Monday, March 22, 2010

The neverending struggle

I am relatively new to this whole parenting gig.  About a year new. And I am a SAHM and my husband works, so the lion's share of care falls to me.  This is the decision we made, and I am all good with that.

We just recently celebrated the Bubbanor's 1st birthday a few weeks ago.
And for the most part, I love it.  It's endlessly fascinating and entertaining and changing.

But it also WORK. And the part that I find the most work? Not the nappy washing, the bum changing, the breast feeding, the food feeding, the outfit changing and all that associate drudgery.

It is ensuring that my partner is involved in her care when we are together.  Let me clarify, when I am not there he is all fine with her routine, and going out and about and making decision about what to do when and where.

But when I am there, he abdicates this responsibility to me.  Because I know her best, because it is second nature to me to pack her bag early, to decide to go out at this time because it work best for that nap or mealtime.  And it would be easy for me to let him do that.  But that is not what I signed up for. That is not how I want our parenting to be.  So I work at it.

What time do you think we should head out tomorrow?

When works best for X?

You decide, you know her schedule, what do you think is best?

X time.

Good, okay, cool.

The problem is that I am the one that always asks this question - if I don't ask it, it is assumed that I am taking care of it.

At bathtime, if I am there, he forgets to get out a night nappy, pyjamas, to check the time, and so he will ask for me to do these things.  He copes when I am not there, but when I am there, he abdicates again and again.

I am the one who keeps an eye on the clock for snacks, for lunch, for bathtime. I am the one who reminds him that is the time for these things.  Because if I don't remind him, then they are left for me.

I know I need to talk to him about this, and I know he is aware he does it but he still does it.  It would be less tiring to give up and just do those things myself - without the reminder, without pushing him to make the decision. And it has suprised me, that this thing is the most tiring part of parenting.

 But I refuse to capitulate.  But it is work and I don't feel like it will ever end. It is tiring to continually be struggling

Is this an unusual parenting thing or does this tend to happen when one parent has the lion's share of care?  I would be interested in your responses and thoughts....


  1. It happens in our house too...

  2. No it's not unusual, and almost 3 years in it still happens with us. Luke is slowly getting better. But lots of things are still left up to me. Love when we get somewhere and I get "There's no nappies". I ask, "Did you check there were enough nappies before we went out?'. "No" (otherwise, "no isn't that your job??"). Also love that I do 7 feeds and nappies a day, and if I ask for him to do a nappy just to have a 2 min break, I get an eye roll. He denies he does it, but sure enough it's there EVERY time. I swear it's like I'm asking for a kidney. Having said all this, I will admit that I am a control freak, and I have to improve in letting Luke do things on his own and do things his way. I have a tendency to stick my oar in or worse take over, which then leads to him leaving it up to me next time. Because, hey, if you're gonna do it anyway, why should I bother, which is fair enough. So I pose the question to all of us, are we stepping back enough to allow our co-parent control and independence to make their own decisions in what to do? Maybe we're a teeny bit to blame. Just a teeny bit.....

  3. I'm glad to see I'm not alone :).

    Lauren, I have admit that I have stuck my nose in on issues that don't really mattter - in what order he does something with Strumpette (hmm I've been looking for a blog name for her, I think that might stick) or some such thing. But not too often, and when I become aware of it, I do apologise. So, yeah it probably has some affect. But neither do I think it is an excuse for said behaviour - he's an adult, and should act accordingly. , I think the ratio of him abdicating versus me sticking my bit in are probably 50:1. (I feel like writing 500000:1, but I am showing restraint!). :)

  4. Deborah - I have been lurking at your blog for a while and I am so chuffed that someone I so admire has commented on mine. I will try to delurk more often and comment on yours! Thank-you

  5. It's common here too, but we've been working on it. Talking has helped, but the main thing, for us, that helped was me backing off, telling him that he is 'in charge' of the parenting for X amount of time.

  6. Just come by after you retweeted my tweet of Blue Milk's fabulous post. I hope you will find some time to write some more again someday...

    I think that one of the things that I found so very difficult in the early days of being a mother (like the first 3000 days or so) was that suddenly we had crashed back into 1950s gender roles, and it was so hard not to allow it to happen. Your experience in this post is so much like my own.

    Got you in my reader.

  7. I know I am a bit slow with this one but wanted to add my 10c. I don't think that this is a problem exclusive to parents, I think that this is a male/female issue. My other half (bless him i do adore him) never sees that the towels need washing or the sheets need washing or the toilet is so gross it could clean itself and I constantly have to ask for help in this area. To Lozzie's point yes I probably take over a bit too much when it isn't done my way but at the same time I would like acknowledgement that I am his partner not his freakin mother!!! What the answer do this is I don't know, I don't think that there really is on but we should keep on trying and experimenting and who knows one day we might get it right!