I know it’s been almost a year since my last post and if you read my last post, I can only hope you understand why it has been almost a year. My life has changed so much in the last 12 months. I’ve been living in my late uncle’s home for exactly a year now. I have managed to get the land cleaned up and manageable again, got all of my cabinets painted, the house painted, and even started putting my own twist on decorating the house. Its been hard to look at this house as anything more than my uncle’s home but its come a long way on the road to being my home and my children’s home. I still have a long way to go but its definitely coming together.
I think that it’s been just as hard, if not harder, for my grandmother to see this house as my family’s home since this was her youngest child’s home until his passing. If ever there was a “golden child”, it was my uncle. He could do no wrong in my grandmother’s eyes and that’s ok. Being a mother of multiple children myself, I understand the different bonds between a mother and each of her children and how that bond is different with each child.
My uncle had no children. I have no siblings. So that makes me the only grandchild to my grandmother. That was pretty cool when I was growing up. I was spoiled and doted on by her. I was the only grandchild and I was a little girl. How could she not spoil me right?
Well, now that I’m grown and I have grown up responsibilities, being the only grandchild who happens to be a girl pretty much sucks! It literally feels like I can’t win for losing with my entire family. I swear my grandma thinks I’m completely helpless because I’m a girl. Um…really? Can we take a step out of the 1950’s and join the rest of the world in 2018 please? I get it that a woman’s role was a little different when she was coming up than it is nowadays.
In my grandma’s day, women didn’t maintain two acres of land on their own. They didn’t fix things that broke in the home, such as septic systems, appliances, etc. They dang sure didn’t install appliances in their home or paint their home. They didn’t maintain the house. They ran the house so to speak. They raised their children. They fed their family, made sure their family had clean clothes, etc. The day to day stuff to keep the family functioning properly.
In some ways, not much has really changed from her day to now. Woman still make sure their house runs smoothly in the day to day life stuff. We still raise our children and make sure our family is taken care of. But it is different now. Today the divorce rate is so much higher than it was back when my grandmother was raising her family. Single parent homes was not as common as it is now. Today women are raising children, working a full time job and possibly even an additional part time job. We are fixing broken faucets in our house, changing the oil in our own cars, maintaining our own yards. We cook. We clean. We work. We do it all. And yet, we are still told that we can’t do stuff because we are girls. Excuse me?! Um.. what?!
I moved into my uncle’s house after his untimely passing. His two acres of land and his home were both a hot mess. Literally. He had trees that he cut down that laid where they fell for so long they were starting to decompose. He has so much crap piled up around his shed and the inside was even worse. The house, on my God the house was ridiculous. He tried to get it caught up and manageable but God bless it was a nightmare to even figure out what to start on first. I had a little help from my father and step father on the land itself. My dad would come out for a couple hours and help me with mowing and trimming tree branches. I spent countless hours burning trees and limbs and leaves and whatever else I could throw in the fire. It took all freaking summer and part of the way through winter to get all the dead trees burnt off. But I did it. My dad cleaned out the shed and around it only because he wanted some of my uncle’s tools. I have sprayed so much Spectracide on poison ivy/oak/sumac and plants that “look suspicious” that I feel like I should be part owner in their product. The septic system is fixed. My dad did the work but I helped him with it. I have been the one maintaining the yards. I have a working dishwasher again. My dryer broke…I fixed it by myself. I painted the cabinets. I fixed the sheetrock damage. I painted the entire house. I have cleaned this house and treated the window sills that may or may not have had mold damage around them. I did that all by myself. I did all of this while working full time and raising three kids on my own.
So here’s my question: why is that my grandmother knows that I’m capable of doing all of this stuff on my own but she still tells me that I can’t because I’m a girl? Why is her first answer “Wait for your daddy to come out and he’ll take care of that” to everything that still needs to be done? Why is it that no matter what I do, she still thinks I’m helpless? Why do I need to wait on my dad, who, mind you, is in horrible health, to come out here (an hour drive from his house) to do something that I’m perfectly capable of doing myself? And why would he want to come out here and start on anything when she’s going to tell him to stop because he’s going to wear himself out? Why can’t she see me for a strong independent woman who can handle these things and just just a helpless little girl who needs someone to come rescue her?
I can’t be the only girl that has this issue, can I? I love my family, don’t misunderstand me. I just want them to recognize the fact that I am not helpless. Is that asking too much? Am I making too much out of this?