Can you tell when your kids tune you out? Do you sometimes find yourself wondering why they listen more to one parent and not the other? Have you ever heard yourself asking the same question over and over so many times that you can’t help but wonder…am I a nag?
A nag, that three letter word that (if you are in a relationship) is almost the equivalent of being called a bit**. I remembered the first and only time my husband called me a nag, not because he didn’t dare to say it again, but because I changed my approach as I definitely did not like hearing it.
I think I was pregnant and I was going on and on about something. I could see that he was getting annoyed which should have been my queue to stop, but nope, I kept going. I could actually see the thought coming to mind in his head, and me thinking…
And then he opened his mouth and blurted it out. “Alright! I get it. You are being such a nag.” He said. On the inside, I was like –
But on the outside, I was like –
We both digressed and when the dust settled, we were able to laugh about it and come to a resolution. Yes, I was being a nag, but he also made me that way. I had only been asking him to do something for over a week, and I was pregnant on top of that. Who cares if I was only 4 months pregnant and the baby wasn’t due for another 6?! I wanted that crib built! Just kidding. I wasn’t that bad.
Recently, my husband was asking our oldest to do something. “How many times have do we asked you to do this” and so on and so on. I noticed that she wasn’t even listening. He was using a tone of frustration that she grew to recognize and also to just tune out. It was in that moment that I realized how I must have sounded to him 5 years ago when she was still in my tummy, and he dared to utter those words. After bringing it to his attention, and also apologizing for that one time at band camp when I was a nag, he took another stab at his approach and was able to get through to her. But, if she would have just done what he asked the first time, he wouldn’t have had to nag her about it.
The moral of the story is that no one wants to be a nag. No one wants to be called on either, but the effects of not nagging can have huge consequences. For example, we just had to have a pipe in our front yard replaced. It wasn’t cheap by any means. But, after realizing that a section of our front yard was flooding, we had to act. The cause you may wonder? We had fake grass installed. Most pipes are at least 14 inches below ground, but because of the slope in our front yard, our pipes were less than 6binches below. Long story short. A 4 to 6 nail inch that was used when installing the grass dented one of the copper pipes. It didn’t puncture the pipe, but the long-term effect of water flowing through the pipes caused the pipes (where dented) to rub thin and eventually crack and leak. Mind you, two weeks before the very visible flood, water gathered in one area and we just assumed it was from over watering our trees and stopped watering, though this had never happened before. Then a plant died from overwatering. It wasn’t until the water was seeping up from the driveway that we sprung into action. Our front yard had been asking us to get it fixed, but we kept putting it off. Thankfully it was easier to get fixed then we thought, but had we of just addressed it at the first sign (the first ask) it could have been handled much sooner and before killing the plant and flooding the yard.
Remember, no one wants to be a nag or called one, but no one wants to create one either. Life would be so much easier if people just did stuff the first time. My husband and I have been working on doing this for each other’s sanity. If only our kids could give it a try…
Yeah, I may be a nag sometimes, but how many times do I have to ask?
The P.I. Mom