Tag Archives: strength

Empowerment – A one man job?

we can do it

Empowerment – The giving of an ability; enablement or permission (www.dictionary.com)

If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way.  If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.

 

People seldom do things to the best of their ability.  They do things to the best of their willingness.

 

Approach the start of each day with one goal and end the day with one word: DONE!

(www.everydaylifelessons.com)

******************

Today’s post is something I have been thinking about a lot.  But until recently, I couldn’t put it into words.

How could I say the following?

  • that I had been searching for a way to better myself as a wife, mother, and woman, without negating my uniqueness
  • that I wanted to be self sufficient, but sometimes needed to be able to trust another to help me.
  • that I wanted to be pushed, but not shoved,
  • encouraged, not belittled.
  • sheltered, but not imprisoned.

I went around in circles trying to define what I was looking for in my relationship, until one day it hit me.  The one word I was looking for.

Empowerment

My desire is to be the best I can be, using education, life experiences and (hopefully, some day…) maturity.  I want to do this on my own, but have found that sometimes I need outside help.  I depend on my HOH, AKA hubby, to help me succeed. And even though it stings my pride to ask for help, I know this is the right move for me.

While I am a strong, intelligent woman capable of making her own decisions, sometimes I need him to help me.

He can either lead me through the moment,

or he can talk me through it, get me started, and give me a push.

(Sometimes, this involves a quick swat or two on the rear end).  Depending on the situation, either can work.

When we first started DD (just over a year ago), I envisioned hubby forcing me out of bed, spanking me if necessary, and taking command of every facet of my life. I quickly realized this was not what either of us wanted. I still wanted to make my own decisions, live my own life. I just needed help getting started, or thinking things through.  Yes, I needed his guidance and strength, but not for EVERY choice I made.  Thankfully, he had already figured this out, and waited patiently for me to come to the same conclusion.

I have been having a lot of problems getting myself into the habit of waking early for a morning run. While it makes sense, and is easier to run before the heat and humidity kick in, I still can’t force myself out of bed.

Last week, he did something he had been doing frequently, yet I had never paid any attention.

Until this time.

He empowered me.

I had already missed two morning runs that week, was cranky, depressed, and letting everyone around me feel this in full force.

Hubby understands that this cycle hurts me. I get angry and lash out.  Then I feel guilty, which makes me depressed. He helps me out of these occasional bad cycles with a release spanking, a discussion about how I can do better, or a combination of both. (This is probably why he started calling our sessions, “discussions”)

This last time, he started with a series of questions for me.

“When are you going to run tomorrow?” (“6:30 am”)

“What time do you need to get up to accomplish this?” (calculated morning hygiene. I hate running with morning breath. Eeeew. “6:20 am”)

“What time does this mean you will need to get to sleep?” (Took into account the amount of time it will take me to fall asleep after punching pillow, and grumbling at hubby for snoring.  “10:30 pm”)

We walked through the whole scenario until I had a definitive course of action for the night and the morning. It was perfect! (Well, as perfect as it can be, when you still know you have to wake up at o-dark thirty)

The point is, he helped me make my own decision.  He empowered me.  He didn’t take over, and bulldoze me into a decision. But he did lead me through the proper questioning.

(Sometimes, I get so overwhelmed worrying about the end result, I can’t think through the steps to get me thereIt helps to have that little push.)

He enabled me, by giving me questions to answer. I figured out how to achieve my end goal, and put the plan into action.

I had a great run, felt strong, and empowered –  I felt good about myself.

Now, my HOH could have quite as easily, dictated my actions for the evening and morning.

But would it have helped me?

Would I have felt as good about myself, if I had just followed blindly?

I might have still gotten the run in, but it probably wouldn’t have helped me get through the whole week. Yes, slap on the back time. I made it the rest of the week on my own, without any prodding. 🙂

With that being said, there are times I really do need him to pull rank, and just call the shots. Sometimes, I forget to eat a meal, and I get reeeeeeeeeally crabby and mean.  At this point, he just shoves some food at me. We talk about it later.

Sometimes, I get overwhelmed, and start over-emoting. We call that a tantrum.  I am using no respectful communication, and am probably stomping my foot a little. Once again, this time just calls for decisive action on hubby’s part.  A quick little scolding and bottom warming in the bathroom, is usually all it takes to get me thinking clearly again.

 

So empowering turns out to be a very important responsibility for the HOH. But is that all there is to it? He empowers, and guides? I accept and grow?

I don’t think so. At least not in our relationship.

I think my husband needs me to support him more,

to trust him,

to treat him respectfully.

(I will talk more about respect in another post. Maybe I will title it, “Wow! If my husband said half the disrespectful things I said…” or “Am I the pot or the kettle?”)

If I were to show my support, trust, love, and respect in him, I could truly empower him.  He could grow into an even stronger leader.

Yes, I understand that we are all human, we all make mistakes.  There are going to be times when he makes mistakes.  What matters, is that he hold himself accountable for these mistakes and learn from them. I can’t do this for him. I can’t shove the mistakes in his face each time and say, “I told you so,”

(But I really was right about that garbage issue. Junky the squirrel has been back every day, and has gnawed a hole in our garbage can. It’s a burden being right all the time. )

But what good would it do?

If he is willing to be our leader, the least I can do is support him, fully, with unconditional trust and love.

No “I told you so’s”, and no disrespectful, eye rolling comments.

As he grows, he will learn that my support is not going to go away. When he makes mistakes, he will continue to learn from them, because his pride won’t be hurt by my attacks.

This is my responsibility to him – empowering him, building him up to be the strong, powerful, leader and protector of our family. I have just as big a responsibility as he does.

WE EMPOWER EACH OTHER.

In different ways, and through different approaches.

But neither is any less important than the other.

Thanks for reading!

*** The author was given a very sound “discussion” after writing this post, for having a tantrum over something quite silly. Hubby had broken into her brand new gluten free pretzels, and let the kids snack on them.

As she held her bright red bottom in her hands, sniffling, he explained that speaking respectfully about her precious GF snack, would have been accepted much easier. 

“Oh, my loved ones, whom I adore.  Please eat those normal pretzels from the second shelf instead. Mommy needs the GF ones so her tummy won’t look so plump,”

Would have been a lot better than,

“Mine, mine, mine! You can’t have ‘em! They are my precious! Give them back, give them back!” (along with some accentuated foot stomping)

Afterward, she remembered to thank him, and even apologized for the little freak out.

And he told her how much he appreciated her respect. ***

He is in charge of the garbage.

woman smelling something bad

Hubby and I had another power struggle moment this morning, and guess what?

He won.

Again.

Have I mentioned how much I like it when he wins our little battles of wills?

I know, it’s kind of silly. I am a strong willed, intelligent woman. I will not let myself be bullied. But for some reason, I like the power struggles my husband and I have, especially when he stands up to me. He exudes his manly strength, and I try to put up a fight, and eventually swoon.

We were outside, discussing the junk under our porch. Since we are having our daughter’s birthday party next weekend at our house, it became very necessary to get rid of all that crap.

I was adament that all that stuff would not fit in our garbage can.

He was firm in telling me that he would take charge of the garbage can, and all things garbage related.

I may have pouted a little at this point, and stomped my foot (just a little bit), when I whined that I would not be able to get any garbage from the house into the can, if he filled it up with his nasty garbage. (Can you picture it? I am the poster child for petulant glares)

He took me into his arms, and looked me dead in the eye, and said,

“I am in charge of the garbage. You will not have to worry about it. DO YOU UNDERSTAND?”

OMG, that nice little feeling of warmth spread through my whole body.

“Yes, Sir,” I said quietly, and wrapped my arms around him.

Then he reminded me that even though I felt the need to control the situation, I would have to try to relinquish and trust him.

I have not felt this submissive in a while.

Or this turned on. 🙂

I can’t wait for our next little battle.

The Care and Feeding of a DD Wife

I am a grazer.

I hate that the only animal I can think of that grazes all day is a cow, not a good euphemism for me, but I’ll go with it.  I really do need to graze all day. I can’t eat big meals, without causing a bunch of pain and horrible bloating that makes me look like I am in my second trimester. (At 5’2, this is an especially bad look for me). But that’s not the only reason I snack, taking in calories every two hours.

When I go longer than three hours without caloric intake, I get very crabby. My whole life revolves around making the people around me miserable.

Grr, at this point I hate everyone.  A child’s high pitched giggling is sure to send me into a fit of rage. How dare they be happy right now? And heaven forbid they smile at me.

“Stop looking at me! Rrrrrow!”

If I wait much longer, I will get dizzy and light headed. Twenty years of eating disorders have wreaked havoc on my poor body. It’s my own fault.  Body image and low self-esteem issues got me to this point.  Thankfully, I am doing better now.  But every once in a while, I get busy or forget to eat. Then the cycle begins, and I become someone else. Someone mean and hateful. Someone that takes pleasure in my own pain, and giving pain to others.

I am blessed to have someone in my life who knows me intimately, and knows the signs to watch for.

The last time I stood growling at him about dirt tracks on the floor, he calmly stopped the lunch preparations, and told me to eat.

“I don’t need to eat anything. I’m just tired! I’m not hungry! Don’t be so…

Mmmph! Mwo mwo…”

It was very hard to talk with my mouthful. He had just shoved a big piece of ham into my mouth.

Then he gave me THE LOOK

Eat,” he raised his eyebrows and simultaneously lowered his chin. (Probably the sexiest look I have ever see on him).

I glared as I chewed.

He placed another piece in my mouth, a little more gently this time, so I decided not to bite his finger accidentally.

Less than three minutes later, I felt my whole demeanor shift.

Phew! My anger dissipated, the heavy dizzy feeling left, and I suddenly feel refreshed and peaceful.

“I’m sorry, honey,” I looked up at him, and smiled sheepishly, “I didn’t realize I was so hungry.”

I don’t know how my body reacts so quickly, if this is a blood sugar thing, or psychosomatic, but it really does happen this way.  He has helped me through these situations more times than I would like to admit.

This is one of the responsibilities my HOH (head of household) has taken on.  He doesn’t always spank me.  He very rarely yells.  And doesn’t get angry with me very often.

He is strong, calm, capable, and able to make decisions without excessive emotions.  He doesn’t overthink things. And he makes decisions based on the needs of the whole (unit).  He is not quite, but almost, my opposite.

Sometimes I lose sight of what our relationship is about.  Being a spanko in a domestic discipline relationship, it’s easy for me to assume that all things should end with a spanking.

LOL, those are for my fantasy world, I guess.

But he doesn’t have to always spank me, or punish me, or lecture me, or remind me that he is in charge.

For instance, right now I am sitting in a coffee shop basking in the solitude. I am loving this little break that he has given me, by taking the kids off my hands for a while.

Even better, he is doing our first grader’s rain forest diorama, instead of having me do it (I am in charge of our daughter’s home schooling).  But he could see how tired I was from the past few weeks of sickness, in law visiting, and spring break.

My body and emotions are SHOT! I have lost my temper more this past 4 days, than I usually do in a month.

He practically pushed me out the door, and very firmly reminded me that this was a chance for me to rejuvenate, and decompress, and to get whatever writing done I need to do, to make myself feel I accomplished something.

He also reminded me that I was, under NO circumstance, to come home crabby or having not accomplished something meaningful.  The or else was implied.

He also gave me The LOOK, when I stood there micromanaging his diorama efforts instead of leaving.  (I was still a little grumpy, and probably trying to start a fight. I don’t why.)

LOL, He may not be a natural spanker, but he is a natural dominant.  He took me aside, and explained that he did not appreciate my attitude.  He said that he and the children would be fine, and I needed to go, and stop trying to pick a fight.

Oh, that look.  I’ll talk about his LOOK, and what it does to me, next time.

For now, I’ll just say, it did its purpose. It stopped me in my tracks, and centered me.  It put me into a state of submission, and enabled me to let go of my pride.

As I walked out the door, I heard him directing our little diorama painters,

“Honey, make sure you paint up and down. The way a tree grows.” 🙂

So, now I am enjoying my freedom, sitting at the coffee shop, writing and reading, and occasionally looking over my shoulder to make sure no one is near enough to read words like “spank”, and “discipline”.

I am thankful that my husband watches out for my best interests, especially when I can’t see the real issues, because of my fatigue or hunger.   It doesn’t matter what he does, he naturally takes charge.  And I appreciate this.

Sometimes, he spanks, sometimes, he LOOKS, and sometimes he makes me take some time to myself.

And sometimes,

all he needs to do is shove a little food in my mouth.

So I can say, “Thanks, honey. I didn’t realize I was hungry.”