Two phrases to quit saying today:
We’ve all said them. Chances are you’re saying them now and you’ve said them all your life. We have this innate human need to apologize when we need something. I’ve noticed something lately, though. I try to do everything myself, as many stay-at-home (let’s not forget our work-at-home mamas too) moms do. It drives my husband absolutely insane. My evenings were filled with phrases like this. Phrases to quit saying:
“Honey, I’m sorry, could you take out the trash for me?”
“Hey baby, I’m sorry, if you have a minute could you feed the baby for me?”
“Love, I’m sorry to bother you, could you make sure that big man feeds the dog for me?”
“Sweetie, I’m sorry to bother you again, could you go check the mail for me?”
Did you notice any reoccurring phrases in here? Of course, you did. It’s kind of hard not too! While you take a mental inventory of how many times you said that during dinner rush last night let me explain my revelation about these phrases.
First, there’s nothing wrong with saying “I’m sorry”. Sometimes it’s absolutely necessary and sometimes it’s prideful. When we say “I’m Sorry” in this context it can come across as if you alone, are solely responsible for the entire inner workings of our house, as if our husbands have no other role in the family’s functioning outside of bringing in the paycheck.
That’s a farce. It’s a lie, it’s insulting to our husbands. Also, it’s insinuating that they’re not capable of doing something for the good of the family unit.
If you read back to my post about females voting, you’ll see that when women were allowed to vote it took the smallest unit in our society from the family to the individual. We are a very selfish and self-serving society now. It hasn’t always been this way. For hundreds of years, people did what was best for the family unit. Do you see how those phrases above automatically assume that our spouses have a self-centered view of our family? Let’s break those phrases down:
The term of endearment – Apology – requested task – FOR ME.
Now, while these phrases are unique to my family, I’m sure you have your own set of phrases. Does Nila really need the trash taken out? NO! The family does because everyone in the family uses the trash can. Does Nila need the baby fed? No! I don’t NEED the baby fed; the baby needs the baby fed! If I’m in the middle of cooking dinner, it would only make sense that the parent with free hands would cover that task? Do you get my drift here?
Often, we play the martyrs. It’s chaos in our house and we view our husband as sitting on the couch, playing on his phone, completely oblivious to the needs. Now, this may be an accurate picture or it may be what we are seeing through the frustrated filter of our spouses not being able to read our minds. My husband has made it abundantly clear when I get unnecessarily frustrated in moments like this, “ask and I will do it, but I cannot read your mind.”
I will be the first to say that YES, it can be frustrating to have to ask for specifics. In my mind, IT’S SO OBVIOUS. However, this is what I see daily, all day long. I’ve been programmed to notice things that cue me to an action. My husband, who works outside the home, hasn’t been programmed to the extent that I have. Therefore, he needs to be asked. He wants to be asked. He gets frustrated that I don’t ask. I am not in this marriage alone!
So, I ask. Not apologetically, but kindly and in love. The family has a need and he can meet that need. The task isn’t for me (normally), the task is for the betterment of the family.
I’ve started to notice a difference in my husband as I’ve changed how I’ve asked for things. He feels empowered and
like he’s contributing and he feels wanted and needed. Which is exactly what he is.
Check out this hilarious video about not apologizing for the craziest things.