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The sweetest words

Updated: May 11, 2020

Sure, communication is important. You know what you need, and you know what you want. In fact, you usually know the "rules" for running a household, maintaining a budget, and dealing with the kids. But... some communication is just not worth the price of admission.

It started out as a great idea.

When Blimi's husband offered to take the kids out on Sunday afternoon so that she could cook for yom tov, she was thrilled.

3 cakes and 4 side dishes later, hubby and kids arrived home, sweaty and grinning.

"We went to the park and played in the sandbox! We got ice cream from the ice cream truck!"

Oooh. Not exactly what Blimi had in mind.

They would need baths, and she would need to sweep the sand from the bathroom. And they probably wouldn't have much of an appetite for supper.

Blimi could have said:

"Why can't you be more responsible? I send you for a little outing with the kids and I just end up with more work! And don't you know they shouldn't eat nosh close to supper time?"

But of course she didn't say that.

She could have said: 

"Thanks for taking the kids - but now I'll have to clean up the sand, and I don't know if they will be hungry for supper."

But she didn't even say that.

She thought of saying:

"In the future, please choose a more neat activity and stick to healthy snacks."

But she didn't say that either. 

Because the clean-up time and the missed supper were a small price to pay for a few hours of cooking time.

But most importantly, the cost of criticism - even polite, constructive criticism - was way more than she was willing to pay,versus the emotional intimacy she would be sacrificing. (Not to mention the reduced likelihood of future offers of help).

So she smiled and said:

"Thank you so much for taking the kids. It made me so happy to be able to have focused time to cook for yom tov."

And she meant it.

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