It is not my intention for this blog to be a forum for extensive man-bashing. After all, this is about all of us Real Women and how fabulous we are. However, I do believe that from time to time, we will need to have brief discussions about the Real Men in our lives, due to the fact that their actions do have an effect on us. And, ok, truth be told, it can be an entertaining topic.
In my recent posts, I have discussed lists, organization and multi-tasking. These are skills that set us apart from our male counter parts. Men are simply not wired to multi-task. If you have one activity, one problem that needs solving, or one situation for analysis, give it to a man. This is where they excel. (Unless of course your man has ADD, in which case I think you are just plain screwed, and hopefully he’s just cute and happy and fun to be with.) But do not throw multiple tasks at them at once. It will only stress them out, and frustrate you.
Similarly, I have learned over the years that it is pointless to hand my husband a Honey-Do list of 8 or more items to be accomplished sometime over the next week. Such a list is too overwhelming for a man, and they need much clearer guidelines for prioritization and time frame. I have far more success by requesting one thing at a time, with a deadline. For example, “could you fix that light fixture this afternoon?”, and “can you take these packages to UPS tomorrow?”. Done. With minimal confusion, complaints or frustration.
I’m sure there are a few of you out there who have a mate who has taken over some domestic duties like getting the kids off to school in the morning, or making dinner at night, which on the surface appear to be multi-tasking activities. First of all, I applaud you both, bravo. But secondly, I encourage you to take a moment to see how those activities are being accomplished. The morning routine is likely something like this to the man: Child to be dressed by 7am. Breakfast completed by 7:20. Walk dog by 7:40. Out to wait for bus at 7:50. He is not ALSO doing things like emptying the dishwasher, ironing a shirt to wear, leaving notes for the sitter, and starting a load of laundry. If he is making dinner, I similarly doubt he is at the same time reviewing homework, cleaning up the kitchen, answering emails, carrying on three conversations and sorting the mail.
Men, like children and pets, thrive on routine. Once they have one established, do not mess with it. It will only throw them into chaos. If you want success, a positive outcome, and less stress, let them do it their way no matter how much it drives you crazy. I’m sure our multi-tasking “scurrying” drives them crazy too. I’m sure my husband would probably love it if I started dinner, then while it was cooking, sat down to have an uninterrupted conversation with him. Sounds lovely. However, I don’t know how or when everything else would get done…
…and besides, I’m just not wired to do one thing at a time.