Recently I came across a quote on Facebook I really enjoyed and it described how moms and women think. It goes something like this:
A woman’s mind is like an internet browser that has 300 tabs open at once!
Moms think about everything; it’s all connected and you’re passionate about every open tab. Every detail in every tab matters. Not one of the tabs isn’t important …it’s all important.
I start to break out in hives just attempting to think like that and I’m so glad that I’m just not built that way.
Men think in a very different way, and it was described to me like this:
Men’s minds work like a filing cabinet, when we need to talk about something, we open the cabinet door and pull the file out, open it and talk about it. When we are done, we close the file and we put it back in the cabinet and then close the cabinet door and we don’t think about it anymore.
This couldn’t be more true….my favorite part about this analogy is there is a filing cabinet that is titled “nothing” and we open that cabinet a lot and honestly think about nothing for a long period of time.
My wife will come up to me when I’m reading my file titled “nothing” and ask me, “What are you thinking about honey?”
80% of the time she turns around and walks away from me huffing because I’m honestly thinking about nothing.
According to her, thinking about nothing is unproductive and a total waste of time. What I should be thinking about instead of nothing is planning a romantic dinner, mowing the lawn, taking out the trash, putting in a load of laundry, paying bills, cleaning the gutters, how we will pay for the boys to go to college, what we are eating for dinner, putting new sheet rock up on the ceiling, watering the plants, buying her flowers or giving her a back massage.
But thinking about nothing is like going into our man cave.
Which brings me to the question What do dads stress out about?
When it comes to my kids and their daily lives, I know my wife has everything under control so I really don’t stress out about the small stuff. For me, my mind doesn’t work like that. When I get too many things running in my head, I just need to slow down and try to tackle one detail at a time and then move on to the next one. Overcoming each “detail” allows me to relax.
I can’t concentrate when I have more than five open tabs on my mental internet browser.
One of the things I do stress out about is what happens if I’m with my kids are at a park playing and one of my boys or wife get injured? I’m talking like a fatal injury.
I’m not an EMT or anything, but I carry around a backpack full of first aid gear, medical equipment, a tourniquet and medication like Advil. It’s got band-aids, alcohol swabs, iodine, medical gloves, a head lamp, small bottles of water, a small Swiss army knife and all kinds of other stuff.
I stress out about being powerless over a life or death situation and have to sit and watch and wait because I don’t have the medical tools that could help save a life.
One of my biggest fears is being in a situation where there is an active shooter near me or I’m at a mall and a team of shooters come in with high power rifles and just start unloading. I’m not trying to provoke a gun debate, I’m just highlighting some of the things I really stress out about.
So I REALLY stress out about protecting my family from anything dangerous and my backpack is always with me wherever I go.
It’s like Diego’s rescue pack, you know what i’m talking about?
REEEESSSSSSCUEEE PACK…COMING TO THE RESCUE!!!!!!
Other things that stress me out?
It makes me crazy when my boys are disrespectful to my wife. Like talking back and not cleaning up after themselves or saying they will do something and never doing it. If you want to see me get fired up, man, come over when the kids give their mom major attitude. The disrespecting of my wife is the killer!
I also get crazy stressed out when my two oldest boys are arguing and fighting and just want to kill each other. Usually one of them pulls off a wave of fist punches and kicks, and the other one comes back crying and neither of them can own up to what the other did. It’s like a mini insanity ride that I can’t get off. It simply throws me into a tail spin!!!!
The other one thing that drives me out of my mind is when my boys lie to me. OMG, I lose my mind! I think I lose my mind because I used to do this to my mom all the time. There is just no excuse for it, but they are boys and i know they are going to do it.
Here is another good one. How about when the garbage can is overflowing with trash and the kids find a way to add one more thing and don’t even think about emptying it?
Holy cow, those things make me nuts. But I wouldn’t say they keep me up at night.
I’m also sad that I don’t have a girl, but it just wasn’t in the cards. I don’t stress about it, but sometimes I do think about it.
We’ve gotten to point in our marriage that my wife will tell me the top five details or tabs I need to focus on a daily basis.
Other than that, in a nutshell, I like that acronym, KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid).
The details don’t bother me.
I don’t worry so much about what the kids are wearing or what my neighbors will think or what the unknown smell in the car is or how clean (or not clean) the house is.
My wife is already stressing about every detail known to man.
But the thing that has the most potential to keep me awake at night, the thing I really stress about, the file I find myself opening the most, is the one that contains all the things that could happen to my family and what I need to do to protect them.
For me it’s that simple.
But just in case, at least I’ve got my backpack.
Renick Morris writes about life with his family, bacon, football, being a Dad, marriage, being awesome, growing up, lifting weights, getting healthy, making mistakes, failing and just enjoying the time we have here on his blog The Renick Morris Project and on also on Facebook. Check it out, and Welcome to the Project!
I love your file cabinet analogy!! The only thing I differ with is that some men forget to put that one file at a time away after they are done with it. The woman has to clean up after. Ha!!!