I love asking questions. Here’s one from last week…
What’s wrong with being a househusband?
This question started a conversation about how great a job I was doing. The recognition was appreciated, but wasn’t the point.
That’s interesting, because when I said something similar, that you were having a great pandemic, you sniffed and said, “you mean I’m a better housewife.”
Well, actually, yes… 🙂
What was more interesting was my wife didn’t have ANY memory of the instant reaction she had. Her non-memory got me wondering how often my biases, and values, bubble up and leave no trace.
You might have a hidden bias against what’s required to run a good house. Call it the Virginia Slims effect, heavily reinforced by our collective culture and 50+ years of media/advertising.
If you think the internal dialogue is tough as a woman, try it as a guy.
So the real point of the conversation wasn’t to congratulate ourselves for being domestic Gods and Goddesses…
The point was to create an opening to share ideas about coping with the grind of meals, laundry, dishes and cleaning that makes up family living.
You Gotta Do Something => I’ve had all kinds of jobs from “important” to “menial.”
COVID took my menial though the roof.
- All jobs have admin/low value moments associated with them.
- All jobs are better than having nothing to do.
Our minds might tell us that buying a white Porsche and focusing on our nails & hair will make us happy. More pleasurable than cleaning toilets, certainly, but I’m not sure leisure is “the answer”.
Meaningful work, not too much, well rested while I do it.
So, what are you going to do? And… What does winning look like to you?
You gotta do something.
You don’t have to enjoy it => My wife looked at me with in horror when I spoke the truth…
Honey, I absolutely hate dealing with the endless BS. However, I’ve decided, I’m going to continue regardless of how I feel.
It’s taken me decades to notice… that quote applies to every_single_thing I work on!
When there is a feeling that follows me everywhere… changing my situation might not be the answer.
It’s Temporary => Ten years of babies & preschoolers left no trace in my memory. I have to scroll back in my photos to see what actually happened.
Whatever you’re dealing with, do what needs to be done and schedule little sessions that perk you up.
In my case, it’s worth overcoming inertia to get my morning training, time with my wife and a chance to teach in nature.
Make time for meaning, while you manage the menial.
In each of the important jobs I held, I was replaceable.
Husband, Father, Leader => Give extra effort to the areas where you are hardest to replace.
Knowing “this is my job to do” makes it easier to endure.
Finally, something from watching my kids. There’s a part of me that wants my family to enjoy doing menial tasks. It stems from my desire for constant pleasure from every task life throws at me.
This is a completely unreasonable expectation, but it’s there. Seeing it, let’s me smile and shake my head when I catch myself in the pattern.
Meaningful work, can feel meaningless at times.
You are not alone in your feelings.
Best pandemic ever.