Is your job as a mother easier or harder than it was when your mother had the job? I saw this poll on tv yesterday and couldn’t resist. My husband was within ear shot and I said Harder. Then I said it again to make sure he heard me. HARDER.
I say this because the constant struggle between dedicating yourself to your career, to your child, to your husband, is a struggle that leaves me feeling like an utter failure most of the time. All the priorities are priority. You don’t have enough to go around to do the magnificent job each job deserves.
I’m not sure where my comparison results come from.
My mom worked while I was growing up. I don’t remember feeling neglected and I certainly have no permanent ill-effects caused by her career (I’m perfect remember). In fact, I don’t remember much. But if I think real hard, I can remember my parents leaving on a Monday and coming home on a Friday. All I remember about in between was pure fun.
There was a time when moms were moms and not much else because being a mom was enough to prove your worth on earth and pull your own weight. But all this thinking about it and a discrepancy invades. I have help.
My husband changes diapers, cooks dinner, grocery shops, basically does at least half of all the mundane household chores – and then some. My grandfather prides himself on the fact that he changed five diapers in the time he and my grandma raised their five kids. She isn’t sure where he gets that number because it seems quite generous to her. And it’s not a twice-removed generational thing. My dad and dad-in-law continue to step away at diaper time and certainly I’ve not seen them do anything in the kitchen except install speakers and open a bag of chips.
So as a 2010 Mother’s Day reflection – here’s to my son’s dad who dares to touch a poopy butt and who continues to try to decipher the unwritten code of laundry. That’s the biggest change since my mom was head housekeeper for four kids and a hubby. So is my way harder? Not hardly.