What is it about being a mom that makes us want to be self-sufficient and independent in every aspect and not ask for help?
My independence is crucial to my mental health.
There are times however when help is desired, or required. During illness, injury or maybe a broken car for example. We all know what it’s like to be pulled into different directions at the same time and having to rise above somehow.
Being able to control one’s schedule or plan, having all the ducks in a row so to speak, this is how I function. Waiting for others to contribute without instruction or direction doesn’t always work out in the desired outcome. Intuition plays a part here. Understanding habitual behaviour, especially about others, is important, as is knowing another person well and understanding their thinking, their limitations. It comes down to one crucial element in relationships:
In my experience, adequate communication is key to averting, or preventing chaos. 😉
For some of us, depending on others is uncomfortable. Accepting help when time is of the essence, or waiting for someone else to show up, is almost unbearable for me. There’s a trust issue here…as well as a realization that external factors could, or will, influence in some way that may impact an end result.
Some people are more dependable than others…right? (Moms are better at this in my experience, be it my own mom or a friend who is also a mom…)
Depending on others to get somewhere on time has not always worked out for me. Never mind all the uncontrollable factors…I know my family, and some of them are time-challenged. I try hard to avoid planning with them, would rather just meet them there.
“I’ll see you there,” I tell them. “I gotta pick up x at y anyway, it’ll be easier to just meet at location.”
This is better for my emotional health.
Commentary like “why can’t you go with the flow more” or “you have to learn how to adjust your expectations sometimes” are not exactly helpful either. I mean, arriving late at a show, an appointment or a kid’s event impacts others to a degree that is uncomfortable for me. Especially because these things are almost always preventable. Arriving late at a party or some other drop-in event is something completely different (and doesn’t stress me out like it would in the other situations).
Then there’s the communication factor. With all the instant messaging available at everyone’s finger tips these days I reject the excuse that there wasn’t time to call or text. Give me a break. Most people are glued to their phones 24/7 – not taking 30 seconds to inform someone of an impending delay does not wash with me.
This was all percolating through my brain over the last few days. I’ve been semi-incapacitated and more dependent than usual. This is something my fierce independent streak is not comfortable with. But…it is what it is until at least my range of motion in my neck is back.
I hope I don’t let anger and frustration get the better of me until then.
With all this preamble I now invite you to read my little anecdote below. In fact, this is the second thing that happened last week that increased my level of frustration. I hope there’s end in sight soon before I lose my mind.
I’ll spare you the first one… 😜 (You can thank me later.)
I had an appointment for 3:15 on Thursday. My husband made it for me the day prior. It was to get my sore neck situation checked out. I was going to ask for an X-ray, and maybe some anti-inflammatory meds.
About 45 minutes prior to my appointment I sent my partner a text. He finished teaching at 1:30 and he wasn’t home yet. Even with traffic, it shouldn’t take that long to get home.
I started to get a little ticked off. It takes about 20 min to get to the doctor’s office from home. Why can’t he have texted me before leaving the parking lot to let me know he’s on his way? It takes 30 seconds to send a text.
I sent him another text. Maybe he forgot the appointment he made for me…
I was sitting on the couch fretting. I don’t do late, I get very anxious. Something to do with my Swiss upbringing maybe…
My van was parked on the driveway in its usual spot. Maybe I could try and drive myself, despite not being able to turn my head left. Or right for that matter.
Just thinking about backing out made me shudder. That’s gonna be painful. Plus the street was full of parked cars, probably college students, or staff.
We live next door to a college. Not my husband’s college unfortunately. His is an hour north-east of home.
Anyway, thinking about backing out into a narrow space between a pickup truck and an SUV parked on either side of my driveway, while my head is locked into the forward position, created a whole other level of stress for me.
Better not risk it.
While waiting for a sign of life from my partner I moved myself out onto the front porch. If he pulls in we can leave immediately.
I sat on the steps.
Minutes pass by and I realized I have to pee.
Still nothing on my phone.
I leave another text and return to my front steps.
It suddenly got chilly.
I go back in and put on a fleece jacket.
It’s now 2:55. The appointment is in 20 minutes.
I leave a voicemail for the husband to call and cancel the appointment.
“Pull over first,” I add in.
Whatever. If he’s driving he’s not getting my messages.
Frustrated I go back in and sit on the couch again.
Finally, the phone beeps.
‘Traffic’ it says.
Still doesn’t explain why there wasn’t any communication earlier. Did he expect me to drive myself? Even after he drove me to the chiropractor the other day when I explained about how stiff I was?
He knows how incapacitated I’ve been in the past few days.
Sometimes I don’t understand men.
By now, it’s too late to make the appointment on time. And I hear some squeaky voices outside.
I peek out the window and there are four little girls in my birch tree.
What the… ?
I scan the colourful knapsacks scattered on the front lawn and recognize one of them.
Ah, my girl child is home with her posse. 😉
I swallow my anger and wait some more. I keep thinking, if he had let me know just before leaving, I’d at least have had a frame of time to anticipate his arrival. I mean, I drive in this city too, I know what a battle it can be out there.
But I was sitting at home blind. I didn’t even know if he forgot, or was detained at work.
Finally he pulls in about 3:35. 20 minutes past my appointment time.
“Traffic was nuts,” is all he said.
“Why didn’t you text me as you were leaving? I didn’t know if you were late or forgot completely.”
He thought he did.
I’m disappointed that I have to wait another day to get a diagnosis and maybe some good drugs to numb the pain.
The sooner my neck situation gets sorted out, the sooner I can stop being dependent on others. I really do not enjoy this dependence thing.
In the meantime, a new appointment was made for Friday at 1:15, and he’s working from home that day. No excuse to not drive me on time…and the end of season baseball party in another town for which we have to battle through rush hour traffic? That departure time has also been announced and will, hopefully, be respected.
We’re part of the coaching team, we don’t wanna be late for that event either.
And just to add another little wrinkle into the day, the fridge repair guy is delayed. Baby kept him up all night…
I remember those days, but if he’s not done by the time we have to leave for my appointment, I’m kicking him out.
Your turn: are you a damsel in distress happy to allow everyone to help you out, or are you the take-charge type who expects people to follow through, and communicate? Or is there an in-between way of handing things? Do share your views. 🙂