So, in the last couple of weeks, I've figured out another pattern I 'inherited' from my parents.
Mom and step-dad in this case (step-dad #1).
My dad (they're all dad, sorry) was prone to considering his happiness before the wellbeing of others. I noticed this as a child, and it totally torqued me about him. He had some major fine points, but he was a work in progress, and some of those points were pretty challenging at the time (some still are, but ... well, I'm not a kid anymore). (My mom confirmed this for me, so I'm not just viewing it from the lens of childhood.)
This one pattern, though, snuck up on me. I didn't think I'd ever in a million years do exactly what he did. I put the kids' needs first all the freakin' time. I do. I have refused to repeat what he did that I hated, and don't repeat that intersection.
Only, um, when it is something that pissed off my mom, I end up right there - acting like dad.
Mainly this is housekeeping stuff - I've always sucked at it, which isn't surprising since my mom didn't know how to teach how to do daily maintenance stuff. I can crisis clean like a pro, and do deep cleaning stuff (scrubbing and me are old friends), because she taught that pretty well. Company clean, I can do in record time. This is a good skill to have, and I've got it. But the daily tasks weren't coached through in the same way, and toss in some other issues that landed me in therapy (which events coincided with cleaning my room), and add in that I discovered that if my room was a mess grownups were less likely to invade my space, and...
And add in that my dad believed firmly (back then) that if he worked at his job, his shift was done, and the other two shifts weren't his responsibility whatsoever.
I've learned a lot of skills since then, but there was always this tendency for my mind to want to wander off onto something fun for me, when I should be taking my second shift. Now, I do the second (and third) shifts every day, but there are odd hiccups in them, where I just don't see that I could have done something useful. I wander blithely past the opportunity staring me in the face, to go do something that feels good for me, but that doesn't fit the overall picture - despite the huge amounts of internal positive feedback I get from completing those tasks that I walked past. I've spent years trying to track down what the disconnect was. And there it is. As soon as I spotted it, I felt a huge upwelling of grief and anger and sorrow and loss and ... hmm, loneliness, too - no question that I love my dad, and having him be unavailable because he was 'done' was a deep pain for me. And gee, here I am recycling that issue on my kids. Great. Anyway, the huge emotional reaction is my cue that I've hit the jackpot on the issue. So, okay.
Now for the flip side...
Ep and I have worked out the agreement that since my skills are better suited to the big chunks of time work, I take the weekend mornings, and since he as an introvert seriously needs a recovery period at the end of the week he gets to start slow and easy on weekend mornings. My weekday mornings have a chunk daily for me, while he packs lunches and makes breakfast and cleans the kitchen and does the dishes. He has good skills for those, and no issues on those, either.
It seemed a perfect solution. I do the things I'm best at, he does the things he's best at, and we're both working, yes?
Except... My mom used to get really angry and frustrated when my step-dad would sit and read the newspaper while she was trying to catch up from the week of kids disassembling the house. So if I'm in 'catch-up' mode, I get really frustrated if everyone else isn't working like dogs. And worse if epeepunk is reading the newspaper. Again, the stuff that caused fights between my parents, I absorbed. BOTH SIDES. Gah!
So, lovely. I have both the 'get up and WORK, why are you just SITTING THERE?' frustrated rage fury hustle hustle hustle move don't play this is WORK time model, right alongside the 'I'm done I get to sit and please myself no matter what anyone else wants or needs no matter how genuine the need I need to relax I've done my part' resentment avoidance blind-eye ignore dodge model.
Ooh, just imagine the model I'm passing on to the kids.
So, start over again and again.
At least my parents left me with a model of 'if it isn't working, try something else' and 'self-discovery can change your life - and your children's lives' and 'some things are worth fighting for'.
Okay, time's up, time to get back to work.