Our family has experienced many changes over the last year and a half or so. Our oldest daughter became a teenager, our youngest is on a competitive gymnastics team, there have been school and work and health challenges, scheduling challenges and just life stuff, much like the rest of the families in the world. There have also been some changes we’ve noticed as a result of the D/s dynamic, some of which I’ve written about before, but some that have taken a while to become apparent. Still others that we see as things evolve and grow.
Almost immediately, we experienced a much calmer existence. Less knee jerk reacting, less immediate anger responses, more talking. That’s not to say there are never dramatic moments, we have two pubescent girls, but the overall atmosphere has just been more calm, and more fun-loving. Our oldest daughter has become more expressive and our youngest more outwardly silly. We all have – we talk so much more openly about everything and we laugh and joke and are silly together, all the time. The girls notice the affection and overall harmony between M and I and find comfort in that, too, I think.
As time has passed, And M and I have continued in our journey, I know the girls have noticed more and more of the changes between us. They hear me ask him permission for things, all the time. They hear me ask him if he’d like me to get or bring him things, and see me serving him, and sitting in front of his chair. In matters involving money, they know we have to check with M first. They see us doing our best to work as a team to make decisions involving them and they see M having authority. They see him making many decisions for us, opening doors and being a gentleman, and even correcting me with reminders for certain behaviors. They hear silly banter between us (non sexual, but involving power exchange) and I know they notice the power exchange, in general.
Lately, there have been more comments and challenges from the girls, some of which are directed specifically at me. There have been questions about why M and I have to try to work it out so that we can do pick ups and drops offs together, why we have to have date nights and alone time in the evenings. Our 13 year old has been arguing and challenging me on certain things, knowing I’ll say I need to consult with M, but she tries to get an answer from me. There have been a few comments about me loving Daddy more from our youngest, as well as some attention seeking behavior and expectations that I ‘serve’ her like I serve Daddy.
Both of our girls have taken advantage of any gaps in our ‘teamwork’ efforts, finding the weak spots with impressive accuracy. Asking one of us a question after having already asked the other and been told ‘no’. Or asking one parent, knowing the other parent is going to say ‘no’. Testing our resolve and consistency efforts. They are testing these newer things they see. They are trying to make sense of things, I know. And we want to help that as much as possible, by simply being a consistent, loving team.
Unfortunately, M and I have noticed that as we’ve worked in such a focused manner on our relationship, and as we’ve thoroughly enjoyed the positive changes in our home environment as a result, we’ve also allowed some things to happen that contribute to their recent challenging behaviors. They are children, and we know they are hard wired to find the the weak spots, but we’ve given them some ammunition. I’ve taken on a bulk of the responsibilities in the house and they’ve been allowed get away with not doing their part. Also, as M and I find our parameters in our relationship, we’ve been inconsistent on occasion about who makes what decision or in remembering to check with the other before making a final decision and presenting as a better operating team. There are times I’ve put off making a decision I could easily have made, but didn’t want to, possibly feeding a perception that I’m incapable. There are times when M has inadvertently not enforced things I asked them to do, again possibly reinforcing a perception that my say holds lesser weight. We’ve had some stumbles.
Along the way, M and I just keep talking and adjusting and evolving, trying to be the best working team we can be. We just had a series of talks to try to do a better job of being on the same page as much as possible. To make the decision making process and follow-through and consistency efforts run more smoothly. It’s also important to us that, although they may see M as having authority, we don’t want them to believe that my duty is to serve without any responsibility on their part, that my input is of lesser value, or that my decisions carry less weight. Nor do we want them to perceive him as an unapproachable authoritarian.
There have been numerous talks with them as we fine-tune our parameters and our teamwork skills. We continually adjust our priorities and the ways in which we spend our time. We let the girls know that we value our family time and that M and I also need adult time, too, time to enjoy one another’s company and time to talk about being a good team.
As M and I continue to evolve, we will continue to do our best to model a happy, loving and well-working team to the girls. We are open and honest with them, in age appropriate ways, always doing our best to make sure that the most important aspects they see and experience are love, respect, and acceptance in our home.