Happy Mother's Day

My favourite person!
So how was Mother’s Day for all you mums out there? I got a bunch of hand-picked flowers – Mia picked them from Nanna’s garden with Nanna’s help – and I didn’t have to do any housework or cooking (because poor Nan did everything and cooked us some great meals!)
While I’m asking about the mums, hope the dads didn’t have too much of a hard time either. I’m mentioning the dads because sometimes I think we – the world in general and mothers/wives in particular – give the dads a hard time about not pulling their weight when it comes to child rearing. I know I’ve done my fair share of finger pointing, tantrum throwing and complaining about having to do it all alone. (not always true!)
Partner and I’ve had our share of discussions (on a good day) and arguments (not so good day) about bringing up baby. More often than not, the argument/discussion erupts when reading the Sunday newspaper – there’s always some article about child rearing and it almost always is from the mother’s point of view.
“Why are women always whingeing about it?” is Partner’s oft-repeated refrain.
The above is usually followed by, “Women never seem happy. One week they’re complaining about how hard it is being a stay-at-home-mum and how it’ll be easier going back to work. The next week they’re complaining about how hard it is being a working mother and juggling home and office! It’s always about how stressed the women/mothers are. What about the blokes? How come no one talks about how stressed the fathers are?”
I’d like to point out here that Partner actually helps a fair bit with Mia. He leaves for office at about 7.30am and before that he changes her nappy, gets her out of her pyjamas and even manages to play with her and give her breakfast. On days he comes home early – before Mia goes to bed that is – he plays with her, helps with her dinner and reads out her bedtime books. Weekends are usually daddy-daughter time as well. On nights that Mia wakes up and insists on coming into our bed – more frequent in the last month – Partner has never complained and shares the night-waking with me. And then he gets up at 6am the next morning to leave for 12-14 hours of very stressful work.
I still find things to complain about. Sometimes, I even feel rather justified in those complaints. But I will have to be honest here and accept that perhaps I need to give him a break. I don’t know the situation in your home, but in mine at least I know I am grateful that my only stress is about having to handle Mia everyday. And do it all over again day after day. And not get any time for myself. And not have had a baby-free night in the 21 months since we’ve had her. And not have had a single date/ time out alone with Partner (we had one night but she cracked it and we had to come back early from dinner). I’ve also complained that my life has changed drastically from being carefree to constant vigilance.
Compared to my “stress”, Partner is solely responsible for us living in a nice house, for us spending with a free hand, for us going on great holidays (we recently had 10 days in a camper van in Tasmania, bloody awesome), for Mia getting every toy she can think of, for me spending on hobbies like collecting every possible baking tool and having a fabric collection that I could actually now sell, for me buying books every two weeks and sometimes every week (cheapest paperbacks are $ 18 at least but then I like hardbacks, usually $32 or more, guilty)… And more than anything else, for knowing that he NEEDS to provide for his family… with another baby on the way.
I’ve worked for 10 years, more or less, and in those years I’ve never worked for anyone else. At the most I was responsible for feeding two dogs… I’ve quite jobs at will, not saved a penny (stupid) and splurged on whatever I felt like. I’ve never sent money home and I’ve never had to think about what-happens-if-I-lose-my-job. The one time I quit without lining up another media job, I baked cakes in the morning and moonlighted as an emcee. In short, I was carefree.
Sometimes, mostly when complaining, I forget that Partner too was once carefree. And now he has us. And yet – other than pointing out that no one writes articles about how stressed fathers can be – he has never complained. He also remembers to wish me on Mother's Day… and in the two years of him being a father, I’ve forgotten both Father's Days. K
So this Mother's Day, I promise that I will remember Father's Day and make it worthwhile for Partner…er, mostly by complaining somewhat lesser than usual.
Because you know, while I accept that he has more responsibility than me, I would like to point out here that I do 24 hours of unpaid work and have not taken a sickie in two years. I also don’t get weekends off, I don’t go out on a poker night with the boys and I definitely have not had a weekend of golf.
PS: A Monday post because I won't be able to put up anything this Wednesday.


Swati said...

Another baby on the way? Wow. Congratulations :). Sigh. Now I have baby fever too.

Bikramjit said...

hmmm well I could not compare a mom and dad have different roles , as long as both do their roles good .. it will all be fine

the problem comes when we start to think of who does more or less this and that :)

and Good man i will say ..

All the best and keep smiling and yeah rememebr the promise tooo :) he he he h


JB said...

@ Swati: soon enough!:) Thanks
@ Bikram: I agree to different roles in some cases. but with so many mothers out in the work field, lines are blurring. Still though -- at least from working mother point of view -- it seems that majority of the child rearing responsibility comes on to the other. For instance, in most cases, its the mother who goes to work three days a week and has her career suffer rather than the father (at least here in Australia). that's one of the situations where the comparison comes into play.

Bikramjit said...

Well yeah I can understand that bu then that is where talking helps if the husband and wife talk and see what is more beneficial ..

I dont mind if I have to work part time and my wife is earning much more then me ..
what is best for the family ..

but yeah in our culture it is definitely the mother who takes up a lot of responsibility for child caring ...


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