I’m writing because there’s something that must be said. I speak from personal experience, both as an observer from childhood and as a husband/father. We can do better! Just ask your mother or your wife! On the average, regardless of origin, age or class, women bear the brunt in the familial relationship.
I know there are exceptions and some men are great examples of how to be a true teammate in the marriage relationship. Most women however could, can or have thought the following:
How is it that even though we both work, I still end up doing most of the:
Grocery shopping/menu planning
Arranging for babysitters
Picking up the kids from school when one gets sick in middle of the day
Staying up with sick kids in the night
Handling the more emotionally sensitive discussions
Now I realize that some of you may bristle at reading this post. If the truth fits though, perhaps there’s some chance/hope of change. Most fathers begin their parental journey lacking necessary skills to embrace the responsibility in a fashion that allows women to feel they are “on the same page!” Many of us are too absorbed in the feelings of loss created by displacement in what seems relationship priority. You may feel as though this bundle of joy has ousted you in #1 position with your bride because you’re not able to spend the kind of time you used to spend with her. You may also feel like no matter what you do, it doesn’t seem to be good enough.
This relationship evolution (from the passionate/blissfully spontaneous intimacy of just the two of you, to a now exhausted, frazzled, lets just stay at home) will never remain static. Get used to constant change and many surprises. If you find yourself in a rough patch, relax–its normal and it won’t always be like this. The parenting years are some of the most stressful and create a great deal of introspection and comparison between how you remember being parented (what was and wasn’t okay) and how you want to parent.
The real key to harmony once you split yourselves up by creating more mini-miis is to mentally condition yourself to always approach every situation with a questioning mental posture. If you attack the situation with suggestions and assumptions, you might as well take off your size 10 shoe and begin inserting into mouth! Seriously, plan your time–print out a blank calendar each month and put the important things to accomplish on it and post it on the fridge. If you don’t know what she’s planned, your spontaneous after work drinks with the guys just might have hijacked her schedule to have her one and only ladies night out event. Guys, let me tell you, there’s no greater stress that having to juggle everything on that list above , maintain a house and full-time job! Take inventory and see where you can help out.
Laundry, dishes, vacuuming, homework help…as much as you can anticipate and take care of is greatly appreciated. Where you begin to sense distance and coldness in your relationship is when she feels abandoned and saddled with the responsibility for everything. She’ll be gritting her teeth, cleaning puke off the floor from one of your sick kids remembering “for better or for worse!” while you’re snoring away. Its times like those that begin to create the irritable exchanges, the brief looks that once were longing, and the quick peck on the cheek instead of the passionate embrace. Don’t let the little things in life, forgetfulness, procrastination, and obliviousness our gender is notorious for ruin the adventure of sharing your life with another.
Women, can I hear an amen?