He doesn’t yell. He doesn’t even raise his voice. But yet they respond to him so much better than they do me.
The fact is this: I cannot be in 9 places all at once. Our house isn’t huge but it’s big enough that I cannot see into all rooms to be sure every child is doing what he or she has been told to do. I get distracted a lot by different kids, and then those who were told to do something just won’t follow through…and I find out later that the job wasn’t done, and it’s just a cycle of frustration on my part. What makes it worse is that Rich will come home after being gone for almost a week and will get upset at the way the house looks. He doesn’t understand why I can’t get the kids to do what they are supposed to do. For him, getting them to clean up after themselves or to do their chores is never a problem or a struggle. So he just doesn’t get my frustration. In his mind, I must have a time management problem, and that’s why the house isn’t as clean and tidy as he’d like it…because I’m not “managing” my time right. Ha! If only that. That would be an easy fix. (and hearing this critique from him doesn’t exactly put him as my favorite person at that time, and can you blame me? when I’m trying my best to keep up around here and I have to hear that? Please….)
I will admit that Rich has a tone that clearly says I-mean-business-so-do-as-I-say-when-I-say-it….while I suppose I have a tone that says I-am-mommy-come-here-and-give-me-a-hug. But even when I try to sound like Rich, it doesn’t work. When I try the no-nonsense, stern voice…they still don’t respond the same to me.
We used to have a Rottweiler named Bogie. We had him for about ten years. He was a great dog. But even Bogie would listen to Rich better than he would to me. If Bogie ran out front and I yelled, “Bogie! Come!” he would look at me, tongue hanging out of his mouth, and continue on his way. If Rich said the exact same thing, he didn’t even have to yell the words… that dog would cower, head drooped, and come right to Rich’s feet.
It’s not fair.
Sometimes I feel like a first-time parent.