Men and women are different. No doubt about it. And the standing joke is that guys will never understand women, but really, it’s equally challenging to understand men.
So here is my very simple explanation that will shed some light on the issue.
Picture a closet.
|Savvy Sassy Closet!|
You open the doors and you see clothes hanging, you see sweaters folded, you see shoes neatly lined up. (This is assuming you are not opening my closet. In fact, never open my closet. We don’t have enough insurance to cover you getting hit in the head with something.)
Everything is on display so that you can decide what to wear and how to accessorize without having to open a million drawers.
That’s how a woman’s head works. All aspects of her life are on display at all times. Kids, work, home, husbands, friends. It’s all there, visible at all times. This is why a woman can totally be “in the moment” doing something (wink, wink) and still know that there’s not enough milk in the fridge for breakfast.
While a mom is at work she can still process information about school or doctor’s appointments, or even plans for date night.
While a woman is at home she can be cooking dinner, doing the laundry, and thinking about a nagging work project.
Women have multi-tasking brains.
Now picture a filing cabinet.
Each drawer is clearly labeled “Work,” “Home,” “Kids,” “Buddies,” “Significant other.”
Know what’s special about filing cabinets? Only one drawer can be open at a time.
That’s exactly how a man’s brain works.
When he goes to work, he opens the “work” drawer and all the others remain tightly closed. When he’s at work he’s at work, it’s not that he doesn’t remember to make the doctor’s appointment, it’s that the doctor’s appointment info is in the home drawer and that drawer is closed.
When he’s with his buddies, the “buddies” drawer is open. He’s with his buddies, so he’s not thinking about the milk or the diapers you asked him to pick up on the way. He’s not going to think of those until he pushes open the house door and slides open the “home” drawer.
Men have mono-tasking brains.
You can argue that these fundamental differences date way back to when men hunted and needed to be 100% present in the hunt so they could survive and women just gathered so they could be thinking of many things at once.
Whatever the reason, doesn’t matter, fact is, you cannot expect people to be who they aren’t. So getting mad at a guy for not remembering that preschool ended early today or to grab some dish-detergent on his way home from soccer practice is fruitless.
Setting calendar reminders that will ping and force the home drawer open while he’s at work or placing strategic post-its on his steering wheel to open the drawer early – that’s how you can be sure he’s going to be where you want him to be when you need him to be there.
And before you ask, I haven’t yet found the solution to getting him to pick up his socks. Sorry. The closet analogy only goes so far. You’re on your own for the rest.