Yesterday I wrote this post about how so many of us women find ourselves in the familiar situation of having to go somewhere as a family and having to do all the getting-the-kids-ready part on our own while our husbands seem to be oblivious to the fact that we might appreciate a little bit of help.
I suggested approaching the situation a little differently. I suggested actually talking to your husband about it maybe, gasp, the day before, and explaining to him how you’d really appreciate his help.
Lots of people related to the situation. Lots of people saw how maybe by changing their approach, they won’t be stuck shouldering all the resonsibility.
And then there were the naysayers. The non-believers:
I would very much like to read an update when you actually try that and ask him to be available to help at 4:30pm. I am curious to see if you get as positive a response as you are hoping for.
Yes to all that, but at the same time… I’m sick of having to ask. Especially after doing this whole kid thing for 3 years. I hate that I have to spell things out for him, to take what little time I have to talk him through the same fucking routine we do EVERY time we leave the house. Maybe it’s because I’m a teacher and I have to repeat myself all day long, therefore I have little patience left for him. I will, however, try to do what you say, while hoping that he’ll start seeing a pattern before I loose my shit…. again.
I am sorry to say, I am with the girls before me… will it work? Probably not. But let us know. Also Danielle has a valid point! Why do basic things need to be explained to them. Because they ARE selfishly clueless and oblivious. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know when you have a bunch of kids they don’t automatically get themselves ready.
Ok rant over, but I have been in this situation too many times to have any patience left for it!
I especially resent the assumption that Mom is in charge of it all… My current favorite is when my husband and I have BOTH been working from home. He wanders into the dining room (aka my office) around 4:30 and says “So, what do you have planned for dinner?” I respond “I don’t know, what do YOU have planned for dinner?” I think it’s a passive/aggressive approach on his part, and it really pissed me off!
Whew, thanks for letting me rant!
Yikes. There are some pissed off ladies out there.
I get it. I have been one myself.
But stewing over my husband “not getting it” hasn’t changed anything. Stomping around and sighing heavily and giving the silent treatment every time we have to go somewhere as a family and I’ve been left to take care of everything myself, again, hasn’t helped either.
You can believe your husband should know better all you want.
The reality of the situation is that he doesn’t. For whatever reason.
I mentioned the book I’m reading called Getting the Love You Want yesterday.
I really believe that anyone who is in a relationship should read it.
We all want a healthy, loving, amazing relationship where both we and our husbands feel fulfilled and have our needs met.
But I have news for you.
If your needs aren’t being met now, it’s not really your husband’s job to figure out how to fix it.
Your husband doesn’t need to wake up and smell the coffee.
As my new favorite and life-changing book says, You need to learn new techniques to satisfy your needs and desires. You need to search within yourself for the things you are lacking. You need to take responsibility for communicating your needs and desires to your husband.
But here is the thing.
You can’t be bitchy and accusatory and belittling when you communicate that stuff!
But we so often are! And then we wonder why our husbands just steer clear of us.
This book is showing me so much about myself and how I (ineffectively) communicate with my husband.
And don’t get me wrong. I’m not taking all the blame for our issues. I have plenty of legitimate reasons to be upset. But both people in a relationship actively bring problems to the table. And I’m trying really hard to take a look at the ones I’ve been bringing. Repeatedly.
So anyway, back to the doubters who wanted to see if this different approach would work…
I have already tried this new approach. So I can let you know how it works already.
Our weekends are crazy right now.
Number 2 is playing high school basketball. Number 3 is on the Y swim team, the middle school swim team and he’s also playing travel basketball. Number 4 is on the Y swim team and playing travel basketball. Number 5 is also on the Y swim team.
We basically spend our Saturdays and Sundays traveling between pools and basketball courts.
I coach on Saturday mornings, too.
So there have been many days where I’ve gotten home from practice and we’ve had to hurry up and load everyone into the car to get to a game or a meet.
When this is the case, the kids need to be dressed. The little guys hate watching the basketball games, so we have to make sure we pack things to occupy them. Then there are usually snacks and drinks to pack, too, especially if we have to go to more than one game.
There’s a lot of preparation involved, and after coming home once from practice on a Saturday morning and everyone still being in their pajamas and only having about twenty minutes to get everyone ready and shit packed and into the car, well, I was pissed.
It didn’t occur to my husband to have everyone ready when I got home.
It would have occurred to me.
In the past I’ve let this kind of thing piss me off to no end. I’ve obsessed and fumed over it. Why didn’t his occur to him??? I’ve been sure my husband was purposely trying to piss me off.
Your husbands just don’t think they way you do.
Most of our husbands are well meaning guys who really do want to make us happy. They just don’t always know what we want.
And very often, the way we tell them isn’t nice. At all.
You can keep being pissed at them. I’ve tried that.
I’ve said passive aggressive things under my breath and been a total bitch to my husband.
You know what that’s done to change the situation?
So last week, before I left for practice, I told my husband that it would be really, really helpful if he could make sure the kids got ready while I was gone so that when I came home we wouldn’t have to run around like lunatics and be late for the game.
And here is one very important thing: I didn’t say, “Do you think maybe instead of doing work on the computer or reading a book and waiting for me to come home and do everything myself you could actually, for once, get the kids ready to go before I get home?”
Yeah. That wouldn’t have gone over so well.
Instead I said, “It would be really, really helpful if you could get the kids ready to go while I’m at practice.”
You know what happened?
He did it.
You know what I didn’t do?
I didn’t make a big deal out of it. I don’t think I thanked him or let him know how much I appreciated what he had done.
I should have done that. I wish I had. Because he would have appreciated that.
And I know he would have remembered that the next time Saturday came around.
Next time, I’m going to make sure he knows how much I appreciate his effort. Because I know there will be a next time.
So you can should all you want on your husbands. You can keep doing the same things you’ve been doing over and over and over again. You can call him selfish and clueless and oblivious.
Or you can take a look at how you have (or haven’t) been communicating and you can try a different approach.
I know which route I’m gonna go.
Because I don’t know about you, but I’m done beating my head against the wall.