Could We Have Possibly Done Something Right?–Part 2

Hope everyone had a great week and weekend. Sorry for last week’s posting snafu. Funny. I made a mental note to change the date on the ‘inspired some more’ write-up, but forgot to check the note, I guess. ;)

“What foundation did you lay for something like that to happen?”

That’s where I left off last post. If you missed it, you might want to check it out. (Pinky swear: it ain’t all that long, and lays the groundwork for this one.)

As I stated previously, my coworker’s question really struck me, and I’ve been wondering about it ever since. Those of you who have been hanging around the blog for a while might remember a series of posts I did about Discipline vs. Control. (I’ve linked you to the first. Feel free to take it from there, for a total of five essays on the topic, and maybe a bit more insight into groundwork laid.) And before I go any further, please note I’m no magician who turned my guys into pretty awesome young-men-in-the-making. Yes, Hubby and I work hard constantly, but I also believe we are lucky, too. (Some folks do everything to the best of their ability and still run into problems. And that’s assuming there aren’t special needs or other issues involved.) 

Okay, back to business.

Not that Hubby didn’t help out before, but since he took on the role of stay-at-home-dad, he’s taken on many of the responsibilities involved in keeping a house running. He often refers to the house as “his job”. So, he models a lot of the cleaning behaviors and consideration. (These are important components, folks.  Akin to the subtext in a story: what’s not written but inherent and working on your psyche as you read.)

We usually all pitch in after dinner. On many occasions though, when Hubby knows I still have paperwork to do, or errands to run after work, he’ll offer to clean up on his own. (Most of the time, I try to move a little faster and make sure to employ everyone present. If every person does a small part of the bigger job, we all get done more quickly, and one person isn’t stuck with all the work, right?)

And this is a bit of an aside, but it ties in: years ago a friend and I were chatting. Something came up about her husband offering to “help” her do something home or kid related. My friend accepted his offer. She also took the time to point out that whatever had to be done was their responsibility—not hers alone with him jumping in because he thought it was kind, his duty or whatever other reason spurred him on to offer his time and efforts.

Back to subtext: this was a shift in perspective for me! Being a doer, I tend to lead and ask others to take on parts of the job. I quickly got the concept and passed it on to Hubby. Little by little, could it be the sons are getting this too? (Interesting too, how on the same day I write this, older son just happened to start filling the dishwasher while he, his dad and I were hanging out in the kitchen, discussing how his friend’s mom seems to create at least part of the conflict she complains about re: her son. It was like my guy was on auto-pilot, chatting and cleaning. More thoughts on this in a later post.)

Allow me one more take on this before I get back to the point please: When my full-timers were small and my part-timers (a.k.a., stepsons) were still children and spent time here regularly (i.e., weekends, overnighters, etc), the bulk of my time outside the day job—which never lacked for work to bring home—was taken up with two to five boys at any given time and paperwork when I wasn’t attending to a kid.

One day, Hubby got a little annoyed with this. He told me he felt as he was “at the bottom of the totem pole.”

I’m sure he got a look for that one. “Actually,” I told him, “I’m at the bottom. You’re probably the next step up. However, since we’re supposed to be equal in this relationship and family situation, I’m thinking you’re belong at bottom next to me.” (Chances are, Hubby wasn’t too thrilled with me at that moment.)

And all this, IMHO, brings me back to a single word: RESPONSIBILITY. Perhaps that is the “key” to the “foundation” Hubby and I may have laid “something like this to happen,” as my coworker put it.

We’ll talk about this more next week.

Have a great one, folks. And if you found this content share-worthy, would you kindly take a sec and do so?

As always, I thank you!

Joanna

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7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Stacey Wilk
    Nov 18, 2013 @ 10:05:35

    I enjoy reading your posts. And anyone who can get into the teen years with fewer issues always inspires me. I believe the foundation for well behaved children actually starts from infancy. They need to know the boundaries from early on. It makes it a little easier when they’re older and pushing the boundaries harder. Parenting is work, hard work. Worth every minute, but not easy.

    Boundaries can apply to husbands to. If we, as women, do everything then the husbands expect that to continue on. But if we say, “hey, I don’t work for you. I live here too.” They pick up a dish once in awhile! LOL!

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    • Joanna Aislinn
      Nov 18, 2013 @ 21:42:49

      Thanks, Stacey! I greatly appreciate your very kind words. As I said, I’m blessed, but I’ve always had a special thing for the middle school crowd, and now high schoolers too.

      Boundaries are a pain to keep up. I deal with my younger guy EVERY DAY when it comes to studying. (He does his homework.) If someone attached his studying to XBOX we would be fine, lol.

      And yep, significant others need to know what works for us too–and that goes both ways. Mine is starting to OCD with dishes and the kitchen that once was primarily mine. Oh well. I appreciate all his efforts and make sure I tell him. Often. That’s important. Big-time :)

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  2. Carrie Rubin
    Nov 18, 2013 @ 11:56:09

    Instilling responsibility in our children is one of the best gifts we can give them. Of course, while some kids may jump at the chance to prove how responsible they are, others take a little longer to get there. That’s where individual personality comes into play. We can preach the lessons and lead by example, but we can’t instill the drive. Unfortunately. :)

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    • Joanna Aislinn
      Nov 18, 2013 @ 21:26:45

      I am so there, Carrie, especially wen it comes to instilling a little drive to study. Sigh. I can’t even claim them to be someone else’s kids, lol.

      Thanks!

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      Reply

  3. Janet S
    Nov 18, 2013 @ 14:20:19

    Wonderful thoughts. I love the mental picture of your son loading the dishwasher while chatting adult-style. Cool.

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    • Joanna Aislinn
      Nov 18, 2013 @ 21:25:06

      I’m still a little amazed at that image, lol. The insight both boys are gaining relative to some of their friends and what they observe in parenting is pretty cool too.

      I’m still giving the younger guy up for Lent, lol. Especially when it comes time for studying.

      Thanks for stopping in, and for your comment. Hope all is well!

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  4. Trackback: Could We Possibly Have Done Something Right? (Part 4–Doing What You Have to Do) | Joanna Aislinn's Blog--Love, Life Lessons and Then Some

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