Category Archives: Relationships

Finishing the Job at Hand

In the big scheme of things I appreciate people will say I’m lucky.

I have a husband who cooks, shops and does his fair share of child care.  We both work part-time hours. He may work 2-3 days a week out of the house and spend more time planning and invoicing at home and I work 30 hours a week.  As far as I’m concerned we both own and live in our house and we both made the decision to have children so housework and childcare should be equal.

I think it is, it’s just the little things that now annoy me.

Like the failure to clean  a pan first time.

The fact he claims that greasy tupperware need to keep being washed each day for 3 days to finally clean them. (no, clean it 3 times better just the once)

The emptying of the bin but the failure to put a new liner in it

The shopping left on a counter especially the toilet roll, left for days on the kitchen floor.

The breakfast bowl that isn’t swilled clean and requires a chisel and hammer 7 hours later to clean it.

The latter I’ve decided to just keep leaving until he finally does the washing up himself.

I’ve always started doing this with the bin – piling up rubbish next to it.

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Might seem picky, but if I keep finishing these jobs, he’ll never learn.  😉

 

The Difficult Conversations I have to have today

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I’ve got quite a few difficult conversations to have today.

I have to ring 2 estate agents and tell them that we aren’t going to be using them.  No big deal any other time but I know how desperate they all are for properties at the moment.

One of them is a local estate agent who sold our last house and sold us this house.  He also supports our local school, so I feel a bit sad I’m letting him down.  However, the agent we are going for has 2 other offices in neighbouring suburbs and I think that is a better option for us. You can read about our visit by the estate agents here.

The third difficult conversation is with the after school club my daughter goes to.  I’ve not been very happy with them for some time, but I thought it was easier just to keep Pickle there rather than disrupt things and move her.  However she had started asking if she could move to another after school club because one of her school friends go there and under the circumstances I can’t see why not.

You can read about the latest incident with the after school club here.

So today I have to ring her and tell her that as of tomorrow she’s going to the new club and that it’s nothing to do with the incident, but more to do with Pickle just wanting to play with another child.

I feel a bit bad about it, but I shouldn’t be.  Nobody likes having difficult conversations do they?

Anybody got any tips on softening the blow?

 

 

As always I am grateful for having an audience at all that regularly read my blog and give me such lovely feedback but it’s always nice to get further recognition.  If you enjoy reading my blog and fancy nominating me for a MAD award 2014 (in the category of Best Schooldays, Most Entertaining or Best Blog Writer), then you can do so here www.the-mads.com/awards/ If you don’t….I still love you all. X

Valentine’s Day – why I don’t celebrate it

I’m not a big fan of Valentine’s Day and it’s not because I don’t believe in romance.  I do.  Provided it is for me and not something I have to physically do for someone else.

(That’s a joke)

The reason I’m not a big fan of Valentine’s Day is because I can’t quite get my head around the idea that we have just ONE day to be nice to our other half?

I just think it’s a day created by lazy men and women who don’t want to have to do anything romantic any other day of the year.

WHY DOES IT HAVE TO HAPPEN ON ONE DAY?

On top of that, it’s now commercialised so much that everyone feels that they HAVE TO do something on Valentine’s day and in order to get a table at a nice restaurant they have to book two months in advance because everyone else is feeling like they HAVE TO do something.

So while everyone is feeling particularly obliged to do SOMETHING the people who are not in relationships, some sad about it, some not, get to feel inadequate because everyone else is DOING SOMETHING and they aren’t because they haven’t jumped on the band wagon of social acceptance and got themselves into a relationship at any cost.

I think that’s a bit mean.

Whilst on the subject, you could argue the same for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.   I don’t mind skipping it.  Make my birthday extra special.  Let’s not put the money in the coffers of those exploiting a holiday that you just happen to be in the position to be celebrated just because you were able to conceive/fertilise and got a baby at the end of it.  Surely the delivery of a baby should be celebration enough?

Don’t even get me started on what it’s like on Mother’s Day to those unable to conceive. Or those that have lost their mother.  Or worse, as was the case for me for 4 years, unable to conceive or have a mother to send a card to.

I have reluctantly bought my husband a card and he has reluctantly bought me one and we will reluctantly hand them over at breakfast with some mumbling about not needing a day to tell someone why they are special.  We should just ignore it, but even in the echelons of rantville, we are STILL feeling a bit pressure to do something.  That’ll be it though.

What would be better is if we all just do something romantic for our other halves on a weekly and monthly basis.  I will endeavour to do one of my husband’s “jobs” at home once a week and once a month I will do something romantic, like cook his favourite meal, hold his hand (yes, sadly I don’t really like holding hands, puts me off my walking rhythm) or be the one to instigate the kiss hello.

What will you do?  Plump for the single solitary day like all the other robots or go out on a limb?

Happy Valentine’s Day.  😉

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When He Said the Wrong Thing

I do often feel a teeny bit sorry for my husband.  Sometimes.  He often says something that riles me, that results in an argument and afterwards, if I really thought about it, the opposite thing he could have said, probably would have riled me as well. He was in a bit of a lose/lose situation.  In the interest of open, honest conversation, I have told him that. Just so he knows, I know.

HOWEVER….I do worry about where his head is at, when he pipes up with some real beauties, thank quite frankly are very very brave, but could only end in tears.

Like, last night.  We are both tired. He’s had a full day rehearsal on his secret BBC project, then spent the evening lugging furniture around in preparation for our new carpet fitting.  I’m tired, because, well because I always am.  Light off, head on pillow and he says “We really do have a lot of crap in this house. We need to sort it out”.

*Deep Breathes”.  I don’t know about you, but in my house, I’m the sorter.  I’m the one that buys new kids clothes, packs away old clothes, sorts through old clothes and, when I’m in the right “sorting” mood, I will sort through them and send some off to friends, some to charity and  some to the bin.  The same with toys and furniture.  Hubby is not the least bit interested in doing this.  He’s never done it. I have NEVER seen him declutter.  Once every few years he grabs a load of his own clothes and takes them to charity, but that’s it.  He has no interest in anyone elses.

So you can imagine how well that comment went down.  It came from a good place. He was merely commenting on what is actually the truth, but I’m a doer not a talker and I’d just prefer it if he said “We have such a lot of stuff and I know between us we have no time to sort it so I’m going to spend a few days sorting stuff into piles and if you could give them the once over we can get rid of a load of crap upstairs”.  That would have been more useful wouldn’t it.charitybags

Unfortunately he didn’t say that. He made a comment about something he has never ever sorted and quite frankly he got it with both barrels.  Nothing like having the grump with each other as you fall asleep.

Two weeks ago, he did a similar thing.  What was more frustrating was that after the argument ensued, he said he’d been quite worried about saying something but decided to say something which was the STUPIDIEST decision.

He had gone out with the kids for the afternoon so I could have a bit of down time with a small hangover.  In that time I had cleaned a bathroom and done 3 loads of washing.  I did get a 2 hour nap in as well, but that was the point of me staying at home.  I don’t tend to blow my own trumpet when I do everyday, normal, family maintenance jobs like this, so when he got back and started to get the bath ready for the kids, he was clearly in a grump. I could see it. I didn’t ask and then he couldn’t help himself.  “You could have emptied the dishwasher while I was out”.   ARGGHHHHH.

Needless to say, the poor bugger got an earful from me.

Anyone else got a better award for the “Stupidiest thing to say to a Spouse”?

 

I’ve linked this back to Mummy Barrow’s Ranty Friday. Click on the pic below if you fancy reading more rants.

MummyBarrow

I’m an Introvert

Believe it or not, I spent most of my life believing I was an extrovert.  Honestly.  I’m feel incredibly stupid for this, but I don’t know whether it has been the ageing process that has accentuated the traits and made it much more obvious or whether I’m just better educated now.  Maybe both.

The reason I thought I was an extrovert stems from my teens and 20’s.  I had relatively queit friends and I am very talkative. I am a chatterbox. I looooove to talk. My aunt rang my mum once to check up on my throat infection and asked if I had stopped talking. The answer was no.  As well as the talking a lot, filling the empty silences that people insist on putting there (why, why do they do that?) I quite like having the floor with friends.  I have very fond memories of having one too many drinks and practically doing a stand up routine or often a bit of improvised slapstick for the amusement of those around me.  It took me a while, but I started acting in my early 20’s, eventually coming to the UK in the 90’s to study drama, meet my husband and do a bit of professional acting before realising I wasn’t up for the struggle and quitting.

That sounds like an extrovert doesn’t it?  Attention seeker. Drama queen. Actress.

It always confused me when I did quizzes or a Myers Briggs personality test in early 2000 and I didn’t come out as an extrovert. Why do they keep getting it wrong?

So, it’s taken me a while, but in the last 5 years I think it has slowly trickled into my head.  Around the time I had children and found myself in situations where I was meeting new people for the first time at NCT antenatal classes or at children’s birthday parties.  It probably wasn’t until this year that I made the jump to actually realising I was an introvert. To go from being an extrovert, right the way down the scale to the Introvert was a bit of a shock to the system.  It has helped me though.

I’m no longer critical of my inability to make new friends.  I’ve stopped getting annoyed at my anxious disposition about a night out with people I don’t know very well.  Best of all, I’ve started to find like minded people on twitter and in real life who are just like me.  I’ve been able to give advice to my husband, advice that wasn’t obvious even to me (like this picture), to help him understand why I am the way I am.introvert

There are quite a few myths out there about introverts and on my googling, I found this really interesting blog post  by Carl King.  In it, he had the exact same realisation and found a book that helped him to understand it better.  Here are the myths he outlined. I shouted “yes” to everyone:

Myth #1 – Introverts don’t like to talk.
This is not true. Introverts just don’t talk unless they have something to say. They hate small talk. Get an introvert talking about something they are interested in, and they won’t shut up for days.

Myth #2 – Introverts are shy.
Shyness has nothing to do with being an Introvert. Introverts are not necessarily afraid of people. What they need is a reason to interact. They don’t interact for the sake of interacting. If you want to talk to an Introvert, just start talking. Don’t worry about being polite.

Myth #3 – Introverts are rude.
Introverts often don’t see a reason for beating around the bush with social pleasantries. They want everyone to just be real and honest. Unfortunately, this is not acceptable in most settings, so Introverts can feel a lot of pressure to fit in, which they find exhausting.

Myth #4 – Introverts don’t like people.
On the contrary, Introverts intensely value the few friends they have. They can count their close friends on one hand. If you are lucky enough for an introvert to consider you a friend, you probably have a loyal ally for life. Once you have earned their respect as being a person of substance, you’re in.

Myth #5 – Introverts don’t like to go out in public.
Nonsense. Introverts just don’t like to go out in public FOR AS LONG. They also like to avoid the complications that are involved in public activities. They take in data and experiences very quickly, and as a result, don’t need to be there for long to “get it.” They’re ready to go home, recharge, and process it all. In fact, recharging is absolutely crucial for Introverts.

Myth #6 – Introverts always want to be alone.
Introverts are perfectly comfortable with their own thoughts. They think a lot. They daydream. They like to have problems to work on, puzzles to solve. But they can also get incredibly lonely if they don’t have anyone to share their discoveries with. They crave an authentic and sincere connection with ONE PERSON at a time.

Myth #7 – Introverts are weird.
Introverts are often individualists. They don’t follow the crowd. They’d prefer to be valued for their novel ways of living. They think for themselves and because of that, they often challenge the norm. They don’t make most decisions based on what is popular or trendy.

Myth #8 – Introverts are aloof nerds.
Introverts are people who primarily look inward, paying close attention to their thoughts and emotions. It’s not that they are incapable of paying attention to what is going on around them, it’s just that their inner world is much more stimulating and rewarding to them.

Myth #9 – Introverts don’t know how to relax and have fun.
Introverts typically relax at home or in nature, not in busy public places. Introverts are not thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies. If there is too much talking and noise going on, they shut down. Their brains are too sensitive to the neurotransmitter called Dopamine. Introverts and Extroverts have different dominant neuro-pathways. Just look it up.

Myth #10 – Introverts can fix themselves and become Extroverts.
A world without Introverts would be a world with few scientists, musicians, artists, poets, filmmakers, doctors, mathematicians, writers, and philosophers. That being said, there are still plenty of techniques an Extrovert can learn in order to interact with Introverts. (Yes, I reversed these two terms on purpose to show you how biased our society is.) Introverts cannot “fix themselves” and deserve respect for their natural temperament and contributions to the human race. In fact, one study (Silverman, 1986) showed that the percentage of Introverts increases with IQ.

These made perfect sense to me.  I often engage with people at my daughter’s school, because we have a common interest and our children are in the same class and I like to be inclusive.  Just because I do that, doesn’t mean I like to chat to strangers.  It depends on the circumstances and my mood.

What has been the biggest realisation this year, along with my understanding of my anxiety, is that not EVERYTHING I do is a result of my anxiety.  Quite a lot of it is just my personality, my introversion.  This blog post about my daughter, helped me realise that. I’ve always encouraged her to be social, so the fact she finds it hard sometimes is another example of our genetic makeup, hers and mine.

We can’t change it, nor should we want to.  I’m planning on using my new found knowledge to be kinder to myself and accept how introversion is part of who I am.