Ok, so I will never take on the debate of a working mom vs. a stay at home mom (which is incorrectly labeled anyway…I’ll save that for another day). But I did read an article recently about the happiness of working moms and it triggered the subject of this blog entry – http://news.yahoo.com/business/?back=%2Fwomen-less-happy-workplace-133013303.html
Why can’t women relax?
The article talked about alpha women and beta women and working dads…blah blah blah. The real question is this – Why on Sunday do I find myself running around in a panic trying to get the laundry done before the weekend is over, putting away everything that was played with over the weekend, and prepping the school bags and calendar for the upcoming busy week….all while my husband gives me updates on how the football game is going from the couch & the kids play with their hot wheels?!?!?
Don’t get me wrong, I am not writing this entry to throw my husband under the bus. I am actually writing this to see if I am the only one with this disease I call “I-have-to-do-everything-right-now-itis”. I would LOVE to sit and relax on the couch and watch the game on Sunday (I love sports!), but I am physically unable to just sit and exhale. As my rear-end hits the cushions, I remember that the printer is low on magenta ink, the light bulb in the hall bathroom is out & my housekeeper is coming tomorrow so I have to clean before she gets here. I know that all of that sounds ridiculous and not a priority for most anyone, but to me it is. Unfortunately, one of the many symptoms of this disease is a level of frustration at my husband for being lazy, when I know he is not, he just doesn’t find my to-do list a priority.
The big picture for me is that I want the snapshot of my life to be in order and pretty. Most everything in my world has its place and I like it to be returned to that specific place. In fact, I can’t pack for a trip until all of the laundry is done and put away, that way I know all of my clothing choices are clean and ready for battle! Maybe it’s a bit of OCD, maybe I’m an Alpha Mom, maybe I’m a little crazy….but I am what I am. Most everything in my husband’s world has a general area, and he is fine for it to be within 100yds of that space. So is this sickness separated by gender?
This leads me to a wonderful lesson I learned soon after I got married. A family friend shared some relationship advice she learned at a seminar. Men’s brains are like waffles and women’s brains are like spaghetti. http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/Men_are_like_Waffles.html
In a bowl of spaghetti, one noodle is in contact with several other noodles allowing us to think about several different things at the same time. In a man’s brain, if they are sitting in one of the pockets of their waffle brain, they are separated from the other pockets. Therefore they are not thinking about the light bulb out in the hall bathroom while they are watching the football game. They are in the “relax and watch football” pocket. This difference makes us both awesome and annoying at the same time. All said and done, we have to embrace the differences and find a middle ground. We are not going to change, but we can start to communicate better. For example, if you asked your husband to change the light bulb in the hall bathroom, let him do it! Even if he does not miraculously rise from the couch as the request is received. He has placed that request in the “house” pocket of his waffle, and it will be completed when he steps into that pocket.
As I write this entry, I find myself unable to cure my disease but I am seeking treatment. I am reminded everyday to work harder on slowing down and smelling the roses. My children and my dog are my constant reminders. Life is short and we have no control on tomorrow. So be prepared and organized; but put down your iPhones and iPads and wrestle with your kids on the floor, read them a story, snuggle with your husband on the couch, enjoy a cup of coffee on the porch and EXHALE! Even if it is only for 5 minutes, it is the ONLY known cure for “I-have-to-do-everything-right-now-itis”!