As I get older, I forget a lot–birthdays, phone numbers, field trip notices, you name it, I’ve lost it in that grey matter somewhere. But the things that stay with me are little random bits…moments, little sayings that mean a lot, memories that I want to last forever, great life tips that I have filed away… I want to share one of those random bits with you.
Once upon a time… I was a childless (child-free?), newly-married, busy career gal. Oh, the sun was always shining, I always got at least eight hours of sleep a night, I knew everything about what kind of parents my husband and I would be. I was sitting having breakfast with one of my mentors and she said something that seemed so wrong (and has proven so right) to my “oh-that-will-never-be-me” sensibilities that it stuck with me to this day, almost ten years later.
“You will be lucky if your husband does 15% of the child-rearing no matter how progressive you think your relationship is.”
Secretly in my mind I filed it away, certain that in a few years I would sit here again with my good friend to tell her that I had beaten the odds – that my husband is so amazing, loves kids so much and will be so incredibly involved that it will easily be 50-50..maybe 60-40 but at least a heck of a lot more even.
Hey look, it’s not that he doesn’t try – he says he would LOVE to be more involved, but my kids just want me! He says he would trade anything to be the one they want when they fall, the one they want to put them to bed. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job as Mom, but some days, it does feel like a job (a never-ending, patience-sucking, tongue-biting job!). Yikes, am I admitting out loud, or in print, at least, that I don’t always want to be the one to put them to bed, to be the one they run to? Some days yes.
Here’s the thing… I love being a mom and I love my kids (more than they’ll ever know until they have kids of their own–as I remind them once and a while—yes, I am turning into my mother) but some days I am tired and I would love to sit and watch the news for an hour while HE puts the kids to bed. “Hey honey, I would love to do it, but they NEVER ask me. They want you,” he reminds me from his prone position on the couch.
Am I really that gullible? That guilt-ridden? Has he has suckered me? Or have I suckered myself? Who cares if they only ask for me? They ask for a lot of things and I never (ok, ok, rarely) give in to them and yet here I am exhausted after a long day (I mean dog-, feet-swollen, eyes-rolling-to-the-back-of-my-head tired) — bathing, reading, cuddling, granting the requests for just one more hug, kiss, stuffy, drink, blanket..gaah!! I look to my loving life-partner. He shrugs, settles in for another glass of wine, and with sad eyes tells me again that he would love it IF ONLY THEY WOULD LET HIM DO IT ??!!!!
Gullible? Guilty? Or just a victim of Super Mom Syndrome?
15% of the child-rearing. I don’t question it so much anymore. I live it. My hubby and I do split out other chores so that I don’t feel overwhelmed…but the child-rearing, no matter if I work outside or inside the home is pretty much my gig.
Some days I just want to throw my hands in the air and SCREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAM. I don’t always want to do it, but will I feel guilty if I force my husband to do it?? Since when do I not insist on equal parenting? Since when does my husband roll over when my kids ask for something??
Who am I kidding? The day that I decide to insist my husband put the kids to bed it will be all that I want to do and I will likely sulk all night or be so guilt-ridden that I won’t even enjoy my bottomless glass of CabSauv!
Does anyone else strive to be SuperMom? Or am I just a SuperFreak? I can almost feel the pendulum swinging on a daily basis!!!
Have you figured out the balance of how NOT to resent your never-ending Mom duties?
I think I am SuperMom AND Super Freak.
Who are you?