I wouldn’t say I’m particularly selfish when it comes to things. I have no problem sharing what I have. But when it comes to doing things… now that’s a different story.
Today’s experiment: share responsibilities.
We have one heck of a day ahead of us. Our just-turned eight-year-old is having an anything-but-simple birthday party that starts in the afternoon with a tea party and ends sometime tomorrow morning with a pancake breakfast. Eight little eight-year-olds for almost 24 hours….
On top of that, our oldest has a team function tonight, and I’ve committed to making a six pound pot of chile verde. In a few minutes, I will be browning batch after batch of meat and cutting tomatillos, preparing them for their long, slow cook.
Oh, and I stayed up way too late last night doing really important stuff (such as, ehem, returning the Broken Star of Azura to its temple) so I’m tired and prone to being irritable.
It’s going to be super-important for me to recognize that today is going to be complicated, and pretty much all of those complications are a result of my own actions or plans that I was complicit in making.
So the solution: take every opportunity to share the burden, rather than do what I would normally default to attempting, namely: try to do it all.
It started this morning with staying in bed a little longer than usual and letting my wife get the day started for the kids on her own. Yes, I actually felt guilty–felt that I had to get up. I literally forced myself to get an extra half hour of sleep while my wife made coffee for us and breakfast for the kids. I know, I know… real monumental stuff here, right?
The cooking will be primarily my responsibility, but I have two (out of three) kids who like cooking with me. Perhaps I can find myself a sous-chef along the way.
I’m not sure what other opportunities today will hold, but I will need to make a conscious effort to do my share… and to let others do theirs as well. And, of course: thank each of them for their much needed help.
The truth is, at home and at work, I am surrounded by highly competent people. So why, then, do I default to this assumption that I need to do it all? Remember my short list of daily motivations? Yeah, I’m pretty sure it’s one of those, or some combination of all four.
So: another simple action that won’t be easy….
And wish me luck surviving a house-load of eight-year olds!
I and control freaks everywhere feel your pain!
And good luck with the 8 year olds. Remember that it’s not too late to leave town and hire someone as your daughter suggested. That might be the ultimate share!
Words of wisdom, for sure!
Good on you for doing all those things for your children!
I often don’t share the load as I find I already know what I’m doing so I don’t want to take longer having to teach someone, however this is probably not helping me or my children!
Hope the 8 year olds were kind to you 🙂
Interestingly enough: when I thanked my middle child (our most emotionally insightful child, to be honest) for helping me so much throughout the day, he answered “Well of course, poppa, it’s because you’re asking for help for a change!”
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