Happy New Year everyone!
Sorry I've been out of the blogging loop for a little bit. I took some time off to be with my family for the holidays. It was our sons first Christmas so between all the Christmas festivities for him, family dinners, Christmas shopping..all that fun stuff, I haven't had much time for anything else. But, things have finally been settling down so- I'm back!
Before I get started, I wanted to let everyone know that I'm on Twitter now! You can follow me by clicking here. :)
I've gotten a lot of emails, blog comments, you name it over the past few months and a lot of them are really repetitive (which is fine..) so I thought I'd answer some of the most frequently asked questions in a 2 (maybe 3..) part blog series so that hopefully if one of these is a question you've had, now you know the answer!
My husband isn't consistent enough with the rules/punishments. He seems to get on "kicks" where he really cracks down, and then other times he lets everything go. How can I get him to pick one or the other?
This is an extremely common problem. I call this "consistently inconsistent". I think it's a problem that can be frustrating for both people involved, and it's something that can have pretty toxic results long term if not corrected quickly.
I really don't know why men do this (guys, anyone out there want to help me out with this one?) but it seems like every HoH at one point or another has went down this road for some length of time and to some degree. The problem with it is it begins to train the woman's brain as to what behaviors will get her in trouble, and what behaviors won't when the man "cracks down" on the rules. Then, when he lets up all that "brain training" (for lack of a better term) goes out the window. Then, it becomes a difficult process.
If your husband is suffering from the "consistently inconsistent" syndrome (as I call it) the best thing to do is communicate. I feel like often times that's the answer to a lot of DD related problems, and it sounds cliche, but it's once again true in this scenario as well. Let him know how it, psychologically speaking, is really confusing for you. After your talk, I recommend you both sit down and rewrite your rule list. If he's relaxing on some of the rules, maybe he feels those aren't as important right now as some others. I also think "target rules" are a good thing to get your husband back on the consistent track. "Target rules" are a group of rules (not a lot..like 2-4) that the husband feels need extra attention. Instead of cracking down on ALL the rules, then lightening up on ALL the rules (which will make the wife confused, among other things) the "target rules" are what should be adjusted. For example.. things like respect, honesty, obeying, not doing anything dangerous, etc. are rules that should always be in place with the same level of consistency. However, "target rules" would be something like procrastination. It's something that's always wrong to do, but once the wife begins to not procrastinate anymore, the rule can be eased up on because it's, essentially, fixed.
The bottom line is I think, for husbands/HoH's, instead of taking ALL the rules and changing the consistency (especially so frequency), it's better to break them into "solid rules" and "target rules". I also think it's important for husbands/HoH's to understand why consistency is so important to women (and, to everyone really, just in a different sense) and how frustrating and damaging it can be when the consistency lacks. This will most likely only come from you communicating it to your husband.
Do you ever resent or feel angry towards your husband for punishing you?
Short answer: no.
Long answer: I think anger is an emotion or feeling that is best left out of domestic discipline on both sides. It will only lead to negative results. There have been times (actually, only once that I can think of..) where I haven't agreed with the punishment or with his reasoning and I've felt frustrated, but I've never felt angry. I guess anger just isn't an emotion that I regularly feel. Before I get punished I'm usually upset (with myself for breaking the rule, usually) but I'm grateful that my husband handles punishment situations in, what I consider to be, a good manner and I'm relieved when it's all over with. I, in no way, resent him for caring enough, or for loving me. :)
Why are you so open about DD?
Because I don't feel it's wrong. However, let me say that I think it's FINE that some are very private about DD. I think it's just a matter of personal preference, and I respect everyones right to be as open, or as closed, as they want about it.
Would I go up to some random stranger on the street and be like "wow, you need DD! Here's what it is ____" ? No probably not. But, if someone flat out asked me if I practiced it, I'd answer honestly. If someone wanted to know more about it, I'd gladly share my experience and advice with them. I've talked to strangers about it before (I really need to tell my hair salon story at some point!) and it's came up in many different situations, with many different people. Sometimes it's uncomfortable, but I've learned how to deal with it the best I can. I've spent a lot of time thinking about what DD really entails, what really goes into DD, and the feelings, emotions, thought processes, actions, dynamics, relationships, etc. that it's built on. I've come to the conclusion that I honest to God don't see anything wrong with domestic discipline (if practiced correctly) and so, because of that, I'm open to sharing it with everyone. This may come back to bite me in the butt sometime in the future and I'm ok with that. I guess it just goes back to standing up for what you believe in. I believe DD works.
Are you planning to write a book?
I was actually just talking with my husband about this the other day! The short answer is basically yes, but when it will be available and what (specifically) it will be about is still in the works. I'd like to have something out by spring time, but I need to finalize the details first. If anyone has any suggestions I'm all ears!
What are your thoughts on practicing domestic discipline while pregnant? Did you practice domestic discipline while pregnant?
To start with, I really think this is one of those domestic discipline topics that is so situationally based, and individually based, that I can't give a broad answer like "yes, it's fine" or "no, it isn't".
Domestic discipline as a whole, I think is fine to practice while pregnant because domestic discipline is defined as so much more then spanking. Other punishments (grounding, corner time, lectures, etc) wouldn't have any effect on the pregnancy itself, and the other aspects of domestic discipline (following the rules, bonding with your spouse, the emotional connections, etc) obviously don't have any effect either. The only thing I think that does is spanking.
So, like I said, when it comes to domestic discipline excluding spanking, I think it's fine to continue on like normal during pregnancy. But, when you include spanking, then it makes it harder to say a broad yes or no answer. In general though, I will say that I've heard of (and experienced..) some variations of spanking (implement changes, etc.) that make it so it is ok to spank while pregnant, but those obviously depend so much on the couple and what "level" (beginner, etc.) of DD that they're practicing that it is too hard to say without looking at each individual circumstance.
My husband and I don't turn off, and on, domestic discipline. So yes, we still practiced during my pregnancy but we made some changes when it came to the spanking aspect, specfically. My husband researched it pretty thoroughly before coming to the conclusion that, for us, spanking was still ok to do (although differently..) and I would encourage other husbands to do the same before making the decision to, or to not, spank while pregnant.
Part 2 will be up next week!