So, I told you about the two partial days I spent away from my daughter over the weekend – an extremely rare occurrence in the Cotten household. Most of the time I don’t get to pee without an audience, let alone have dinner at a restaurant without requesting a high chair and chicken nuggets. Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to have a little fun, sans-kid, two days in a row.
However, I have to rant here for just a second.
My husband understands I want to leave the house every once in awhile. He gets that I need alone time, without the tiny human (or him!). Every mom does, regardless if they work outside the home or if they’re a SAHM. It’s human nature. Raising a kid is stressful, and sometimes I just need a minute, but…
My husband doesn’t babysit.
Before you think I’m on the husband-bashing train, here’s the deal. If I remember correctly, we chose to have a baby together. We chose to live life with one income. In no way did we choose to become single parents. Last time I checked, she’s half his. So when my husband has the sole parental duty in our house, like this past weekend, that doesn’t qualify as babysitting. It’s called PARENTING.
My husband is a father, not a babysitter. There is a difference.
Courtny works hard for a living, so that I can stay home and raise our daughter. We chose that life in the best interest of our family. From the hours of 8 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., my husband’s job is to bring home the bacon. Mine is to make sure our kid is healthy, fed and happy. Outside of those hours, we’re both on. Seems fair, right?
However, our little darling goes to bed by 7 p.m. That hour-and-a-half every evening is spent cooking and feeding her dinner, giving her a bath, reading her a book, and then putting her into bed. Of those tasks, 95 percent of them are delegated to this momma.
That’s not exactly a lot of father-daughter time.
Just as I enjoy my alone time, Courtny enjoys his Dorothy time – without me around. He’s a dad, a damn good one at that, and he values the rare quality time he gets with our little girl just as I enjoy the elusive Girl’s Night Out. Even though we are both responsible for the same child, we both have completely different needs when it comes to parenting. Every once in awhile I need nothing more than adult conversation, and he needs nothing more than playing blanket monster with our one-year old.
And that’s okay in our book.
It’s amazing to me that someone would think that because I don’t have a “real” job, that I don’t need to have time for myself. Even more appalling – that my husband has less parental responsibility because I am a SAHM. Both statements are absolutely ludicrous, and if you’re wondering where this paragraph came from – it’s because I’ve heard both comments in the last week.
Regardless of what we each do for a living, we are primarily a mother and a father. In our marriage and our parenting, we have to work together to make sure we’re each emotionally and physically well – because being happy makes us both better parents, and that’s the real goal here. It doesn’t matter if I’m a SAHM, or if he’s a working dad – in the end we’re both just people who have needs outside of our day-to-day lives.
Our daughter is healthy, fed and happy. I’m doing my job. So is he. And we’re both getting the time we need to stay sane. I’d say we’re doing just fine.
What needs to you have to be a good parent? Whether it be an occaisional hot bath, a pedicure, or even a solo date to Starbucks – let me know what helps you stay sane and happy.