Wednesday, September 28, 2005

On the Job Training: Motherhood - 3
So, what's the deal with the fathers?

I've been doing some informal research - talking to my female friends, moms at ballet, colleagues at work, reading O. Magazine and I've come to this conclusion..

No matter if you are Indian, Black, White, Martian.. the mom is still hauling the children around.

Yes, fathers help and will do the pick up/drop off's as well. They will help around the house and get the kids to eat their food. Fathers, please know this has not gone unnoticed.

Yet, mom's are the ones dealing with the school activities, birthday parties (as hosts and guests) and every other extracurricular activity. Mom's will make sure that sitting by the door is is a fully equipped bag for ballet/soccer/swimming/karate, etc. I think mothers gained experience from preparing diaper bags for all emergencies.

I am not sure if I'm allowed to even vent about this seeing I have 1 preschooler. I'm talking to mothers who have 2-3 kids at various stages of development and homework assignments. So, I get the impression that having 1 child is a walk in the park.

So, as I absorbed information from these informal research sessions, there was a nugget of wisdom. She said, "The problem is that we want the men to be 'mothers' but they can't be."

A mother knows instinctively when a child's tantrum is from hunger/fatigue vs. a manipulative control tantrum. She knows a child's needs must come first. Again, this might have been part of our training when we dropped dirty dishes or a hot dish of food to go breastfeed a wailing child. A father will remain focussed on his current activity until he is good and ready to deal with the child. By that time, the mother is livid her child has been held up.

And, that's where our frustration is.

So, is this a defect of the feminist movement? We were told everything could be equal in a marriage. However, marriage to begin with is not 50/50. It's actually 60/40 -- if you ask the wife, she's pulling 60. If you ask the husband, he's pulling the 60. Then, you have a kid and it moves from to 80/50. Oh wait, that doesn't add up does it?

It's as if an extra weight was added to your end and you're always trying to push it over to the father. He's willing to accept the extra load, but can't always take it.

So what do we do? I don't know. I'm just happy I came this far in analysing this. In a way, it's helped me manage expectations better.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Amen. JCG