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I am a planner. I plan my week, my day. I plan long range as well and I'm happy to report that six years out is starting to shape up and fall in line. Speaking of lines, at the DMV I plan escape routes in the event that a fire breaks out. All this foresight and planning gives me a nice little sense of power and control. My poor husband. That phrase always follows the words power and control in my mind.
I like to think I am in charge, but God, in His wisdom and in His ability to swing a solid 2 x 4 when haughtily ignored, frequently reminds me otherwise. In His further wisdom, He has provided me with a male of the species to contend with, er, I mean rather, to spend my life with. He has also generously provided the males of the species with a need to be leaders. Yes, my husband needs to be a leader and he does not need my leadership. Yeah, that's right, we get to struggle over this! Oh yay.
Because of who I am, I want to be the leader in the family. Because of who my husband is and who my children are, he needs to be leader. Guess who wins in the struggle of wants vs. needs? Yeah, that's right, it ain't me in this one. Yay.
Having grown up in a military family I know a little something about leadership: it is better to have a mediocre leader in charge than to have two leaders in charge. While two leaders battle each other, the real enemy picks off the troops. That's a sobering analogy when you apply it to your family.
Men can overlook the details to gain perspective on the big picture. They're brains are wired that way. (Really you should look into fetal development and MRI studies of problem solving between the genders, fascinating stuff.) Basically, men are linear thinkers. For example: given Child A and Child B and desiring outcome C and not D, we shall allow A and B to work towards C, rewarding all evidence of C and ignoring or reprimanding all instances of D. Discipline is pretty cut and dried.
We women see details upon details and in doing so can lose sight of the big picture. For example: given Child A (he was born first and feels a very strong sense of purpose and sense of self) and Child B (she's a middle child and I really feel she has that Middle Child Syndrome everyone talks about. She really does sometimes compete much harder for the privileges and status of the older child while wanting to maintain the cuddly coddling of the younger child. This Middle Child Syndrome of hers has been complicated by the birth of two more children, thus placing her in an actual older child position in the family--really we must make allowances for her bad behavior while she adjusts to this new situation and above all we must watch for signs of droopy self-esteem which probably stemmed from being named a letter and not a name in the first place, I mean talk about identity issues!)...I forgot the point I was trying to make here.
...um. Oh yeah.
Back to that point. My husband needs to be admired and needs to apply his God given gifts of logic, planning, and self-control to be in a position of decision making of the family. I need to be cherished and need to apply my God-given gifts of communication, nurturing, understanding, and planning to influence my husband's logical decision-making process.
I am the Corporal in this Army. Not only am I in charge of my band of troops, I am in there mucking it out on the day-to-day basis. I report to the Major what has happened, who was responsible when it didn't happen as planned, and let the Major know how I think the plan needs to change in light of what's happening. As Corporal, I get dirty and sometimes take friendly fire if a Cheerios food fight erupts at breakfast while I'm blogging. I've got the details of this army down and I could probably run the army if I had to, but that's not my job. My job is to be the Corporal: that's the officer the troops trust, complain to, seek out and turn to. The Corporal gets in on the day by day everydayness. To run the army, I'd have to step back emotionally and rationally divvy out resources and duties. I could do that. Sure I could.
But I'd rather be Mom.