One thing I’ve noticed about domestic discipline over the years is that the word “inconsistency” means so many things to different people. For some, just not following through on one or two punishments can earn the label of an inconsistent HOH, while for others it would mean the entire lifestyle dynamic not being held up to what it was. I’ll admit that, with our past pregnancies, inconsistency was something that we experienced. In fact, in our recent questionnaire for our DD-versary the one thing that Clint and I both named as one of our hardest domestic discipline moments was getting DD back on track after moving, but the inconsistency from that and the “falling off track” actually started during the pregnancy and the move just kind of compounded everything. So, needless to say, both Clint and I were a little worried about things falling off track again this time when we first found out we were expecting. One thing that was important to both of us was to make sure that the overall dynamic of domestic discipline (in terms of leadership and submission) stayed the same while the punishments would not (obviously).
This is one of those “easier said than done” moments. It was easy for us to sit down and say, “we aren’t stopping domestic discipline” because we both don’t believe in stopping/starting the lifestyle. However, it’s no secret that things have definitely changed. During the beginning of the pregnancy, things went on relatively the same as they always have. Staying on top of domestic discipline didn’t seem so hard. Punishments were infrequent, but not due to lack of consistency (I just didn’t break many rules) and the dynamic itself was like it always had been. Things were looking good.
It likely didn’t have anything to do with the pregnancy, but every so often after a “good streak” I tend to have moments where the rules get broken. Sometimes it’s one rule, or sometimes it’s several rules compounded on top of each other. I can’t explain why this happens other than the phrase “I’m not perfect”. I was actually trying really hard for this not to happen during the pregnancy to not have to put Clint in the position to hold me accountable, but I failed.
Things started to get trickier when we found out recently that I was sick. Up until then we had used alternative punishments when they did need to occur, but even the alternative punishments seemed harsh to Clint and I can understand why. We found out I was really sick (life threatening kind of thing) and although it’s treatable (when I’m not pregnant) it’s one of those things that all of the sudden punishing me for an offense just seemed wrong. I had to admit, I was skeptical when I saw him beginning to back off a little bit and I wondered if inconsistency was going to become a problem. The last thing I wanted was for it to take us months to get back on track with domestic discipline again, let alone all of the stress and emotions that come with that. But, I understood his reason.
It took some time (a few weeks, I’d say) for me to realize that this isn’t inconsistency at all. Clint definitely still noticed when rules were broken, and they were (unintentionally) happening more frequently as the stress of everything became bigger. He would point it out and, occasionally, let me know that he’s “keeping track of all of these offenses to deal with later”. I’ve come to know, over the course of the 7+ years we’ve been doing domestic discipline, that he is serious on that. And, the threat alone is usually enough to make me stop dead in my tracks – no punishment needed.
He’s being very consistent with the lifestyle, and our dynamic hasn’t changed. The punishments may have, temporarily (and, for a good reason) but the dynamic is still very much there. I still try hard to be a submissive wife, and he’s still embraced his role as HOH and leader, making the final decisions, being the authority figure, looking out for me and our kids, and more. Those are all traits of domestic discipline that I think are overlooked when people focus so heavily on the punishment aspect.
The pregnancy is coming to an end, and soon things will be back to normal. It will take some time, assuming the delivery and all that goes well, because I still have to go through a few rounds of treatment to cure this blood disorder. But, once that’s behind us, I’m looking forward to things being back to normal. Until then, I’m content with where we are. We may be slightly off track, but our dynamic is still in tact and that’s good enough for me.