I feel it is my duty to share important discoveries, big and small, with you when I come upon them. Things that may make your life a tiny bit easier or happier. That’s what girlfriends do for each other, right?
Today I need to tell you something of VITAL importance. I feel like I’m spreading the gospel, and I hope I’m not pontificating, but I am passionate about women learning how to speak up for themselves. I know there are men out there who read this blog (including my own Husband) and to those men I say, PAY ATTENTION TO THIS. You can learn a lot from me.
I got involved in a discussion this week with another mom who shared a complaint I am very familiar with — her husband always sleeps through the baby waking, so she gets up, feeds the baby, and cares for their 3-year-old. When he finally gets up, he seems confused as to why she is so tired. And of course, she wants to punch him in the face.
My thoughts on the matter were that it was simply time for a little role reversal. Role reversal has done wonderful things for my partnership with Husband. One day a week he has the kids for 12+ hours by himself, and boy … that has been an eye-opener. Overall it has helped us develop an appreciation for each other and a thankfulness for what we get to do each day. After a whole day away from the kids, I am grateful that I get to care for them most of the time. And Husband, after a full day with them, is so very glad he gets to leave the house and go to work with other adults. And poop alone.
Anyway, another woman in the conversation shared that her husband never changed one diaper, cleaned, cooked, or did anything to help her around the house — and they had FIVE children. Her assumption seemed to be that he refused to help because men are stupid. Now … who is the stupid one in that situation? I would say definitely the woman who allowed her husband to sit his ass on the couch while she tended to five children by herself. He must be pretty smart to have figured out a way to avoid doing jack shit and still being allowed to share the bed with her, right? He may be careless or oblivious, yes — but not stupid.
I am tired of hearing people say that men are bumbling Neanderthals. I know I’m not married to a stupid man. He just needs me to tell him what I need from him. Because he loves me, he tries his best to do what I ask. And because I love him, I would never ask something of him that was unfair.
I have taken on some extra projects lately that have me BUSY, and so he has agreed to take on some of the household responsibilities. Our mornings were super chaotic and he pissed me off every single day because it seemed like while he was willing to help, he honestly didn’t know what to do. And so he did nothing. He sat down with his coffee, and watched me do it all. I was frustrated that he couldn’t just see what needed to be done. HE IS A GROWN MAN! CAN’T HE SEE??!?!?!?
Well … no. He couldn’t. And not because he is dumb, it’s because his brain is wired in a way I will never understand. He is wired to see other things, like how the internet connection is spotty so he needs to rework the wiring to make it faster. That is the kind of stuff he sees, while looking over the screaming baby’s head.
So, I helped him help me. I made a chore list for ONE, which is silly because he can’t read yet, and a chore list for Husband. Part of Husband’s job is to make sure ONE does his list.
I know my lists are ghetto — most moms copy fancy charts from Pinterest and laminate them, and that must mean they love their families more than I do — but I don’t have time for that crap. So permanent marker on the back side of a tablet is what we’ve got.
It’s a small change, but it made a BIG difference. Once everyone knew what was expected of them, and had a list to reference, our mornings became … dare I say … easy. And enjoyable. We laugh and have breakfast together and I actually remember to eat.
I feel like women in general have a hard time telling their men what they need from them. No, ladies, they honestly DON’T KNOW. They want to know, but they don’t know how to ask. Sometimes I think men are kind of like the blind and deaf in that they need help communicating, and I mean that in the nicest possible way. You have to tell them what you need from them, even if it’s in list form. If they love you — and I know that they do — they will try.
It has made such a difference in my household. With Husband’s help, I can face things like this enormous laundry pile without feeling like I need to curl into a ball and cry.