Tag Archives: housework

Damage Control, Autism and step children

I’m being made to feel grumpy, and I don’t want to be. Every other weekend we have my partners autistic son to stay. I brace for impact, he’s very loving which I’m thankful for and can be great fun. However the physical stress is quite demanding, I find myself hovering constantly trying to initiate damage control.


We work hard on getting him to do things for himself, poor a glass of juice for breakfast seems a simple task but in reality this means when he takes the carton out of the fridge other things just fall out. That he chooses a pint glass and fills it to the brim overflowing – waste and mess. The lid is then just lost. It costs me so much energy to manage each simple task. I can’t afford to waste a pint of juice, that I end up fighting the urge to do everything for him or becoming a tired nag.


It’s hard making constant judgements on whether this is his condition or is he just being thoughtless and lazy.


However I’m determined not to raise a child that expects to be waited on hand and foot when I know he is capable. I did a simple test to check what he could do, I bought him an app game he really wanted and said if I find poo covered boxers on his bedroom floor and not in the wash basket again the app would be deleted. For 6 months now the boxers have made it to the wash basket. So I’m being tougher on the other stuff and I’m coming across all nasty. Yes I need to talk to his dad about it, we do, but he suffers divorced dad guilt and like so many dads who go through divorce are completely in their kids hands.

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The narcisist and the bad stew

Four years ago tonight I made a bad stew…

The next morning my husband of 25 years said he couldn’t do this anymore and left. After a few months apart, with him insisting there was no one else and he just needed time but he wasn’t sure how much. Could be years, he just wanted me to wait with no answer. I had a relate session booked and after at first refusing in the last second he showed up and brought out from his pocket a list of my failings. Top of the list was the bad stew, along with my choice of TV programs like House. That I dressed like a builder (I was a builder), and just wasn’t perfect and other things along that vain. After the session we had a coffee and he told me how the session was really good and that the councillor was on his side.

Still insisting there was no one else it was not until 8 months later I found out from a third party (her husband) he had been seeing someone for some time and the stew was the contrived excuse to get away. Then it took me years to work out the narcissist co-dependent relationship we had was in fact what had been going on.

After several relate sessions the councillor did level with me and said reluctantly that I was a doormat – quite harsh words for a councillor but totally right. She saw what I couldn’t at the time. When you are in it you just don’t believe it, it’s ‘love’ and you’re just not working hard enough to deserve it. My unhappiness I felt was my fault and my failing to cook the perfect stew and keep the perfect house, get the perfect job, with the perfect family and pets was all my failing, that he was off shagging who liked was also my fault – that’s what they say isn’t it? Codependents are martyrs who blame themselves, and Narcissists just encourage that.

Four years on I still struggle with trying to please and feel very immature emotionally, but it’s getting better the more I learn.

Being a good guest as Christmas approaches

Being a good guest as Christmas approaches

I love it when family and friends come to stay for a few days, though sometimes I’m embarrassed to say it’s better when they leave. Why are some people such terrible guests? I thought I’d write some tips, and hope you add your own.

  1. Tell your host when you will arrive as precisely as you can, so they don’t wait in or stay up til midnight.
  2. Tell your host when you will leave – why is this always left open? We need to plan meals and have our own life to live.
  3. Let them know as kindly as you can what meals you need, arriving at 3pm or 8pm hungry is frustrating.
  4. Any special diet?
  5. If your host offers their bed while they sleep in the garage refuse! They are doing all the hard work, let them at least sleep well. Insist.
  6. Bring gifts, you are getting free bed and board for a few nights, it’s at least doubled your hostesses weekly shop. Don’t be mean.
  7. If your hostess is manhandling the Christmas tree out of the house with one hand and has a chainsaw in the other, trying to chop a few inches off. Just wait a moment before asking her about something trivial.
  8. If your hostess tells you the plans for the day, don’t just stand up as one event starts and say you are off for a walk and give no return time so all the family has to wait.
  9. Come to meals when called, don’t finish War and Peace first. The meal will be cold and ruined for all.
  10. Try not to use every dish in the kitchen to make a cup of tea.
  11. Offer others a tea when you make one yourself.
  12. Take cups back to the kitchen.
  13. If you need wardrobe space don’t throw your hostesses clothes on the floor to hang yours up, just ask.
  14. If you go through their bedroom cupboards you will find things you wish you hadn’t. Give them a bit of privacy.
  15. If the pets are ill or even if they are well don’t feed them, they will get fed twice by mistake and maybe on special diets. Don’t give them chocolate or any human food.
  16. Pets often get upset with strangers in the house, don’t complain if the cat poohs in the corner, I’m sure your hostess knows and is rushing around taking care of everyone and will get around to clearing it up.
  17. If possible don’t block the drive with your car, if you have to, leave your keys out so it can be moved if you are out/asleep/indisposed.
  18. If your hostess has builders in, try to reschedule, it’s hard enough with builders, but guests too.
  19. Offer to go out for a meal or two but if your hostess has a plan don’t force it.
  20. Wash up.
  21. If there are children about don’t watch something dry on tv and complain that the children can’t sit still, put on the kids stuff and read the paper.
  22. Remember kids need exercise, get them out side each day.
  23. If you can’t live without Corry or eastenders, tape it and watch it at home.

Any more?

Why are men bastards

Why are men bastards?

I saw a play last night about a couple starting out together, he explained that before they kissed and although he really liked her, he didn’t want commitment. The perception being that women want commitment and men are commitment phobic – bastards who love and leave.

This got me thinking why do women want commitment (speaking generally here). There was a time post divorce when I really didn’t want commitment but now in a loving relationship I do (telling two words!).

I think it’s because women biologically and often financially often subjugate themselves to men. We physically commit to altering our bodies to have children, we often give up our careers to be a homemaker or reduce to part time hours to run children’s and husbands lives. If we are giving up that chance of independent success surely a little commitment is not a lot to ask? It’s usually the woman that gets the kids post break up so they are making themselves incredibly vulnerable.

I can’t help myself as I decorate my boyfriends house to let out in the future or typeset his book, my love expresses itself in trying to help him, so of course if he walked out tomorrow or was unfaithful he would be a bastard, just as a client who did not pay a bill would be. But we have no commitment, I’m taking a gamble, a risk that we have a future together, it’s too early to say ‘I do’ and honestly I may never say it again after last time. Last time I jumped in both feet, now I keep a toe on firm ground. I still think I can commit, but will always have a plan for self preservation.

The commitment part in a relationship is perhaps less about love and more about business, yet it is seen as some sort of emotional blackmail. What should commitment phobic men do? I guess not have a relationship, don’t let a woman help you in all the little ways you do in a relationship with someone, be up front about it. Take precautions against pregnancy, don’t enjoy a nice dinner, a lift to the garage, someone moping your brow when you are ill, dinners cooked for family and friends, housework done for you, your life made easier in so many ways. Don’t let anyone in your life. But if you do, understand you can’t just take, or you really will be a bastard.

Ffriends that have it all

Friends that have it all

I went to a party last night – a house warming. Everything was perfection, all beautiful,all  immaculate and everything in its place and yes I had a tour of the whole house and there was not a hair out of place. I am happy for my friend to live in such perfection but I wake up with a slight hangover and feeling of failure to see in my hallway 4 sets of mud crusted clothes and mud soaked boots and gloves dripping onto my un immaculate floor.

We had a great time off road motor cycling but is it worth a day of washing and limping with bruises and muscle strain. I also need to hoover the car seats as they were crusted equally with the mud. The kitchen has every surface covered with plates, cups and glasses as my family fed themselves last night and the remains are left for me to deal with. But even if I clean that up my surfaces still seem full of things that don’t fit in the cupboards – extra large economy packs of cereal, the colonder doesn’t have a home as it’s too big, the meat slicer as I refuse to pay £5 for three slices of ham so cook my own, won’t fit in a cupboard. That bit of plastic for the thingymagig that I need to mend hovers by fruit bowl the kids made when they were little. The bins are full where my friends seemed to magically empty themselves. The dog doesn’t stop malting and smelling a bit cheesy. The school project – build an instrument litters the house – at least I talked him down from building a piano, which is a bit of an ask for a 9 year old to a guitar.

I question how I am unable to cope with all the basic housework duties while she runs a business and surrounds herself in perfection. Where do these perfect people put all that stuff? Do they get go out and get muddy.  Is it just that I am relative to her, poor. Economies cost, you buy in bulk and have to store stuff in a home that’s smaller anyway? 

Have all the guests gone home feeling the huge weight of inadequacy or just me?