Monday, September 25, 2006

standing in my own way

Metro Mama's post today http://riverdalemama.blogspot.com really got me thinking. I've definitely fallen into the camp of "must do everything herself" while standing in line over at "my way is the right way" all while eating lunch at the Cafe "my partner really does do a lot". Or I stop by and visit my friend Dawn at www.truewifeconfessions.blogspot.com/ and then console myself that things are not as bad as some of THAT. I am a walking mixed message.

I am a walking mixed message because I'll spend substantial time complaining in my head about how woeful is me, and then I'll come home, do three loads of laundry, make dinner, hell, even buy the groceries. And then complain passive agressively instead of sitting back and truly sharing the load.

I mean, come on. What we are really talking about here is control. My need to control what happens in my home and child's life, and my faulty belief system that I am the one that holds the magic secret about how to keep the wheels turning.

Truth be told, I do not. I've just carved a righteous niche for myself and no one is standing in line to jump into an already churning cycle..I mean, who would? Would I?

J-Dog gently reminds me. He'll mention the miracle of keeping the said child alive in his presence while I am at work, or the fact that he's managed to keep himself alive and well for 35 years. And he does. And he does a bit more. Being relieved of the mommy pressure means he can focus on the fun stuff - stuff my kid clearly needs and thrives from. Stuff that I have my head too far up my ass to consider. And they have a great time. And if I ask, he'll do more. I know that isn't the case for every home, but I think it's the case more often than not. Men want to father. We just need to get out of the way and let them. And while it may not be "my" way, the way gets us where we need to go, and the trial and error is part of the journey, and the reward. Sometimes we just need to get the hell out of the way.

16 comments:

acumamakiki said...

It was very hard for me to leave our girl with my husband. And I still cringe (not every time) they drive out of the driveway. But like you said, he got to his age (much older than yours I might add!)just fine and he does a great job, really. In fact when my daughter recently said that 'daddy is the playing one and you're the sitting one' I was told exactly how it is. Humbled I stopped complaining, for that day, in my head.

Penny said...

"What we are really talking about here is control. My need to control what happens in my home and child's life, and my faulty belief system that I am the one that holds the magic secret about how to keep the wheels turning."

Me too. LOL!

Glad you posted this. Got me thinking.

Penny said...

Wow. I just gotta say I feel very badly for your friend Dawn. Holee smokes, I don't know if I've ever read someone so frustrated/angry/hostile. I didn't dare comment, because I wanted to say something encouraging, but I didn't know where to start. Thanks for the link, though. Made me count my blessings.

scribbit said...

Thanks for the kind comment, I couldn't find your email to reply to you directly. Where's your Belize connection (I'm looking at your header) Andrew and I will be there in a month. Our first trip there and we're excited.

Mommy off the Record said...

Great post. I think I need to get the hell out of the way too. I'm always on my husband's case about what he's doing WRONG when really he just does things differently. He has his way and I have mine and (though I hate to admit it) my way isn't always best. Thanks for the reminder that I need to lay off a little.

Mary P. said...

I really appreciate your honesty here!

When I taught parenting classes, I warned mothers in particular against "the gatekeeper syndrome". You spend the first year of the child's life peering over daddy's shoulder saying, "no, she likes it when you rub, not pat; we use THESE cloths for that; THIS is her favourite toy..."

And then, strangely, daddy no longer tries to interact with the baby, and you resent that you "have to" do it all yourself.

How do I know this so well? I did it, too, of course! (But only for the *first* child!)

sunshine scribe said...

I too am a walking mixed message. I am a control freak that is desperate for help that I cannot accept. Thanks for this post it really struck a cord with me.

Anonymous said...

Nice post. Always nice to see some guys getting a little credit now and then.

Blogmad hit!

Haley-O said...

Ohhhhhh! But my way is SOOOO much better! ;) No, seriously!

Great post! And, thanks so much for coming to my blog -- great to meet you!

Maritza said...

I wish I had that problem. I'm a procrastinator, dreamer, lazy ass mo-fo (to put it gently). I need a bit of that Superwoman gene that so many women seem to have.

I guess the point is that any behavior to excess or that makes us question ourselves needs to be re-evaluated and repaired.

Deezee said...

I think this is the most common complaint of fathers and the most common struggle for mothers. I know I fell into that trap a lot.

Sometimes I remind myself that it's in the child's interest to learn how to navigate two parents and two styles and so by getting out of the way I'm aiding my child's socialization and development.

On the other hand, the hard part is when the father's hands on involvement creates extra work for the mom (i.e. turning kitchen or bathroom into cyclone aftermath but leaving it for mom to clean up.) Then it's hard to know the right words...

crazymumma said...

I really liked her post as well, and you can read my comment there. It is about what I would say to you. Sounds like you have a good guy on your team.....

Stephanie T. said...

That's a very good reminder. I'm a control freak from way back, and I have to constantly remember to allow DH to do things his way when it comes to the kids without interference from me.

Anonymous said...

Great post and it hits so close to home. So very close. I will be thinking about this alot.

Also loved Sunshine's comment:
"I am a control freak that is desperate for help that I cannot accept."

I think I just found my epitaph.

Anonymous said...

So, so, so true. I have such a hard time letting go of the reigns. It is hard to say, "His way might not be 'my' way - but that. is. o.k.

Note to self: repeat this daily.

Domestic Slackstress said...

I prefer the backpack and the smell of deisel. I'd rather sleep in hostels and eat and drink on the frugal tip and see as much of a country's culture as possible than stay in a super deluxe Hilton chain hotel (that I could experience in the U.S.), pay through the nose and have little money left over to experience a country at the grass roots level. What a trailing sentence! Now, mind you, that was all before I had three kids in a row. Now we travel hardly ever. We took them all to London/Paris last year. Have you ever flown with a 4-year-old, 2-year-old and an 8-month-old? I'm a survivor!