Moms, do you feel like you wash the clothes, feed the family, do all the chores and hardly receive a word of appreciation? In today’s episode, Dr. Leman stresses the importance of appreciating moms in the household and a mother can be proactive to get the appreciation she deserves.
Learn more about Dr. Leman at BirthOrderGuy.com.
NEW: The Intimate Connection –Dr. Kevin Leman
Show Sponsored by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing
Produced by Unmutable™
Doug: On today’s episode of Have a New Kid, with Dr. Kevin Leman, do you feel like you do everything and nobody cares?
Doug: Do you feel like you wash the clothes, feed the family, vacuum, go to work, come home.
Andrea: And they just bring the mess back?
Doug: Yes, and nobody ever appreciates you. That’s the question we get to ask Dr. Leman. How do I deal with that feeling? Hi, I’m Doug Terpening.
Andrea: And I am Andrea.
Doug: Obviously you feel very personal about this Andrea. If this happens to be your first time with us, we’re so glad that you are here. Just want to let you know this is for your education and entertainment purposes only. If the subject matter raises any concerns for you or your child, please go seek a local parishioner for help. Andrea, you are the resident mom here between the two of us.
Doug: Do you ever feel underappreciated?
Andrea: You know, work just keeps coming back. You wash the dishes, you vacuum, you wash the laundry, you clean the toilet, and it just gets dirty again. I think that because it’s just the regular routine things of life, nobody really seems to recognize it and sometimes it’s hard to get people to chip in and help.
Doug: Dr. Leman, how do we help these moms and dads, I guess, who say, “I just never, ever, feel appreciated. Nobody ever cares that what I do.” How can we help those parents?
Dr. Leman: Well, I think I can be of help on this one, but I have to, in all truthfulness, share something with you.
Dr. Leman: Let’s see. I’m trying to think how many years ago that was. Probably, gosh, probably goes back about 30 years of my life, but we had at the time three children. One day my wife decided, I think she was very frustrated, and some of the things that Andrea just said were probably pertinent in my wife’s life at that point. She was so frustrated one day that she took a banana peel, and she laid it on the floor in the hallway that enters into our kitchen area.
Dr. Leman: She said she sat and had a cup of coffee as the three kids came out one at a time, each of them pausing looking at the banana peel on the floor, and proceeded right past it. But what gives me great grief this morning as I revisit that thought in my memory bank is this, she said, “But you, you not only stopped and stared at it, you kicked it to the side.”
Dr. Leman: You know folks, I’m just telling you, I’ve been there. I wasn’t always as smart as I might appear on some of these podcasts. I was dumb as a rock. You know, it is so easy to take someone, especially if that someone is that pleaser personality, that one that says, “Can’t we all just get along? Can’t we all just be happy? What are you possibly complaining about? Can’t you just keep your hands to yourself? Do you always have to be picking on your sister or your brother?”
Dr. Leman: If you’re that personality, you can probably relate to what Andrea has said, or what I have said just a few moments ago. No one gives moms, especially stay at home moms, respect, in the truest sense of the word in our society.
Dr. Leman: Imagine two women talking, and they haven’t seen each other for ages. Maybe they went to college or high school together and they meet in a grocery store, and a simple exchange of a, “Well, what are you doing?” “Oh, well I’m assistant director of finance, down at the loan company, and what do you do?” “Well, I’m home with my children.” “Oh, oh. Looks like it’s going to cloud up and rain today.” All of a sudden, the conversation gets switched. It’s like my condolences, you’re down there, you’re a stay at home mom.
Dr. Leman: I would appeal to every man that’s listening, okay. Whether your wife is in a work place in the home, or the work place out of the home, now, notice how I’m saying that. Those are both work places. They need your respect and appreciation for the femininity that is brought to your family. Just like kids need masculinity in their life, they need femininity in their life. There has to be a good dosage of both.
Dr. Leman: The smart husband will begin to take note of his bride. For example, tonight at dinner, what normally happens in your home? Who serves what? Who gets up from her chair more than anybody else at the dinner table? I’ll tell you who it is, it’s mom. Next time mom starts to get up, gentlemen, what I’m asking you to do is say, “Honey, stay seated, I’ll get that.”
Dr. Leman: In other words, here’s a great opportunity to value, to show an action, how much you appreciate this woman who contributes so much, not only to your life gentlemen, but to your kids lives. Again, I’m putting this on you men. When you see or hear your daughter or your son be disrespectful to your bride, to their mom, I want you to step up to the plate. Man up, and set that kid straight, that you do not talk to your mom like that for any reason, at any time. You follow through with a discipline. I always say, “Let the reality of the situation become the teacher to the child,” so that kid has to pay for that, emotionally. He’s got to feel the brunt of your dislike for what happened.
Dr. Leman: For you moms who are just so frustrated that you don’t know what to do, and maybe you in your mind think you’ve tried everything, have you tried going on strike? It’d be a great idea. What would happen in your home ladies, if just for seven days you did nothing?
Andrea: Seven days?
Dr. Leman: Imagine what would happen. What I’m saying is you don’t do laundry, you don’t make a bed, you do nothing. You don’t cook a meal, you don’t make a lunch for a kid, you don’t drive them anywhere, you don’t do anything.
Andrea: Do you recommend this?
Dr. Leman: Oh I think in situations where you really feel like you’re just being dissed, yes, because I think it puts the onus on everybody to understand the huge job that a mom does in a home every day. I think sometimes you have to go on strike.
Andrea: I was going to ask you about, I remember you talking about maybe mom just saying, “I’m not making dinner and getting in the car and driving away during dinner,” but seven days, that’s a long time to …
Doug: Andrea, could you even do three days?
Dr. Leman: What would happen to you if you did exactly what the good Dr. Leman said to do, and after three days, Doug and your four children were surrounding you saying, “Mom, whatever you’re doing, stop. We’re sorry for whatever we did.” I mean, you’d come back. You’d come back at three days or two days, but I’m saying, give them a dose of reality discipline. “I’m not the slave dog, I’m not the maid in this home, I’m your mom, I’m your wife.”
Andrea: Yeah, I like that how you say, “Maid or mom, or … ”
Doug: Is this a hotel, or a home?
Andrea: A hotel or a home? Right.
Doug: Andrea, could you go for three days and do nothing around the house?
Andrea: Probably if I was not here physically. Like if I went away for three days, but to be here and to see the stuff piling up and to see the mess, that would be difficult.
Doug: Oh, but still then, we’re not going to appreciate her, are we Dr. Leman, if she’s always jumping in to fix things?
Dr. Leman: No, you’d have to live with the clutter. Don’t go to a hotel, that’s too expensive. Most families couldn’t do that. But if you put a smile underneath your face so to speak, smile in your heart, okay?
Andrea: Uh-huh (affirmative).
Dr. Leman: You can look like an old grump as you’re stepping over laundry and shoes left in the doorway and all kinds of things. Do what I did to that banana, kick it to the side. Keep walking.
Doug: Dr. Leman, here’s the sad reality, so I’m going to look more like a jerk. In three days, I would probably maybe notice, maybe not notice, right?
Doug: Yeah, really.
Andrea: Like the dishes piled up around the sink?
Doug: It doesn’t bother me. It doesn’t. Now if it were five days, I would then notice it. You’re right Dr. Leman, she has to be a long time.
Andrea: Because you’d be like, “I can’t find a bowl to eat out of.”
Doug: All the cereal would be gone, all the milk would be gone, now I’d have to do something.
Dr. Leman: Andrea, you married a slow learner. I can’t help that, that was your choice.
Doug: I think there’s some fun in this. I always say, “If it’s not fun, I don’t want to do it.”
Andrea: I’d have to plan and get some good books to read, and make a plan with my girlfriends to go on a hike one day, so that … just really just kind of do what I want to do.
Dr. Leman: Listen, I’ve said many times, for kids who come home and both parents are not home, okay? They’re both working. Many families have rules like 13 year old and 14 year old are going to get dinner ready. There’s rules, take out the chicken, do this, do that, and nothing is done and mom comes home. I’ve always said that, “Mom, when the kids have failed to do what they’re supposed to do, don’t jump in and do it for them, go make yourself a cup of tea, turn on TV, put your nose in a book, whatever is your pleasure.
Dr. Leman: When the kids come in and they’re all starving and your husband’s starving as well, and they say, “When are we going to eat?” Say, “Honey, I’ll be more than happy to start dinner when you guys are finished what you were supposed to do and the kitchen is cleaned, then I’ll start dinner. If it’s at 9:00, it’s at 9:00.” Or, mom gets in the car, goes to Denny’s, buys one of those expensive Grand Slams, enjoys her dinner in solitude and comes home, and goes to bed. I’m telling you, if she did that, that husband’s going to feel guilty and so are those kids.
Dr. Leman: That’s good guilt to put on husband and kids, because again, if you don’t take a stand for yourself, nobody’s going to stand for you.
Andrea: Is there an underlying belief that this mom has that she has to do all this and then she has to feel appreciated? Is there something deeper going on here for this mom?
Dr. Leman: I think she just deserves respect. She knows that she’s not getting it, and she feels used. Who likes feeling used?
Andrea: Yeah, nobody.
Dr. Leman: It’s just simple courtesy. But see, if mom is always there to do it, you know the old saying, “You don’t miss the water until the well runs dry,” how true is that statement?
Doug: Well, I know you’re crazy Dr. Leman, and half the things you say, I think, “This guy’s nuts,” right? But Andrea and the kids all went to a tournament, they’re in a speech and debate club, so they were gone for four or five days. As soon as Andrea walked in the door, I mobbed her with appreciation, because it’s like, “Do you know how much you do around here every day? So you’re right, if mom went on strike for five days … I remember, right?
Andrea: And you were home alone.
Doug: I was home alone, right? I didn’t even have to take care of all the kids and all that, you’re right. If she did, that husband would wake up to it.
Dr. Leman: Mrs. Uppington, God bless Mrs. Uppington. She’s still sleeping by the way, she’ll be up about 10:30. She went to Chicago to help our daughter who has little three year old twins, okay. She left for 10 days. I wish you had a video camera and you could just film what my family room looked like. I had a bathrobe over a chair, a couple of pairs of shorts, socks on the floor, flippers, tennis shoes, had a lot of work on a coffee table, I was working on a book project. It looked like a barnyard to put it bluntly.
Dr. Leman: Now, we have conversations at night, “Honey, how was your day?” “Oh honey, my day was fine, had a good day.” We fill each other in. I never tell her that I’m in a man cave, but the night before she comes home, I’m telling you, I live like a slob. I had dirty dishes, I got a pie tin, I ate a whole pie that week. It was terrible, it was disgusting. I’m glad no one came over to the house, I’d be embarrassed.
Dr. Leman: But the night before, I go Uh-oh, she’s coming back. I’m really smart enough to clean up the dishes and wipe the counter tops off, she loves clean countertops. My goodness, she’s got an obsession with clean countertops. I put everything away, hung stuff up and took the garbage out, and did all those little manly things I do normally, and she walks in and I’ll never forget, she said, “Oh honey, geeze, the house looks great.” I … “Oh yeah, I try to keep up with it honey.”
Doug: That’s [inaudible 00:12:51].
Dr. Leman: It is what it is, you know.
Doug: It is what it is, what it is. Well, I have one more question but I’m going to forget to give you the eBook special, so I better do it now. The eBook special this week is, Why Your Best is Good Enough. June 18 to 24 of 2019 for $1.99. Dr. Leman, Why Your Best is Good Enough, what is this book about?
Dr. Leman: That book is an outgrowth of the Birth Order book. You’ve heard me talk about people who are procrastinators, the people who live in piles, the people who run late for things. If you’re one of those people who feel like you don’t measure up, you don’t jump high enough, you’re never doing things right enough, wow, is this a book for you. I get so many wonderful comments about this little book, Why Your Best is Good Enough.
Dr. Leman: If you’re one of those people who like to should on yourself, or should on other people, and if you have an honest talk with yourself, you’re sort of disappointed in who you are, this is a book for you to read. Well worth $1.99. My goodness, there’s a bargain for you.
Doug: Awesome. Get it now, June 18 to 24. Now, straight talk with Dr. Kevin Leman.
Dr. Leman: You know, I get asked a lot, “How do I help my kids get good friends?” Well, number one, you don’t pick their friends for them, but you have to be smart. You have to play live smart. Hey parents, you see a young man, or a young woman, who at first glance you take a look at and say, “Hmm, that seems like a nice young man, that seems like a nice young woman.” What do you do? Do you nudge your son or daughter and say, “Hey, check that young lady out,” or “Check this guy out. This looks like that might be a good friend for you.” No, that’s not what you do. But you engage that person. You find a way to engage them.
Dr. Leman: Now yes, your son or daughter might be sitting there with their hands in their pocket, whatever, wondering what mom is possibly up to, but again, the whole idea is to give opportunity to your son or daughter to bring people where? Into your home. We talk about finding good friends for your kids, you got to ask yourself the question, “How friendly is our home to strangers? To new kids, associates that our kids run into?
Dr. Leman: I think when kids feel like they have the freedom and support of parents to bring a friend into the home, you’re on second base. That is what it’s all about. It’s trying to create a situation where your kids feel like whoever their friends are, they’re welcome in your home. I’ve been asked this enough times, “How do I find good friends? I’m concerned about some of the kids my kid is running with.” Invite them into your home.
Dr. Leman: You’re going bowling, or you’re going out for a pizza, you say to your son or daughter, “Hey, do you want to invite so and so to go with us? I think the budget can tolerate one more mouth to feed, or one more set of bowling games, or whatever it might be.” Find a way to engage. Bring those kids into your home. Even the kids you don’t like, because that way, you don’t get into a power struggle with your kid. Believe it, they pick up the vibes that you don’t care for one kid or another. But have them around.
Dr. Leman: Sooner or later, those true spots on that kid, and you might be very right, this kid may not be a great match for your son or daughter, but over a test of time if they’re in your home, those true spots will be revealed to who? To your son or your daughter. The lesson is, make sure your home has an open door.
Doug: Dr. Leman, is there anything, going back to Andrea’s original question, or question she asked a little bit ago, is there anything for this mom to feel in her own heart, more appreciated? Even if others aren’t able to acknowledge it to her. Is there anything she can do?
Dr. Leman: No. I’m going to answer that, no. Unless she does something. She’s got to do some things to increase her stock. It’s action, not words on her part. She’s got to start acting differently, that’s the key. Once she starts acting differently, she literally forces the hand for the people around her who love her to act differently. They’re going to act more positively, and then she’s going to end up feeling better about herself.
Doug: I may not be the sharpest one on this podcast. I think we’ve affirmed that.
Dr. Leman: We’ve affirmed that several times Doug-
Doug: Yeah, thank you, thank you.
Dr. Leman: … but I don’t want to bring it up unnecessarily.
Doug: Loves and kisses to you too. I can be totally [inaudible 00:17:20]. We’ve been married 21 years, and I think it was only like two, maybe three years ago when Andrea finally sat me down and said, “You don’t appreciate me for when I clean all the blah, and do this, and do this.” She said it nicely, you know how Andrea would be, but she said, “I just need to hear and in cards, every now and then, that you appreciate all the work I do around this house.”
Doug: We’ve been married 18, 19 years. Is it helpful for wives to sit down and someone that’s as dumb as mud as me, tell them, “I need to hear the words, or see a card that you appreciate that I cook- ”
Dr. Leman: Yes, yes. That’s the vitamin E. It’s not fun being a mom in a home. They come home, notice the term, they. They come home and all of a sudden, what you’ve worked on, especially if you have the young little kids, oh my goodness. I mean, you can pick up a family room how many times during a day and some parents do it just because they have some OCD in themselves.
Dr. Leman: Many parents say, I’m just going to leave this looking like a barnyard, and 15 minutes before my husband comes home, I’m going to give it a final clean up. [inaudible] ahead that way. It’s a thankless job in many ways. It just keeps coming back, and coming back, and coming back. Everybody has to pitch in. No one member of the family, here it is, is more important than the what? The family, so everybody contributes. That’s why kids have chores in homes, among other reasons.
Doug: So again, I’m dumb as mut, so I’ll ask this other question. If I get in trouble by the two of you, it’s all right, I’m always there.
Andrea: I’m ready.
Doug: Is, if she sits the husband down and says, “Husband, I feel that I need some words of, that you would say, thank you for doing the food and washing the clothes, and everything you do, shopping, and it makes me feel really ooey gooey inside and makes me want to go to bed early with you.” Is that appropriate kinds of things to say, or not?
Dr. Leman: Sure. I think the point is you want to communicate to your bride, “Honey, I appreciate all the things you do in this family.” Just recognize in the day to day minutia and the fact that you appreciate her for her attitude for the servant leadership that she shows in the home, and again, when I say servant leadership, I know some people’s ears go up, but hey, husbands, you engage in servant leadership too. You serve each other.
Dr. Leman: The commandment is to come together and have oneness in your relationship. For the good of not only your marriage, but your kids. The kids need to be a part of that as well. This isn’t rocket science folks, you can handle this.
Doug: It makes me think back to the book that just launched a couple of months ago, Intimate Connection, that to be able to have that conversation even, you probably need to make sure that you have that connection, to be able to have that connection.
Dr. Leman: Yeah. If there ever was a book to read, and you’re married, there’s two of them that you should read for sure. One of them is The Intimate Connection, the other is Sheet Music. Those are two books that are must reads for every married couple.
Doug: Okay, I’m now, I’m down in rabbit hole that I should probably stop, but I do think that The Intimate Connection would be amazing as well as the mom going on strike. Those two things together would be awesome. Okay.
Doug: Well, thank you, Dr. Leman for answering our question and it’s great to be with all of you. A quick reminder, the book is Why Your Best is Good Enough. June 18 to 24, 2019. Only $1.19 where eBooks are sold. As always, you can subscribe whether you’re on iTunes, or Stitcher, or Sound Cloud, or wherever you are to this podcast, and Facebook is a great way. If you know of a fellow parent who feels super unappreciated and unloved by her spouse or his spouse, this would be a great podcast to pass onto them, and tell them, “I think this would really bless you.” You’re free to do that. We won’t stop you.
Doug: Well, it was great adding to your parenting toolbox, so you can love those kids more and more.
Andrea: Have a great week.
Doug: We look forward to the next time. Bye.
Andrea: Bye, bye.