Mothers come in all shapes and sizes and that’s never been truer in an age where women can do it all. Or at least as much as they want. The balance that most women face is somehow fitting it all in. Especially when work and career come into the equation. Take my wife (but don’t take her far because I need her to pay the bills).
But seriously, my wife is an intense workaholic with the maternal instincts of a rock. No wait, that’s not fair – I’ve seen rocks lay next to kids for hours.
I know I make fun of my wife a lot but the simple fact is she doesn’t like kids too much. Well she does like them but not just for long stretches of time. She’s actually very good with them in short bursts. Some people will frown upon that or not comprehend it but I know it’s ok. There isn’t one correct way to be. Simplistic views of genders and emotional expectations are grossly outdated.
And for us it’s about balance. We play to our strengths to ensure the girls get the best upbringing we can give them. More importantly – and what people don’t get – is that just because she struggles with spending a lot of time with them doesn’t mean she doesn’t love them. She really does. It just doesn’t manifest in the same way. She mightn’t run around or throw a ball with them but she takes an interest in conversation and daily recaps. She tries to read with them before school. But she works very long hours – 70-hour weeks are common – and she sometimes comes home needing to unwind. And let’s face it, often the last thing you need when you’re looking to relax is a little person jumping up and down on you asking a bajillion questions.
That’s what being a team is about. Complementing each other. And by complimenting I, of course, mean doing whatever the wife says. Just joking. But it isn’t exactly easy on her at times either. Just this morning, Gypsy and I were bowling and Gypsy jumped on my lap and started covering my face in kisses. When Sandra saw this she smiled and asked for kisses too. Gypsy rolled her eyes, went over and gave her a quick kiss on the cheek before scampering back to me and kissing me repeatedly. I don’t know whether this is a case of daddy’s little girl or me being the primary carer but while she found it more amusing than hurtful it does highlight some of the problems she faces. Remember – she does love them even if she doesn’t always relate.
Being a parent is hard. Probably the hardest thing any of us will ever do. Add in the pressures of expectations that women face today and you start appreciating just how difficult it truly is. So to all you mothers out there – whether you work, stay at home or mix and match – congratulations on being part of something special. Even if you share the rock’s instincts.