I soldier on. When something needs doing, I find a way to do it. I learned not to ask my ES for help, because he just…wouldn’t. Even when other people would offer help, I wouldn’t accept it. I was hell-bent on doing everything myself. I thought it made me strong. Competent. Admirable. (And, unflatteringly, there’s quite a bit of ego involved — look how much I can do!) Really, it just made me tired.
After ES moved out, my parents offered to help me with whatever I needed. I just didn’t know what I needed. So they helped fix things around the house, helped teach kid #1 to drive, and helped find him a car of his own. It was such a relief to have back-up.
Last week, I finally decided on the paint color for the downstairs bedroom (previously the computer room/man cave/dungeon of doom). I bought the paint and made a plan. Kid #3 offered to help me tape off the edges and trim. I groaned internally, kid help being generally not very helpful, but told her what she could do. We got the taping done (well done, even) in less than 20 minutes. Usually takes me an hour.
Then we were ready to starting cutting in with brushes and paint. Kid #3 was still hanging in, eager to help. So I set her up and we went to it. She didn’t enjoy cutting in, but we got it all done in maybe an hour. Kid #2 appeared and asked to help. Luckily, I had plenty of paint rollers, so we all got rollering. Ya’ll, that room was completely painted in about an hour! I went back and touched up some spots, took down the tape, and folded up the drop cloths. The entire project took four hours. On my own, it would’ve been a two-day bitchfest.
So. Yeah, I can try to do everything, all by myself, all the time. Or I can ask for help occasionally, which turns out to be relatively painless. Lesson learned.
(Big Little Wolf wrote eloquently about this here.)