When you go out and leave the kids with your husband and someone asks who is watching them, what do you usually say? I’m pretty sure I always say, “My husband is watching Mason,” which is no different than when I tell someone a babysitter is watching him. I hate this more than anything and I do it all the effing time. Sometimes I even find myself explaining to someone how hands on my husband is and how capable he is watching our son without me. As if a mom leaving her child with his dad for extended periods of time is somehow surprising or needs an explanation.
When dads spend time with their kids, they are revered and celebrated. “Aww, that’s so awesome, your husband can handle the kids.” Of course he can fucking handle it. He is their dad after all! When moms do it, it’s just expected. It’s their job. Why should a dad get a medal just for being an involved parent? Isn’t that his job too? I wasn’t aware that rewards were given out for doing one’s job. Maybe I want a medal too–a really shiny 18 Karat gold medal with the words, “Congratulations, You Parented Today,” written in bling.
Other times I wonder if I should feel guilty for leaving Mason with him for a whole day or extended weekend. Or do I need to apologize for coming home late or when Mason only feels like using the word “NO” and constantly melts down while on my husband’s time. When my husband comes home Saturday at lunch time exhausted and moody and frustrated from his morning activities with Mason, should I feel bad I was sleeping in, exercising, and writing? I definitely find myself saying, “I’m sorry Mason was in a bad mood for you. I’m sorry you’re so tired.” But isn’t that what kids do? They can be assholes and they wear their parents out, even on a good day.