The other day Paul was kind of heckled because he helps me out with caring for Lilia. This wasn't the first time. It really upset HIM. Paul is a very hands on Dad. He is not unusual among our friends. We have a lot of hands on dads. Dad's who love their kids and help out with them, especially their little Daddy's Girls. We talked about this at length because I observed that his constant mentioning it must mean that it really up set him. He thinks it's a generational difference. I think he is on to something, the person who gave him crap so to speak grew up in a different time, one where it was the norm for mom to be at home and raise a gaggle of children with no help from dad. Paul and I grew up in a different kind of environment, one where it was more common for both parents to work, or to be divorced. We were what they called latch key kids, after a certain age we stayed home alone after school. I should mention we both had at home moms for the early part of our lives.
I am going to venture to say that this trend in hands on dads is coming from those guys who didn't have hands on dads and wished they did. In our house we share most responsibilities we do not have clearly defined gender roles. I don't see that changing.
As a mom where is the balance? I gather from the comments that the person who Paul spoke with didn't understand that his own wife also had to get up in the morning. Paul gets up during the night with Lilia, which started as a break for me once in a while. Paul knows that I get up in the morning and work my tail off until I go to bed again. I think this is what frustrated him about his conversation. This person told Paul his wife always got up with the kids because she knew he needed to sleep so he could leave for work in the morning. I would like to counter point here, sir, your wife also had to get up in the morning. She did not get an hour lunch break. She likely had to do everything while either holding a baby or chasing a toddler. Her only break time being nap time, if said child napped. However this wasn't a nap time for her, it was hard work time. If she was lucky she got to steal a five minute shower. She didn't have the car ride to and from the office to zone out and change modes. She had to be in mom mode every waking moment.
I think often times, people who leave and go to work everyday do not understand what it takes to stay home everyday and do the same things with no break. It is hard work. We don't get to just enjoy a couple of hours a day with our kids. We have them all day and all night. We get the fit in the bath tub. The exploded diapers. The thrown food. The toys all over the place. Yet because we are home all day we are expected to take on all sorts of other responsibilities because we after all aren't "working".
Now that being said, I am sure I will get crap for this, we stay at home moms could toot our own horns a little less. To quote my dear friend, "I had them, I am not going to pay someone else to raise them." Yes being a mom period is hard work, staying home presents lots of challenges but we did choose the path after all. I say lets appreciate those amazing moments that out of the house parents are missing and find gratitude for the experience. When our kids our grown we won't regret not being there for some of the things our kids have done.
Last thought if you stay at home with your kids let's not bash the mom that has to work. If you work don't blast the mom who isn't working. Ladies we are in this together and the quicker we get it together and rally around each other, the quicker we can build a really helpful network to get us through our long days. This topic can be as polarizing as breast feeding or gay marriage. It shouldn't be, we should be a support system for each other.
May you be grateful for what ever opportunities you have today.
May you be blessed with some child like joy today!