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I think there are discussions going on about a couple of different issues here.

Order and organization have a lot to do with executive function. Meticulousness and perfectionism can be driven by anxiety.

I don't see either of those as fundamental to "carrying the load", though they can certainly intersect. The person with good executive function will generally live life and expect life to be lived in a more orderly way, and will leave an easier time staying on top of all the things. A meticulous person might have lots of standards and expectations for themselves and others that may result in extra load carrying because what they perceive as necessary is very detailed and intense.

The basic carrying of the load though isn't dependent on good executive function or on being meticulous. It is about who is thinking about and taking responsibility for stuff. In household management, that means who considers and takes responsibility for bills getting paid, food being purchased and prepared and cleaned up after, laundry being done, floors being swept, trash being taken out, grass being mowef, furnace filters being changed, broken things being repaired or replaced, etc. Organizing information storage and retrieval so needed documents etc. are accessible. Managing the family financial flow. Not necessarily who actually does the things, but who tracks what needs to be done and makes sure it happens.

In childrearing, the mental load includes tracking the child's health and arranging for medical, dental, vision etc. care; paying attention to the child's educational and social and emotional needs and trying to ensure they are met. Organizing classes and activities and logistics. Planning and following up on bedtime and hygiene routines. Putting thought into behavioral goals and strategies and coming up with and following through on a plan for instruction and discipline. Checking in regularly to know what is happening in the child's life, being there to guide and discuss and comfort.

If I'm the one making sure my kids are fed and dressed before church on Sunday I'm carrying the load even if dressed means a wrinkled shirt that clashes with their pants and breakfast is a pop tart. If I'm the one making sure clothes get washed I'm carrying the load even if the laundry exists as one mountain of dirty and another mountain of clean clothes and everything gets thrown in together without stain treatment. If I'm the one making sure kids get to activities I'm carrying the load even if they are always ten minutes late. It isn't about how well organized or meticulous I am, it's about who is actually taking responsibility and trying to follow up on all the parts.

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Meh, I don't know. When the kids were little, I worked only part time, so of course I would be responsible for most of the parenting and housekeeping. That was a fair division of labor for our family.

To the bolded: not necessarily, though, because there is also the phenomenon of a person becoming very oriented towards order and efficient management, though they grew up in a household with parents

That was interesting.  I don't necessarily agree with the "it's not genetic" component, though; I think there are very real differences in men and women that play out in a million ways, including whic

3 hours ago, deBij said:

 

My theory is:
- There needs to be childhood expectation to do home chores so that a person feels the need to roll up their sleeves and get things done at home
- The person with no/low pay gets stuck doing the grunt work
- Society puts on pressures for the family to do things
- All the items in our lives have made life more complicated (need to keep it somewhere, do maintenance, etc)
- Family members benefit from a person's high standards (clean home, good food, organized lives)


 

I"m not sure I agree that socialization completely covers it.  I think executive function, personality, other responsibilities, health, and a million other factors can all come into play.   I think socialization can be part of it, but doesn't usually explain all of it.

My ex was definitely raised as the woman does the household and childcare.  But his mom also didn't work full time.  As a grown adult, he certainly should have been able to make an adjustment to a different way of doing things when what he was raised with didn't work.  What kept him from being able to make that adjustment?   

Dh and I were both raised with the expectation that we would do chores and work to help the household run.  I was in particular since my mother was a single mother, I was the only daughter (there are only 2 of us).  I was doing dishes, making dinner, doing laundry, cleaning house before I was tall enough/strong enough to reach/lift it on my own.   We are both more likely to do other things than housework.   Unfortunately, neither of us are bothered that much by mess and clutter so our house tends to stay messy and cluttered until something prompts a change.  (Not dirty, just messy and cluttered).

I do agree the person with no/low pay gets stuck but usually that is because they have more time.   A person working a paid job 40 to 60 hours a week just has less time for household stuff.   I'm super lucky that dh has always done a lot despite working full time, even when I was the SAHP.

I'm not sure what you mean by society pressure to do things.  What things?  Have people over?  We don't do that.

I'm not sure I'd call our standards "high" but the house is clean (but not neat), the food is healthy, we are where we need to be and prepared when we get there.  

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1 hour ago, maize said:

I think there are discussions going on about a couple of different issues here.

Order and organization have a lot to do with executive function. Meticulousness and perfectionism can be driven by anxiety.

I don't see either of those as fundamental to "carrying the load", though they can certainly intersect. The person with good executive function will generally live life and expect life to be lived in a more orderly way, and will leave an easier time staying on top of all the things. A meticulous person might have lots of standards and expectations for themselves and others that may result in extra load carrying because what they perceive as necessary is very detailed and intense.

The basic carrying of the load though isn't dependent on good executive function or on being meticulous. It is about who is thinking about and taking responsibility for stuff. In household management, that means who considers and takes responsibility for bills getting paid, good being purchased and prepared and cleaned up after, laundry being done, floors being sweet, trash being taken out, great being more, furnace filters being changed, broken things being repaired or replaced, etc. Organizing infirmation storage and retrieval so needed documents etc. are accessible. Managing the family financial flow. Not necessarily who actually does the things, but who tracks what needs to be done and makes sure it happens.

In childrearing, the mental load includes tracking the child's health and arranging for medical, dental, vision etc. care; paying attention to the child's educational and social and emotional needs and trying to ensure they are met. Organizing classes and activities and logistics. Planning and following up on bedtime and hygiene routines. Putting thought into behavioral goals and strategies and coming up with and following through on a plan for instruction and discipline. Checking in regularly to know what is happening in the child's life, being there to guide and discuss and comfort.

If I'm the one making sure my kids are fed and dressed before church on Sunday I'm carrying the load even if dressed means a wrinkled shirt that clashes with their pants and breakfast is a pop tart. If I'm the one making sure clothes get washed I'm carrying the load even if the laundry exists as one mountain of dirty and another mountain of clean clothes and everything gets thrown in together without strain treatment. If I'm the one making sure kids get to activities I'm carrying the load even if they are always ten minutes late. It isn't about how well organized or meticulous I am, it's about who is actually taking responsibility and trying to follow up on all the parts.

Right, exactly this.  

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I have been thinking about this- because mental load is very often the source of my own personal unhappiness at the state of my life. dh and I have been together since high school and have had a very traditional division of labor regarding the house and family. It made sense long ago and still, on paper, makes sense today. He has a demanding job, works very hard, and provides well for all of us. I have been home with the children- in part because I was unemployed when ds1 was born and dh was always, always going to make more money than I was. His mother stayed home and he was comfortable with the arrangement and it has worked quite well for the most part. So yes, he was socialized to not think about the house. He never lived alone-we have lived together since his college graduation and though he is very capable about most things- he just doesn't think about them.

We have different timelines for everything- bills, car repairs, etc. He waits until "have to" and I like to plan ahead. That is personality and temperment. It is not that things don't get done- they don't get done in *my* comfort zone. It is like- he is always just on time- and I am a few minutes early. 

When he was working so hard in the early days of his career and we had little ones, he was gone 12 to 14 hours. So everything house and child related fell on me. Pushing back didn't do any good- my solution was to enlist the children. Team efforts to get out the door, we discussed the calendar every night and repeated it in the morning. They "helped" until they could do things for themselves. This meant that sometimes they wore eye-catching outfits, or shoes on the wrong feet, or stains didn't always come out of clothes- but they grew into real help with time and practice.

Sports belongs to the kids- if they could carry their bag, they could pack it. They chose their own events for meet sign up. If they needed new suits or goggles, they had to tell me. Later that became, me asking "when is practice?" and "do you need a ride?" It meant staying at a not great team for a couple of years because they could walk to the pool if need be. Learning to use public transportation- to get to places when a car was unavailable. It meant that by the time they were 15- I actually had no idea when practice was- now, it isn't even on my calendar- only theirs.

I have only lately realized that the emotional load of the children is also mostly mine. And that is partly a result of dh not being there enough and also because that's all that's left with mostly grown kids. I get the call when they have a bad day or need something. This is the most exhausting thing for me. I can't fix things, I can't make things better- I just listen and love them and then feel exhausted and spent. This is making me a poor wife and a wretched friend. And this is what I have no idea how to fix. And this is the load that is preventing me from doing the things I want- art and writing- because I am tired.

I think the mental load of managing can be delegated and taught- but the physical stuff is easy. But the other things- hard, hard, at least for me.

 

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3 hours ago, Quill said:

I think sometimes (maybe often times), the manager-partner (whether or not the female) is simply unwilling to have whatever perceived negative fallout would happen if they did not execute.

 

3 hours ago, Where's Toto? said:

I"m not sure I agree that socialization completely covers it.  I think executive function, personality, other responsibilities, health, and a million other factors can all come into play.   I think socialization can be part of it, but doesn't usually explain all of it.

“Wish *I* had a wife!”  …… I have thought that myself 🙂

I agree that EF, health and other responsibilities would affect how much household responsibility a person would take. 

My husband is very similar to me in EF, health and love for our family.  However, I am the one researching for hours for the sake of the children (health, possible sports, home schooling). 

I would love to know what makes people so different on this.   Particularly what makes one person able to see things to be done and not another.

As for personality, if a person has a happy-go-lucky, no-worries-in-the-world kind of personality does that exempt them for doing tedious 'life management'?

I guess it comes down to that and the quote above.  It is ‘family life management’ and someone must do it.   I am not willing to compromise on certain things and my husband is happy to go along with my choices (and that keeps us conflict-free).

My husband and I both have given up things for the sake of our family.   However, for my daughters I will recommend that they even out the work with their partner and hire outside help before they give up their career.

 

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3 hours ago, Where's Toto? said:

I"m not sure I agree that socialization completely covers it.  I think executive function, personality, other responsibilities, health, and a million other factors can all come into play.   I think socialization can be part of it, but doesn't usually explain all of it.

My ex was definitely raised as the woman does the household and childcare.  But his mom also didn't work full time.  As a grown adult, he certainly should have been able to make an adjustment to a different way of doing things when what he was raised with didn't work.  What kept him from being able to make that adjustment?   

Dh and I were both raised with the expectation that we would do chores and work to help the household run.  I was in particular since my mother was a single mother, I was the only daughter (there are only 2 of us).  I was doing dishes, making dinner, doing laundry, cleaning house before I was tall enough/strong enough to reach/lift it on my own.   We are both more likely to do other things than housework.   Unfortunately, neither of us are bothered that much by mess and clutter so our house tends to stay messy and cluttered until something prompts a change.  (Not dirty, just messy and cluttered).

I do agree the person with no/low pay gets stuck but usually that is because they have more time.   A person working a paid job 40 to 60 hours a week just has less time for household stuff.   I'm super lucky that dh has always done a lot despite working full time, even when I was the SAHP.

I'm not sure what you mean by society pressure to do things.  What things?  Have people over?  We don't do that.

I'm not sure I'd call our standards "high" but the house is clean (but not neat), the food is healthy, we are where we need to be and prepared when we get there.  

I get that kids can end up the complete opposite of their parents.

I think a SAHP that homeschools does have a lot of hours of work.  It is just not paid.

With society pressures I mean:  Kids enrolled in activities that we not part of our childhood.  The competitiveness of those activities.   The fact that society expects so much from our children, but gives us a lousy education system makes me very peeved.   I don't mind having people over (it encourages even my teenager to tidy up the house).

Essentially, I think that making the house run smoothly should be appreciated and celebrated.  

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16 hours ago, StellaM said:

 

What divide is it then ? Conscientious vs non conscientious ? Does your hypothesis rest on temperament ? Temperament is, I suppose, inborn.

To me, you see, in my personal experience, the ability to see, tend and do is not really an inborn characteristic. I am actually selfish, like to have lots of time to myself, despise life administration, dislike intensely dealing with tasks that involve other people, hate housework, loathe cooking, dislike planning, organising and goal setting/reaching.

If not socialisation, what makes this kind of person behave in pro-social ways, learning the skills involved in timely and effective administration, in meeting the needs of others, of delaying her own gratification and attending to the social supports that sustain family? What gives her eyes to see ? And what keeps another person, not very dissimilar, blind ?

 

For people that aren't just assholes and don't care, I think temperament is a lot of it.

I can manage some things like schedules fairly well  though I had a real learning crve.  But it's abstract which I do better with and I am good at time appreciation.

 But I am not really very good at seeing things that need to be done in my material environment.  I'm an extreme introvert, if I want to push my attention outward, I need to spend energy to do it, it's largely something that I have to consciously do.  A good example is when I learned to drive, I had to pay attention to everything, and it was completely exhausting to me.  Certain tasks that I do a lot, I learn to notice the relevant things and I become much better at it, but then if I am doing that I will not see other things going on around me, because I am focusing my attention on my task - I can't easily change tasks.  It drives my dh crazy, I will move his stuff off of the table to set it, and he will ask me where it is, and I have no memory of what I moved or where I put it, I can only guess based on where I likely would have put it.  If I lose something in the house, I can't find it easily because I see the whole room at once and don't see individual things, and I can't look everywhere and see individual things at the same time.  I almost always have to get my husband to look, and 9 times out of 10 he sees it within 30 seconds, when he looks around a room he sees each thing, whereas I have something like a sense of what the room is like as a whole.

I also am really bad at administrative things, paying bills, keeping records, keeping up with car or home maintenance.  I know how it's meant to be done, but I've never become good at it or really even ok.  If my dh kicked the bucket, my solution would mainly involve paring down anything that required administration to a bare minimum, including selling my house and not keeping a car, because at this point I don't see myself ever becoming much better at it. The biggest thing that helped me was probably the army because it had a lot off built in methods for keeping track of this stuff and I learned to use some of them.

Some people seem to have the same issue with time related things, too.

I'd say most people are in the middle of the bell curve with this stuff, they have some ability even if they aren't wonderful at it.  But there are also people who are just crappy at it and struggle, and the idea that you can change that just by willing it - to me it's like saying you can become more clever just by willing it.  You might get somewhat better with practice, but there are likely to be limits.

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6 hours ago, maize said:

I think there are discussions going on about a couple of different issues here.

Order and organization have a lot to do with executive function. Meticulousness and perfectionism can be driven by anxiety.

I don't see either of those as fundamental to "carrying the load", though they can certainly intersect. The person with good executive function will generally live life and expect life to be lived in a more orderly way, and will leave an easier time staying on top of all the things. A meticulous person might have lots of standards and expectations for themselves and others that may result in extra load carrying because what they perceive as necessary is very detailed and intense.

The basic carrying of the load though isn't dependent on good executive function or on being meticulous. It is about who is thinking about and taking responsibility for stuff. In household management, that means who considers and takes responsibility for bills getting paid, food being purchased and prepared and cleaned up after, laundry being done, floors being swept, trash being taken out, grass being mowef, furnace filters being changed, broken things being repaired or replaced, etc. Organizing information storage and retrieval so needed documents etc. are accessible. Managing the family financial flow. Not necessarily who actually does the things, but who tracks what needs to be done and makes sure it happens.

In childrearing, the mental load includes tracking the child's health and arranging for medical, dental, vision etc. care; paying attention to the child's educational and social and emotional needs and trying to ensure they are met. Organizing classes and activities and logistics. Planning and following up on bedtime and hygiene routines. Putting thought into behavioral goals and strategies and coming up with and following through on a plan for instruction and discipline. Checking in regularly to know what is happening in the child's life, being there to guide and discuss and comfort.

If I'm the one making sure my kids are fed and dressed before church on Sunday I'm carrying the load even if dressed means a wrinkled shirt that clashes with their pants and breakfast is a pop tart. If I'm the one making sure clothes get washed I'm carrying the load even if the laundry exists as one mountain of dirty and another mountain of clean clothes and everything gets thrown in together without stain treatment. If I'm the one making sure kids get to activities I'm carrying the load even if they are always ten minutes late. It isn't about how well organized or meticulous I am, it's about who is actually taking responsibility and trying to follow up on all the parts.

 

But there are many people who don't manage to do these kinds of things, and they don't get done in their households. It's not just a matter of, in some homes one person is able to leach of the other person, and left to themselves they would figure it out.  

There are cases like that, where one person is a leaner. Or in my dad's case, he had an addiction, and it was only after my mum kicked him out that her realised he couldn't manage, and so he stopped drinking and improved.  Somewhat.  He still has been married four times and bankrupt twice. So maybe not so much, but at least he feeds himself.

When you get two people together who are really really bad at this stuff, they can have terrible problems as a family and it can cripple their lives and the lives of their kids.  I don't think it's just that they are ok with that in most cases.

 

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8 minutes ago, StellaM said:

 

Without at all doubting or disrespecting your own experience, mine is that I use an immense amount of will to overcome the deficiencies of my temperament, and it's very hard for me to see or accept that neurotypical others cannot do the same. Perhaps the combination of conscientiousness AND neuroticism at play, but it's no fun being the only one pulling the cart, and it really does set the cart puller up for long-term burnout (not referring to your dh here, speaking about myself).

 

 

I think your situation sounds very uneven, and like you are stuck doing all the work in an area that isn't only not your preference, but maybe isn't your strength.  Whereas most of us like to be in a position to spend a lot of time working to our strengths and hope to share the stuff we don't enjoy and aren't so good at.  

But there are different kinds of deficiencies.  Some of the things you've mentioned are preferring alone time, being lazy, not wanting to do the work - those are generally things people can make themselves overcome. And we can improve through expertise too.  Whereas things like executive function, how we process sense experience, and time, those things often are nothing to do with will.  Gains made will always be minimal.  A couple posters talked for example about spouses with ADHD, a group that very often has little or no ability to manage time.  In the long term they are not likely to change that much.

My impression is that you think your dh could do better, but won't, and I expect you are probably right.  Whether that's down to socialisation or something else.  But many couples find themselves at odds with division of mental labour for other reasons, one is lacking in ability, they disagree over the outcomes they would like, or in many cases I think it is poor communication/mistaken assumptions.

 

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19 hours ago, maize said:

FWIW, even a disorganized spouse can be the responsible one carrying the load (though still disorganized).

Load carrying isn't really about organization or lack thereof.

I think a person can have ADHD and be a load carrier. I think a person can be a jerk and be a non load carrier. I think you can be a non-load carrier whose ADHD manifests that way. 

I found your post clarifying what you mean helpful. I personally think that mental load carrying is an executive function, but it's one that works for you. Not everyone with ADHD presents with the same universal problems with EF. I have three people in my house with it, and 2 are similar (but not the same), and one is TOTALLY different. The one that is totally different is a load carrier; the other two are not. Flat out, not. Ironically, the one with ADHD that is a load carrier has an additional diagnosis that should make him less able to see and respond and divide that emotional labor, but yet, he's the best at it. 

I do think that temperament comes into play as well--it was mentioned by a couple of PP's. But I don't think it's determinative alone. There are a lot of things that are not really strengths of my temperament (they are weaknesses), and I suck it up for the sake of the mental load. I bend over backwards fighting my own way of functioning to carry that load. Sure, some of the mental load is big picture stuff, and I am good at the abstract, big picture stuff. But I find all the executing of those things exhausting, demoralizing, and draining. My spouse does not. All I am really asking with the mental load is to be willing to listen to WHERE the details fit in (his part of the mental load), to recognize and take those pieces himself, and to make sure he doesn't screw it up (there are some things we all have to be picky about here for health reasons, etc.). Part of the mental load is basically like merging into traffic--you have to know who has the right of way and things like that. But people who don't carry that load just want to drive right out into the intersection without knowing what the lights mean, or drive onto the highway without knowing the safe way to do it. 

34 minutes ago, Bluegoat said:

I think your situation sounds very uneven, and like you are stuck doing all the work in an area that isn't only not your preference, but maybe isn't your strength.  Whereas most of us like to be in a position to spend a lot of time working to our strengths and hope to share the stuff we don't enjoy and aren't so good at.  

But there are different kinds of deficiencies.  Some of the things you've mentioned are preferring alone time, being lazy, not wanting to do the work - those are generally things people can make themselves overcome. And we can improve through expertise too.  Whereas things like executive function, how we process sense experience, and time, those things often are nothing to do with will.  Gains made will always be minimal.  A couple posters talked for example about spouses with ADHD, a group that very often has little or no ability to manage time.  In the long term they are not likely to change that much.

There are lots and lots of strategies to help compensate for ADHD even if the innate ability doesn't get better--Maize listed some ways that people do this. But people have to be willing to acknowledge, "That's me" and implement them. Heck, working from my non-strengths requires me to use MANY of the SAME strategies to do a good job on those tasks. I have an excellent sense of time, for instance, but I use timers because I so, so dislike managing details. The timer lets my mind relax and fully engage in a task without forgetting about a time-sensitive "detail." But yet, I have considered and contextualized that detail using a strength, and I've strategized about when to accomplish that task using a strength. 

I also use ADHD strategies to manage tasks that I think take more time than their priority level indicates they should. Maize's example of laundry in big piles of clean or dirty--I do similar things, not because I have ADHD but because I'd rather use my time and mental energy for something else.

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Mmmmm yep.  I really truly often wonder how long it would take dh to get his shit together if I suddenly died or more realisticly how long it would take him to find someone to take my place.  He should be plenty capable of taking care of his kids, but he is lazy AF.  If I ask him to help me brush the kids teeth for instance, he calls to the kid and says go brush your teeth.  Not helpful.  The dentist says he isn't doing a good enough job on his own.  I want you to brush his teeth.  He won't, but then bitches about how much it costs to fix cavities.  I could go on and on, but I don't have all day.

 

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So, something interesting, not quite sure where it fits....

 

DS7, who is again, only 7, has been taking care of inside trash cans (ie not the big can and not getting the trash company provided bin to the curb.) for something like 2 yrs now.  Yet, every single day, I have to mange his taking out of the trash.  "hey, DS7, have you taken out the kitchen trash?"  Hey, DS7, lets go get the bathroom trash cans taken care of."  And, he totally does so without complaint or grumbling.  But, I still have to make sure he does it every day or it doesn't get done (and DH will just not think to make sure it gets done.)

The other day, dinner was spaghetti.  I have been working with all 3 kids to teach them to cook, have had a few posts.  DD11 asked me if dinner was ready.  I told her I had the water on, but I would be putting the noodles in as soon as I was finished helping DS7 with whatever it was we were doing (I think he was working on legos and asked me to pull apart something.)  Anyway, I finished, and walked in the kitchen, and DD11 was pouring noodles in the pot.  She looked at me and said "the water was boiling, so I put them in."  

Today, I asked DD11 to unload the dishwasher.  DH was getting burgers on the grill, I was making sure all the kids got chores done, different chores, different rooms, etc.  I walk into the kitchen to check on DD11, and she was finished unloading the dishwasher......and putting away a couple of things that DH left out after he prepped the burgers....unasked.

I am not sure how this fits in because....I don't want my girls to learn that they are supposed to clean up after guys.  But....DD11 saw something was out, and just.............put it away.   And DS7 is still just 7, so I don't really expect him to recognize yet every time the bathroom trash NEEDS to go out...I am still teaching him.  

But has been nice, in light of this discussion, to see that at least one kid has recognized that there's something that needs to be done, so do it.

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2 hours ago, happysmileylady said:

So, something interesting, not quite sure where it fits....

 

DS7, who is again, only 7, has been taking care of inside trash cans (ie not the big can and not getting the trash company provided bin to the curb.) for something like 2 yrs now.  Yet, every single day, I have to mange his taking out of the trash.  "hey, DS7, have you taken out the kitchen trash?"  Hey, DS7, lets go get the bathroom trash cans taken care of."  And, he totally does so without complaint or grumbling.  But, I still have to make sure he does it every day or it doesn't get done (and DH will just not think to make sure it gets done.)

The other day, dinner was spaghetti.  I have been working with all 3 kids to teach them to cook, have had a few posts.  DD11 asked me if dinner was ready.  I told her I had the water on, but I would be putting the noodles in as soon as I was finished helping DS7 with whatever it was we were doing (I think he was working on legos and asked me to pull apart something.)  Anyway, I finished, and walked in the kitchen, and DD11 was pouring noodles in the pot.  She looked at me and said "the water was boiling, so I put them in."  

Today, I asked DD11 to unload the dishwasher.  DH was getting burgers on the grill, I was making sure all the kids got chores done, different chores, different rooms, etc.  I walk into the kitchen to check on DD11, and she was finished unloading the dishwasher......and putting away a couple of things that DH left out after he prepped the burgers....unasked.

I am not sure how this fits in because....I don't want my girls to learn that they are supposed to clean up after guys.  But....DD11 saw something was out, and just.............put it away.   And DS7 is still just 7, so I don't really expect him to recognize yet every time the bathroom trash NEEDS to go out...I am still teaching him.  

But has been nice, in light of this discussion, to see that at least one kid has recognized that there's something that needs to be done, so do it.

I have an 8 year old boy and a 6 year old boy.  Just tonight the 6 year old asked me if he could put on the fresh roll of toilet paper.  Ummm yes please! It cracks me up as the 8 year old is clueless.  We ask the kids to clear their own dishes and I have to remind our 8 year old every single time and the 6 year old just does it.  He always puts his dirty laundry away, hangs up his own towel and those are just a few examples.  I think all the time how his future wife will be so pleased with him. He is also great with babies.  I tell my 8 year old the reason he has to learn to do things is because he will have to do things for himself someday.  He actually has the nerve to say he will have a wife to do it for him.  I tell him that is not how a lot of people work, good luck with all that. 

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There are lots and lots of strategies to help compensate for ADHD even if the innate ability doesn't get better--Maize listed some ways that people do this. But people have to be willing to acknowledge, "That's me" and implement them. 

 

Sure, but is that kind of acknowledgement the only reason some people don't?  And why can't they see that?  They just don't want to?  They don't have the insight?  The self-disapline?

Someone, I think maybe Stella above, was talking about the will.  That's an interesting word to use because I think the ability to will something is not something we all have in equal measure, in all areas.  If we think about things like dieting or going to exercise, or not spending all our time playing video games or on social media - people have a hard time with these things.  Some people seem to have a hard time doing the things that need to be done to keep their families fed and clean, or keep their jobs, all of which are pretty vital to most of us.

Why some people have a strong will, and others don't, is a little mysterious to me.  I think some comes down to what you have learned as a child, not so much by being taught but by having the chance to train your will.  But a lot seems to be about something else that is luck of the draw.

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1 hour ago, Bluegoat said:

Why some people have a strong will, and others don't, is a little mysterious to me.  I think some comes down to what you have learned as a child, not so much by being taught but by having the chance to train your will.  But a lot seems to be about something else that is luck of the draw.

 

I don't think it is about will so much as the ability to care and a sense of duty, but whatever the proportions are, all three will wear out if overused and atrophy if underused.
 

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11 hours ago, Elizabeth86 said:

I have an 8 year old boy and a 6 year old boy.  Just tonight the 6 year old asked me if he could put on the fresh roll of toilet paper.  Ummm yes please! It cracks me up as the 8 year old is clueless.  We ask the kids to clear their own dishes and I have to remind our 8 year old every single time and the 6 year old just does it.  He always puts his dirty laundry away, hangs up his own towel and those are just a few examples.  I think all the time how his future wife will be so pleased with him. He is also great with babies.  I tell my 8 year old the reason he has to learn to do things is because he will have to do things for himself someday.  He actually has the nerve to say he will have a wife to do it for him.  I tell him that is not how a lot of people work, good luck with all that. 

This is similar to our house.
Last week oldest aired his grievance in the kitchen that I was always singling him out for putting his dish in the sink every.single.morning. and not the empty dishwasher right next to him.
Well, yes, I was singling him out.  BECAUSE HE WAS THE ONLY ONE DOING IT!  😄  😄 😄 Every single day.  Everyone else stops, checks, and acts accordingly.  Youngest ds is still too short to reach most of the cabinets but dh and I have a policy that if the dishwasher is clean, empty it.  If it's full, run it.  If it's inbetween, fill it.  Oldest has been taught this.  Daily.  He will have to figure it out on his own one day.
 

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I thought of this post last night while finalizing today's schedule with dh. Disclaimer, he's really stressed right now with a job search and impending unemployment.

So I have 2 appointments today. An ultrasound that was at 8:15, which was an hour from our house. And then one this afternoon which is on the way home from the first appointment. 2 weeks ago I arranged for my sil to watch the kids all day so I didn't have to lug them around. Last week I let dh know that he would have to be the one to drop them off because I had to leave just after 7 just to get to my appointment. It would have been 6:30 if I had to drop kids off first. Dh was fine with this and said he'd arrange the drop off with sil.

Well last night, I start talking to dh about it and his eyes got all buggy. He had forgotten and he had to be at work by 8. Meaning he'd have to leave the house by 7 to get kids to sil's before work. He sighs and says, 'i guess they are coming to work with me.' him forgetting is completely out of character and likely due to stress. So, it made me think of the people on here who mentioned that even having a family calendar doesn't work.

Thankfully, the kids going to work with him isn't an issue. He just wasn't anticipating having to get kids ready in a rush because half of them would still be asleep if not woken up by us 

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I came home yesterday from my 8 hour trip each way and I am taking today off because I am beat.  And I need to.  The house needs some attention.

DH has decided that fruit, and things like garlic and onion, should be out, in my decorative bowls.  Empty bowls, or bowls used for decorative purposes, should be filled with utilitarian purposes.

So, my beverage counter, with my pretty lights and candles and a pretty glass blue bowl, now have onion, garlic, and ginger in it.  The garlic casings are breaking off and are all over the nice countertop.  He sees none of it.

Today, I removed it all, put it in a container, and shoved it in the pantry, where it belongs.

 

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13 hours ago, Bluegoat said:

Sure, but is that kind of acknowledgement the only reason some people don't?  And why can't they see that?  They just don't want to?  They don't have the insight?  The self-disapline?

Anecdotally, yes, it's a big part of it. If you don't see yourself as a burden/drain on others, especially if in other settings you are proactive, then you aren't going to change. I think sometimes, it's also an allocation of time--maybe you can be proactive in one setting, but then you've used up all your resources for that kind of thought. Fine, but then own it and figure out a way to compensate or have different expectations (like expecting x or y outcome without the pre-requisite things being true of you).

Expectations are part of this--the people not seeing it or owning it often just think it will get better because they don't want to be "that person." But they don't use the strategies.

Many people don't see the "in the moment" part of this--it's like driving and having to watch other traffic. But in this area of life, they don't practice that skill. Often developing that in the moment ability to see what's going on takes feedback. There are some personality types that are allergic to feedback but desperately need it to develop new skills. They put up with it at work (or even ask) because they need a job, but in the rest of life, they absolutely HATE feedback of any kind. 

Also, I think that some mental load tasks require more in the moment noticing and some more noticing of the big picture. I am much better at the big picture load lifting, but I have realized that the in the moment tasks must be attended to or they get too big, too fast with four people in my home. I don't like sharing this load with people who are aggressive about in the moment tasks, honestly. Just a confession--it ends up feeling like a competition to notice enough that I'm not seen as a drag. Well, when I'm around people who can't/don't ever sit still and relax, I can't win. I get to the same place in a fairly similar timeframe when left to my own devices, but that's not enough for some people. 

Anyway, so I have a lot of empathy for differences of style, etc., but I have zero empathy for just not sharing the load or not making an effort to compensate for tricky areas. 

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So, I'm almost starting to think I'm the husband y'all complain about. DH is the one that notices & also cares the kitchen floor is sticky (perhaps a watermelon or pineapple was cut & juice dropped on the floor. The people involved in the cutting didn't clean it up.)... waits a couple days to see if anyone will mop it, then takes care of it. 

Reminding someone else the kids have karate, gymnastics, piano, etc? Yeah, that's what DH does every morning before work - to me, despite that it is on the calendar & we do it every week.

On 11/22/2019 at 4:22 PM, Little Green Leaves said:

When my kids were babies, my mother came to visit me once a week. I loved her visits. ...she'd wash all my dishes and listen to me talk about my week. I think women did more of that for each other in the old days, and I think that must have made a huge difference to their quality of life. ...  It also takes the pressure off of the marriage, so that husbands and wives don't have to fill every role for each other. 

When my mom visits, which isn't much because 1 1/2 hours is too far to come often even when your H or one of your kids will do all the driving, she sits around making comments about how she cleans the inside of her microwave or how the house looks "lived in." I'd be jealous of your mom, but I'd rather have my DH than your mom. If my mom visited more often, I'd move farther away because I can't divorce my mom. (She was at my bro & SIL's weekly because they lived near her. The extra "helping hand," I'm convinced, contributed to their divorce. So, everyone has different circumstances.

On 11/22/2019 at 6:21 PM, Quill said:

This is my reality, right down to the fact that I am assumed to read all the @!*&$#% health insurance renewal and submit the darn thing in the measley-assed one month time window we get. 

Lucky. We used to get a month. The last couple if years, we got 15 days. We get a whole 19 days!

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2 hours ago, RootAnn said:

So, I'm almost starting to think I'm the husband y'all complain about. DH is the one that notices & also cares the kitchen floor is sticky (perhaps a watermelon or pineapple was cut & juice dropped on the floor. The people involved in the cutting didn't clean it up.)... waits a couple days to see if anyone will mop it, then takes care of it. 

Reminding someone else the kids have karate, gymnastics, piano, etc? Yeah, that's what DH does every morning before work - to me, despite that it is on the calendar & we do it every week.

....

 

Yes, I struggle with a lot of management stuff far more than my husband.  If it were just the household, and not the kids, he'd be far better at managing it than I am.  He can take care of the kids too but would probably not home educate if he was the at home person.  He thinks I make a lot of work for myself and am really inefficient which is probably true.  He can be a bit of a nag TBH, there are things I do when he is home that I don't bother with when he is away - I don't think they are really having to be done the way he wants and I don't like doing it that way even if I can see the objective advantages, but his complaining about them drives me nuts.

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I don't know what the solution is. Make all these people who cannot or won't notice and care either work very highly paid jobs where they can employ a personal assistant to do the noticing and caring for them, or...idk...

 

I think if you knew the answer to this question you could probably retire in comfort.

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Being a single parent surely has its benefits.

A big one is:  not one drop of my mental load involves thinking about what someone else's share of the mental load should be.

That said ... this thread is inspiring me to create systems that are easily delegated to my kids, so they can develop the ability to manage things later.  My kids are really spoiled by my doing things rather than fussing about them.

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About two months ago my husband made an appointment to have the undercarriage of his truck sprayed with rust-proofing.  We need it here and have been going to the car wash pretty often.  He told me at the time and I wrote the time on the paper calendar.  Yesterday I asked him about it.  He had NO idea where it was to be done.  He looked at companies and has no idea what company he called.  I don't think he told me at the time, I think I would have written it down.  I also thought privately -- that surely someplace would have an opening sooner than two months in advance, but whatever, it's fine.

Now I am going to be calling and getting a new appointment.  

He said he thought they would call and remind him of the appointment.  

This is pretty typical for him.  He just does not remember things.

He is much better at taking care of things that need to be done immediately.  

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9 minutes ago, SKL said:

Being a single parent surely has its benefits.

A big one is:  not one drop of my mental load involves thinking about what someone else's share of the mental load should be.

That said ... this thread is inspiring me to create systems that are easily delegated to my kids, so they can develop the ability to manage things later.  My kids are really spoiled by my doing things rather than fussing about them.

Well, having done it, being a single parent is rather tough.  And regardless of whether or not DH contributes an equal share to the management of the house, I am very grateful that I don't have to do all the management AND all the execution ALL by myself.  I would rather share unevenly, than go back to doing it all by myself again.  I would still however prefer more even sharing to uneven sharing.  

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