Nick and I pretty much split the parenting down the middle. Sure, there are times when I feel like I do everything around here (and times when I do), but most days—especially since having Nora—it’s 50/50. We take turns putting the kids to bed, changing the diapers, giving the baths, etc. He drops off Alex at school; I pick him up. I take Alex to a mommy and me class on Wednesdays; Nick takes him to swim on Saturdays. I do Nora’s 4 a.m. feeding during the week (since I’m not working fulltime right now) and Nick does them on the weekend. He knows what and when to feed the kids, he knows their doctors’ names and numbers, and he can list every character from Thomas and sing the theme song to Diego and Dora. Does he deserve a medal? I don’t know. But I do realize the concept of men taking an active role in parenting is pretty new….
My mom stayed at home to raise my two sisters and me and, in addition to being the brownie leader and the CCD teacher and the class mom, she had a nutritious dinner on the table every night. And she had almost no help. My dad is a great father but I don’t think he ever changed a diaper in his life. And he’s joked to me several times that he’s already held Nora more than he held me as a baby. I still remember when my mom was in the hospital after having my younger sister and my dad let Melissa and me eat Cookie Crisp cereal for breakfast and Burger King for lunch (it was a highlight of my childhood).
My mother constantly says how lucky we women are today to have men who actually help parent. Do I feel lucky? Absolutely. Nick is an awesome dad. But, and I know this sounds kind of bitchy but I don’t really know how else to say it: I wouldn’t expect anything less from him. We planned to parent this way. He knew that I didn’t want to be a full-time stay-at-home mom and that I was not interested in raising my kids alone. Neither of us wanted a career that kept us away from our family. We tailored our jobs so that we could be flexible (we both work for ourselves) and spend as much time as possible with our kids.
Still, sometimes I think that Nick wishes we were in the 1950s and I was just a good ol’ housewife who handed him a martini when he walked in the door. I think this because Saturday night when we were out to dinner he said just that. He "confessed” that he feels like he does so much more than most men…and that sometimes he wishes that weren’t the case. I appreciated his honestly but I told him I didn’t get why he feels he should do less simply because he’s a man. I work just as hard as he does. I want free time just as much as he does. Heck, I wish someone would hand me a martini when I walked in the door after work. I was really glad we could talk openly about our expectations—and the conversation ended with us laughing—but I’ve been thinking...Should I be more appreciative of him? How much do your husbands do? Do you give them extra credit just because they’re men? Let’s discuss….
Shameless baby shot: Nora at 5 weeks!