Bubbles in the garden.

The other night at dinner it became apparent that Small doesn’t know how the family works.

He doesn’t know that some of what I do online earns money. And he doesn’t appear to have noticed shopping, cooking, cleaning, washing or any of that stuff as contributions to family life. He doesn’t see why he should do anything to contribute and doesn’t understand the concept of team work.

I’m not sure how to get it across to him. I tried talking about what life would be like if he was shipwrecked on a desert island. If he had to do everything from scratch. I might find him a copy of Robinson Crusoe and see if that helps.

If I can’t get him to understand how society and community mean everyone being interlinked and interdependent I don’t stand much of a chance with the little ones.

I’ve never felt quite as invisible as I did in that moment. When I realised that he equates earning money with being worthwhile and thinks Tim does it all without any of my input.

It was a painful eye opener and hint to talk much more about our work so that he can understand how it really happens.

So today I did no (paid) work. I ran two and a half miles. I shopped. Cooked. Changed nappies. And spent time in the garden with the small children and some bubbles.

Which was good.


About Jax Blunt

I'm the original user, Jax Blunt I've been blogging for 14 years, give or take, and if you want to know me, read me :)

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  1. Wow! That is quite a challenge you have on your hands, but one I am sure you will overcome with flying colours.

    Love the picture! My how Smallest and Tigerboy have grown!

    • Jax Blunt says:

      I think the answer is to talk more and actually explain what is going on. Small is not going to acquire this stuff by osmosis, and I suspect this may be one of our problems all round tbh, that we expect children to know things that we never explain.

  2. MY kid too think daddy does all the work becuse he ‘goes’ to work I never bloomin’ stop!

  3. Do you still do that job list on the fridge with post it thingies that you move over? If you do, add all the jobs that only you do (including “earn money for X” and “earn money for Y”) and let him see how big your pile is at the end of the week.

    • Jax Blunt says:

      we haven’t been doing because it got to the point where I was chasing them saying do stickies and it was just one more thing to stress about. But I think the visuals are the only way I’m going to get it through to them.

  4. I remember thinking this about my mother as a child – though to be fair my dad went out to work and then came home and did the cooking and washing up. All she ever seemed to do was dust and hoover…

    • Jax Blunt says:

      I can safely say that that particular accusation would never be levelled at me. I don’t dust. I rarely hoover. I cook. Tim washes up. He mows lawns and drags bins around, I chase babies and change nappies. We really are terribly stereotypical in some ways 🙁

  5. I sometimes think that the stay-at-home parent at the centre of a busy household is a bit like the sun – so omnipresent in your life you don’t even notice it, unless it disappears. It *is* like being invisible, in a way. Has small ever been at home for more than a day without you there too?

    Also, wrt teamwork, some children *do* need ‘obvious’ social things spelling out to them – my older daughter really struggles to grasp social concepts (such as when someone leaves, it shows that you care about them if you bother to come and say goodbye, and so people who want you to care about them are hurt when you don’t) that my younger daughter has just picked up as if by osmosis. She really struggles with group work in school!

    To me, small seems very like you in many ways. You mentioned a short while back that you wondered about Aspergers for yourself. I, too, score highly on those online tests, and I definitely had to explicitly learn social rules etc – and I still struggle with friendships and so on. And my daughter seems the same, doesn’t seem to understand that you need to invest in friendships in order to keep them, and then wonders why she has no friends. And other things. Tried to explain this to my mum, she didn’t get it – she thought that everyone learnt social rules by rote…funny that…

    I suppose what I’m trying to say is that you do need to keep talking about how things work, keep plugging at it, explain things in terms of systems, ask him to think about what would happen if you weren’t there, make him work it through in his head. If he comes out with a flawed model, throw him a situation that challenges it, see if he can spot the issue. Ask him to work through what would happen if eg you had to go into hospital for six weeks. And tim needs to talk about it with him too…

    Would like to point out that although my two seem happy with the principle of ‘everyone mucks in together’ in theory (probably because I’ve harped on about it so much), putting it into practice is rather lacking in ths house!

    • Jax Blunt says:

      He’s had the occasional weekend – I’ve been away for conferences, or taken the other three to Kentwell for the weekend. That’s about it though.

      Small and I do have a lot in common. The differences are that he seems less questioning, particularly of relationships with other people. Which I think means that I need to be a lot more up front with him, exactly as you suggest.

      Practice does rather often lag behind theory, yes.

  6. Hope you find a way to explain it all, I’m sure you will.

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