Well, here's a switch! I usually do my blog on Xanga and dump it off on my other sites, including Homeschool Blogger. This week, Jessica has asked a bunch of us to contemplate what our lives would be like on Wife Swap. Jessica is very persuasive, so I told her I'd do this today for my TT. I spent yesterday contemplating the idea but now that I think about it more fully, I realize I had it backward. I was thinking about what our lives were like and how another person would fit into our lives. That isn't it at all. I'd be going somewhere else and attempting to impose my life and values on that other family.
Now understand that I really didn't know what Wife Swap was until Jessica came up with this idea. I had to go to Wikipedia and look it up to figure out what the deal way, really. Having thought about it, I understand why it doesn't work for most people. Two weeks to implement changes in life circumstances? Um, yeah, right. Plus, there's no way I could have the lifestyle that I have without the support and direction of my husband. Obviously, he wouldn't be there with me so that would be a problem. Also, I would not at all like some other woman who is presumably radically different from me directing my household.
Now that I have those caveats out of the way, I guess I'll figure out what I'd try to implement in a family not my own if I were somehow forced at gunpoint to do Wife Swap.
Ok, one more caveat. This was really hard for me to contemplate, mainly because we are who we are and it would be difficult for me to think about other peoples' lives being radically different from ours. We are definitely boring middle-class people and I bring my boring middle-class sensibilities to bear here. Here's hoping this wouldn't be an utter mess.
1. We'd eat as a family, at the table, every night. We pretty much do this, except on Friday nights when we have video night and watch Dr. Quinn or I Love Lucy.
2. We'd have a video night on Friday and watch Dr. Quinn or I Love Lucy.
3. Our dinners would be home-cooked meals, prepared by me and sometimes the children. We would probably eat a lot of ethnic foods because that is what I cook a lot of the time. I'm willing to eschew pork or meat or dairy and meat in the same meal, if that's the family's wish, but we don't eat a lot of fast food, especially now with David's kidneys being what they are.
4. We would pray. Generally speaking, Friend Husband does a lot of the praying in our house, but I imagine I'd be doing a lot of the praying here. At a bare minimum, praying before meals and before bedtime would be a routine.
5. The children would be required to do chores to help out around the house.
6. Reading would be encouraged and nurtured. We are definitely a reading-type of family.
7. Church attendance (at the church of my choice) would be required when I attend worship services.
8. Modest dress, behavior, and language would all be encouraged. I don't think I want to get into specifics there, but if the standard of modesty changes from place to place, I think I'd go with my standard, just for these two weeks.
9. Respect for authority figures, most importantly God and one's parents would be encouraged/taught to the children in the family. I live a pretty insulated life (by design) but this is the one thing I see when we're out in "the world". That and the modesty thing are pretty glaring.
10. I would pay attention to and spend time with each child each day. We do a lot of that just in the course of homeschooling. I don't think I could impose homeschooling on a family for 2 weeks, but I would want to make sure that the children knew that someone was there to listen.
11. To that end, I'd probably severely limit extra-curricular activities for those 2 weeks. From what I can see (from my insulated little place in the world), too many families substitute activities for family time. If the children are out doing this that and the other, they can't be home, helping in the food prep, sibling watching, and general family time. You can't have an impromptu chat with Mom if you're out at riding lessons and Mom is chauffering your sibling to soccer.
12. I would also try to institute a routine. If the family has one in place and it works in my world, then that's fine. The routine would include chores, family time, reading time, and fun stuff. It would also include something that my hubby and I have done with our older children since we brought the twins home from Africa last year: alone time with each child. We spend 30 minutes a week doing something that the child suggests. Alone, with the child. We've found that the girls relish this time alone with the parents. This week is "my week" (meaning that I'm the one spending the time). Sarah and I sat and talked, with Sarah sitting on my lap part of the time (physical contact is very important). Rachel and I played charades and laughed, then she came and sat on my lap for the last 5 minutes. Tonight is "Abby's night" and I don't know what's on the agenda, but it will be special to Abby.
13. I would try to bring laughter and light into the home. Now I'm not a "light" type of person, but I am a laughing sort of person and I think that brings a lot of fun and levity into a household. To that end, I think it would be fun to have a board game night or charades night or something of that ilk to bring some fun into the situation.
Well, that's 13...they sound kind of nebulous to me, although I did attempt to specifically mention activities I'd do. Mainly, I'd try to recreate my home life in another locale, which might prove difficult. I'd like to see what sort of a family they'd swap me with! That would be the interesting thing to me.
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