If you’re a wife/mother like me, you’re probably the “manager” of the household. While holding down a stressful career where you’re always having to prove your skills, you also are in charge of daily management of your family.
What this might involve might differ from one person to another. I manage all our bills, am the go-to person for mortgage and insurance renewal, know everyone’s weekly schedule, social planner, event planner (i.e. birthday parties, mother’s day/father’s day dinner, christmas present shopping list, summer camp registration, etc.) and am the homework police to boot.
The bigger picture of all this – I still think this is due to the fact that society still places different expectations on women than men. On the other hand, when it comes to my own personal life, I see this as partly my fault.
I have been accountable for setting the standards and expectation of each person’s role in my own household. It wasn’t intentional, of course – I just went with what I was good at. I had the talents and skills to remember not just what was on my plate, but everyone else’s plates, and my multitasking skills, compared to that of my husband and so far my daughter, is pretty much outstanding. It was only natural I took on this Manager of Household (and sometimes, Overlord of the Universe) title.
So lately, I’ve been letting go a lot. And it’s evident that both Doug and Chaeli are a little bit lost now that they have to think for themselves. I was actually amazed to see what a difference it made.
For example, in less than a month, Chaeli forgot to bring her gym gear twice (both times when Doug was in charge of taking her to school). In all her four years, she has never forgotten her gym bag. Why? Because I never let her forget. I couldn’t rely on Doug when she was too young to remember herself – Doug’s memory is pretty terrible. So I just took over.
Now, Chaeli is older. And there’s no excuse for her to not remember what she needs everyday for school. And when I’m on a business trip (or just simply in the middle of a big project at work), Doug needs to step up to the plate (especially between shifts when he is not working for a few days).
So perhaps I’m doing this a little later than I should have. But when my health and career started to become more challenged, I realized it’s never too late to correct some bad habits (in all of us).
Things are slowly improving. I let both Doug and Chaeli fail (not without some frustration on my part, mind you – I’m not perfect) but that’s okay. They learn from their failure. It will all work out.