Boy and I are very different people. Boy thrives under routine and structure, he excels when he has a direct path to follow. I, on the other hand, get depressed and anxious under structure, I need flexibility and spontaneity in my life in order to thrive.
So what happens when two people so different are in a relationship with each other?
Well, it's complicated, and it takes a little extra self awareness and work. I bring this up because in the process of moving house, a few things have come up. I've given boy leeway on pretty much all of his usual routines (such as bedtime and going to gym three days a week, etc) because, well, we were moving! Stuff goes chaotic! It's silly to even try to keep a routine, right?
But for the boy, it has actually had a somewhat detrimental effect. See, the boy is the type of person that if you give him some wriggle room, will wriggle and wriggle until the original restriction is completely gone. If he doesn't have to do something, he simply won't at all (whereas if I don't have to do something, I'm more likely to, if I have to do something I end up procrastinating).
I was only barely aware of this happening (like I said, lots of stress), so I was very grateful when the boy expressed a dissatisfaction with the level of structure and discipline in his life. Though he understands that I think the way I do and do the things I do out of love and kindness, the actual results are not kindness for him, but rather a problem. He gets lazy and tired and can't be fucked doing anything, he needs a push to keep things on track.
Sometimes it's hard to remember that people are different! I struggle with how the boy works because it's so alien to me, but it's how he is and I wouldn't change him.
At any rate, I just have to remind myself every now and then that what is good for me is not necessarily what is good for the boy, and vice versa.
We've put his current restrictions back in place, with all-important consequences. After all, no consequences means no real motivation.
If you're curious these are his current rules:
* On work nights, be in bed by 11pm.
* On Monday, Wednesday and Friday, go to the gym before work in the morning.
* On Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, do the dishes before going to bed.
If he misses gym or dishes, it has to be done the next day, thereby leaving him two big things to do on that day, and to do one thing two days in a row, which is an annoying enough consequence to keep his motivation high - and as an added bonus for me, I don't even have to do anything in terms of punishment or anything like that :) (I can't imagine the boy would miss things more than one day at a time, he's simply not like that. I suppose if he did we'd have to work out some punishment, but honestly I can't see it happening.)
Bed time is a little harder, I will probably start enforcing weekend naps or an earlier night the followig night to make up for time he's lost if he misses bedtime much.