Here We Go, Here We Go, Now

Never a dull moment.

When Comcast came to hook up our services, on Sunday, we immediately ran into problems. Mom was still using the phone number we were supposed to start using at the house. I called her to see if she could switch to using her cell phone at that point, so we could activate the number. She said no, the movers were going to call her on that number the next morning. So the Comcast guy didn’t activate our phone service at the house— he set up a service call for yesterday. But he set up cable and Internet, according to our order. Her phone service at the apartment stopped working right around then anyway, and she ended up having to use her cell phone during the move.

After the service call yesterday, I was concerned. The second technician gave us new cable equipment— extra boxes, nicer boxes, among other things.

I just tried to call mom to see about getting a phone number for a handyman that was in my paperwork from closing. I asked her if she’d get the number and either she could call them or I could call them. The number we’re supposed to have at the house doesn’t work, so I called her cell phone.

Unsurprisingly, she gave me the numbers so that I could call the handyman. I mentioned that Comcast needed to be called so they can switch the number we have to the number we’re supposed to have, and pick up their upgraded equipment, because we will be charged for that— it’s not what we ordered or agreed to. She got angry and said she hated talking to them. I explained that everyone hates talking to them. She said she didn’t want to call them and sound stupid, because she didn’t know what we ordered (except that she’s the one who ordered it in the first place.) I said it was fine, I could call them, but that she would need to call the handyman. We need to divide and conquer, I told her.

I think she’s been hoping that I’d just do everything. When it comes time for dinner, no matter if I’ve been working all day and then mowing the lawn for the last three hours, I have to specifically ask her to start dinner. When someone has to be called, I call them. When I tell her that someone’s coming to do something to/for the house, she acts like she’s doing me some kind of favor. At the end of dinner, plates make it to the sink but don’t get washed or put in the dishwasher.

In one of the previous situations in which she lived with a sibling, I think this was more the arrangement— that she was like a long-term guest, who was more or less waited on. I have tried to be clear with her for the past five years and throughout the homebuying process that I wasn’t going to be making decisions for her or taking on responsibility that belonged to her. I think it’s coming home to her that I expect her to do things, but I think it’s also going to be a process of testing my boundaries— “If I just go limp, how much of this will she do?” My goal is roughly half (realistically 60-40), while she’s capable. Pray that I have the strength to enforce that little bit of wishful thinking.


5 thoughts on “Here We Go, Here We Go, Now

  1. Patience, patience, patience ……… and trying to understand her perspective allowing for her age, is probably going to be the key to your sanity. Of course it helps if you have a “temporary escape” plan during which you have time to yourself. Some place to hide with a bottle of Scotch and a few ice cubes! πŸ™‚

    • Thanks! I took a long walk with the dog last night, to help calm myself after the incident with the Comcast guy. I have a space in the house that will be a bit of a retreat for me, once it’s set up (that’s at least a few days out still.) She called and apologized for snapping at me this morning and admitted that she’s just adjusting to a situation that’s less familiar. I can definitely give her some space and time for that, but I’m likely to resist the “can’t you just do it?” thing.

      • Well it’s good that she recognized her behavior was not the best! It’s also good that you “stick to your guns” and insist on the whole sharing of responsibilities thing! πŸ™‚

  2. Oh yes, although I don’t live with my parents, I’m familiar with this. It sounds like you’re going to have to do your best to stand firm. It’s not like you’re asking her to take on 100% of the responsibility. πŸ™‚ Good luck!

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