Thursday, February 14, 2013
Why do I feel soooooo upset after speaking my mind?
We have been renovating our house since last June. There have been a few breaks in between where I have had a week or two of peace, where my home is mine again, no messes to tidy, no dangers for my kids. Im a bit of a spoiled brat, I know this- I am getting a fabulous, gorgeous kitchen and bootroom, plus storage below, and my house looks new on the outside. Its a lot to be thankful for, but it has also been hard to live through, especially given that last year I had reasons to just want to hole up in tranquility!
We had contractors working on the exterior and additions. One of them stayed on periodically to do finishing, as in he is builing my cabinets right now!
My father in law came up to help us a second time. He was supposed to be gone home a month, from the end of September. When Christmas came and went I thought maybe he wasn't coming back. He is meticulous about certain things- like where he left a tool four months ago"gee, I had to clean up that mess!" I say.
He is an interesting person- we can sit and talk philosophy, look up fossils, talk art, etc. Last night he came to tell me the Northern lights were spectacular, so we spent 15 oohing and ahhing! I love the guy. So do his grandkids:)
But that is not what this blog is about.
Its my handrails.
Its ridiculous to place months of frustrations into a little item like this, but here goes.
I spoke my mind today, and I feel terrible! And angry.
I will tell my father in law what I want. Then he decides to do exactly what I don't want.
I did not want 70"s style, solid wood blocked handrails. I voiced this to him. I told my husband. I mentioned again I wanted simple, rounded banisters. Easy to clean, you can buy them. Quick, simple. But no. After I told him again that is not what I wanted, he goes behind my back and talks to my husband, convincing him this is the best way. The next day I have solid birch planks temporarily attached to my wall.
Father in law loves woodwork. He has done a beautiful job bringing birch hardwood planks from home, planing them, topping an edge we have around the bootroom and on top of a pony wall, making a handmade railing. Its a labour of love, and I do appreciate his efforts. But it is my home and he needs to respect my choices. He doesnt. We've had similar arguments over a zillion different things.
I specifically said I did not want a groove for grubbiness to accumulate. Yet that is what I have- he ran lengths of pine against the wall to support this massive handrail. Earlier I had asked for smaller blocks spaced periodically if he absolutely had to do the big rail. He had sounded agreeable, like it could be done.
Today he tells me he cannot put the railing back up until the pine underneath is painted.
Im like "uh, ok". Great, I didn't realize he wasnt going to stain that pine too! He says we will want to cover it up. I seem grumpy. Now I am envisioning a white grubby spot. My husband is a heavy duty mechanic, and I have two preschool children and a teenager. I could spend all day every day cleaning!
I proceed to tell him we don't have the proper paint for that. He argues I must, then rifles through the paint collection. No, we dont.
He probes me on why I don't like the paint. I tell him! Grubby spot to clean! Now its white, instead of wood colored to boot. And then I say it- if he had attached the railing as I had asked, using small, solid pieces of wood drilled into the wall support, it would be less noticeable and easier to clean, but its done now so no helping it. We would have stubbed our fingers on them he says. Not if you put them down far enough, I say, and sanded them smooth! Argue argue argue.
Im just tired. Three days ago he said he was done. I was excited! No more dust to clean up! No more wood shavings!
He palm sanded IN MY HOUSE! At ten oclock at night when I was sick in bed with a cold and so were my kids, and at seven when we were still sleeping. At least my contractor leaves at 5pm! I woke up to inches of dust coating everything, my new kitchen, my livingroom, the floors, furniture, the storage rooms and all my beautiful shoes I had so lovingly arranged under the stairs:( I had just finished wiping everything free of drywall dust for the eighth time.
I asked how much more sanding he had to do. Done the wood, just a bit of drywall, shouldn`t be so bad. I said please let me know so I can put up a couple sheets of plastic over the storage rooms, so I dont have to clean off every item in there, or my shoes. Today, I cant even tell my black leather boots are black!
Anyways, I have ranted enough. I feel like I should be learning something about myself through living with my father in law. Right now, I feel so upset at having just said what I was thinking! Why can`t I just be a bitch once and awhile and get away with it. Why can't I speak my mind when I first see these things? Why do I always have to be nice? I feel immature when it comes to conflict. Why do I obsess like this afterwards? Its like I'm stuck on something in my personal growth.
Why do I let it bother me? I was having a positve day! Its Valentines, and if my poor DH can get off work at a decent hour, we may escape for dinner! Only now I feel consumed by my emotions. How would you have handled this, sparkfriends?
Member Comments About This Blog Post
I think your father in law AND your husband are very lucky you are such a peaceful loving person. I totally understand you cause I live with my mother who is the kind of person that needs to complicate her life and made our house in a construction site for about 4 years. you asked what we have had done(which I don't recommend you to do ) I would have had a huge fight with both father in law and probably husband , threw the father in law out at least for a while , use an axe on everything I didn't like and hire a totally stranger person to do exactly what I wanted .at least you know that next time when your father in law offers to help you to say "no thanks ". don't feel bad for speaking your mind you have all the right in the world and if I were you I would put the hubby to clean the handrails all the time. he may call his father to help
1862 days ago
I would have done as did you - you have a right to speak your mind and if it is about something that has upset you there is no reason not to let that show.. you are right it is your house and it should be done as you and your husband decide. Of course be open to suggestions but the final decision is still yours and needs to be respected. Sadly your father-in-law, in spite of his good intentions, doesn't respect your decisons.. that he's family only complicates things and it is a voluntary (I gather) labor of love that he is creating these things..
Don't beat yourself up... pat yourself on your back and congratulate yourself for speaking your mind and let it go.... you will do yourself more harm hanging onto what happened and letting it consume you... You said your piece and so be it...
1863 days ago
My attitude is that "this too shall pass." Yeah, it's an annoyance, and I may have putin my two cents...But since I'm not PAYING for it...the grubby spots? Well, eventually you can teach the kids to clean them...and down the line some years, especially when your fahter-in-law is no longer around, you can look at thos railings with fondness and have a laugh over the conflict. Or, when he's gone from this world, you can have them replaced just the way you want it.
Try to see the extra cleaning as more cardio for you. And vent in a safe place like Spark so you don't hurt anyone's feelings. We all need to let off steam now and then. Actually, DD and I do "angry cleaning."
Blessings to you, hon!
1863 days ago
Okay...it is not wrong to feel frustrated..It is your house as well as your husband's and besides living in it, you appear the one that cleans it. My wife and I built our own house together, actually physically built it together, and I know this....She has some wonderful ideas, some as a guy my have not thought of, logical and practical but the most important thing, I wanted it was the way she wanted it...Guys don't always think that way...we try to do well but sometimes we need to just step back and do what we are told by the lady...That's hard for most males..just our makeup...but I do want you to know is, you have a right to feel as you do...because when everyone else goes to their home...it's you behind those 4 walls.. Somehow, FIL (father-in-law) did not hear you communication and I think your husband owes you a dinner out because he is still the one that shares the bed with you and should have intervene a little better. So don't feel bad...if we say nothing, then everyone thinks we have condon it and not really knows how we actually feels...Now enjoy the evening with your husband, it's Valentines Day, and try to take time out more time to spend together because it helps each of you to understand one another better when the rough edges flare up..
1863 days ago
Comment edited on: 2/14/2013 5:31:05 PM
Wow! I feel so bad for you! I know how awful and stressful remodeling is- especially trying to live in the house- with small children during it all! I went through all of this crap back in 2007/08.
First of all, I know it feels like it will never end but it will soon- and in time all of this stress will be history (and well worth it)! Second, you are absolutely right to be angry and to put your foot down about what you want! It is YOUR house! I also have a handy father in law who's opinion is law in my house. All decisions big and small should be agreed upon by you and your husband. Maybe you should have a talk with him and gently remind him that these things are important to you. Does he want to listen to you complain for years later just to not stand up to his father now? It's so hard to mix business and family.
Don't beat yourself up about speaking up or venting! I hope it all works out for you. All your talk of sanding dust brought back such bad memories! So glad my remodeling days are in the past. Do it right the right the first time you never have to do it again!
1863 days ago
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