Flip the Switch and Change Your Mindset

You’ve had a long day at work.  You pick up the kids and get home.  The sink is full of dirty dishes and the dishwasher is full of clean dishes.  But you’ve emptied the dishwasher more times than your wife.  You know it.
Where do you go from here?  More than likely it’s to a negative and selfish place.  “I’ll leave them for her to get.  It’s her turn anyway.  I’m always busting my hump around here.  Time for her to step up.”

Hit the brakes.  This will not end well.  You’ll either confront your wife or hold it back.  Neither has a good ending.  Instead of going down this selfish path, flip the switch and change your mind set.

Do the exact opposite of what you want to do.  Instead of being negative and selfish, change it around and be positive and giving.  You’re not the only one with a busy work life.  Your wife likely had a similar experience as you today, and she likely emptied the dishwasher the day before without your knowledge.

“It would be a great help to my wife to put the dishes away.  One less thing on her plate and I know she’ll appreciate some extra time with the kids.”  Now that’s a change to the positive.

Practicing the Change

The strategy change seems simple, but in reality it’s pretty difficult.  The best practice is to notice and recognize your selfish and negative feelings.  Then analyze them.  Ask yourself a couple of questions:

“Is this a big deal?”

“Would I appreciate it if she handled this task if I weren’t here?”

“Am I misplacing my anger towards my wife?”

In most cases, you’ll find that it’s not a big deal for you to take 5 minutes to put away the dishes.  If roles were reversed, you would appreciate the same favor.  You’ve probably brought home some stress or anxiety from work that’s the root cause of your anger.

Applying the Change Daily

Now that you’ve got a way to make a change, be sure to practice it daily.  Home should be your respite and not another job.  When you notice it feels like work, go through the same questions.  You’ll likely get the same answers.  You’ll start to put your family first and you’ll get the same in return.  The positive modeling you’re installing will be a lasting influence on your wife and kids.  This can only benefit all of you in the long term.

Please leave a comment with other tips.  If this post has helped, please pass it along to others.