Water takes the path of least resistance.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

I think we're all guilty of it. Perhaps the 'path of least resistance' is what human nature is apt to follow. Sometimes we realise that we're doing it... at other times we complain about other people doing it, most of the time we try not to do it, but at the end of the day, I suppose that's how we usually get by.

This applies to a lot of aspects in life. Work, family, socials. Especially with mundane or inane everyday things or chores, as long as there is an easier way to do things, or there is someone else to do it, we tend to simply ignore it, or (hope / take for granted) that another person will do it.

It takes a concerted effort and a strong realisation that we would not want to be treated as 'the other person' to take on daily tasks, especially those which can be so easy to walk away from.

A friend of mine was telling me that she could not for the life of her, understand why her colleagues simply choose to leave empty wrappers inside the office communal biscuit tin. Worse still, they are known to take the last piece of biscuit, and leave the empty box at the pantry. After finding one too many empty tins and having to throw them away despite not having consumed any biscuit, she is, understandably, rather angered by the entire situation. It may have been a simple biscuit tin in question, but her point is - is it that difficult to simply take the tin / wrapper and throw it away, instead of just leaving it on the counter? It doesn't magically disappear - someone else has to throw it away.



I told her that I experienced the same thing as well while I was in the operations side of F & B. I find that it makes work so much easier when the restaurant is operationally ready in terms of side preparations. This includes ensuring that there is sufficient cutlery, napkins, serviettes and side plates, just to name the basics. Throughout the course of the evening, I am apt to find empty serviette boxes, which was the result of the staff who took the last piece of napkin, simply leaving the box and not bothering to open a new one. Imagine you're running around, serving a full house - and these little details will undoubtedly add on to time wastage, not to mention make you pretty fed up when you reach in, only to find no serviettes.

Sure - someone else will have to replace it, but it isn't going to be them.

Could this also be the reason why there are so many helpers taking care of the kids at indoor playgrounds? To my understanding, having a helper would mean someone to help a parent out in ensuring that the daily chores are done, or if a family has more than one kid - to share in the task of keeping an eye on all of them. Perhaps it's so much easier to just ask the helper to play with them and pick up after them, because she is paid to do so? Where then, does that leave the parents time and opportunities to bond with the kids?

Maybe I'm too critical of this situation, and I know I am in no position to judge what goes on in any other families or other parenting styles, but no matter how tired I am or how BabyMoo can really test my patience, I make time for him. To play, laugh, learn and grow together. I want to be involved in his formative years, even if it means having to pretend that I am washing dishes from a tap with invisible water, or having to look like a drenched rat because the boy wants to go down the water slide with me.

I don't get someone else to do it for me, (even though I have a helper) simply because I am perfectly capable of doing it myself, and because I want to. After all, there will be plenty of time when BabyMoo is all grown up for me to catch a movie with the hubs, have dinner (and eat what *I* want instead of what the boy wants), settle down for a much needed cuppa without having to entertain a 2 year old, travel to far flung places and eat from roadside stalls.

So what accounts for the diversity of how we do things? We all have different ways of doing things. Most of us do things (especially chores) because we have thought about it, and come to a realisation that we don't want to be on the receiving end. As adults, we try to show our kids the right way to do things, but in an adult environment, do we do the right thing when we think that no one is looking?

Water takes the path of least resistance.
For as long as there is someone else to do it, there is no urgent need for you to do it yourself.


MummyMOO


8 comments :

  1. Maybe it's the fact that I became a mum overseas. I actually feel Singaporeans are a little too pampered sometimes and tend to take things for granted. As for your point on domestic help, I actually think we fall into the trap too easily, thinking that 'we need some help in the house to look after the kiddo'. In actual fact, we don't. I have friends who look after 4 kids themselves in Sweden, bring them out almost daily, take the bus, frolick in the snow and hey, that's the kind of happy family life I wish to have. So yes, I am determined and quite confident that I can look after my kids myself no matter how tiring or tough the going gets. =) Linking up with you today. Have a fab week ahead!

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    1. Summer,

      Totally agree with you! We are a pampered lot, especially since it's all too tempting to let someone else jaga the chores or to entertain the kids when we're all tired out.

      It's not impossible to take care of the kids. I have friends in singapore who do it single handedly as well. Yes, they have their arrrghhh!! moments, but all in all, when you don't have an option, you simply plough on.

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  2. I too agree with you as I too feel that being hands on is important especially since our kids are so young. It would certainly create memories in their minds that we were there for them when they were growing up and yes we should not outsource such moments to helpers.

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    1. There's a reason why they're called 'helpers', ya? Even as a FTWM, I still strive to be a good main caregiver!

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  3. I think many fool themselves - they become conceited individuals thus such behaviour. I guess it also boils down to upbringing again.

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    1. You know what I find so ironical? I have actually come across kids who are better behaved than their parents are!!

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    2. time's a'changing? Kids bringing up parents. :p

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  4. Agree with Adeline that it depends on one's upbringing ... okay maybe I take back my words seeing how different me and my siblings are. It's the entitled mentality that is so prevalent in our society now that people don't spare a thought for their neighbors. I feel so sick especially when adults behave badly in front of their kids. Gosh what a bad example to set for your children.

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