Wednesday, April 16

Works-for-me Wednesday

Time for another something that Works for Me, thanks to Shannon at Rocks in my Dryer. For more tips, check out her Works for Me Wednesday page.

This isn't a house tip, or a kid tip. This is something that works for my marriage. As you all know, I am a very bad housekeeper. SuperMom I am not, and there are many things I'm very good at, but keeping up with housework just ain't one of them. The only real thing John and I have ever fought about is our home, and usually when family is coming out for a visit. I must say, though, that these fights have become fewer and much farther in between, and this is one of the reasons.

I read a wonderful book a while back, and was totally inspired by it. It recommended finding out the top three (or two, or five, or twenty-seven) things that are important to your partner. So one morning, I caught John on his way to do some work out back, and I said, 'Will you be thinking about the things that you'd most like for me to have done when you get home from work? I'd like to sit down and talk about it later, if that's ok with you.' Yeah, like any guy is going to turn that offer down! Later that day, while the kids were asleep, we say down and had a great talk.

It turns out that the things that are important to him, are things that weren't on my radar. At all. I don't notice the coffee table, except when I run into it, but John loves it when he comes home and the coffee table is cleared off. Ok, that's an easy one to do. Check!

Ditto the kitchen table. Now, I notice this one a little more, but I didn't realize how important it is to him. I can do that, too. Check!

Floor clean under the table. Well, I already told y'all my method for that. And it's been working wonderfully.

You see, there were things that I was working very hard to get done before John got home, like having the porch cleared off, or the bathroom counter wiped down. And it turned out that he didn't really care about those things. But the things I wasn't getting done were the ones that were driving him postal. And it wasn't that he felt that I wasn't getting enough done. He would just rather me do certain things before I move on to others. (And I'm not saying that he doesn't like a clean porch of bathroom. He does. He'd just rather that I clean the coffee table and kitchen table before I move on the the bathroom and porch.)

And it works both ways. John never noticed that he leaves his shoes all over the floor. Makes me postal. Dishes left in the sink? Ditto. And once I showed that I was willing to listen to what's important to him, he was even more willing to listen to things that matter to me.

It's a process. This talk that we had was about two years back, and I've come a long way since then. It's just something that I continue to work on, and John has had to learn to bring things up when he notices them, and not stew on them and get upset before he ever tells me about it, because chances are that I haven't even noticed the thing that's driving him crazy.

It's all about communication, people!!! Talk to your SO, and even more importantly, be sure to listen when they have something important to say. (And ladies, make sure you don't spring a laundry list of complaints on him out of nowhere!!!!!!! This is a very, very, terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad thing to do to him!!!)

So that's what works for me. Any thoughts or questions? What works for you?


Simple Family Supper lady said...

I'm not the worlds best house keeper... ok, not even in the top 100! Anyway, as long as I make the bed my hubby is fine with the house. The rest of the house could be a disaster, but as long as the bed is made he is HAPPY! In the reverse the whole house could be perfect but if the bed isn't made.......! I like this... beds are not hard to make!

I'm with you.. I would rather be outside with the chickens or in the garden or just not inside (on warm days... try to get me OUT on cold days!)

Thanks for stopping by my blog... hope the vinegar trick for venison works well for you! We had some last night! YUMMY!!!!!

ttelroc said...

Bravo - What a great way to communicate. Thanks for sharing this with us and for letting us know that it has worked for you, for a few years now.

Have a great day!

fullheartandhands mama said...

Great advice!

Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Is you Evie an Evelyn? One of my girls is Evelyn and we call her Evie.

Jendeis said...

This is such good advice and what a great way to approach your husband. Will try it with mine in the next few days.

CanadianCarrie said...

This is great advice, I think I'll try it. My husband grew up with an immaculate housekeeper for a mother who did everything for him until he moved out of his parents home and even then she cleaned his place occasionally for those 10years before he met me. I grew up with a bipolar mother who cleaned maniacally while we were asleep. OUr house looks like toysrus vomits in it and a school cafeteria every day, I have made a Spring Resolution to keep up with the little things that cause the most arguments between us. And in the process, teaching our 2 kids about taking pride in your home!
Sorry for the novel...:)

Steph said...

Great idea! :) We had to have basically the same conversation in our house. Now, I have a clean kitchen every single morning, thanks to a couple extra minutes at night. :)

The rest he doesn't care about! Woooohoooo!!!

The Koala Bear Writer said...

Okay, I'm gonna have to ask him that... I recently started being a SAHM, and we've had a few discussions about what I do all day, as sometimes I feel like he thinks he has to work and I get to sit at home having fun. :) NO! Anyways, I'm more particular about the house than he is - perfectionist, like things organized, but I am curious what his answer would be... :)