Saturday, March 21, 2009
The Great Debate/The Great Compromise
You know, I was reading in my social psychology text about the three facets of love that people seek in a relationship- they are passion, decision/commitment and intimacy. They are also called the defining features of love and are based on Sternberg's triangular model of love. Anyway, the thing that I find shocking is that respect usually does not even come close to topping the list when someone talks about what they are seeking in a partner. Say what?!
Which leads me into the great debate. If you are a stay at home mom (SAHM) and that is because you want to cry just looking at your child's face and you can't imagine parting for one moment with this precious bundle of joy... you're a rarity, an anomaly and I applaud you.
But, if you are one of those women who is a SAHM for some other reason, whether it is money reasons (cheaper than finding daycare while working minimum wage) or because you feel it is your duty, then you probably know what I'm referring to.
Women that stay at home all day long while their husbands are at work don't get much free time. And there is a constant debate on who is working harder. Neither side will admit it, but they both think that they themselves are and think the other one has it much better off. So, when the husband gets home from work, the wife secretly wonders when he is going to take over so she can breathe. And if she acts too pushy, the husband is going to think she is a nag.
I know this because I've been there. I don't like being labeled a SAHM because it's not my dream. I'm a student and plan to work full time when I graduate. My husband would go to work every day and I was envious. Then we'd argue about who had a tougher job, but he would never admit what I already knew- he thought I had it easy.
So, this is where the respect part comes in. If you respect your partner, you want them to be happy and stress free. This calls for a need to compromise. Okay, agree to disagree and realize that you both are overwhelmed and that kids can be a handful, but your kids deserve the best you they can get and a stressed out mom or dad is not at their best.
My husband and I finally came to a compromise (after 3 years, haha) and it was because he was staying up so late to get "free time" that he'd be exhausted every day and I was going to bed at the same time as the kids and getting up at the same times as the kids and thinking "when do I get free time?!" What we decided to do was give the kids a normal bedtime (8pm) and the hubby would take them into the bedroom and lie with them while he watched tv and they went to sleep. He would do this for 2 hours while I got "free time" and then I'd go into bed.
Now, this works great for us because right now we all have to share a room until we get a new house and my 14 month old is clingy and we don't want to let him cry it out.
So our solution may not be exactly what your solution would be, but I urge people in this situation to think about a compromise. Love SHOULD be about respect and you have to open your mind sometimes and think about your partner. My husband and I have learned to compromise about so many things in our six years of marriage that hopefully we can continue on this path.
Good luck if you have these same issues and I'm here if you need an ear!