is so into himself and in his head. Into his video games, and phone.

I'm failing him and while I'm angry he made that statement, I'm more angry at myself for letting it get this far. My eyes are open and my mind alert. How can I make this better?


6 Responses to “Say what?”
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oh my lady... breathe... count... 1... 2... 3... breathe... phew... this is a tough one and since your tweet asked for comments, here i am. :)

one word: boundaries. i did not learn the lesson, the great and infinite wisdom of setting my own boundaries, knowing and respecting other's boundaries until i was a 22 year old, working nonprofit.

boundaries, in my opinion need to be set. some soul searching on your part, deciding what's ok, what's not ok... and then making him aware of your boundaries.

especially, in my experience with men, they are a much more black or white, logical and unemotional creature... there is no gray area with them let alone heated emotion involved.

establish your boundaries. soul search... set them and stick with them.

class dismissed. namaste my friend. :)

I totally agree Nic. I need to figure out what is and is not okay or acceptable. Figure it out and stick with them. Well said.

11 year old boys are interesting creatures.

I think you hold the answer to your own question. Consistency. Once it's a pattern of this is what's done and we all pitch in, things will change. There might still be some bitching from both sides, cause let's face it..housework is work..and it really sucks.

Crap! My son will be 11, in a few months, so I know that attitude. I don't know what to do to change his attitude, other than what you are doing. Chores are chores. There are no genders attached, only responsibility. Everyone has responsibilities...I'm sure that his statement had more to do with kid/adult roles than male/female roles. But as a functioning member of a family, he has to help provide. A family meeting to tackle THAT issue might help. He has a strong, capable, amazing mama. He WILL grow up to respect those qualities in women. I am confident of that.

gawh... they are tough, woman!!! i taught middle school english for 3 years and lordalmighty i wanted to pummel them. i feel you. i do. though speaking from a teacher's perspective, and not a mom's... they knew my boundaries. i made them known. if they crossed them... they needed to run and hide, cuz they knew i'd call their mama and then their ass would get a whoopin!!! LOL

I don't know, I haven't gotten to that part yet. My knee jerk reaction would be "take away the phone and video games".

I'm gonna be a huge bitch when my kid is 11, aren't I?

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