I was at the dentist’s office the other day when I watched an episode of “wife swap.” It was really interesting. I may have seen one other episode my whole life.
One of the women is a high powered executive and Harvard graduate. She has four kids and works full-time. The other woman is a stay-at-home mom with six kids all of whom are home-schooled.
The women’s reactions the first week in the new household
The Harvard lady was overwhelmed by the amount of housework and chaos in the house. She felt like there were no boundaries and no guidelines by which the day progressed. She felt like the husband wasn’t very helpful and really relied heavily on his wife to do a lot of the housework.
The other woman was close to tears the morning she had to drop off the younger children in day care and go to work. She felt like that was so much out of her comfort zone that she really couldn’t cope. She felt that the house lacked fun and it was extremely regimented.
What they decided to change …
It was very interesting to hear the perspective of these women when placed in the other woman’s shoes. The Harvard woman ended up finding a day care center for the younger children so that she could home-school the other children in peace.
The other woman ended up taking all the kids out of school and decided that what they needed was to learn in a different setting. She took all four of them to a farm one day. She bought all sorts of musical instruments and taught them how to play. She bought chickens and told the dad that he needed to build a chicken coop.
The amazing thing was the both woman acknowledged how much they missed their spouses and kids. They both infused so much of their comfort into their temporary new life.
However, it was the husband’s reactions that were fascinating. The dad of the six children learned how to cook and do laundry. He realized that he needed to help around the house and truly pull his weight. The dad of the four children couldn’t deal with the home-schooling bit, but acknowledged that their household was a well-oiled machine however it lacked fun.
The epiphany from this swap
When the wives returned to their homes, they kept some of what the other woman had suggested. Their biggest “aha” moment was realizing how good they really have it and how much they missed their children and husbands.
I feel for them the true experience was in trying something new. It was going somewhere totally unfamiliar to them and taking on something they thought they knew how to do. They had to realize that every situation has it’s blessings in it if they were to allow themselves the gift of being open-minded to another way of doing things.
Wouldn’t it be awesome if we all allowed ourselves the opportunity to learn something new? All we need to do is try doing it a different way.
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I’m going to be more open-minded from now on!