House Relationships

Don’t be the household expert

Liked Mum watched me correct my husband, then sagely warned me: ‘Don’t become the expert in the baby’ by Bridie Jabour (The Guardian)

But my mum told me, don’t become the expert.

Don’t correct your partner on how they change the baby or feed the baby, or whatever with the baby, because if you correct them then they will lose confidence and you both will become convinced that your way is the correct way.

Then you will go back to work and still be the expert. And the baby will go to school and you will still be the expert, the one who does everything for them, knows what foods they should eat, what the routines are, how everything should be done. The person who is always turned to.

I feel like this applies way beyond kids, to every aspect of running a household. Don’t take ownership unless you want to always own that task.

Plus, being able to let go of only doing things your way is a relief to your mental health 😊


The Mental Load

Bookmarked “I asked my husband to take on the mental load of feeding his dog. Here’s how it’s going.” by Skye Abraham (Mamamia)

Chatting with my mum in her kitchen over a wine a couple of months into my new working arrangement, I said, ‘I really just want to ask Simon to take on the mental load for feeding the dog, but I’m not sure it’s going to be worth it.’

She laughed and said, ‘Don’t even bother, it’s just going to be easier to do it yourself.’ While I knew she was right, I thought dammit, it’s his dog – here goes nothing.

Later that week he says to me, “We’re almost out of kibble”.

“Ok, cool. Will you pick some up?” I offer.

“Oh. You want me to buy the dog food too?” he says with surprise.

“Yeah, like can you take full responsibility for her food? I don’t want to have to think about it. At all.”

Now he’s starting to get it.

Sometimes I say, “Finished with the Thermo then?”, or “Shall I pop this saucepan in the dishwasher?”, which is not what he wants to hear. What he wants to hear is “Thank you for making the dog food you domestic hero.”

More on the mental load.

Art and Design Work

Our Powers Combined

Liked Create: The Nature of Water – Shifter.Media by Daniel Milnor (Shifter.Media by Daniel Milnor)

I get some of the craziest things in the mail and when I say “crazy,” I mean “crazy good.” You can add “The Nature of Water,” to that list. This is a beast of a book and I can’t even imagine the time and team required to pull this off but thankfully fifty-one photojournalists and Aaron Guy Leroux and Adam Malamis did just that.

It took me far too long to realize my work and my career were far more interesting when others were involved. All of the best projects of the last five years have been collaborations and nearly everything I’m involved in now is collaborative.

— Daniel Milnor

Collaboration takes work to make sure you’re aligned on purpose and logistics, and careful assignment of responsibility and credit so that effort matches investment and impact to be fair for all. But I suspect doing that work amplifies the value of the project for all involved. And combining your skills probably makes everyone’s work better – both for the inspiration but also the accountability of not wanting to let the team down.

I’ve been low key interested in doing a collaboration for a while but haven’t put any effort into seeking one out, waiting for kismet with someone I already know. I think it’s hard to propose a collab, since you have some ownership over the idea, and you need to convince others your concept is worth participating in – especially when you need a collaborator more than they need you.

I have a loose idea of a partnership to propose to another writer friend when I’m finally ready to publish, but at this point the idea is more of a way to split up work than co-create. I’ll have to think about it more – and she may not be interested – while I keep chipping away at the book. One day I’ll finish it 🤷‍♀️