Saturday, December 12, 2009

Woman's work

Was discussing motherhood with my mom this morning. That is always an interesting conversation. She once said to me..."you know if I could do it all over again, I'm not sure I would have had kids." I was a little offended, being you know HER KID. Her point at the time was that I did not have kids yet, and that I did not have to have them, it wasn't a given, and if I wanted to choose differently I could. Again at the time, just really offended, but we are a rather blunt family, there isn't a whole lot of couching things in niceties, we just throw out whatever thought we are currently thinking. (It has taken a lot to learn how to be professional and business appropriate when I put on my RN hat)

I get my mom's point now, 4.5 years into motherhood with two sons to show for it. My husband and I have been together forever. We have known each other longer. We waited to have kids, and had been married 5 years before our first son was born. I know this man, inside out and backwards. I knew he was all about family, I knew he would be a great dad. Then we had our first son.

He reacted in ways I could never have seen coming, and went into PROVIDER mode. Buy a house quick! Tear it apart and remodel it NOW! After five months of whirlwind activity GETTING READY we brought home our first baby, who we both wanted. We were happy, hell we were on a new baby high like no other. Then he withdrew. He was here, he did everything I asked of him, but he had no idea what being a dad was..and freaked out!! It took him about two months to pull out of it. I was annoyed, but understood, he had never been a dad before..he had never been around babies before, and he was here physically, he was holding and changing his son, he did whatever needed to be done. He was just lost. (I have no explanation for his exact same reaction when we had our second child-I guess this is just how he handles it.)

My point? Is that parenthood changes us, in ways we cannot see or expect. I slowly came to realize that my marriage was no longer a partnership where we both worked full time and tended to whatever had to happen in the house 50/50. Slowly things shifted. We decided I would go back to work 24 hours instead of 32, eventually I bid into a 12 hour shift position, so I could just work two days a week. With all that being home, house stuff just fell to me. My husband is serious about his PROVIDER role to this day-(even though I am well paid, and have a job) and looks for side work, which certainly helps our finances, but keeps him away more than either one of us really like.

Life with kids is busy, and to get back to my point about motherhood-I was unhappy with the new role I could see was becoming mine. I was actually kind of pissed about it, that whole 'women's work' thing was never for me. Before I was anyones mother I thought it was a load of malarky-that I refused to believe would be my role in life. I hate housework, I would never organize anything ever if I didnt have to. I'm not bothered enough by general mess to feel like I want to spend my time cleaning it. Woman's work is not a myth- it is all true, and if you want to be anyones mother-you had best just suck it up and move on. I'm not saying I do it espeically well, but I had better do it, if we want things like food, clean dishes, clean clothes and place for the kids to play that is you know safe. Since I am lucky enough to be the parent home most of the time with my boys-this family has come to expect that I am the person to make things happen.

So THIS morning, a Saturday, my husband is again working out of the house all day, the day after I worked and have not had enough sleep and I look like this:

I woke up to the baby yelling in his crib MAMA!!! DADDEE!!!! over and over again. I came downstairs in within 3 minutes of being awake, the dog started the I would like to go out now dance-because somehow she can never ask my husband who has been up for two hours already, Dave asked me to make him coffee as he was running late, and my sons started nagging me for milk, the house is mess, and the baby needs to be changed. Dave is running around telling me he needs laundry, and a few other things that need my attention. Good morning to you too!
"Woman's work"
How did I get this job?


Karen Sugarpants said...

Did he pitch in? Seems odd that he didn't seem to. :S

ALI said...

no he was leaving for work..I'm just saying that my family looks to me for all the things they need. Even if i have been out of bed a few minutes!!