Sunday, July 09, 2006

Dad = Parent, right?

Ok, I am on one today. I have a bone to pick. I'm not sure with who, but nonetheless... A few posts back I mentioned I went to Nevada with some friends for a weekend. This was our 2nd Annual Girl's Weekend. I was gone from Thursday afternoon at 4:30pm until around 5:30pm on Saturday. 49 hours total. My husband took our 2 year old and our 5 month old daughter up to Idaho to visit his sister. I packed for him. During that visit, he went to a waterpark without the 5 month old and to a movie without any kids at all. Our 2 year old played with his cousin the entire time and 2 cousins and an auntie were dying to dote on Liv. ALL I've heard since I got back from practically EVERYONE I've talked to has been, "Wow! How awesome of Sei to take the kids!" or "Your husband is so great to watch the kids for you!" or "How did you get your husband to take the kids?" etc... etc... You get the idea. Ok, last time I checked Sei was the dad (all the rumors about Enrique Iglesias are not true.;) Shouldn't he be the one to watch the kids? If I remember correctly I went to Texas by myself with a 2 year old and 4 month old on a plane with a 2 1/2 hour layover in Denver each way. I was in Texas 10 days and although I had my parents there to help when needed, for the most part I did it all myself. Dad was at work during the day and my mom is Young Women's president and was at girl's camp during the day. I did go watch Isabel do gymnastics one evening and went to dinner with a friend another. Sei was here for 10 days free to do whatever the heck he wanted to do without a care in the world once he was off work. (It's not my fault he chose to put in a wood floor to replace our nasty carpet!! Thanks Babe!!) He was free to catch a movie or play golf. He was free to go shopping (He did get a few new shirts.) He was free to sleep in on the weekends. He was FREE to do whatever it is guys do! No kids at all. He got to go to Walmart alone. (Freak- that would excite me.) AND for the record: This year for Valentines Day I sent him to California to see his parents and surf for a few days. I stayed home with 5 kids including a 3 week old. AND last year when I went to Vegas for a weekend I planned it on the weekend he was driving his daughters to Montana (to meet their mom 1/2 way) and the others kids were going to be staying at his sister's house. So, I try to make it easier on him. I don't just leave him hanging. "Welp- good luck babe!"
This post isn't about Sei. I KNOW he rocks. I know I am blessed. It's about WHY people think that it's such an amazing thing that a dad would take care of his own kids?? He should take care of his kids. And it's not "babysitting." I hate it when I hear guys say "I have to babysit the kids tonite." They are YOUR kids. It's not called babysitting. It's called parenting. I've just been thinking about it because at the end of the summer Kelsea and Karlea are flying to California to stay with Sei's parents for a day or 2. Sei decided he wants to fly there and take Isabel also. Well, as it so happens the day they are flying to Cali is the day of the Def Leppard/Journey concert I've already bought tickets for. It's my last "blow out" before soccer season starts and to celebrate another successful summer with 7 kids. ;) So, Sei said he would take Liv with him since she flies free and the boys would stay home. That makes it a lot easier for me to get a sitter while I'm enjoying my 80's flashback. But I know when people find out he took the baby with him they're gonna praise his name. "WOW! He took the baby?? You're husband is so great!!!!!!!!!!!" "He took the baby?? Oh bless his heart!!" Um, ok. Now let's guess how many people will say, "Wow Tori. You stayed here with a (crazy) 2 year old all by yourself?? You rock!" Yeah- I'm thinkin' zero. Why is that? Why the double standard? Men are usually free to run errands or have meetings with no children. If I need to run to the store for one small thing I have to either wait until the kids are going to bed or I take at least a couple of kids with me. I've had church meetings with children there with me when Sei was working. I've had children sitting on the sideline while I've played basketball or volleyball at church. I've seen women leave the game to take care of their children. You don't see that happening at the men's games. WHY???? I stay home with my kids 24 hours a day 7 days a week. I cater to them. I nurture them. I wash their clothes. I "clean" the house. I'm a cheerleader. I'm a chauffer. I'm a cook- kinda. I'm a secretary. I'm a nurse. I'm an accountant. I'm a gardener- hardly. I'm a referee. I'm a teacher. I'm a lot of things as are most moms and I don't feel like we get the credit we deserve. We do all this without a paycheck at the end of the week. A lot of our work goes unnoticed. It's hard to notice a floor has been mopped when 5 minutes later a kid tracks in mud, ya know? From a lot of our work we don't see immediate results. When a carpenter goes to work he can see the wall he framed and eventually the house he's built. We may not see the things we've tried to teach the children for years down the road. Don't get me wrong. I love being a mom and a wife. That is all I've ever wanted to be. I've gone to college (I have over 100 credits) but I can't decide on a major. But I had decided by the time I was 4 years old, first and foremost I wanted to be a mom. I LOVE it. But guys- give us a break. We deserve it. We know you work hard all day, but the fact that you get adult conversation, praise and a paycheck cancels out the fact that you were at work. Mom's are mom's first, but that's not all we are. We are so much more and I think we end up losing ourselves a lot of the time. We deserve to have weekends to play or concerts to go to or clubs to join or movies to see without you in order to hold on to who we are. We won't leave you long. (Mom's feel guilty if they're gone for too long.) Men need to buck up and be more willing to take care of their own children. And women, we need to come to expect help from our men. I expect it from Seiuli but I'm also blessed with a husband that is usually already offering help before I ask for it. I love him for that. Anyway- I don't know what my deal is. Just lately I have been really irritated with all the credit men get for doing something I think they should be doing anyway. Whew- ok, I feel better now. Thanks for listening.

17 comments:

s--max said...

I am SO with you on your post!!! As a matter of fact, I just had a conversation with my grandmother last week about the same thing. She was saying how great Micah is to "babysit." I told her it's his kid; therefore it's NOT babysitting! Nobody calls it babysitting when you stay home all day, or when I take over when I get home from work. That's a gripe I've had for a LONG time & I'm so glad to see I'm not the only one! By the way ~ you are a GREAT wife & mom & you DO totally deserve to get away once in a while. Even if it is just to Wal-Mart!

JC said...

You mentioned the reason. It is expectation. The reverse would be if you were to cover for Sei at his job for a few days. You would most likely get the WOW praise. And you do get a paycheck. It's the one your husband deposits in to your account on a regular basis. And quit giving Tara ideas. Sei already makes the rest of us look bad. :)

Robin said...

AMEN TORI!
I am sure I am not the only one thinking this all the time now. I was a person with things to do before I had kids and that person is dying for a weekend or night out. Hell, 3 hours would do me wonders. Anyway, I hear ya on this one!

Katie said...

Wonderful post, Tori. I feel the same way---I think most of us do. The sad thing is that even if most of us were able to do more by ourselves we'd tap into the ever-present MommyGuilt and wish we were doing more for our family. Ugh. I think you are exactly right, though. Taking care of Momma is taking care of the family.

~j. said...

AMEN.

I wish I could tell you how many times I've uttered that very phrase: "It's not babysitting, it's called parenting!" (For the record, I've said it to others, not to my husband.)

I go out all the time by myself because Darin knows that if I don't get some alone time and/or social time with girlfriends, then I'm not happy. And if mom's not happy...you don't even want to go there.

My pet peeve is not with the men who are too primitive to realize their parenting duties, it's with the ladies that let them get away with it. I often hear from my girlfriends: "Will Darin let you go with us on Friday?" LET me?! He's not my dad.

Speaking of paychecks...

Tori :) said...

Thanks ladies. I knew you'd have my back. And to the one male who responded:
JC- I beg to differ. If I worked outside of the home & was the breadwinner & Sei was a stay at home dad: 1st of all- He'd be called a Mr. MOM 2nd- I'd get ragged on for not staying home 3rd-People would be so impressed because a MAN was so willing to stay home with his kids.
And if MY paycheck is what Sei earns, I want a raise.

JC said...

Talk to SEI about the raise. :)

Tori :) said...

LOL! Yeah- Sei always says, "Oh, you'll get paid..." with his "sexy" eyes. Nerd.

~j. said...

Can I just add to this? Here's my latest pet peeve:

"Oh, you're having a boy? Darin must be so excited!"

Right. Because Darin is a boy. I would be excited if it were a girl.

Gina said...

AMEN... they all said it already. I just agree.

And we compliment Sei's efforts because we wish we had his efforts at our houses... :(

Tori :) said...

Jenny- After 3 girls in a row people said the same thing when my brother was born. My fave was "Oh, now you have someone to play ball with!" My dad just looked at them and said, "I've had 3 people to play ball with." Like only boys can play sports.

Tori :) said...

Gina -Maybe wives could email their husbands the link to this post. :) PS How are you feeling?

Gina said...

Pretty darn sick... and I am working... yippee! I hope this goes away in a couple days... I hate not being able to breathe and coughing sure hurts.

JC said...

That's funny about the boy. The reaction to news of our 3rd boy are either a sad/concerned "Oh.....are you ok with that?" or an excited "Only 2 more and you'll have a starting 5." And that doesn't mean girls can't play, just that it won't have to be coed rules which are retarded. ;)

Gina said...

I love your new profile graphic!!! Very suitable.

Stephanie said...

Amen Sista!!!! A-freaking-men!!!

We seriously got the short end of the stick on this one.

Sketchy said...

That thing about Dads babysitting their own children has always driven me insane too! No it's babysitting if you get the neighbor's kids too!

My hubby used that expression once...ONCE lol!