Sunday, May 5, 2013

So what is this initiative you speak of?

This is INITIATIVE!!! 

In its simplest form it is thinking of and planning something, you can do in the form of a physical job or task and following this through to completion.
I'm not talking about grand plans that need grand rewards. There should never need to be any kind of self boost from helping someone. This isn't something you do and then plaster all over facebook to your friends, or blog about.

Simple examples of Initiative:
For the husband
  1. Husband sitting watching favourite T.V. show can just sit there OR he could use some initiative and fold the washing that Wife has washed/pegged/unpegged/brought in off line/left in basket hoping said Husband may tonight have found a spare can of initiative in refrigerator not another beer can.
  2. Husband has told Wife it is her night off dinner duties. Husband has no idea how to cook so you could either ask wife how to do everything - starting with what shall we have for dinner... OR you could use some initiative either plan a meal from a recipe book, online, call your Mum/sister/MotherinLaw/bestfriend. But do not tell Wife she has night off and then have Wife wishing she had just bloody well done it herself as it was easier. All else failing order takeout.
  3. Wife gets told its her day to have a sleep in. Husband can tell she is tired. Husband can tell children to quietly watch tv and get their own breakfast while he stays in bed too on his computer/phone/tablet OR he could use some initiative and take the children to a special breakfast outing somewhere followed by a morning out with Daddy {while Mummy rests in peace and quiet}
  4. Husband offers suggests Wife has an early night as things are getting on top of her lately. Muchly appreciating the offer exhausted Wife goes to bed, then Husband sits and watches T.V  OR you could use some initiative and do the dishes, pick up the dirty washing, fold and put away the clean washing etc etc. There is nothing worse than going to bed for an early night to get up the next morning and find that nothing got done and you are a day behind on chores.

For the new parent 
  1. Make a few home cooked meals/baking {that are suitable for freezing} and drop them off in the first few days/weeks after the birth of their new bundle. This is the motherload initiative. Dinner time is called the witching hour in households with children for a reason. Make sure they are in containers that can stack neatly in the freezer and can be reheated {the supermarket and dollar stores have these}. Write on the containers whats in them - it saves trying to guess what tasty treats you may be getting and find tonight we are eating lammingtons!
    A really organised friend may even be able to get a few friends on the go with this to have a roster system going where hot meals are being delivered at tea time. I prefer the reheat option to gives you the control over what time you eat and if you are having a super organised day and managed to do dinner yourself you still have back ups in the freezer. If you are going to go with a roster of freezables make sure the organiser has spyed out the available freezer space - usually the Dads are the go to option for this they never say no to food where the Mums may feel bad or that they aren't doing enough as a mother blah blah. This is help/gift/initiative not judgement
  2. When dropping off presents - unless you have arranged a time or can see/hear movement - don't go knocking and expecting to be let in. Leave the present on the doorstep with a lovely note/card and arrange a time that is suitable with the new parents to stop by again. Ahem I hear initiative.
  3. Finally getting to see the baby - when you arrive baby is asleep and Mum looks exhausted. Hello initiative either let you friend know you are happy she/he/they are still alive and shoo them off to bed while you leave them to rest and you will catch up soon. OR offer if there is anything you can do - hang out some washing, put a load on, fold some, some ironing, take an older child with you some they can rest, do some dishes, vacuum. Just use some bloody initiative.
  4. If by chance you actually make it in the door for a visit and everyone is alive, well and rested initiative does not go out the window. This is where YOU get up and make the cuppa and while you are there you also might do some washing up or stack the dishwasher. You may also realise the fridge is almost bare due to new baby and no time to shop - so make a mental note to either do a small online shop and have it delivered or go to the grocery store,  fill a box and drop it off of some essentials, easy snacks and a few treats for Mum (milk, bread, butter/marg, yoghurts, fruit, cold meats, nuts, some chocolate, snack bars etc etc).  
  5. Don't stay too long Babies get tired, Mums/Dads are exhausted. Unless you are Mother/Father/Brother/Sister/Aunt/Uncle and you are staying at the house to HELP (not be a pain in the ass and be waited upon by your already exhausted children/siblings). Use initiative and know when its time to go - or when you need to stay longer. Ask if you should leave and know when they are being too polite to tell you to feck off already!
  6. DONT give advice unless it is asked for. Use some freaken initiative babies are all different and so are the parents. What works for you doesn't work for everyone. Be there to listen and if you are asked for advice give it but always add this is what worked for me. That way they don't feel like they left some manual behind that everyone else got or feel judged that you could do it when they so clearly are having a tough time. Tell them about a struggle you had to let them see we all fail at this and somehow it all turns out okay (ish).
In public 
  1. Old lady with shopping walking towards door struggling with bags OR you could practice some initiative and hold open the door, offer to carry a bag and help her to her car. Even better! get the kids to help! {Teach your kids initiative now people before its too late}
  2. At the park little boy on trying to get on swing. Mum juggling newborn saying I will feed you once Johnny has his swing. You could think poor child, welcome to the real world, you are going to be ignored a lot more than just this now! OR you could say to the Mum is it ok if I help him up and give him a push? I remember whats its like to have my hands full! Use some initiative Mother will be grateful son got swing he has harped on about for past two weeks and she is able to feed baby who is no longer wailing like a firetruck.
  3. You see a mobile phone sitting outside the grocery store - clearly forgotten - no one in sight. You could think. Poor buggers probably wont be there by the time they come back OR you could hand it in at the grocery store service desk using your friend Mr. initiative. 
  4. You are at your favourite family restaurant - The Golden Arches. After you have enjoyed your meal knowing the children will be eternally grateful {until the next time you have a fight which will be in approximately 1.5 minutes when you tell them you are not playing on the playground} you look around a see all the tables lined with trays and rubbish. You could get up and walk away thinking the lobby girl is going to have fun once she gets out here OR you could use some of that awesome initiative to go and put your trash in the bin and the tray on top. How hard was that? Would you expect your children to leave your table looking like that? So why is it okay just because you are out?? 

Initiative works best when you also have common sense and know your Husband/Wife/Parents/Children/Family/Friends well. If you know they are lacking support but there is no way you can help due to time and space try take the load of buy sending a gift in the mail to let them know you are thinking of them. You can even do most of it online these days where you don't even have to go to the post office. 

If it is a family member rally the family {there may be a group of close friends instead} to share the load and see what you can all do between you. Everyone has different talents and abilities and between a group of people there should be a few ideas to help out.

Just don't do nothing! ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS. Words are great and touching when we need some uplifting but action it by putting them in a really nice card and posting it - to say hey! I thought of you enough to pick this card especially for you, and then said lovely things too.

 I think the world could be a better place if we could all learn to use a little initiative.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Jess! I absolutely love this and can completely relate. I have exhausted myself for the last 14 years DOING for everyone else because I love to help but am continually frustrated with those around me who can not reach out and do the same, including my husband.

    I have found that over the last 14 years in making my children and my husband happy I have lost myself. I am now on a new path to find me again!

    I would love to connect with you as I love your witty sarcasm in your writing and feel that you and I could relate to one another.

    We spent 3 weeks in New Zealand last year in Napier where my Aunt lives and absolutely loved your Country.

    Anyways, love your blog.



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