I’m one of those moms who seems to be able to do it all. I admittedly have a lot on my plate, and while it may seem ironic, I’ve only ever added more the longer I’ve been working. Like many of us, I parent, work full-time, volunteer with different organizations, have hobbies, and even kick back and let my hair down whenever I want to. Over the years, I’ve mastered the art of balancing all of my interests right along with raising my children. But none of this could ever happen without my husband, my partner.
He and I are both very independent people. We joke all the time that, as cruel as it may sound, neither of us needs the other when it comes to running the household. I don’t need him; I want him around. In fact, when he’s gone (which happens very often, as he’s a reservist in the Navy), I manage just fine. It’s actually something I take great pride in. And when I’m gone, knowing that he’s in charge of our children and home is about as close as it comes to having a clone. No, we don’t need each other. We do, however, love each other and appreciate what the other brings to the table. And he brings a great deal.
If ever I’ve come across as being able to do whatever I want, it’s because he has stepped into his role as parent just as much as I have to. He and I are both equally resentful of people assuming that moms parent and dads “babysit.” I parent. He parents. The kids win. It’s probably a result of that same pride that makes us so independent, but he would never want to come across as incapable in any endeavor, especially one as important as raising our kids.
For that reason, he’s never called me to ask what he should fix the kids for dinner or what outfits they should wear. He’s never mismanaged homework or bottle feedings (bonus points for handling breastmilk like a champ!). And he certainly would never show up late to church with all three in tow, shoes mis-matched and shirts untucked, even if it’s selfishly to avoid some well-intended but nonetheless condescending remark from a friend of “Uh-oh! Looks like Mom’s out of town and Dad’s got his hands full!” No, he’d rather be strung up by his toes, and I get to reap all the benefits.
I recently went out of state for the weekend for a work engagement, and I can honestly say that I was never once anxious about my children. I missed them and wanted to hear about everything they were doing, but never did I worry that their schedules would be off because of my absence. I didn’t have to fear that one of my kids would break down in tears because I wasn’t there to tuck them all in. While that may seem blasphemous as a mom to say, I’m proud that as far as my children are concerned, it was business as usual. Why wouldn’t it be? Dad was there.
If I get to go out of town, it’s because my husband is home watching the kids, just as I do for the weekends and weeks that he has to go for the Navy. If I get to go to piano lessons with my son, it’s because he’s at home with the other two, and he did Boy Scouts duty earlier in the week anyway. If I’m able to teach children’s church classes on Sunday morning, it’s because he’s at home with the two-year-old, getting her dressed. If I get to have a girls’ night, it’s because he’s parenting–NOT babysitting–just as I did for his guys’ night.
If I in any way seem like an awesome mom, it’s only because my kids have an awesome dad, my awesome husband.