Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Look at me! I'm Practicing Self Control!

So, I had this post all started in my minds eye...err...Notepad? Whateves.

It was going to be about how I was trying to be good and not flip out and kill everyone. It was mainly going to refer to my morning and how proud I was of myself for not having a melt down when the kids decided they didn't want the crappy, bland bran cereal that my mom gave me (most likely because she wouldn't eat it) that if I was being completely honest, if my digestive system didn't have a total freaking melt down when milk or milk substitute dared enter it's picky fortress, I wouldn't eat either, and instead wanted toast. I was good. I calmly said, even though I could feel the distress welling up in my soul and my eye begin to twitch, "Sure, you guys can have toast instead. Just, no more than two pieces each. We need to make the bread last". I've really been trying to, as Bee says, "Pick my battles"

It has nothing to do with the kids really. They are GREAT kids, whom, in the grand scheme of things, are super well behaved and honestly, I couldn't ask for better. If they WERE any better, it would be creepy. Like, in those scary movies where the "good" kid is actually the mass murdering, children-of-the-corn, type. It all makes me shudder. Anyway, what it is, is my need for control of the situation. I am about to admit something for the semi-first time. Publicly, anyway. To my Two readers....

I am a control freak. Yes. There it is. I'm shamed! SHAMED I SAY! I have to have control. Not over everything. In fact, I am laid back about most things....but when it comes to running my house, I am a control freak. Do you realize, I have three kids at home. THREE. They are 17, 10, and 7. They each have three chores, and two of them each can really only be done weekly. Granted, they are having a super hard time handling those three chores, but, the reason they don't have more is because I am not willing to relinquish the control of doing those jobs. "J" is completely capable of doing the laundry and mopping the floor, which would really give me some free time, but I refuse to allow it, because those are my jobs. I am a freaking loon. I know.

Back to the Cereal...I don't care that they didn't want it or like it. In fact, it's been sitting in my cupboard for a month (in air tight containers) and I have chosen to give them toast over it because I knew they wouldn't want it. I also don't care that "Little man" doesn't like sauce on his food, or that "J" didn't want a hot dog the other night, it's simply because I had a plan of how things were going to go in my head, and when the aforementioned things happened, it changed my plan ever so slightly, and I can't deal with change, oh-my-God-I can't handle it! Then, a melt down ensues...why am I like that? I am not sure. I never used to be.

Only thing I can think of is I want to be taken seriously as the female head of this household. Their mothers, as crazy and messed up as they are, will always be #1 in their eyes. I don't have any kids of my own who see me as the utmost authority figure (not that I need that, I just want to be taken seriously) so, I kind of feel like when I say something, no one is listening. When I think of female head of the house, I picture my mama. She was stern, yet funny, loving, and had everything under control. She took good care of us and had almost everything under control. She did it all. When you looked at our family, you knew who was in control. Up until recently, when the kids were asked (weather they knew I was listening or not) who I was by people outside our group of friends, the kids would say, "Oh, that's my dad's friend". Now, at least I am referred to as "my dad's girlfriend". I think my obsessive need to control all things in the house is my way of trying to exert my "Mama-ness". To "prove" I can be more than just "dad's girlfriend". But what I need to realize is I don't have to be so obsessive about it, I can allow others to help, I need to not be so quick to jump over everything that's not perfect, and more importantly, as Bee says, "go with the flow a little more baby" because as he says, "That's what having kids is all about". I'm working on it...

So, after all of 5 minutes passed, a total cereal induced meltdown was avoided and honestly, I was totally ok with them having toast and wasn't even twitching anymore. I think it's just that initial shock of not having that mapped out in my master breakfast plan.

The word ya'll looking for is Neurotic. Yes. Yes. I admit it.

We finished out the morning, all in good spirits and no one wanting to kill anyone else in the family. For me, that euphoric feeling lasted until three minutes after walking into the door at work.

Here's the skinny: My hours are officially listed as 8:30am-5:00pm. I've always been, at least in my single days, a stickler for being on time. so, when I first started working here, I was here every day at 8:15am. I noticed something after about 2 weeks. I was by myself, like literally only person here, besides my "supervisor" (I put that in quotes because while I work for her and she is my boss in the chain of command, she tells me to run everything by another person and totally and completely defers everything to said other lady, which just makes my boss useless in my eyes) until 8:55am most days. That included the Secretary who's job it is to come in by 8:30am, turn the phones on, and open up the front office. So, since I was here, it became my job to open the front office and answer phones until the Secretary wandered in at 9am.

This did not last long because I had a half hour drive and liked to sleep in, so I started getting here late. 8:45-8:50 was my usual time. However, now that the kids get on the bus so early, I find it silly to sit around and wait, so I am back to being here at 8:15am. Now, here's the thing about my job. We are salary. If you are NOT me, or the other three girls with jobs almost identical to mine, as long as you work a full day, you can have whatever hours you like. My "boss", comes in at 8am, so she leaves at 4:30pm. One guy comes in at 7:00am and leaves at 3:30pm. I have been told that our dress code is "Whatever you want, as long as it's appropriate to wear in public (ie: no pj bottoms, ripped clothes, too racy)" Yet, on a cold winter day, Another girl and myself can wear almost identical Jeans and Hoodies, and I will be told that I need to "dress up more" and that my outfit is not appropriate for the work place. Yet, hey, look at us! We're totally laid back here...you can wear whatever you want...as long as it's not this. Or this. This, or this. And oh yeah, This.

Today's gripe? Well, at the end of the day I am exhausted and want to go home. At 4:45 I will begin to finish up my work. By 4:50pm, I use the restroom (hey, I have a long drive home!) organize my desk for the next day, and gather my things. Between 4:55pm and 4:57pm I am walking out the door. Like Literally, walking away from my desk. My hours are until 5pm. Boss lady told my "boss" to inform me that I need to remember that my "hours are until 5pm, not 4:57pm." To that I say Really? REALLY?!?!.

Never mind the fact I am here, and WORKING at 8:15am. Answering phones, getting guests coffee who have 8:30am meetings, but like to be early. Dealing with the owner who's called 6 times already (he and I are kindred spirits...he's neurotic too!) And, sometimes, cutting my lunch short to deal with work and or work related issues and you are going to give me grief over 3-5 minutes?! Even when I spend 15-45 minutes covering everyone else's ass including hers, miss walk-in-at-anywhere-between-10:30-and-11:00am. Really?!?!?! Really. I don't mind playing the game, but you can't keep changing the rules, and more importantly, they need to be the same for everyone.

So, as you can see, our cereal meltdown avoidance lesson this morning was practice for the self control I was going to need when I got to work. It's going to be a long road, but I hope I'll manage. Like the captain in "Bad Boys II" says.... "Wooooo-saaaahhhh!"


Sarah said...

I feel your pain (or maybe share your neurosis, lol), Kitty. Life with kids=plans seldom going the way you expect them to go. Bee's "Pick your battles," and "Go with the flow," make for some pretty useful mantras at times. :)

Amander said...

I don't have kids or live with kids, but I think I would have the same issues as you!