Author Sherri Mills

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I wish I Didn't Have To Do It

A man I interviewed the other day was telling me about his beautiful yard. He said the yard is his responsibility.

He bragged about; his flower beds, fountains and pruned bushes etc.

I asked him "How does it make you feel when you are through with your yard?" I added, "Do you feel; proud, resentful, tired, exhausted?"

He answered, "I feel exhausted, and yes I feel proud no matter how tired I am."

Then I asked him,"How does it make you feel when you help your wife with the dishes?"

I gave him the same examples; proud, angry, resentful, exhilarated, or tired.

He thought for a long time then he said, "I wish I didn't have to do it."

I said, "What if you made doing the dishes and shining up the kitchen your forever responsibility?" I finished as I watched his face go white. "It would be your baby, yours to be proud of. Then what would you think?"

He pondered that for quite a while, then he said, "It is a possibility."

I told him, "It would take a while, but how would it feel if you ended up doing it even better than she does?"

He took that one in.

He said, "Yes, that would be a possibility."

These big strong men need to have jobs that are theirs alone, to do as they see fit, What is amazing about this is if left on their own they eventually do a job they can be really proud of. If they don't do it to your expectations you either have to take it back as yours or live with the reality.

There is no third option.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Bride Access TV Interview

Click on the following link to view the latest telivision interview.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Fit Me In

One man I interviewed was very upset about the lack of intimacy in his marriage. He told me about a situation that had happened between he and his wife.

He said, "My wife has a journal she keeps every day. One day I noticed her journal on the counter and I started reading it. I noticed the journal was chuck full of endless tasks, one after the other."

What he said next was very telling.

He said, "I asked her where I was on her schedule."

I laughed because obviously that would be the remark of most men. They just don't get it and never will until they do it for themselves. I think they believe that each task takes only five minutes anyway. Instead of feeling bad for her because she is overworked, he feels bad for himself because he isn't getting his needs met.

I grinned as I explained to him how he could work himself in.

I said, "With all of the tasks she has to do daily, I think the only way you are going to work yourself in is to find a few jobs that you can take over. Then you will automatically be inserted into that slot." I put my hand on his shoulder and gingerly asked, "What do you think?"

He seemed to (kind of) get it.


Sunday, July 12, 2009

Questions for Interviews

One of the questions I ask when I interview husbands is: When you were first married, which housekeeping responsibilities belonged to your wife?

Everyone I have interviewed so far says the same thing, "Everything."
A few of them said they helped a little, but reluctantly.

What does that tell us?

Perhaps it is that both husband and wife have the same idea in the beginning: they both believe that she should do it all. Perhaps this would be a good place to start. As soon as a couple decides to get married, they should discuss chores. She should admit that she plans to do it all, and he should admit that he plans to let her. Then they should both admit that their plan is unrealistic, and they should divide the chores, especially before the children come along. interview

My computer has been to the doctor for a while and I just got it back.

My interview with Bride Access aired this morning and my phone has been ringing off the wall. People are telling me their own stories. Some are telling me how wonderful my ideas were and everyone is so glad that this subject is finally being brought to the forefront.

A couple of people told me how brave I was to talk about the problem of the division of householder responsibilities. "I don't feel brave," I said, "I feel resolute." However I understand where they are coming from. My interviews with women show a distinct fear at discussing the subject at all. They are so thankful because some one is discussing it for them.

Come on everybody, let's get into a deep discussion about it. Any dialogue will be helpful.

Monday, July 6, 2009

My interview with Robin and Nicole Seville

I interviewed a wonderful couple about what makes their marriage work.

I had met Robin Seville, the producer and camera man for the show Bride Access, while filming the segment about what to expect when you get married.

Dr. Liz Hale was interviewing my husband and I about our life after my domestic strike and how the strike had affected my husband and our marriage.

Robin was very interested in my theory of men sharing responsibilities around the house. He stated that in order for him to expect more intimacy from his wife Nicole, he'd noticed that he had to chip in with the housework.

I was very intrigued by this man who was genuinely interested in a subject most men run kicking and screaming from. I could feel intuitively that he had enough respect and love for his wife that he was willing to do what ever it took to make things easier for her. I asked if I could interview him.

He said, "Is it okay if my wife is at the interview?"

I was all the more impressed.

When I did the interview I asked questions that usually come up in my interviews as to his upbringing, etc. (I will post the questions and explain the reason's for each one on future blogs.) He didn't seem to fit into the usual stereotypes of husbands who understand the division of labor.

Instead, this man was just a conscientious, sensitive person who really cared about making life easier for his wife. In fact, this was a couple so in-tune with each other, that they gave me hope again.

Robin said he had taken on the exclusive responsibility of assigning jobs to their children and making sure they got done.

How big is that?

Robin sent me an email the next day saying he really enjoyed the interview and that it felt more like old friends visiting than an interview. I felt the same way. This is an amazing couple and we all could learn a lot from them.

I did.

Stay at Home Mom/or Not

A woman writes to an advice column that she is expecting her first child. Her husband has stipulated that if she doesn't work, she is to do all the cooking and cleaning and taking care of the house. His job will be to provide the family income.

She wonders why he gets a 9-to-5 work day while she will have the never-ending job of home-maker.

She asks, "Do you think he should still help me around the house? I feel guilty even bringing this up to him."

The columnist answers, "How about this: You will be in charge of the child and the home - and all that entails - during the hours he's at work. He will be in charge of earning money while he is at work. In the hours you are both home, you will share the tasks of home and child equally."

What she adds later is intriguing. She says, "By the way, the best way for you both to appreciate each other is to trade off for long stretches on weekends. He needs to know what your days really feel like versus what he imagines them to be, since you you presumably know what a day at work is like for him."