Doing it HIS way.

I’ve been away from the Young and Restless family for 9 days. In that time, they have magically become these strange people who:
*wake up early every morning
*are always on time to school
*get to church EARLY
Not only that, but apparently, while I was away, Big Son cooked dinner every night -without complaining. Bella Beast allowed herself to be bathed by Big Sister every day – without screaming. The Princess made all the girls lunchboxes every morning – without fail. And  Demon Son didn’t get into any fights at school. Not one. I returned to a house that was spotless. Even my bed was made. ( Heck, I never make my bed. Ever.)

Why are they magically wonderful people WHEN I’M NOT HERE?

I asked them that as I snapped at their over-sleeping butts to get out of bed, harried their slow-poke selves to fix lunch boxes, yelled at people to clean up their mess, tried to cook dinner and referee the screaming Bella Beast in the shower. Why? Why are you so organized and helpful and super wonderful when your Dad is looking after you?


They looked at each other and shrugged. One took a deep breath before replying. “Because Dad doesn’t yell at us like you do. He just tells us to do things and then goes to sleep on the sofa. He doesn’t hover over us, telling us how to do everything, breathing down our neck every step of the way. Stuff gets done. Maybe not as fast, or as good as it would when you’re here, but it gets done when we do it Dad’s way. And everybody’s happy.”

I looked at these five children who all looked back at me. Hopefully. Hesitantly. And their words resounded in my ears. “When we do things Dad’s way…everybody’s happy.”


I gritted my teeth. Could I really do it? Back away? Let go of some of my control-freakish-ness? Allow the house and the Fab5 to slip into that semi-sloppy zone that ‘Dad’ doesn’t mind living in? The zone where ‘everybodys happy’. Could I ( the BOSS of this house) be happy?

I decided to try it. I told them all to make dinner, fold laundry, get showered and call me when it was time to eat. Then I went into my room and read a book.

It was rather torturous. Stilling that voice in my head that muttered, ‘you know they’re making a huge mess out there…you know they’re burning the dinner…and that child is not showering properly…and the laundry will get folded inside out and wrinkly…Just shut up Lani.’

Yes, it was tough. But I did it. Their Dad’s way. And you know what? Reading a book in my room in the middle of the day? It’s very relaxing.

Revelation – Sometimes, it’s true. When we run the house HIS way? Everybody is happy.

But tomorrow? I might have to resort to a bit of MY way again. Because they really did make a mess of the laundry. And those dishes were not done properly. And ohmidirtyhouse-gosh, what if the Queen of England decides to drop by for a spot of tea and sees the cobwebs in the corners of the kitchen? Or worse, what if Theseus from the Immortals movie needs to borrow my washing machine to get blood out of his war uniform and is confronted with the absolute hovel of a laundry room? He might never come back to visit again.

             Kalofa’e  see? Theseus totally needs to borrow my washing machine.

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13 comments

  1. Haha, I did put myself so much into your place that when I read the part about the "relaxed" book reading, I actually felt MY muscles tensing! I sometimes wonder what is more exhausting – exorcising the control freak or just giving in to her?Cheers from an empathizing controletti! 🙂

  2. OMG. i thought I was the only mom that recklessly hovered over my non teen age kids who are still in their toddler ages about doing feaus that are deem for a 10 yr old. LOL. No but really my husband says that Im like a witch with my head cut off because really its PATIENCE I dont have. they beckon to my husbands call anyday. With a snap, there they go which takes me 3 tries. Oh how Im not looking forward to when they are teens and I have to submit to his ways lol.

  3. Im glad Im not the only control freak around here. Annipanni im pretty sure its tougher to exorcise the control freak. Some days its jist easier to give in to her. Kim, i love the imagery of that description "a witch with her head cut off" – describes me as well on my most impatient day.

  4. Controlling is natural…especially when it comes to kids and housework. I can imagine your surprise when you came home to that remark! I think you handled it beautifully. Now back to business!

  5. Thanks Annie – the real cold water splash came when I was late getting ready for church ( as usual) and theyre all sitting there waiting for me and the youngest says, "We never late when Daddy takes us." Grrrr. I feel like theyre going to vote me off this island. I have promised to be better organized next Sunday and we WILL be early. Its so tough for me to let go of the micro-managing.PusiNofo – I wonder now if I manage them all so much that they are slack as a result? Because they are so used to me harassing them and then re-doing their chores because I dont like the way they do them? 9 days is the longest I've been away from them all and its certainly been an eye opener for me. Theres a lot more travel coming up for the TELESA book things all over the place, so I better get myself prepped…Dad's Way Rules…LOL

  6. I used to be the monster clean freak. My husband is the ex military organized clean freak. But the more kids I had the more I realized I need to chill out a bit. Now I'm the one that tries not to stress over toys all over and clothes in the wrong hamper and one dirty dish in the sink. And still I've tried doing it my kids' way. Their way is any way but MY way, which is the "right" way of course. lol I'm much more relaxed, but I have to double check my cups for bubbles when filling up with water because my son doesn't rinse the dishes enough. Or check my plates for food bits that my daughter doesn't seem to like to scrub off. But my kids are much happier that I'm not correcting their every little move.

  7. Lani – I think that's exactly what it is…we do way too much for them without realising it I think. I'm a sahm and I take my role very seriously (lol) but have realised in recent months that I do so much for them that they really aren't learning to do things themselves. I admit I 'need' things done MY way and NOW (when I ask, not 10 mins, 30 mins or heaven forbid, they forgot completely…then I really loose my nut!). If they leave a mess at the table, I'll clean it up and grumble and complain – hubby tells me to stop and let them do it – by then I'm just pissed off they didn't think to clean it up in the first place…*sigh* and the cycle goes on. Am trying my best to 'chill' out. LOL – maybe I need to blog this on my own page – cos this is turning into a novel hahaha!!!

  8. I must agree with you lani. I too am very much the 'BOSS' at home. It's hard sometimes to let my partner do it 'his way' with my semi control freak personality. He would probably say I am one..

  9. Wow! This blog hit so close to home for me. I work full time and my husband is deployed so my kids do a lot of work around the house. No one can believe all that they do but to me its never enough. The kids say I yell to much and I'm pretty sure they are all conspiring to vote me off the island too! I'm so glad I'm not the only one.

  10. But when he's here, they function like a military unit. No fighting over whose turn it is to make the cordial. No clothes left in the dryer for days until I have to yell at them to take them out because the pile of dirty clothes has grown so big I can't open the laundry door. What does he do that I don't do, apart from sit on the couch and watch football? I don't get it!

  11. Oi aue. I wonder if its an extra mother dna thingee. Coz i swear sometimes i read your blogs and im like thinking – did this writer just put me out there in public? Lol. Yes, i get nut in the head coz i feel nothing is ever done properly and i end up fixing it all again, or i have to remind them over and over again that i feel like a broken record but one word from dad and alls done in a second. Then i tried to give them the daddy way but off course my mind cant handle it after one day. I guess its our blessing and curse at same time hehe but hopefully more of a.blessing:). One day they will always look back and will always say, "its a wonder mom.was always like this and that – now i understand:))". Lets not be too hard on ourselves.

  12. lani, thx for the tweet. is there any chance u can follow me on twitter? i was going to tweet u back but since u don't follow me u wouldn't be able to see it. do you have any plans to come to hawaii to promote telesa?

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