Yes, I am! I am jealous of the comments my partner gets for taking care of our child.
“Oh, how sweet! He spends time with baby after work”.
Well, it’s his baby too. Don’t you think he should?
“You are so lucky to have a partner who helps with everything“.
Okay. Let me get you a dictionary. Please look up the word ‘Partner’. Will you?
I don’t say these to the people, though. They are just thoughts in my head, and I usually reply with a sheepish yes.
Am I giving you a feeling that my partner is not supportive enough? That’s not true. He is much supportive, and understands how difficult a task it is to be a SAHM. But of course, his work life makes it tough to get involved in everything, which is quite understandable. Well, one of us has to bring home some money. I am just sad about the fact that I don’t get appreciated the same way he does, even though I am doing a lot more. Have you felt the same way?
There was this incident during a get-together at a friend’s place. It was an all-ladies/mommies party. My husband suggested leaving our son home with him and to have some light time with my friends. The moment I entered the place, this one friend came and asked me,
“Ah, you left your son nicely with your husband , huh?“, followed with a wicked laugh. Everyone was listening. I didn’t know what to say. There were so many questions surfacing in my head. But I didn’t say a word. I stood there frozen.
Why is it such a bad thing? I left him with his dad, not a stranger. Then came the next comment. “You are so lucky to have a husband like him.” Why? Because he agreed to look after our son for an hour or two. I carried that baby for nine months and went through all the pain to give birth to him. I sacrificed my career to be with him and look after his every need. After all this, my husband agrees to take care of him for an hour or two. And now, he is the hero?!
It’s your turn?
Well, I am not someone who thinks equal parenting is about sharing the exact responsibilities. Obviously, it’s not an ‘I changed the diapers twice already. Now, it’s your turn’ kind of game. Babies naturally tend to demand their mother since birth. They are dependent on us for feeding, warmth, consolation, and whatnot. The bond between a mother and a baby is made already during the nine months of pregnancy. Baby takes time to be comfortable with other people around. That’s how it is, and that’s what makes the mother special. Personally I think, it’s the dad’s duty to make sure everything is going well, to be supportive, and to give the mom a break when needed, keep the love alive and make it a family; at least until the mom is ready to share the responsibilities.
In the same incident, that one person had said the same thing slightly differently. “Oh, your husband decided to give you a break. Good for you and so nice of him to be thinking that way“, it would have felt so much better. Don’t you think?
When you think deeply about it, it’s not the compliments given, but the attitude of people who says it which irritates you. The least you can do for a mom is to stop judging her. Ask her if everything is going well. Make her feel appreciated. Offer help when required. Tell her, “You are doing great. You are a wonderful mom.” She will be glad to hear great things about the partner once she herself feels appreciated.
However, on that day, when one mom judged me for taking a break from mommy-ing, another one came forward and supported me. She said, “Well, she carried him around for nine months. Now that he is out in the world, it’s time for the dad to get some work done. Chill. It’s no big deal.”
How sweet?! Isn’t she? What she did is exactly what we should do for other mothers too. After all, we are all in this together. Let us all stop judging and start appreciating! Spread the positive vibes around, and be happy!