Friday, February 7, 2014

The Difference Between Moms and Dads.

A few days ago, Hubby turned forty.  For-ty.  This amazes me because I still remember my mom turning forty.  My dad too.  My mom's friends surprised her mid-day and forced her to lunch.  They wouldn't take no for an answer.  Mom never went anywhere easily unless it involved her kids.  She was very caught up in raising babies.

I remember them at the top of our staircase, laughing.  They bombarded her and truthfully, I can't even remember if she went to lunch.  I hope she did.

My dad's fortieth was at this huge beach house, and to say the least I remember it well.  Those two birthdays, to me, say so much about moms and dads.

Moms carry the burdens.  At least the moms I know do.  They worry about carpools and playdates and homework.  They only feel ready and able to leave the house if things are taken care of.  I saw it in my mom (to an extreme) and I see it in myself.  My friends too.

Dad carry burdens too, just different kinds.  And while they may not be as obvious, they're there.  The difference in the burdens is that when dads need to go somewhere, there isn't as much (if any) concern about clean laundry for school or what's going in the lunch sacks.  They either know its taken care of or they don't worry about it. I'm thinking it's a combination of both.  I'm pretty sure Hubby knows I have it covered, and if I need his help I'll ask.

While this may seem a tad unfair, I wouldn't trade positions.  I've earned my worries.  I like to know my babies are taken of and I don't know if I'd want Hubby in charge of clothes and lunches.  He helps plenty, and he could handle it.  But I took charge of raising these babies the minute they were born.

Most moms do.  

The minute those newborns are placed in our arms we make decisions about feeding and sleeping, routines and clothes.  Could you imagine the dad having final say on breastfeeding?  I'm thinking that dad would get a punch in the nuts.  We're made to be the caretakers; the baby hears our voice in the womb and can drink our milk if we decide to nurse.  It's miraculous.

Dads are the rocks.  The support.  At least they are in the first few weeks after a new baby. If they do their job well they help mom take a breath, and feel appreciated.  As my kids grew Hubby became more involved, and now we're a pretty good team.  But in the first few groggy years of parenting little babies I was the one calling the shots.  And it's okay.

Let me stop here and say that Dads that stay home and take the reigns when mom is able to go back to work? Superstars.

Do I get annoyed when I'm tied down and Hubby seems to live free as a bird?  Sometimes.  But some of it I created, and sometimes I don't mind him out of the house.  I need the space, and he does too.  I also know that when I want to get out with friends Hubby can hold down the fort.  The biggest issue is deciding to let him handle everything and go out and let loose.  Hubby has his own way of handling things, and it took a long time to realize that the kids are more resilient because of it.  They are less sheltered and more adaptable.

I still remember Hubby telling me he let our eleven year old go inside and pay for the pizza as he watched from the car.  I gasped for air.  My baby?  Pay for a pizza and take it back to the car?  I knew Hubby was right there, literally, watching from outside the door. But say that again? Pay for a pizza without a parent next to him?!

A big lesson in independence I would have never dealt to my firstborn. But he survived. Imagine that.

It's a battle every mom I know faces.  The ability to hand over the responsibility and take time away from handling everything all the time.  We're programmed to be attached to these tiny people we create, and it's hard to carve out time for ourselves.

Sometimes we don't even want to carve out time.  We're happy being home.  I know I am.  But I'm seeing that we need to step away every now and again and bond with other moms.  We need friends, time to laugh and time to seek out support from women facing the same issues we face.

It's all too easy to be running from lunch on your 40th birthday because there is too much to be done.  But I don't want that for myself or any of my good mama friends.  I don't want it for any mom.  You deserve to take a breath every now and again and nurture your soul.  I wish my mom did more of it, because she still is the most self-sacrificing mama I know.
My Mama.

Go to lunch.  Have the laughs.  Hey, maybe your son will get to pay for his first pizza.  And trust me, the laundry isn't going anywhere.  I also have faith you'll get it done.

Because that's how moms roll.

Cheers and happy Friday!! Enjoy it mamas! Do something for YOU.

1 comment:

  1. I just got my hair done, first time since July. I did bring along my little Molly.....but I still managed to get out and do something for myself. It was awesome.

    I most definitely struggle with handing over the reins. That's one of the biggest reasons I don't get any "me" time.

    Love this post.


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