Saturday, August 18, 2007

A topic worth visiting...

I'm going to post a comment from my friend, Bek. I am going to put my input in GREEN, but you all be sure and give your thoughts on the matter. I think that we all deal with this issue from time to time when we feel under valued, under appreciated, or just overwhelmed.

Last night while I was feeding Chloe, I got on your blog and was visiting all the blogs you have posted. I came around to one of your brothers' blogs (Derin), and they had commented on a subject that I was VERY intrigued by. It's about men going to work, and women staying home with the kids, and how frustrating it is to not feel like the other is doing their job. John and I have been struggling a lot with this to see eye-to-eye on the other's role. I don't want to husband-bash, so I'll give two examples, one putting me to shame :) The other day I was SO exhausted from doing nothing but holding a crying baby all day, feeding, and barely getting to eat or even go to the bathroom. First of all, let me say this. I think that husbands have this idea that being a SAHM would be the greatest job, because you're home all can do whatever you have no "job" to do. They couldn't be more wrong. I just wish that for ONE, just ONE day, Mark could be the Stay At Home DAD and see what a day is like for a SAHM. I really think that he believes all I do is sit around and watch TV while eating Bon-Bons or something...

When John gets home from work, he has a routine: take a shower, eat, de-stress with either a movie or a videogame with my brother online. It does not bother me one bit that he likes to play games; it's the one thing he enjoys that helps him de-stress. Well, I asked John to hold Chloe for a little bit so I could rest...(now, don't take this the wrong way, we were both in bad moods, and John DOES enjoy time with Chloe and is upset if he can't spend time with her.) John told me "I'm tired Bek, besides, if you have a problem with staying home all day holding Chloe, read the Bible..." He was referring to our roles in marriage being the man works and the woman is the caregiver. I know that John is a caring daddy, so I'm not bashing him whatsoever...just his take on things, I guess. To say, "read the Bible" is not only ridiculous, but really un-fair. The Bible does NOT say, "The husband just makes money and the wife just takes care of the babies." It says that we are helpers to each other. A marriage is not, "Your job is this, this, and this. My job is this, this, and this." A marriage should be, "Your job is taking out the trash, but if I have a spare moment and it needs taking out, I'll do it for you to make things easier on you." We all know that a mommy's job is 24/7...literally. It doesn't end whether you're a SAHM or go to a job every day. If the baby cries at night and is hungry...well...momma's the one that feeds baby most of the time. The point of a partnership is sharing the responsibilities. The husband was involved in the MAKING of the baby...therefore, he is involved in the CARING for the baby. Basically, the baby is not the responsibility of the mom. It is the responsibility of the parents and should therefore be treated as such. Does that make sense? Besides that, Bek. The older Chloe gets, the more attached she is going to be to you. If John does not put forth the effort to connect with her as much as possible when he gets home from work each day until bedtime, she is going to reject his advances to bond with her...he'll be like a stranger to her. He needs to build that now so that the bond is there and is growing stronger. Otherwise, she'll cry when going to him just like she would a stranger. Right now, the bonds that she forms will be etched the deepest in her mind. He WANTS to be one of those lines...otherwise, he'll be really upset when she fusses to go to him.

Now, here's what I said the next day when John was complaining about his day at work, "Well, John, if you have a problem with doing your job...then read the Bible." So I'm just as much of a smart-alec as he is. Now...I'm not one of those women who says the roles of a husband and wife are that the woman stays home and the man makes the money. I already have attempted to go back to work, so I don't believe that that has to be the case. (which, by the way, I'm not going back to work for a while...maybe I'll dab into that later.) The reason I'm posting this is because I am longing for the kind of relationship that has mutual respect for what the other does in the marriage. We had a mentor couple in Florida who ran our small group, and they were the best example you can find of a happy marriage. They have four kids (YIKES!!!) he has a painting company that he's built from nothing to something, and she stays at home and does the housewife thing. She has 100% respect for him and what he does. He has 100% respect for her and what she does. Neither complain about their roles, and they always are praising their spouse whenever they get the chance.I'm looking for something that John and I can do (a study group, a book {I know...the Bible is the perfect book for answers}) that will help us get over this part. After reading your brother's blog, I saw that we're not the only couple who feels this way. Hmmm...maybe this sounds ludacris or crazy. I'm also a little scared of what some people might say on your blog. "Don't you know the answer's right in front of you?"'s hard to open yourself up to others. So I'll try to be open with suggestions that people make.I think it'd be nice if in our small group we could do a study on the roles of a husband and far as how to please your spouse and vice versa, and how to be content instead of frustrated. I know not all of you on here are in the small groups, but some of you are, so I thought I'd comment on that.

It is really hard to put yourself in your spouse's shoes. Have you ever shadowed your husband at work? I haven't. Have you ever dealt with their co-workers or customers for a day? I haven't. Now, turn that around and see it from their perspective. For most of you, your husbands haven't had the kids hour after hour (Laura--I know you have a different situation, so maybe you can shed some more light on the topic). They just don't understand. Therefore, communication HAS to be present. Mark and I have had to talk about how some days can be sooo stressful with a baby. We've had to talk about how some days I don't have a second to myself if she's fussy/not napping/etc. THEN, once she DOES NAP, I'm POOPED!!! I just want to sit for a few minutes. Then, sometimes those few minutes turn into an hour or I fall asleep. It's hard, that's for sure! However, I can give you some encouragement that it does get easier as the baby gets older and can entertain herself and such. It does get easier once you can accomplish things while she is in her bouncer or swing or something. IT DOES GET EASIER.

I think that it is a great idea to do a study on roles in a marriage as far as mutual respect for the other's "job." However, I, personally, think that the problem is a lack of understanding. You can always look at someone and think "I could do that better" or whatever. BUT, once you really step into those shoes and try it out, you find out why they do things the way they do and sometimes you find out that they are doing the best job possible. That's just my 2-cents worth (or that may be more like 25 cents worth). :)

Well, there you have it. I'm not going to re-read this like I normally do because I know I'll end up deleting half of it (mainly the parts that make me and John look bad) so here goes...I'm posting it.

Bek--I do the exact same thing, so I'm glad you left it whole. This is a safe environment to post, so I'm glad you felt comfortable enough to do so.

OK, girls...let's hear your thoughts. If you've never posted before, I encourage you to do so if you have any thoughts. You can do anonymous, anonymous with initials or nickname, "other" with your name (you don't have to post a web address if you do this one...just leave it blank), or you can sign in and do it with your sign-in name.

Hasta la Pasta!


laura said...

I think I am quite a different person than a lot of girls on here and Dustin (Devon's other brother) has a different perspective on roles than you guys are coming from.
From day one in our marriage, neither of us has felt like there were that many things that were the guys job or the girls job. If the dishes, trash, vaccuming, etc needs to be done, who ever has time or notices needs to do it. We have both worked all along. I desperatly wanted to stay home with my babies (I have three. They are 6,4, and almost 10 months.) but we couldn't afford it. So I worked 3 days a week and Dustin worked 4 (is that right? Oh well) Dustin had baby Caitlin by himself while I was at work. I really promoted a close bond between them. Now I work 16 hours Saturday, and 14 hr Sunday and 8 hrs over night on Thrusday. Dustin has all three kids by himself all day on the weekends. He enjoys his time with them and they look forward to their time with him. He actually didnt bond much with Callie (our baby) until I went back to work cause she cried when he would take her. My first day back to work he had to have her all day. I was so nervous that she would cry all day but they hit it off and it's been all good since.
Anyway, we have different styles in child care so we still dont entirely understand eachothers jobs. I take the kids to school, swimming lessons, Tai Kwon Do, gymnastics, ballet or whatever they are doing at the time. I do the laundry which takes days. (We dont have a washer and dryer so I have a deal with my parents to use their house. Pathetic, I know but we are getting out of debt and will get a house soon hopefully.) And I try to keep the house straight, get Callie her naps, and make dinner before Dustin gets home. I have asked Dustin to take Ethan to a make up Tai Kwon Do class on Saturday and he wouldn't. He wants to take it easy and not have anything he HAS to do. He does get all three kids to church (even class) on Sunday and he lets the house get trashed all weekends and cleans in the hour before I get home on Sunday. He even brings the kids by my work both days so we can see eachother. (They get up and go back to bed while I'm at work.)

So basically, I think both the husband and wife need to think of marriage as more of a partnership. As it is with room mates or in some work settings, it is not always "your job and my job" but if something needs to be done, do it. We have our fights and hurt feelings but I think we both feel pretty good about what we do in the home department.

I don't know if that helps but it is another perspective.

Devion said...

Thanks, Laura! I knew that you would have good input, as your situation is obviously very different, yet it has worked well for you guys. I know that there have been many hard times for you, but I know that you've done what you had to do for your children and I've greatly admired you for that! Thanks for the input! :)

Bek said...

Thanks for the advice Laura! Sorry it took me a while to say so, I've been a little busy the past few days! And thank you, Devon, for posting the topic and asking for feedback!!!