Life is just difficult sometimes, and in a marriage I've quickly learned that both myself and my husband have down days. The real problem is when we both have a down day on the same day. It's one thing if he comes home from work and I'm up to my elbows cleaning up a glitter-craft-gone-wrong, and he's in a cheerful mood to support me. It's another thing if my glitter fiasco coincides with his obnoxiously-slow- traffic-jam-commute home. Then it's just a battle over who deserves more sympathy/free time.
Well we can't prevent bad things from happening, but we CAN come up with a system to determine which of us has earned the right to claim a "bad day." We have a special 2 part system: First, we keep a detailed calendar of every day of the month. Certain days are pre-planned Jeff's Bad Day (JBD) or Carrye's Bad Day (CBD). For instance, on days that I have to visit my endocrinologist (which makes me super anxious), I have an automatic CBD. On days that Jeff has a stressful work deadline, he gets a definite JBD. We plan these into the calendar as far in advance as possible so that we avoid overlapping.
Obviously we don't have special pre-planned bad days every day. Wouldn't that just be so easy.
So clearly we have to have a point system for the other days. We keep track of points and keep each other posted about our totals via text throughout the day. I can get a Bad Day Point (BDP) for the following:
- If I'm late to school drop-off due to child's inability to appropriately schedule bowel movements
- If I take the children to more than 2 consecutive stores in 1 day (I get a point for each additional stop)
- If the coffee pot breaks
- If I have to call my insurance or doctor or pharmacy.
- If the internet won't work so the kids can't watch "Daniel Tiger" so my "me time" is ruined
- On the day I find out DD is no longer running their 2-5 pm Pumpkin Latte special
- If I don't have time to take a shower
- If I take the kids to a store and they run from me, nearly knocking over the elderly, and hide in a clothes rack, etc.
- If I spend more than 35 minutes making a healthy meal for my family and neither child will eat it
- If I didn't eat a thing for breakfast and my blood sugar is high anyway
-If I start my period
- If I cry more than 3 times in a two hour window
-If Monday cheats me and there is no new "How I Met Your Mother" episode
- I'm sick
- If my kindle or camera or phone breaks
Jeff can get a BDP for the following:
- Has to work late
- Someone forgets to bring dessert to the office outing
- The 49ers lose
-The Mets lose
- He wakes up at the crack of dawn with one of our kids
- He has to meet with cranky clients
- An office meeting runs late so he can't eat lunch till 3
- He has no clean matching clothes
- If I make broccoli
-If I don't make dinner at all
- If he gets caught in traffic
- If his fantasy football team is doing poorly
- When he has to pay bills
- When I forget to tell him I planned a girls night/ or make last minute plans that involve him babysitting
- When the cable is out
- If I correct his use of "fewer" vs "less"
These are not exhaustive lists, of course. We tweak them as we go. We've also found that certain things are Bad Day Trump cards. For instance, if one of the kids throws up on me- I get a Bad Day Trump Card. If Jeff should ever be attacked by bees while leaving work, we've decided he would get a Bad Day Trump Card. You know, these types of scenarios.
We use the honor system, but we can always challenge each other if we sense points are being mishandled. We even have a complicated system of point vetoes that I won't get into as they are much too involved. And now our lives are simpler and healthier- If Jeff wins a bad day, fair and square, I am extra nice to him and just suppress all the things that I am frustrated about. If I win a bad day, Jeff just smiles and nods when I don't clean a thing and go on and on and on about petty relationship complaints. It's super healthy. We are so happy.
And, if it seems like we have tied in Bad Day Points, (even after we play a game of Twister as a tie breaker) we simply call that day a "Date Night" and leave the kids with a sitter.
Labels: Family, Marriage