Sometimes as a mom, I have to reflect on my duties of parenthood compared to my husband’s and just laugh. It’s either that, or else I could have an adverse reaction and be bitter about it all for the rest of my life. Women and moms often do get the short end of the stick of parenthood, if you really think about it.
We are the ones to get pregnant and deal with the aches and pains and sickness that pregnancy can bring bearing children. Then we either have to endure labor multiple times pushing up to 10+ pound babies out of a 10 cm hole, or have major abdominal surgery to birth said babies. Then, depending on what works for mom and baby, we are the ones who have to breastfeed and get up with them all hours of the day and night tending to their every needs and deal with potential hurdles such as clogged milk ducts and blebs and cracks and mastitis. Oh my.
It doesn’t end there. Not even close. Endless loads of little people laundry to do, little people food to make (and little people to fight with about eating that food). Spills to wipe up, a house to clean, toys to put away and temper tantrums to work through. Endless breast pump and bottle pieces and sippy cups to wash. For my family, sleep training to endure and seemingly endless hours of patience teaching them to be potty trained. Doctors appointments to be taken to and vaccines to be given requiring fussiness and comforting after.
Then Daddy swoops in and takes them skiing and swimming and for tractor rides. They put on their “work” clothes and cowboy boots and head to the farm because they want to be just like Daddy. They’ve both cried at the thought of not being with Daddy when I have to take them home for silly things like naps and bedtime. Sometimes I feel like the bad guy who gets no credit.
But I know I’m not.
I got to see their first signs of life watching the pregnancy tests turn positive. I got to feel their first signs of life as they started to flutter and kick in my womb. I got to bond with them before I even met them as they grew inside of me. I continued that bond when they were born and placed on my chest for the first time, and the first time the milk that my body made nourished them.
I was the one they relied on and needed to sustain their tiny bodies all hours of the day and night to breastfeed them and keep them clean and dry. I got to see them smile for the first time and laugh and hit all their milestones. I was with them, their primary-care giver, for the first year plus of their lives and didn’t miss a thing.
For that? I feel like the lucky one.