Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Mad at Dad

I subscribe to Parenting magazine and found an article in the most recent issue quite interesting, but not at all surprising....it is titled "Mad at Dad." It summarizes a nationwide survey conducted from MomConnection, an online opinion panel. Here is a quote from Martha Brockenbrough that pretty much sums up the entire article:
"We love our husbands," she writes, "but we’re mad that we spend more mental energy on the details of parenting. We’re mad that having children has turned our lives upside down much more than theirs. We’re mad that these guys, who can manage businesses or keep track of thousands of pieces of sports trivia, can be clueless when it comes to what our kids are eating and what supplies they need for school. And more than anything else, we're mad that they get more time to themselves than we do."

She continues: “We carry so much of this life-altering responsibility in our heads: the doctors’ appointments, the shoe sizes, the details about the kids’ friends. Many dads wouldn’t even think to buy valentines for the class, for example, or know when it’s time to sign kids up for the pre–camp physical, or that curriculum night is next Thursday at 7:30 and you need to hire a sitter and bring a nut-free vegetarian appetizer that can be eaten without a fork. Even moms who work full-time take it upon themselves to store all this data in our already overstuffed heads. We’re the walking, talking encyclopedias of family life, while dads tend to be more like brochures.”
Before reading that article, I was never able to fully communicate to my husband my feelings of pressure and, at times, resentment. Don't get me wrong, as I've explained to him a thousand times, I'm thrilled he gets time to himself, gets to go out to lunch with friends five days a week, and even gets to spend over an hour to himself while driving to and from work each day. I'm just disappointed I don't also get that.

Take this morning for example: we had a rough night's sleep with our baby making noise and little sleep being had; we woke up and looked at each other and I said, "Wow, I feel lousy this morning!" He agreed. And then I realized that he was leaving to spend 40 minutes in the car alone followed by a day at the office where he could declare, "I had a rough night with the baby" and either be left alone or complain about it, then go to lunch with a friend, all ending with another 40 minutes in the car alone. I, on the other hand, have to get all three kids out of the house by 8:30 AM and run them from activity to activity to play date and will be lucky if I get even a bite of a granola bar for breakfast...or lunch. Not quite the same.

But again, I don't want to take anything away from him, I just want a taste of his freedom once in a while. Just enough to nourish my soul to get me through some of my tough days, like today.

Just thought I'd put it out there seeing as misery unappreciation loves company and all of that...to let you know that if you're in the same boat, that you're not alone...I'll help you paddle.


  1. Your sweetness comes across in your posting today, Shannon. I know, I had a day last week where I felt totally overwhelmed by it all. Wouldn't you know that my daily devotional that day was "In service to Him." It spoke of how, even when things are rough, if we pray to shift our focus that our daily work is in service to HIm, not to anything earthly, but in servie to Him, our toil and strife takes on a higher meaning. It's not a magic pill, by any means, but helps to put in perspective what we do here with our time on this planet. Just that shift in focus onto WHOM we are serving, can put a gilded edge on everything. Love to you always....Alexandra

  2. It makes me mad too.
    I appreciate my husband and he's a good dad, but holy crap I wish I could come and go the way he does.
    And eat out for lunch. With a grown-up. Who won't throw any food on the floor...

  3. I guess I need to stick up for the stay at home dads in the world. The sentiments in the article seem to apply to whoever is the stay at home parent. I'm the working during the day mom while my husband stays home with the boys and I am so jealous sometimes! Yes it's nice to have a 45 minute commute to work and back because of the time to myself, but on the other hand I'm losing nearly 10 hours per week with my kids. Yes it's nice to go to lunch with adults, but there are also the pressures from the job and other things that come into play. I miss out on the play groups and the fun classes that you get to do everyday. It's no picnic being the working parent either.