Dependency and leadership

My husband’s biggest fear is my untimely death (before him). He wants us to die at the same time. Or at the very least he wants to go before me.

We live in my home country. He is still a temporary resident. That will change this month. But his status has legal repercussions. He is not on our daughters’ birth certificate. It would be a bureaucratic nightmare for him to figure out how to have them remain in his sole custody, if that is even possible, even though he has been their found father for years now. Also, I take care of everything. Paying bills, doing taxes, health insurance, business management and accounting, the car is registered under my name and I do everything pertaining to the car, insurance, technical inspections, road taxes. And the banking. He doesn’t know how I balance the checks book, and keep up with the bills. He just knows everything is taken care of.
He is more involved in the home life, even though even the recycling and trash days escape my family. Food shopping and cooking and knowing what we have in the pantry to live on a reasonably frugal budget.

So in my attempt to be self sufficient, as a woman and daughter, I had created a subtle but pervasive dependency.
After a month of productive work, active in community, hiking, swimming, doing everything I set my mind to do, I feel like I’m sliding down into exhaustion fast. And as the leader I am, I don’t delegate enough, o don’t empower others enough. That is a job in itself and I need to be in the right mind and have the patience to teach and guide.

They do follow my lead, execute what I empower them to do, but they don’t take initiative.

Today I told the girls that stating today they will take turns setting and clearing the table. They saw me crash into numbness Sunday afternoon. I told them I’m beyond exhausted. I was also emotionally spent but I think training my people to be independent is my most important job now. I take good care of them daily, and world is revolving at a good speed. Now if I had to step back for a day, for a week, will they survive or thrive with confidence?

Good Leadership requires planning for your exit and training your replacement. I’m not suggesting we make a plan for a new wife, though in impending death this is a sensible conversation. For us is absurd.
Making oneself indispensable is not love. Is irresponsibility. I know many moms take great pleasure in feeling needed, but it is a greater service to our family to help them be able to take care of themselves if the circumstances warrant it.

I don’t want to rock the boat. Embracing responsibility slowly, and purposefully, accepting the discomfort of routine work, of making reminders, it will be good for everyone long term. Changing sheets with a schedule, vacuuming day, dusting, bathroom cleaning, kitchen deep cleaning once a month, because we otherwise clean it daily, laundry, shopping, cooking, menu planning. And paying bills. Have you thought of showing your uninitiated family members how to pay the bills?