Sometimes, this rare occasion occurs where I manage to actually think that perhaps I have managed to find SOME balance in juggling the life of motherhood with two small humans (now aged 3.5 and 1.5 years) and working woman + running a household and keeping a hubby happy PLUS finding my feet with a mum who is being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s…
All this and I hubby will still ask me “what’s for dessert tonight?”
So just as I am thinking that “I got this!” and I am silently high-fiving myself and thanking God for my little angels (lil girl & boy) hubby decides to throw a spanner in the works:
“Hon – you know, I think we should have another baby”
Me: *look on face is (strangely) not shocked – I have managed to pull off a poker face in this instance*
BUT on the inside I am thinking: WHAT THE HELL? ARE YOU CRAZY????
On the outside I am the epitome of calm – I got this – I’ve got the lists, the night-time schedules and plan everything in advance. Underneath I am that crazy paddling duck, ferociously trying to keep above water as I keep us ALL above water!
He continues on by saying that he thinks I am doing a brilliant job with the current two kiddies (thank you) and that really he feels we could handle another one!
OH MY GOD! Does he not realise that this is one more child we need to send to day care when I have to go back to work?
That I can only stay up so long after the kids are asleep to arrange their bags for tomorrow, iron and fold laundry, plan the next day’s meals, wash and colour my hair – because let’s face it: going to the hairdresser is a luxury – dying my roots is a necessity and hence a box dye job is more than sufficient (my theory is you can’t really f%&k up
But with this statement I got to thinking about how poorly divided our tasks are a mother/father unit. I have begun to seriously think about the disparity of tasks when I hear women who have partners that work away (on rosters) will complain that they are “just like a single mother”
I should first put out there: my husband is a fantastic help. He certainly does TRY to get involved. He loves to cook and enjoys to help out where he can… but let’s call a spade a spade here:
When we run out of milk, meat or any household item, 99.99% of the time it is ME that must replace it (and hence why I have created the “box of spares” but I’ll explain that another time)
When the kids want to play outside or rough play, then it’s him they run to… BUT when said play results in tears or a disagreement or dad has had enough it is ME that has to get involved… no matter what else I am doing.
When I am in the shower or toilet there are usually 2 other sets of eyes on me. When he goes to the toilet he can shut the door and have “space”
When the kids go to sleep he gets to pour himself a drink, put his feet up and flip the channel onto Sports… I make another bottle for the late night/just before bed feed, pack the bags for both children for the next day and organise their snacks. I then arrange their outfits for the following day so that when he dresses them he doesn’t have to pick out anything (because let’s face it, he still doesn’t understand why there are ‘day-care clothes’ and regular clothes).
And that’s just to name a few – I am not even getting into what each of their favourite snacks are, what Amira (miss 3.5) really means when she says “remember how yesterday I went see the princesses with Yaya and yesterday before that I went with mummy?” or that I take then to their doctors’ appointments and remember how many ml’s of Neurofen each of them are allowed to have or how many nappies are packed in the day care bag… or that I have already started to think about and put aside money and s
I remember reading a story a while ago about the “default parent” – that is me… and in most cases it is the mother that is the “one responsible for the emotional, physical and logistical needs of the children” … So forgive me for internally rolling my eyes when he makes a comment about how “we” can handle another child.