18/10/2012

What Do Wives Expect?

Posted in Family, General, Musings, Self-Awareness tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 5:18 pm by The Water Bearer

As I drove to work yesterday I was listening to breakfast radio, and the female announcer brought up a complaint made by a wife who she had been in discussion with.

The wife was a stay at home mum and her husband worked 10 hours a day to provide for them. Her complaint was that he should help out more at home and not gripe when she gives him jobs. She was adamant that her husband should do more, such as cleaning the shower and toilet, help with cooking and take some responsibility for bathing, dressing and attending to the children etc when he was home.

The male announcer explained the husbands response, which was basically “I have just worked 10 hours and walk in the front door to hear these words or similar come from her mouth. “”Good you’re home, now you can help me with these kids. Can you run them a bath and take the baby for a while?”” I just walked in the door from a long hard day, I want to sit down for 5 minutes and relax with a beer. I don’t think that is too much to ask!”

The female announcer replied “She is obviously unhappy, if he can do more to help her be happier in their relationship, shouldn’t he just do it!”

I saw red! This is one of the most infuriating stances that many women let their inner enemies convince them to take. They may as well be saying “I am going to keep complaining about how unhappy I am until I make the whole house unhappy, so you will have no choice but to bow to my every request’.

Now let me clarify, this wife didn’t work, and her children were in childcare 3 days per week, and she claimed that she never stops, that she never gets a break. Even if they were at home all day every day, pouncing on her husband the second he walks in the door is selfish, ungrateful and unloving. I know because I used to be like this. I was all these things and worse.

One thing I learned some years ago is that miserable complaining only breeds more misery. I know plenty of husbands who have done their best to meet every ridiculous, demanding request of their wives, only to discover they could never reach the light at the end of the list, nor help her find peace and happiness.

“It is better to live in a corner of a roof, than in a house shared with a contentious woman.” Prov 21:9 (ASV)

These relationships fell apart leaving a trail of bitter destruction, and setting the worst kind of example for their children’s future relationships.

I grew up in a home with a single Mum who had to work 45-50 hour weeks to provide for us. She had the responsibility of raising three children, with no family close enough to help her. My younger sibling was only 18months old when Mum became single. Through sheer will and determination she did it all. I watched her struggle to cope, I heard constantly how stressful her life was. As a child I can remember the countless times she would pour tears over her finances, often sharing that burden with us children. She missed out on doing the school run and hearing about our day or our thoughts as we drove to and fro. She was unable to keep watch over us after school to make sure we stayed on track. She had no time to learn new recipes or practice creativity in the kitchen, she just fed us. She had no opportunity to load some of the weight onto someone else just because she was tired. She had no one to share some of the burden at the end of a long day. She just did it, all, on her own.

As a wife and mother I am so very, extremely grateful that I have a man who is willing to work long days to provide for us. I do my utmost to put aside my days complaints and greet him after work with a cold beer, a warm smile and a kiss. As a result he is more likely to: a) Come home! b) Help me, and c) Rush to my aid like the knight in shining armour I always dreamed of.

If we give compliments and praise in recognition of all the things, small or large, that they do for us, they will be more willing to help out when we are unwell or warn thin from a tough day, or if we come across a challenge we need their help with. We need to build them up, not tear them down! We need to recognise that our contentious attitude is causing more problems, and make attempts to change it. We need to call on our inner angels to help us see all the things we are grateful for, and refuse to let disappointment from unmet expectations breed bitterness and misery.

On a final note, (this is an area that I am currently trying to make more changes to myself), we take so much responsibility away from our men due to our controlling, often insecure natures. Even if they do try to help, often we are there pointing out how they ‘should’ be doing it, or criticising them afterward because it wasn’t done the way we do it. When we ask their opinion regarding a decision, we reply with our reasons to disagree. We say we want them to take some of our load, but when they try we yank it back out of their hands.

I wonder how many women would tolerate being told that everything we try to do is not done properly, or if every decision we made was overturned and debated?

Trusting our husbands to be capable, and giving their decisions a chance to succeed before we catastrophise them into oblivion, will help boost their self worth, and their sense of masculinity. That way they will have the opportunity to dazzle us with their skills and leadership, and we in turn can relax in grateful appreciation of how lucky we are to have them.

08/09/2012

Connecting with Questions*

Posted in General, Musings tagged , , , , , , , , , at 3:46 pm by The Water Bearer

There are many things I can say that I enjoy about my new work place (when I say ‘new’ I mean I’ve been there for about 8 months). I really enjoy the company of the staff (in fact I often get a little too excited with my sharing, because I like them so much), we share stories and recipes, music and jokes. I like that the customers are mostly lovely and often enjoy a chat as much as me, (my nickname at work is ‘Chats’). It is not stressful (even though my anxiety still rears its ugly head from time to time). I enjoy the work of helping others, I like how nice, tidy and professional it is. I like the relaxed flow of energy that fills the halls each day. I like that they encourage me to be creative with designing fliers, writing marketing emails and newsletters. I like that they don’t mind if I read or write when things get slow and quiet. I love that I can be home each afternoon with my girls when they get home from school.

I know, I know, I am so Blessed!! Thank you Lord!!

However, the thing I currently like most about my new place of work is the white board in the kitchen…..

Why on earth??? You may ask….

Well it’s because of the ..“Life Changing Question of the Week”..Obviously! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Someone randomly writes a thought provoking question on the whiteboard and everyone writes their answers underneath. It has become a source of insight into our fellow colleagues and gives us a point of reference for office discussions. It brings us all together, even those who do the night or weekend shifts, who don’t get much interaction with everyone on staff. This way everyone can join in..

Here is an idea of types of questions we have been asked….

*Would you willingly give up your arms, if you knew you would grow wings in their place?

*Would you give up sleep, if you knew you would never get tired again?

*How do you measure your level of success?

*If you could stop being you and become anyone else, who would you choose to be and why?

*If you had to be on a deserted island with anyone, other than your partner, for 12 months who would you choose?

*If you had access to one return trip in a time machine, how would you use it?

*If your house was burning down (and all the people and pets were safe) what 3 objects would you try and save?

As you can imagine there have been many laughs, opinions and stories shared as a result of this magical whiteboard. It gives a lovely connection to us all, which is my favourite thing EVER!

Aren’t connections so wonderful and often under appreciated??!!

For many years now it has been common for me to encourage others to play “Questions and Answers” with friends both old and new. You know the game where I ask you a question and you answer honestly and then it’s your turn to ask something, and back and to until we have a better understanding of each other. It kills awkward silences, it shows each other you are interested in them, it sheds light into each others thoughts and experiences. You may think this is usually the result of normal conversations, and for some this is true, but for those who have a hard time making small talk, opening up or interacting on a deeper level this game can be a fabulous tool. Plus it keeps things on an even keel, especially if one tends to talk over the other somewhat …(No … I have no idea of anyone like thatย  ๐Ÿ˜‰ Hahaha)

It was a fabulous new joy to play this game with my Husband and two girls one night recently. The girls had so many questions to fire at their Dad because he has always been less forthcoming with them of his own stories than I have. We spent an evening sharing ourselves openly, we learned more about each other than we already knew, we felt closer and loving, and understood each other a little better. I recommend you try it too!

I love people, people are so interesting to me, new perspectives, different opinions and views. You are all unique and special and I would really like to get to know you all better, experience more joys of connection, so if you want to play along, please add your answers to the “life Changing Questions of the Week” in the comments and lets get to know each other a little better. If you don’t feel like answering, I would still love to hear what you think of connecting with questions. Blessings to you all!

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