As a mom, I am incredibly grateful for the abundance of resources we have available to us. We have websites and local groups in which we can share our stories and relate to one another. But, what about Dad?
I try to avoid gender stereotypes. But there’s no denying that our society teaches men to keep their feelings in. This is probably why I don’t see many blogs for fathers. To paraphrase a friend: “men ‘do’ their feelings.”
A lot of us express frustration that our significant others seem to still find time for hobbies. Meanwhile, we can’t even keep up with our daily to-do lists. At times, it feels like they don’t understand our struggle. It’s as if we were forced to be 100% parent overnight. It’s not fair!
But at the same time, particularly if you’re a stay-at-home parent and/or breastfeeding, it’s not fair to dads that they didn’t get the immediate bond with baby. And unless you went back to two incomes — he’s probably feeling a lot of pressure to keep putting food on the table. So no wonder he slips away to keep playing his favorite video game. It’s not personal. Yes, you’re still attractive to him!
I’ve noticed that some days I’m doing better than others, emotionally. On good days, I’m able to remind myself how hard my husband works, and how lucky I am to be at home with my daughter. But if I’ve had a rough day, I simply say, “I need more help tonight.” We shouldn’t neglect our own needs — but we should try to see things from our partners’ perspective as well.
It’s unlikely that your spouse is trying to avoid responsibilities when he wants to go on an occasional fishing trip. He’s not trying to sabotage your hard work in the kitchen by taking it over with all of his brewing equipment. And when you’re ready to hand the baby over, but he wants to mow the lawn, it probably means that he needs time to think. That and the lawn grows way too fast.
So, dads, we’ll still need breaks of our own. But ultimately, we hope that you keep your hobbies. We have other moms to sympathize with us for now. We want you to feel like you have a place, too! Even if it means a little more cleaning up.
Moms: do you have a pre-kids hobby that you’re trying to get back in to?