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Kinkeeping – Part 3 How to address dividing the mental and emotional labor in relationships

The Truth about women's mental health

This episode is part of our Self Care Series that we will be exploring  throughout 2023. 

In this new episode we are going to keep focusing on kinkeeping and how to address dividing the mental and emotional labor in relationships

So basically 

We are going to teach you how to address this with your partners and children to create change the want/need.

Transcript – Kinkeeping Part 3

[00:00:00] Randi: 1, 2, 3, 4. Hi friends. It's Randy and Jess, and we're gonna cut the

[00:00:07] Jess: bullshit and let's get into women's mental health.

[00:00:13] Randi: Welcome to the podcast unapologetically All over the place with Randy and Jess. Two licensed psychotherapists where we talk about women's mental health issues and how it's all normal. This is episode 29 and part three of KinKeeping, and we're going to talk about how you can create change and utilize the boundaries and the tips that we talked about in the previous two episodes of this series.

[00:00:39] Jess: Yep. And we are going to wrap up kinkeeping for now. So basically we're gonna walk you through how to get your needs met and to stop doing all the stuff.

[00:00:47] Randi: Yep. And how to address this with your partners, your spouse, your children, your employers, to create actionable change that you want and that you need for your wellbeing.

[00:01:00] Jess: And Randy and I are gonna do some role-playing, hopefully. Yes. Um, so that way you guys can hear, um, how to talk to your partner and do it in a way that it comes across

[00:01:09] Randi: that it's, it's hard. Yeah. And so you can kind of practice this and see how we practice it. Mm-hmm. and hear. . So you have those tools to kind of use.

Cuz a lot of this time it can be really hard to implement this stuff because you're like, what does that sound like? What does that look like? What does that feel like? And you know, luckily Jess and I, we do a lot of that in our own practices. Yep. And with each other and stuff. And we have learned to do that in school.

But that's not something that everybody learns. So we're here to teach you how to utilize that tool. So have you guys ever had these

[00:01:43] Jess: thoughts? I hope my son or daughter grow up to find a partner that helps, helps them, participates with them and respects them.

[00:01:50] Randi: Am I teaching my child how you, how to value themselves and how to value

[00:01:55] Jess: others?

Am I a good partner that allows my partner to step up and make space for them to do what they need to do? So

[00:02:03] Randi: important. Am I asking for my needs to be met from my partner and or my children? Like, are you actually communicating your needs and your wants and your desires?

[00:02:15] Jess: And you can do that with your kids as well.

Yes. I mean, you can say, this is what I need. Mm-hmm. and seeing and teaching them how to ask their needs. You're modeling for them, right? Why isn't my partner asking me how he or she can help? But as we've said before, it's

[00:02:29] Randi: participate. Right? And am I enabling this bad behavior? Because we also have to take a look at our roles in this, and like we said, are we allowing our partner to actively participate in the relationship or parenting or whatever it is.


[00:02:46] Jess: and that's what enabling is, is that enabling is, is. Is allowing it, right? Mm-hmm. is enabling bad behaviors, allowing bad behavior, and not putting up our boundaries and saying, no, this doesn't work. Right. Okay. So how do you communicate this with the partner? I know last time we talked about last episode, we kind of talked about fair play.

Having some of the, the cards and, and breaking down the different task, right. Like Right. Tooth fairy, you know, Santa Claus, um,

[00:03:15] Randi: dentists. Yeah. So work with your partner to divide up your workload. Mm-hmm. , like what is weighing you down? What do you feel like you can hand off? What do you feel or what do they feel like they might wanna take on?

Things like

[00:03:28] Jess: that. And like in, in our. My husband has taken over dentist. He does all of the dentist. Mm-hmm. . He does all of the orthodontist

[00:03:36] Randi: for her. Right? So like one of you does the dentist, one of you does the pediatrician. Yeah. Yeah. Or like one of you does, you know the therapist? Mm-hmm. , one of you does the term dermatologist, whatever that looks like.

And you know, and same thing like. Surgery recently and like my partner had to step up and take over, like the drop offs, the pick up the appointments and stuff. Mm-hmm. cuz my son has, you know, occupational therapy and things like that. And it was like so that everybody else's scheduled didn't get thrown off to, we had to figure out how to divide up the workload.

And sometimes that does look like you taking on more than your partner at certain times. D 50. No, it's never 50 50. And you can't keep like tit for tat. No, this isn't, you don't wanna keep, you know, I've done this. You've done that scoreboard. That's not what this is. It's feeling like you're in an equal partnership and you guys are both trying to meet each other and trying to meet your needs the best that you can.

And understanding too, like time is time. Mm-hmm. , we all have the same hours in the day. We all are doing a lot of the same things. Like why is your time. Less valuable than anybody else's. It

[00:04:47] Jess: isn't. Or why is it you overvalue yours? Right. I remember once I had a friend, I was like, I'm busy and at the time I'm running a business, I was, I had two businesses going mm-hmm.

and I, you know, unfortunately I devalued what she was doing. And I was like, well, I'm busy. And she looked at me, she goes, I'm busy too. Right? And she said, you know, time is time. And I was. She's totally right and I made assumptions and you know mm-hmm. and I mm-hmm. devalued what she was doing. And time is time.

What I'm doing is important, what

[00:05:18] Randi: are doing, and I feel that happens a lot in the kin keeping role, is that women's time is devalued. It is just housework. It is just taking care of the kids. It is just, you know, whatever it is, volunteering in their classroom. There is no, it is just, it is, and it's valuable.

[00:05:36] Jess: I think a lot of women devalue their time too, right? Oh yeah. It's we're taught too, right? It's the, oh, well I work from home so I can do dishes and I can do, I mean, I think I love working from home. Mm-hmm. , I love being able to have that flexibility. Right. But I feel like a lot of women will be like, well, but I'm home so I should be doing

[00:05:55] Randi: laundry.

And it's, no, you're still doing the same amount of work and work you're working. Before you're just not commuting in a sense, but it's like, yes, I can't take my lunch break to like throw in like some laundry and stuff like that, but it's like, do I have to, no, if something else is more important or I need that time to like feed myself, you know what I mean?

Like I shouldn't, you know, ignore other things about. Doing my own self-care throughout the day just because I feel like I'm home or I need to do housework.

[00:06:23] Jess: And the irony is most people don't take lunch. They work through their lunch or they sit at their desk and work. And that's a whole other issue. And

[00:06:29] Randi: I do that too, which is really bad for my self-care.

So other ways you can communicate with your partner effectively, especially around can keeping, is using eye statements. Ooh, let's

[00:06:39] Jess: practice that for a minute because. The way, if you look at your hand right point it like, like, ah, what is that? Like a, like a pew. Pew? Yeah. Like a p pew. I don't wanna be like a gun, but let's like

[00:06:48] Randi: point like a gun.

Okay. Can we Yeah. Cut that out.

[00:06:50] Jess: Alright. . No, no, it's okay. Can leave it. Okay. Okay. But like, you wanna be able to point your main finger back at you when you're communicating. Right. When you're pointing a finger, you're communication for an eye statement always has to be back at you. It, it starts with, I am feeling like, and you can't be like, I'm feeling like you suck.

Right? Because that is not an eye statement. I am feeling like I am not being heard. I'm feeling that my work is not valued. Mm-hmm. , you see

[00:07:18] Randi: how all of it, I'm feeling burnt out right

[00:07:21] Jess: now. I'm feeling like I have to do and I'm gonna say, Everything and that leads us to the next one. But yeah, it's a lot of the, I feels right.


[00:07:30] Randi: avoid or try to avoid using always and never. Like I always, I never like, cuz that's, that's a whole huge category. And that makes somebody, when, that you're communicating with usually go on the defensive. Mm-hmm. always because it's like a hundred percent of the time, like you're feeling. You know, or you're thinking

[00:07:50] Jess: this, you never do anything.

Right? Right. Or I always do everything cuz that's, those are not true statements. Right? And, and so those also, you might as well point at it and say you never do anything and then just expect the room to blow up. ,

[00:08:07] Randi: um, sit down with your partner and a, analyze the tasks and maybe see there might be some stuff that you can let go of too.

I feel like in this culture and society, we kind of have like this hustle culture. We've talked about that before. Mm-hmm. . And sometimes we can just pile on the things like the social things or the sports, the activities or the after school or like, uh, you know, like a tiger mom, like my. To be in football, baseball needs to be learning, you know, Mandarin needs to be learning French.

And it's like when do we allow also ourselves, it's like it's rev what some revered, revered that we like have this super busy, crazy like schedule that you just go, go, go. And it's like that's exhausting. It is.

[00:08:51] Jess: And. and we were looking at my daughter aged out of our soccer, our, our rec soccer, right? Mm-hmm.

rec soccer was great. It was one night a week, right? One Saturday could handle it and she could walk there. Yeah. I didn't, I had very little that I had to do, right? She wanted to go to the next level and I was like, honey, this is three nights a. , right. It's like two hours a night. Mm-hmm. plus Saturday tournaments and, and it's like 45 minutes away from our house, which for me is like, it's far.


[00:09:22] Randi: I feel like a lot of parents will often make decisions like that, that are detrimental to their whole family. Right. Because they're just thinking like, well, I wanna nurture this child's talent and their wants, but then I'm feeling like these other kids fall behind, they're stressed out this. And I often will ask, you know, my friends or challenge them and say, is this worth it?

Or, I've seen a huge financial strain Yes. From like activities or sports and they can't afford it. And I'm like, why are you, well, they're just such, so good at this sport and they're so listen, if at at 10. The, the sport is still gonna be there when they're in college at 20, and it really matters, even if they've played rec or whatever the fun all the way, if they're talented, they're talented.

We push a lot up on our kids and our families, I feel like, at a young age, that we need to be like proving ourselves and like, you know, keeping up with the Joneses or whatever. And it, it can be very detrimental to the overall wellbeing of us as, you know, mothers, women, but, Our family as a whole, system

[00:10:29] Jess: A and that's what we said.

I was like, I this, as much as we wanna support this, it has nothing to do with her, you know, ability. Right. It has to do with that. It doesn't work for our family. Mm-hmm. , there is no way that I can run a practice. Right. And then be able to participate in this. Right. I can't. I can't do it. Right. And you know, it just doesn't work for our

[00:10:52] Randi: family.

Right. And I think that we need to be able to have those conversations and not carry the guilt with it. I think a lot of people make decisions based off of

[00:11:02] Jess: guilt, and that's where that kin keeping comes in. Right. Because that is something moms do because they feel like they have to do it so I can support my child.

Well, that is just. You know, the kind keeping that is like stuck in it. Mm-hmm. , like you don't have to do that. If it doesn't work, set

[00:11:19] Randi: a boundary. I think that we forget too, like we have like your marriage is, or your relationship is a separate thing and your family is a separate thing. And these two things too need to be met and nurtured and we don't often like bring it all together and that's when the pieces start falling apart.

Mm-hmm. and it's even harder to manage.

[00:11:39] Jess: Yeah. And so yeah, analyze tasks and. You know if this is even gonna work for your family, right? Mm-hmm. . And here's the other thing is be honest about what you like and don't like. Yeah. And if nobody wants to scrub a toilet, then hire somebody to just do your bathrooms.

Yes. You can't afford and afford the entire house, just do bathrooms

[00:11:58] Randi: once a month. Right. Exactly. And I know a lot of people can't, but it's in like, okay, well then flip a F freaking coin and or rock paper, scissor it and that's your month to do the toilets and then next month, whatever. You know, you owe it to yourself to be honest with your partner and yourself about what you really need.

That's the thing too. I think a lot of times we're not honest with ourselves. Mm-hmm. and like for my husband and I. Both do not wanna scrub the toilets. So we make a sacrifice to budget in. Yes. Cleaning for us. And a lot of people be like, oh, that's so bougie. Well, yes and no. It was that, or our marriage. So like for us it was like, so we gave up going out, you know, and getting Starbucks or something like that.

It was a give and take. It wasn't like, you know, like we budgeted it into our system because it was something that was so detrimental to our relationship that we would fight about, you know, that it was like, okay, this is something. Is going to help our relationship, you know, so, and you know, now we can't afford it, you know, but it's like even before, like when we couldn't, it was something like, okay, same thing.

Like, okay, well they're gonna come like once a month and just, you know, scrub the toilets. And that's just something that we agree on to have done because it's gonna save an argument between us.

[00:13:12] Jess: I call it a marriage saver. Mm-hmm. , because same thing. I was like, we went without cable. I was like, Hmm. Cable or housekeepers.

I was like, you know what, I'm going for housekeeper

[00:13:20] Randi: because Yeah, same

[00:13:21] Jess: all day long. I will give up Starbucks and everything else. Yeah. But that is a marriage saver for us. Yeah. And so, yeah, same.

[00:13:29] Randi: Absolutely. So these communication tips too, you can also use with your kids. You need to include them in things like the chores and like the decisions you make above the household so that they learn how to communicate about these things too for their future and with you.

And then you guys too, like if one kid hates doing one thing and one kid doesn't mind, then maybe you need to switch it up. Or if they all. Same thing, rock, paper, scissors, switch it up every month, whatever. Encourage your kids too, to reach out to your partner and talk to their, you know, dad too about, or, you know, their stepdad or whoever it is that they.

Have questions for them. They can go to them, they can learn to trust them. It's not always like, does it need to be mom, mom, mom? Like, I direct, I redirect my kids now go talk to your dad. Right. The other I'm out, I'm not handling this

[00:14:20] Jess: well, not even, I'm not handling. The other day I was in my office and yeah, my daughter comes in and she goes, mom, can you, can you get the, the, the, she's afraid of our air fryer.

Can you get it out? Can you get my nuggets outta the air fryer? Your dad is right in the kitchen next to you. Why did, why didn't, why you walk all


[00:14:36] Randi: way over here to ask

[00:14:37] Jess: me? Yes. And he, she goes. Well, he said no. Well, he said to do it myself. And I said, okay, then go back and do it yourself. That's

[00:14:46] Randi: what he said.

And that's how he's parenting. And so that's how it's gonna be. Not, you don't wanna supersede that. Exactly. See, those are the things that create blocks in the relationship and, and the parenting lines like that.

[00:14:57] Jess: And it was enabling her bad behavior of not bad behavior, but her not wanting, wanting to follow through to.

Through or not wanting to do something that's a little outside her comfort zone. Yeah. So by supporting what my husband said, she actually learned she can take stuff out of there and not burn herself. Right. Right. And yes, she can totally do it. And, and it was, she now has done other things. Right. And so

[00:15:20] Randi: he was, it almost, it boosted her confidence probably like in

[00:15:23] Jess: a way.

Right, right. And I didn't go rescuing her or counteracting whatever my husband

[00:15:27] Randi: said. Exactly. Because a lot of kids too learn to manipulate their parents against each other. Like, you know, he said, And that's something my husband and I have always stood together with. Like no matter, even if we don't agree, We are a united front to our kids.

Yes. So they know they can't go behind one's back or ask something. The other one, they know that we talk to each other. Mm-hmm. , they know that we support whatever the decision is that is either what mom said or what dad said, you know, and that's

[00:15:58] Jess: that. And that's a line that we use in our house. What mom say?

what dad say? Mm-hmm. , did you ask mom? Did you ask dad? Right. And that's almost the first thing we say, because we wanna know if she's already asked. Because then she'll say, well, he said no. Okay, then cool. Why are you asking me if he said, no, you have your answer. And so that is something we do to help support, because a.

I don't wanna take away that power and I don't wanna kin keep all of that. Right. Right. He's taking and, and he's stepping up and he is giving her direction. Then that's, that's fantastic.

[00:16:31] Randi: And we need to learn too, to let go of the shame and the guilt of not doing it all. We don't need to remember everybody's birthday.

We don't need to send everybody a birthday card. We don't need to send everybody a birthday present. We don't need to make it to every friend's birthday party if it's just too much. , let some of that shit go. Mm-hmm.

[00:16:51] Jess: it, it and very, yeah. And the other thing. when you we're gonna talk about dividing up work, right?

Mm-hmm. . But when you divide up work with your spouse, make sure it's on a realistic timeline that works for both of

[00:17:02] Randi: you, right? Right. And your schedules, your work schedules.

[00:17:05] Jess: Like, well, even like dishes at night, one of the big things is people are like, well, he doesn't do 'em until the morning. Okay. So he does the dishes in the morning, but he does 'em, right?

Right. Well, yeah. He wants to do 'em in the

[00:17:16] Randi: morning. So do you need to micromanage that?

[00:17:18] Jess: If he's gonna do it? Maybe it's not on your, if you want it done at night, right. Here's the other one I hear is towels. Oh my gosh. There is a certain way towels are folded. Did you not know

[00:17:30] Randi: that? Geez, I don't care about that stuff.

I hate folding stuff. That's funny. So I don't, I could care less if the towels were folded, but Yeah. But I, I've heard that before. Like, you don't fold them the right way. There's a right way, there's a wrong way because they don't

[00:17:43] Jess: fit. But it's

[00:17:44] Randi: like, let's, let's be honest, this little nitpicky shit

[00:17:48] Jess: keeps everybody from doing

[00:17:49] Randi: other stuff, but it's stemming from something.

So you need to kind of identify why are you worried about all this little stuff? What's really bothering you?

[00:18:01] Jess: Okay, interesting. Okay. I like that. Hmm. Yeah, cuz you're right, it's stemming from either being in control, having to resentment, have it neat, being angry about stuff. Yeah, not asking for your needs

[00:18:14] Randi: being met.

Yeah. And it, I mean, it could stem all the way back to, you know, some way that your household was run when you were a child and things like that, or triggers or, you know, things like that. So like, sometimes we do need to do a deep dive and see am I really, you know, what is really going on here? Why can't I let go of this?

Why does, why do the dishes need to be done at night versus the morning? Like, can I, or can you step back and let go of that?

[00:18:40] Jess: I have let go of. That is something, if my husband is doing dishes, he'll do 'em by like 11 o'clock the next morning, right? Mm-hmm. , he'll start the dishwasher then, and that's when he'll do it, right?

Yeah. After his first break, he goes and does the dishes. . If it's me, I want 'em done at night. I want everything wiped off, but I'm not the one that is doing it for that moment. Right, right. And so unless I wanna control it, I can do it, but I don't want that control anymore. Mm-hmm. , I don't want to keep that task.

Mm-hmm. .

[00:19:09] Randi: Yeah, because it's burning you out. So we also need to learn to let. Go. Mm-hmm. and not shoulder everything. And my

[00:19:15] Jess: way isn't always the right way. Even if I think it is right. It is not the right way. No, I think it is. But I know it, there are other ways to do things. Oh yeah,

[00:19:23] Randi: a hundred percent. You know?

But I feel like we always feel like if you want it done right, you know, do it yourself. Do it yourself. And it's like, that's not true. It could open your eyes to a whole new way of folding towels, .

[00:19:33] Jess: It could. I mean, there's been a great debate. Do you fold them in thirds? Do you, do you fold them in squares? I mean,

[00:19:38] Randi: come.

I mean, I'm lucky if mine get folded, so Oh, well, okay. ,

[00:19:43] Jess: you're like, if they got out of the washing machine to the dryer, it's golden here. Yeah, exactly. It's golden. You know? And, and what you're modeling for your kids by communicating with your spouse is that you're, you are setting them up for their relationship down the road.

Mm-hmm. , right? You're either setting 'em up for failure or you're setting 'em up for success. No. And so you really want to, I mean, obviously I'm assuming we all wanna set 'em up for success on how to communicate and talk with their family. . So, and then, you know, the other thing is work. You know, we talked about like women working from home.

Yes. One of the other thing is that, you know, it's made it worse for all of us women because we are expected to, you know, I'm gonna run and drop the kids off. I thought you were working well. I am, but I'm just gonna run and grab the kids. Mm-hmm. , right? You're like, okay, well there goes half hour, 45 minutes of

[00:20:32] Randi: your day.

Right. It's huge. A huge chunk. And to get back on. Yeah. Top of that.

[00:20:38] Jess: Then the kids need homework and they wanna get their sandwiches done. So Really Right. Like what You are not doing an hour and a half of your work.

[00:20:44] Randi: Right. And I try, try to explain that to my husband too. We both work from home, but he has an office that's outside of our, our of our house and my office is inside the house right next to the kids' bedrooms.

They think it's a free for all to come in here. Like I. , like my work is not as important and I've had to sit down and talk with my kids and my partner about like, my time is just as valuable. I am still working. Just because you can see me through the glass doors does not mean I'm available, you know? But, and I had to move my desk too, so I could be like, you can't, you stop talking.

Stop talking. You can't come in here. I'm busy working right now. So now. Husband approaches with caution and will like knock on my door and say, are you in a meeting? Like, can I come in? We've had to learn how to set those boundaries and that's another example of, you know how to do that and not take moron just because we're working from home, like I know a lot of us do it because it helps with being able to keep kids home and things like that, but you understand it's a lot to balance all those things.

[00:21:52] Jess: yeah. In the beginning of the pandemic, cuz I, I do therapy from home and at that time it was a hundred percent right. Yeah. Like I was in the office part-time and I, and so I had to put a note on my door that said, Do not knock unless there is blood. Mm-hmm. , unless you're bleeding, don't knock on my door.

Yeah. Yes. You may have a snack. Choose healthy. Yes. You can watch tv. Limit your time. I mean, I literally had a note that I put on my door. Don't knock unless something is really drastically wrong. Yeah. Because I'm working

[00:22:21] Randi: and that's really hard to, it was really hard for my daughter too when I went back into the workforce because she had only known me as a stay-at-home mom.

Oh yeah. And even now like that, I've been working, you know, For years and years and years. She still sometimes is like, well, you can just, you know, cause you work for yourself. Like you can just, and it's like, no, I still have responsibilities and things I have to meet and, you know, do, and I want them to see, you know, that it is important to be responsible and, you know, and hold myself accountable to that.

But she had a really, really hard time when I went back to work like, Why didn't she have access to me? You know, like 24 7? And at first I felt really guilty about it. But you know, we communicated about it and worked, you know, through it and stuff. What

[00:23:04] Jess: I teach is that, yes, you know what, I can go pick up my daughter.

Mm-hmm. , or I can go do this if I'm not seeing clients. But that time has to come out of my week somehow. Right. And the way I teach it is that my week starts on a Monday, ends on a Sunday. Mm-hmm. . And if I take out my two hour block that I've committed to doing my work on Friday, right. It has to come somewhere and it has to be done by, by by Sunday.

Right. So that means maybe Sunday morning I'm gonna spend two hours working and I, I will be flexible with myself. Mm. But I make sure I schedule it actually in my book because I wanna make sure that I am aware that I took it from here, so it needs to come out of my weekend. Yeah, that's really smart. And I, and I share that with them, that I can do this.

[00:23:50] Randi: Yeah. I can change my schedule. I can, I can be flexible, but there's repercussions too. We might not be able to do. Something else on the weekend that you wanted to do? Because I

[00:24:00] Jess: have to allocate and I'm not gonna save it till nine o'clock on a Sunday night. Right. Cause that's not fair to me. Right. You know, I'm gonna do it Saturday or Sunday morning and, and that's what I teach moms is that that's fine.

If you need to be flexible. It is what it is. Right. We understand that there's some things that fine we have to go do. Where does that time come from? And to actually schedule it with yourself in your book and hold yourself accountable and tell them, you know, unfortunately I can't do that right now because I had, you know, this is my time from Friday.

Mm-hmm. , we were able to go do fun things Friday, but now I have to work for two hours. Right. And so it just makes it so you are modeling and showing them that and

[00:24:41] Randi: that's another boundary. Yes. And this is another how to with boundaries and stuff. What are some other ways we can show them how to communicate boundaries as well?

[00:24:52] Jess: in regards, tokin keeping. I wanna kind of talk about, let's, let's, let's talk about how to actually even engage, okay. In this conversation with your spouse, right? Most of us wait until we are ready to lose our shit, and then we just lose it and we yell. Mm-hmm. , we're upset, we're yelling, and we are not the best communicators when we're angry.

[00:25:11] Randi: Right. We have a short. Fuse, everything's clouded. Everything. Your body is tense. There's a million things going on, right?

[00:25:18] Jess: You're not going to be the nicest. Mm-hmm. . It is okay to say, hey, you know, Hey hon, there is something I wanna talk about. Not nothing huge or shattering, but I wanna schedule some time.

And if you need to schedule a meeting, you know, in your, send 'em a Google meeting. Mm-hmm. , if you need to schedule something, let's go grab coffee. Whatever it is, let's schedule time and let's talk about, you know, the house and, and the functioning of the house and the family, right? Yes. And sit down and say, you know, I, I really wanna look at our time and time management as well as maybe task management.

Mm-hmm. , it feels like maybe, you know, there's a lot that I do that doesn't get. Or, you know, that, that, that kin keeping, you know, free labor. Yeah.

[00:26:03] Randi: And like you said, you had used as example in the first part of this series, um, about when the wife had left for a business trip and there was a coat on the ground mm-hmm.

and she came back days later and it was still there. And I, I feel that I. and I feel that in my soul. But, um, so what I do too is an example of like a boundary and communication and helping with the skin keeping is I will make a to-do list and I will share it with my teenager, my partner, and be like, this is what I'm feeling overwhelmed with.

This is what needs to be done right now. This is, you know, or what I'm like spinning about, you know, and can't stop thinking about, you know, especially like when it was like after the holidays and like we needed to take down decorations and things like that. I was like, this is. All on me because everybody enjoyed this.

Mm-hmm. , you know, so I was like, I need help with this, you know, I need help putting away this. I need help with that. And that is just another way to be direct. Set your boundaries and that there it is for them and black and white too. Like this is what needs to be done and be checked off and can we accomplish this by a certain date?


[00:27:14] Jess: know, give an end date. Mm-hmm. it isn't. Mm-hmm. . Between now, like the smart goals

[00:27:17] Randi: we talked about Yes. Previously. Uh, give yourself a timeframe that you can kind of meet this, can this n need be met within this

[00:27:26] Jess: timeframe. And I like the way you said can, because most of the time we're like, this needs to be done now.

Right. Okay. Well, I don't know what they're doing. And I can make the assumption that like the other day I'm laughing and, and, and I'm sure all of y'all have heard this, but she's like, mom, I just got on a good server, , and I was just like, I, I don't, why is she playing Minecraft now? I have no idea. But I was like, I don't even care.

But you know what? It's important to her. Mm-hmm. . And so she has learned to say, can I do it after this game? Mm-hmm. Yes. How long will that be? Right? So I know, I don't know, mom, like 20 minutes.

[00:27:58] Randi: Okay. Because that goes back to too, like learning to anticipate what our, what their needs are, what our needs are, and.

Two, I think that helps us with expectations. A lot of us can have like these glorified expectations of how things should look or feel, or be thanks to whatever social media and movies and things like that. And interest. Yeah. And that is not how it is. So it's like, you know, it took us a little bit longer to get the Christmas decorations down than I wanted to, but like other stuff came up.

But I just kept adding it back up to the top of the to-do list. Like, okay, that. You know, like this is like immediate, it needs to be done. This, I can be a little bit more flexible with it moving down the list, you know, what are my expectations about that too? And then like, where's my exploding point on this?

Like if it's gonna be like four weeks, is that like too long is like two weeks? Okay. You know, and then it could get moved up to like, okay, this is like immediate and needs to be done. But if you have that conversation with yourself and your partner and your kids, that can reduce like a lot of blowups and things

[00:29:01] Jess: like that.

And maybe they're not gonna help put away the Christmas decorations. Okay, great. But then if I'm gonna spend an hour on it, what are they gonna spend an hour on? Because if I'm doing, doing all the work mm-hmm. , and they're playing video games, right? Maybe at that minute they're not doing their hour. But I'm not gonna feel guilty when they're making dinner and I'm sitting around doing whatever I want to do.

[00:29:22] Randi: Exactly, and that's like what you said too about like scheduling, like your time. If you're giving this time, same thing. Like, okay, well if I'm gonna give all my time to this and you can't help me with it, then, then where can you help me pick up the slack here? Oh no. Help me. I did it again. Catch it. Where can you pick up the slack?

[00:29:41] Jess: Where can you participate? Yes. What can you do? . Right. And sometimes they're like, I don't have anything to give today, but I can do this tomorrow. Mm-hmm. , you know, even in our house, we'll say, and I'm laughing cuz last night he held me to it and we'll say, okay, what's your schedule this week? And he is like, okay, well I can cook dinner Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, but Thursday I have a late night.

And so I was busy working and I forgot, you know, where the time was. I was into my thing. Yeah. And he comes out and he is like, what's for. I was like, oh, are you hungry right now? He's like, yeah, I'm getting there. And I was like, okay, cool. I'll go jump on that. Because that was my agreement. Mm-hmm. that I was gonna make dinner that night and they had to go do some other homework stuff, so it was on me.

Right, right. But that was the agreement at the beginning of the week. Mm-hmm. . and he, but

[00:30:26] Randi: then also when he asked you about it and kind of called you out about it, like it wasn't, you weren't defensive because you were like, we had already talked about this. I already knew this was the plan. Yep. I already knew I was responsible for dinner and like, uh, we do that too.

It'll be like, okay, you got this week, or I have meetings this, or I have a late night. So like, you're on dinner this night. You're on dinner this night. We'll order dinner this night. . So we kind of like have like a loose game plan. So then we're not like screaming like, who's making dinner or like pointing fingers or like, you know, whatever.

And it's

[00:30:59] Jess: so funny how much dinner comes up in therapy, like trying to figure out what to eat on a weeknight when everything is going on. It is such a big

[00:31:09] Randi: deal when you're just like so tired. It's just like we said, it's like that one more thing and it's kind of like the tipping point. Mm-hmm. , you know, when.

Over everything from the day. And it's like the la the straw that broke the camel's back . You're just like dinner.

[00:31:25] Jess: Well, you like, I don't wanna give you cereal, but you might have cereal tonight. But I didn't, we used to have, like our grandparents would have like meatloaf fun one night. Yeah. And they would do like another thing on a, wasn't it like, Every Monday was like, was

[00:31:36] Randi: like meatloaf and then, I mean, taco Tuesday and then whatever, you know, I mean, do that if you need to, if it's easier on you.

Yeah. You know, I, I, I mean, meal planning is like one more thing for me. Like I don't usually, uh, I try to do that, but it doesn't really work for me.

[00:31:52] Jess: But I can do about four to five days. That's about it. By Friday it's kind of done. Yeah. And that's, and if I can get us through to Friday, great. Mm-hmm. and I go easy.

We don't do huge things. Right. We

[00:32:04] Randi: go easy things. No, and that's, it doesn't need to be a four course meal. It's just nutrition basics. Mm-hmm. , protein, you know, vegetables, you've got this like, don't, I think a lot of times we overthink in like, we want a Pinterest moment every night of the week. And that's not gonna happen.

[00:32:18] Jess: Hayden, here's the thing, you don't have to do it by yourself and you may not. To do it at all. It might be something that you and your husband or you and your spouse decide they will take care of. Mm-hmm. . So here's the thing, it's not always on you.

[00:32:31] Randi: Right. And it's like this out now that my daughter like can cook and she's a teenager and stuff.

Good. And she's good. She loves to bake and she loves to try new recipes. So I'm like, Hey, one night of the week, now you get to cook dinner.

[00:32:42] Jess: My mom made me do that about her age. Mm-hmm. , we had, we, we had meatloaf every we. Yeah,

[00:32:47] Randi: guaranteed. Cuz that's what I get that, and she always wants, she finds some new TikTok recipes she wants to make and then she cooks it and I'm like, okay.

And then, you know, her dad and I both get like a break and it's like, okay, like that's cool And she's learning some responsibility and mm-hmm. , same thing too, like the other week she was supposed to make dinner and then I was like, Hey, where's dinner? And it was holding her responsible to time management too, and planning.

And she was like, oh shit. Like I didn't, you know? And I was like, okay, well what? Then it was a, you know, teaching moment, like, what are we gonna do? You know,

[00:33:20] Jess: because, you know, but that's fantastic. You didn't shame her. You didn't say, I'm so disappointed. Yeah. It was like, okay, great. How do we brainstorm and fix this?

Mm-hmm. . And that is what we have to do. Is that, okay, this isn't working. So let's say your partner is the one that gets grocer. Right? Mm-hmm. and your kids have nothing to eat. Right. It's not like you should go, oh God, you failed again. But it's okay. Cool. How do, how does this get fixed? Yeah. And it isn't, how do I fix this?

Right? How does

[00:33:48] Randi: this get fixed? Yeah. I did have a moment like that where I was like, oh my gosh, I do all the grocery shopping and you guys eat all the food and nobody helps me, and this is all your fault. And then I was like, okay, wait. And then I was. You are totally capable of ordering groceries from the grocery app too.

So I was like, do you not have access to the app? Okay, here's access to the app. You both have my teenager and my spouse. I said, you both now have access to it so you can order groceries too, so it's not all on me. Mm. It was as simple as that. Mm-hmm. and I was like, and I'm leaving it. So ,

[00:34:25] Jess: whether it's an app we have, um, a Google sheet that we use.

No, and it's put it on the sheet. Oh Mom, we're out of this. Great. Go put it on the sheet. Yeah, we

[00:34:33] Randi: have Alexa. Don't wanna, we, we tell Alexa like, okay, we need a grocery list. And then I'm like, well, if you didn't get it, you can look up the list on your phone and like that's on you. If you don't check

[00:34:44] Jess: out and you can divide the list to say Google or Alexa, add it to my Trader Joe list.

Mm-hmm. , Alexa add it to my, you know. Right. Costco. You can do separate lists so that way they can't go, oh, I didn't know they didn't carry that here. Mm. And you're like, no, no, no. Did you look under the Trader Joe list? . If you're at Trader Joe's, you should look at one. Yeah. And really we do one li a generic on top.

We need milk. You can get milk anywhere. Mm-hmm. . Right. We need this and that. And yes, there's only certain things. I can only get my cookie butter at Trader Joe's . Okay, fine. But you know, if you're at Trader Joe's, pick up that in some shwarma and call it good. Yeah. And so it's, it's one of those of holding them accountable.

Mm-hmm. .

[00:35:25] Randi: And so I just, these are just great ways that you can set boundaries and start working towards learning your own, you know, that you need and, you know, teaching, you know, your kids and your family. And this can extend to, to extended family that have certain expectations of you. Like, this is what I am responsible for, this is what I'm not responsible for, and that is what it is.

[00:35:53] Jess: And if. Let's, let's go back to that. You said, this is what I am responsible for. Mm-hmm. , this is what I'm not responsible for. Mm-hmm. , if you are not responsible for it, there's a part where you have to kinda let that go. And it's

[00:36:05] Randi: almost like, don't pick up that. Don't pick it. Don't pick it up

[00:36:08] Jess: again. Yeah.

Don't pick it up. You can say, this isn't working. I'm not okay with what's happening. Or it seems to be, you don't wanna be like, you're failing at your, your, your chore list, right? Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. , because, you know, we're all grownups. Right? Except for our kids. But you wanna be like, okay, something isn't working.

What's not working? Yeah. Right. And if, and again,

[00:36:27] Randi: reevaluate it. Mm-hmm. , try something different. Like me being a d h adhd, we've had to try a million different ways, or my husband has just learned to give up on me and certain things, like, I'm just not gonna pick up certain things around the house because I have blindness to it, you know?

Mm-hmm. . And he's had to be like, okay. That's, is he willing, you know, to deal with that? Is he not like, what have I tried? You know, I try certain things to improve on it and you know, we try to meet in the middle about certain things too. And

[00:36:57] Jess: it is being realistic with what you're capable of. Mm-hmm. , what they're capable of.

What did he say the other night? I'm notorious for turning on the oven and then forgetting I'm cooking again and I walk out into the garage and I'm like doing something else. Yeah. And he came up to me, he was really kind and he said, did you forget you were cooking? Right? Mm-hmm. , or did you forget your, and I was like, no, I know what I'm doing.

I was actually, I'm on task. And it was just his way of checking to make sure that like, I don't know, I didn't walk off doing something else, but it wasn't like,

[00:37:25] Randi: you forgot you're cooking again. The house is gonna burn down, like all this stuff. He was just like, oh, hey, did you forget this? A gentle. . It was really, really like accountability.

Accountability. A gentle reminder like he's learned too. I think that, you know what you are receptive to like as well, and that makes for, you know, better communication and a happier relationship. Absolutely.

[00:37:48] Jess: And he was totally, you know, it was, it was okay that he asked. Because it is not the first time that I have forgot I was doing something like that.

Mm-hmm. , right? With my A D H D I walk off and next thing I'm doing something else. So I wanna go back to the work for a second though. Mm-hmm. , the other thing is to really advocate at your work or place of employment for equality. Yes. And I don't mean just for women, I mean for like your husband's, you know.

Advocate for them to be Oh yeah. For equal contributors. Yeah. Fraternity league, paternity and like who's sick? Anytime. Someone's sick. Most of the time it's women who take off work and go pick up the kids.

[00:38:25] Randi: Right. And why is that? I'm so lucky that my husband has a workplace and where. They let the dads participate as much like with me.

Um, you know, having been in the hospital recently, like he just was like, Hey, I'm gonna have to do a lot more pickups and appointment runs, so I'm gonna have to change my schedule around. And they were like, yeah, a hundred percent. Because I mean, a lot of. His company is based outta California and a lot of 'em are two, you know, working, you know, parents.

And so they have had to learn how to like manage that, you know, things with their kids and illnesses when they're both working full-time. And so they can't just necessarily just hand it off to the wife or the, you know, and a lot of too, my friends are the breadwinners, the females are the breadwinners.

And so taking off isn't. The best option for them either, you know, and we used

[00:39:22] Jess: to do it when she was little that, um, we'd kind of do the, okay, who has what going on today? Right? Like, and if I had, you know, a full day of clients, well if I cancel, I don't get paid. Mm-hmm. . And so it'd be, okay, well, let me call in sick or let me see if I can work from home.

Mm-hmm. , or he'd be like, I have to get this meeting. And so I'm like, okay, let. Mosh, you squish around my day. Mm-hmm. and I'll meet you halfway. Right? Yeah. Like, he'll come home at lunch and then I take off and do the afternoon and I might, excuse me, have to go into the evening mm-hmm. . And so it was a communication thing that we did, right?

Yeah. We would communicate about, it's not who's more important, right. But it's like, okay, what

[00:39:58] Randi: can we share at that time? Yeah, exactly. It's like a moving, you know, puzzle piece. Mm-hmm. . Um, but all the pieces are moving at the same time and you're trying to fit 'em together. And we had to do that recently too, like.

He was like, I have a meeting here, I need you to do this. And I was like, okay. And I said, but I'm gonna have to work late. Then same thing, like, I need a few hours in the evening that are gonna be quiet if, you know, if I do this. And he was like, got you. You know, see

[00:40:22] Jess: in that setting time for yourself.

Mm-hmm. and making yourself important. Right? It is. And that is part of, of not being the kinkeeping. Yeah. If you can put the boundary and make what you are doing important. He wasn't devaluing what you do. Mm-hmm. , he was, you know, saying that, I, I really need this. And you're like, all right, I got you. Yeah.

Let's, let's balance this out. Which means you have to get me tonight, right? Yeah. Not like that. Yeah. .

[00:40:47] Randi: But you'll get me tonight. You'll get

[00:40:48] Jess: me tonight. But yeah, I mean, it is, it is about, I'm Randy. What are you making all these

[00:40:55] Randi: noises for? . I was writing down notes. I

[00:40:57] Jess: was like . Um, but it is, it is about having them be an equal contributor.

Mm-hmm. . Right. And having your kids participate. Kids can start doing chores that are. I had mine at like four or five, I mean, before that. But like she can help with some of the dishes. Mm-hmm. , you know, they may not be able to reach the top of the dishes, but they can take all the plates and put 'em on the counter where the plates go.

Mm-hmm. . So all you are doing is putting 'em up in the, up in the thing. Up in the cabinet and

[00:41:25] Randi: we have those conversations with our kids too. Like we are all part of this family. We all need to contribute. Like life is, life is hard and busy and like we all need to, you know, pitch in to help to keep this, you know, keep the engine moving and it's better

[00:41:40] Jess: to have that conversation before versus I am not the one that did all these dishes, right.

I did not eat. Food. I did not make this mess. No, because when you're doing that and I'm flinging my finger in the air,

[00:41:51] Randi: yeah, you were slamming doors. I mean, that happens, but you know, I mean, be kind to yourself too. I mean, sometimes we do hit those breaking points or we're cycling and hormonal, but you know, also, you can prevent a lot of that with like the communication and the tools that we've given you here today.

So I wanna

[00:42:09] Jess: go into tips for spouses real quick. Okay. I really like the, the tips for spouses,

[00:42:13] Randi: Pete. Yeah. Um, yeah, let us know, um, you guys like in the comments or email us or whatever and or, and or let us know on Instagram or TikTok if you guys like the tips for spouses and sharing that with them, and this is something you want us to continue to

[00:42:26] Jess: do.

Yeah, I really, I mean, I like. My first thing is, I wanna say don't make assumptions. Mm-hmm. Don't assume anything. Good, bad, indifferent. Ask the question. Yeah. You don't know what they're thinking. Cuz none of us are mind readers. Right. And so don't make assumptions. Be present with them, participate and, and ask the questions even if they're hard.

Mm-hmm. , what is going on today?

[00:42:50] Randi: You know, learn to validate, which we just talked about in episode. 26, I believe it was 26. Yeah. Learn to validate, learn what that looks like, learn what that sounds like. And the

[00:43:03] Jess: other is show gratitude. Mm. You know, I have so many people huge that are like, well, that's his job.

I'm not gonna be thankful. You know what? It is. Okay. I keep going back to dinner cuz it's been like a hot topic this week for everybody in therapy. , but in in to say, Hey, thanks for cooking dinner tonight. Even if it was his chore.

[00:43:21] Randi: Right? No, and I did actually read a study about that recently. They were saying even this too, like in the workplace.

Mm-hmm. just. Writing somebody a thank you note or even just saying thank you, like had a huge impact on people's mood in the workplace. Like huge. And it's like, that seems so simple, yet it's not probably utilized enough. Mm-hmm. . And it's like, we're not, we don't feel appreciated. We don't feel seen, we don't feel heard, we don't feel validated.

And a simple just like, thank you. You're doing great. Can go a long way. Right. Cuz

[00:43:54] Jess: every, we all want to be seen. Yeah. We want our, our whatever we're doing to be acknowledged because, so

[00:44:00] Randi: spouses just say thank

[00:44:01] Jess: you, thank you. Dinner was great. I appreciate this. I appreciate you. They're just statements that you can make.

They have to be real. Yes. Don't roll your eyes. No attitude. . Right? But I appreciate the effort you do, right? I mean, there's a lot that your spouse does that maybe you don't realize. Mm-hmm. .

[00:44:20] Randi: And don't wait until it's too late and you've lost your partner. Because Oof. I mean, it's easy. Divorce rate is super high.

Yeah. I don't even know what it is currently.

[00:44:29] Jess: You know, it was over 50 last I checked was like a 50% of marriages fail. But like, um, we can, sorry I'm laughing. Cause in the beginning of the pandemic, a therapist kind of like, oh, it's gonna be a good couple season. Turned out it wasn't, and it's now the couple's season now that we're kind of coming out of the scary stuff.

Hmm. The couples are really coming out like, this isn't working anymore. I don't like this, I don't like you, whatever it is, because they, they were forced to work together while being married. Hmm. Or not married well being married during a pandemic. Right, right. And and and

[00:45:03] Randi: they found what they would and wouldn't put up with.


[00:45:06] Jess: And so there's a lot more call for couples counseling, which I don't do by the way, cause I'm not a good referee. don't call us . Don't call us for couples. Cause I cannot do it. Uh,

[00:45:16] Randi: yes. So, yeah. Um, I mean, but it's, the honest truth is that like we lack boundaries. We lack communication. We lack mental health and these affect, you know, the divorce rate mm-hmm.

and relationships. And so it's important to, you know, appreciate the person that you're with and learn these tools and. You know, keep them in your arsenal and take

[00:45:39] Jess: part and participate in the kin keeping. Mm-hmm. , it is not just one person's responsibility. It is okay to ask how you can participate. Mm-hmm.

and to also say, please, I need you to participate. Right.

[00:45:52] Randi: This is yours. Yeah. Being honest. Mm-hmm. is so important. So we hope that we have shared some good information with you guys about can keeping in this series. We are so glad that you sat with us and listened in. And, um, if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to and we will talk to you next Wednesday.

Talk to you later. Thanks for listening and normalizing mental health with.

[00:46:20] Jess: Don't forget to check out our free resources and favorites on our website, unapologetically randy and

[00:46:26] Randi: like and share this episode and tune in next week.