I can understand why we would and should expect 5-star service from a hotel, but our children and spouse expecting 5-star service from us? Well, that’s just ridiculous!
Yes, you read the title correctly. I am telling you that I don’t believe it wise to give your husband and your children five-star service, nor do I think they should give it to you. Okay, well sometimes, if anybody deserves five-star service it’s Mommy, but even she shouldn’t receive it too often. Why? Why in the world would I encourage all families not to tend to each other’s wants and needs? Why in the world would I advise not to consistently perform at the top of your game?
Because treating your family members with five-star service is a recipe for disaster.
Hear me out…
Let’s start with the mere fact that businesses, not families, are the ones who should be aiming to provide five-star service. Why do businesses do it? In order to grow and maintain their clients or customers. Your children are not your customers, and your husband isn’t your client. And I hate to say it, but you are not theirs’ either.
This may go against what many others think and feel, but in a family, being satisfactory is okay. It’s more than okay actually, it is just fine — just so long as satisfactory is accurately described as being respectful, present, contributory, and loving. But, something more than that? Nope, not necessary. You do not need to be stellar parents. Your children do not need to be exemplary.
This may be shocking to some, but for others, they already hold this belief — you do not have to go above and beyond for the members of your family. Yes, of course there are extenuating circumstances that negate this, but on a daily basis, in a family where everyone is healthy and for the most part, happy, you do not have to exhibit exceeding and superior behavior.
Concerned about how you are perceived amongst your mom friends and within the community? Worried about how others will look at you when you choose not to cater to your spouse, or respond to your child’s every want and whine? Maybe they will look at your less than laudable words and actions towards your family and think that you are cold or harsh, and even dare I say a “bad parent”? Well, here is what I say to that — forget all of that nonsense and any associated noise of its liking.
See, the problem with giving your family consistent five-star service is that each family member will get the idea that all interactions with you should involve words and actions motivated by an unrealistic desire to constantly provide an exemplary and lasting impression. Give your family, let’s say two- or three-star service consistently, and they will come to know and accept it as the norm.
Listen, the payoff of less than top-notch service is so much greater than consistent, remarkable service. I know that it is confusing, but you will positively impact your family (and inadvertently those around you as well) by being more even-keel, average, modest, and by acting in accordance with those aligned characteristics.
You are not an expert at parenting and neither am I. Honestly no one is, despite what they may contend. You are not an expert at relationships either, and neither am I. And truthfully, how boring would it be if we were.
In any type of family dynamic, there is no way to anticipate the needs of all of your family members, all of the time. Mistakes are bound to happen. In families though, if you maintain a positive attitude your children and your spouse will want to be around you, and your family will feel joy. It is almost that simple. Be kind, be genuinely endearing, smile when you can, crack jokes, and laugh a lot; that is just enough 3-star service to show your family that you love them — give up your 5-star aspirations.
Ultimately, there are those families in which the parents live and die by the quantity of their stars. I don’t. And the question begs to be asked, why be five-star when you can be a part of a perfectly healthy, beautifully imperfect family and operate on a 3-star level…worth thinking about.
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