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Hands On Dads Get No Respect

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 Why are we in competition with the one we love?

handsondad.jpg

A Momologue by Jackie:  "He woke up with the kids at 7 a.m. on Saturday morning. He changed their diapers, brought them down for a breakfast of waffles and applesauce, and got them dressed. I was able to sleep until 8 a.m. which, as a parent, is like noon before kids.

As I came down the stairs, the first thing I noticed was the sticky high chair tray. Dirty plates and cups on the counter flashed at me like a broken traffic light. There was a puddle of milk on the floor seeping into the grout between the tiles. Pieces of chewed-up waffle were wedged into the side of the booster seat. The kids were dressed in outfits that made it clear Garanimals were a genius idea that really needs to be brought back. It was a beautiful, sunny day outside, with temps making their way up to the reported high of 75 degrees. So why were my boys wearing fleece-lined pants and sweatshirts?

Breathe...

While I should've been appreciative of the extra time I had gotten under the covers and the happy kids playing with their endless collection of toys, I could only see all that needed to be done. Why do women—yes, not just me, but many, many women— look for the things that haven't been done instead of just enjoying the things that have been? Is it because every other day but this particular one, we get the kids dressed and fed while managing a schedule, cleaning the house, paying the bills and, for 75 percent of Moms, holding down a full time job? Yet, there's my husband—sitting at the table, drinking coffee and checking his email with the most satisfied and accomplished look on his face. In his mind, it was a job well done. In mine, it was a job barely started.

As I wiped up syrup, peeled food off the floor, and started the dishwasher, I silently repeated my daily mantra: He is a man. They are not made like us. Move on, say nothing—pointing out all you do will not help.

He looked up from the table and had the sweetest look on his face. He really did feel like he went all out this morning. I took a deep breath, kissed him on the forehead, and thanked him for letting me sleep in. I know I could've done it faster, neater and better. But I'll keep that to myself today.


next: Safe Toys That Suck
2 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anonymous November 27, 2007, 3:32 PM

This sounds like a day in my own life. My husband does a great job with our kids (almost-3yrs.-old, and 8-months-old), and in a lot of ways, he’s ‘better.’ He thinks of things to do or say that I wouldn’t have thought of, or he’ll do something to get my toddler out of a meltdown, while I’m still standing there trying to do it my own (not-quite-working) way. But still, despite all of this, I always have an opinion of how *I* would have done ‘x’, or how *HE* could have done ‘y’ in a ‘better’ way (e.g.: more efficiently, more neatly, more quickly.) In the end, the goal was still achieved. But UGH!, it wasn’t done the way I WOULD HAVE DONE IT. It takes a lot to keep my mouth shut and not say anything. But I totally agree: It’s a lot better to do that, than to say whatever is in my head [and I’m speaking from first-hand experience, having tried both ‘approaches’ :)]


baby lovebirds for sale cage 2 March 28, 2011, 7:57 AM

No one who cannot rejoice in the discovery of his own mistakes deserves to be called a scholar.


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