No Changing Diapers:
And while I do want all of those things too, and part of me wants to relate to those posts and share them with gusto proclaiming "yeah - this is what we really want! Amirite ladies??!?"
I just can't.
Why? Because my my husband already does these things.
He cooks and cleans more than I do. He probably does 70% of the housework to my 30%. (Okay - it's really 80/20) And while I haven't actually kept count on a macro scale my husband has most likely changed more dirty diapers than I have to date as well. (I do keep track of whose turn it is during any given day - don't we all?) Plus he gets up with FrenchFry and lets me sleep in well past what most would think a reasonable hour at least one morning each weekend. Often he will take FrenchFry for a long walk or to the grocery store so I can get up and spend time on the computer in peace while drinking my first cup of coffee too. And speaking of the grocery store - I barely see the inside of one as he does the bulk of the shopping for the family as well.
I'm living the dream, Folks. Every day is Mother's Day for me.
Or at least, every day is the day that all of these posts are saying that moms want for Mother's Day. It doesn't mean my life is all sunshine and rainbows and that it's not still hard to be a mom even with a husband who does so much. Being a parent is hard no matter how much of the housework/diapering/cooking you do. I still need acknowledgement this Sunday and maybe a little pampering or time for that "self care" I'm supposed to be doing.
And this may just be me justifying how unbalanced those things can be in our house but I do work longer hours than my husband (we both work full time). Even after working late, it's a common occurrence for me to have to log onto my work computer after FrenchFry goes to bed a few nights a week (and on the weekends). Plus I am the one that keeps the lights on and makes sure we have insurance and bills paid because I take care of our household paperwork and finances.
I've also been giving myself (quite literally) in other ways that my husband has not with pregnancy and then nursing combined for three years now. And because I was breastfeeding, I did the lion's share of the nighttime parenting - getting up with FrenchFry every night for two years. (My husband did get up plenty those first months as well but at a certain point it made sense for me to get up solo for nighttime feedings.) And I also know there are things that I give to my son - things that I feel are very important like a strong show of patience, empathy and understanding. My husband is also a wonderful, caring and responsive parent, but we show empathy in different ways.
I am so grateful for my wonderful husband and all that he does for me and our little family. I do think we balance each other out, and while there are ways in which he carries a heavier load than me, there are ways in which I believe I do as well. Based on the posts I'm seeing this week, there are still many mothers out there who may still be taking on a greater load of the household and parenting than they would like.
Maybe there is balance in those relationships too and the lists of the things that moms don't want this Sunday doesn't mean that those moms are stuck with more of the household and parenting necessarily. Maybe we all just need a break from these things from time to time and Mother's Day is a good day to ask for that. Though from talking to people and just the sheer volume of those types of posts - it makes me suspect that there is still a lot of imbalance out there. I don't suspect we will see tons of posts from men asking for the day off from cooking, cleaning and diapering next month of Father's Day. It's just a hunch.
A guy at work recently told me - after I threatened to explain to him with full detail on what pumping at work is all about and why YES, we do need a room dedicated for that in our offices - that he told his wife that he'd get involved once each of his kids turned two and a half. Until that point, they were all hers. And while he's clearly on the total asshat end of the spectrum when it comes to supportive husbands and fathers it is stories like this that make me thank my lucky stars for my partner in this whole parenting thing.
Mother's Day gets a lot of attention and drives a lot of commerce but based on the numerous posts I've seen recently, it seems like there is still a lot of work to be done to support and share the load for many mothers throughout the year.
And for me, I'll just take some quality time with my family and my own mother to celebrate Mother's Day. And maybe some chocolate. :-)