During the 90’s and early 00’s nursing was obsessed with the process of how nurses were able to refect on their practise. Models of reflection were developed by the great and the good, and put into practice by people like me – practising nurses, educationalists, managers (I have been all 3 at some time or other). I have used reflection as part of the process of clinical supervision and of action learning (my masters dissertation was on action learning), and have studied and been part of their practice. This is all about the process of learning from your actions, not making the same mistakes again, or else saying that went well and this is how I would do that again. At work, these processes are now ingrained in me. The psychometric tests you can take for education and practise seem to suggest I am not naturally reflective, instead I like to get in there and do and think about it all later – reflection in action rather than reflection on action (see it is all coming back to me).
However, at work I have learned to do both, to act quickly and think about what I am doing at the time and afterwards as well as consider the task in hand, think about how I have done that task before (or something similar) and then to act. I have learned, even in the context of nursing to do that. Now of course, I don’t practice as a nurse as such and pretty much nothing I do is in any way an emergency (except to some person from the Department of Health or other similar self important organisations).
At home though I am different. I often (very often) forget the way I am at work and I react. I rush to do things, say things, without thought in a way I never would at home. Someone at home says jump, I say how high (kind of thing). I see a need and I have tried to meet that need without thought. I often don’t even think later that I can do it differently (or if I do, I don’t make changes to my practise so that I do it differently next time). So I get stuck in a cycle of doing things the same way, for the same people, time and time again even though I know that doing so makes me miserable.
There are things I do for my husband, when he is here, that fall into the category – does them for him and never learns she shouldn’t nor does she help him do them for himself.
For 2 or 3 days each week he comes home for a nice rest. He has been to work and is tired. I have been to work and am tired. But I am the one running around doing everything and he is on the sofa chilling out with a drink, watching TV. I cook dinner, clear up, load the dishwasher, pick up any other chores that need attending to (say washing and ironing) and he does nothing.
During last night’s conversation with Graeme we discussed some of the above (though not the theory bit), and I came to the conclusion I need to change this. I need not to give hubby a comfortable place to be. He needs to find his own comfortable place and at the same time pick up his own chores. I have told him recently that I am not his mother and cannot act like one. I really need now to make my actions match my words.
Reflection on action has taken place, heck I even reflect at times while I do things for him, now I need to change my practice.
The reflection on / in action theory is from Donald schön 1983, 1987
Linked to this is the way in which I go into nurse mode when people start to tell me something of what is worrying or challenging them. My desire to help and to problem solve, can if I don’t control it take over. Over time, I have got better at listening, at reflecting back and helping people make their own choices. There are still times though when this doesn’t happen.
The other evening I completely dropped my submissive self and the nurse in me took over when it was neither needed or wanted. No one was about to die, so it wasn’t that I needed to jump into nurse like action.
If I want to be the person I think I do then this part of me must change, particularly in relation to the man who is the Dominant. I have reflected on the action of this one and now need to make it happen at the time – in action. What a journey I find myself on!!