Sunday, January 06, 2008Rule Number One
I'm going to put up some bits of our contract (minus the more personal and thus identifying factors). As always, your mileage may vary--I do not consider us experts or anything. In terms of the whole, we spent a weekend discussing what we thought worked and what needed improvement, and made changes based on that. I set up all the specifics and wrote the rules, but he is very much in agreement.
Read enough of my blog and you'll discover I'm not as much creative as a good thief. Our first rule comes originally (to me, anyhow) from Gabriel who as far as I know has long departed the blogosphere. I hope he and Kaylem are well.
Our first (of 10) contractual rules is this:
1. Tell me anything I need to know to make good decisions for our family. This includes but is not limited to:
Your work schedule.
Your current state of physical wellbeing, level of energy, emotional state
Anything you need.
Anything you want.
Our financial situation
Whatever chores you've done that day
Previously, this read only "Tell me anything I need to know..." I added the bullet points this year. Pet is often not good at being in touch with how he feels, especially if stress is becoming an issue. He lives to serve and please, which means he gets very busy and forgets to tend to himself. He just gets to a breaking point and then breaks, without any of us the wiser until it happens and the poor thing is a twitchy mess incapable of anything besides comatose TV watching. Service, obviously, is out the window, and everyone gets hurt and confused and upset. Easier way? Tell me how you're doing--that forces him to check in with HIMSELF as much as me, and be aware when things are getting too "whirly" on the inside.
He also has a hard time getting things for himself, despite working very hard to earn some fun. So he gets to tell me, so I can get it for him.
As for chores--both of us are doing many thousands of little things to keep the house running, and if he lets me know it gives me more of an opportunity for punishment and reward. Neither of which are disliked here at Temple PW.
I hope as this contract accompanies us forward, I can use these check in points to be more conscious of what pet needs, and what I need, and how he can fulfill my desires while still making sure he's cared for.