Something has been grinding my gears, grating my cheese, ruffling my feathers and getting my knickers in a knot lately.
It has to do with parenting and the fact that when my partner does something for our boys, random people will tell him how great he is, and also inform me how lucky I am to have him. However, if I do the EXACT same thing, no-one says a word to me because I am the mum and that’s what I’m ‘expected’ to do.
I don’t want acknowledgement for doing things like taking my kids to swimming, or a birthday party, or dropping them off at kinder because that’s the shit parents just do. That is the stuff that comes along with being a parent, but that isn’t the stuff strictly designated to a mum.
My partner and I never had any in-depth conversations about how we would raise our boys, but we do have daily chats about what’s coming up in all our lives and then we plan around who can take responsibility for what. It’s not tit for tat with my partner and I when it comes to our kids, we co-parent. Raising these boys is not just ‘my’ job. There are two of us and we raise them together.
I know that my partner is an incredible human, he is all forms of fabulous and he is an incredible dad, but in our opinions he does what all dad’s should do.
I understand that everyone’s homes are run differently and how we do things would not work for everyone. I also know that tasks and responsibilities often fall onto who is more available when it comes to parenting, but often it also falls on to who is more ‘suited’ to the job. I am a mum who loves the shit out of my kids, but that doesn’t make me inherently more suited to taking our boys to the doctors, or to pick a birthday present for their friends.
Sam and I both work so we co-parent to within an inch of our lives. It’s a well oiled machine that works for us and for our boys. I don’t work in an office every day and my hours are very flexible, so naturally it makes sense for me to do things Sam can’t, but that doesn’t mean that because he’s been working in an office all day, that when he gets home his job is done.
I often feel judged because Sam and I share so much of the parenting. He doesn’t do things like take the kids to the park or to swimming lessons or to the doctors to ‘help me out’, he does it because it’s his responsibility too. He does these things because he is their dad.
When people tell me how lucky I am to have Sam after he does something that to us seems normal, like make my son’s kinder lunch, it kinda makes my mind boggle. Why wouldn’t he do those things for our family? Because he brings in more money does that mean that his job is to pay the bills and mine is to cook him dinner and bath our kids while he watches the news?
We have had the odd comment that ‘Sam is under the thumb’ because he does so much with our boys and around our home. Like I am some ogre he must bow down to. It’s insulting to us both. He is a man that takes responsibility for his children and everything that comes along with that, the awesome parts, the shit parts and everything in between. He doesn’t do it because he feels he has to, or to give me a break. I didn’t beg him to ‘give me’ babies, we did this together, so we will continue to tweak our days and juggle it the best we can. And even though he often finds himself as one of the only dads in a group of mums, he will continue to actively parent our boys. This is our normal.
What’s your normal?
Sophie Cachia aka The Young mummy joined us On The Couch and we chatted about this topic. Check it out below.