On the eve of Mother’s Day, I spent a lot of time thinking about what it really means to be a mother. It’s a gift, a blessing, a non-refundable life-long agreement. Being a mother gives so much, but also takes the greatest of tolls. I wouldn’t trade motherhood for the world, but there is one thing I would like to experience: I would want to spend one day as a father.
This isn’t a lash-out to all the fathers out there. I know there are a lot of great fathers who really put in the effort and do an amazing job. There are also a lot of fathers who just don’t get it. Mother’s Day is all about mothers. Dads, this is for us moms, don’t take it personally even if we sometimes feel this way!
Tantrums, tears and me-time
I would like to know what it feels like to come home and have the children greet me with squeals of joy and excitement. There wouldn’t be any tantrums or tears. Those have been spent on mom and are also saved for mom for later.
I could come home and lay down on the couch for some me-time. Depending on my household, it would either be nice and clean, or it could be a chaos. It might be that it wouldn’t disturb me. Perhaps I wouldn’t even notice. Or I would get frustrated. What does she do all day?? How difficult can it be to keep a clean house?
I would go to the bathroom alone, and sit there with my smartphone for twenty minutes, uninterrupted. Just be there by myself, seclude myself from my surroundings. And then I would wonder. What on earth does mom mean when she says she can’t even go to the bathroom alone. Lock the door and sit down. Not that difficult.
I could take a nap.
Mothers know how hard-working fathers need a nap after a long day at work. Or perhaps just to celebrate the luxury of being at home during the weekend. Mom would thus entertain the kids while I rest. I mean it’s exhausting to adult all day. Sure the kids might try to wake me. With the use of an incredible Off-button, it wouldn’t get to me, I know how to relax. Shut out the rest of the world and doze off.
Instead of bothering to look for a pair of socks or a T-shirt, I can always just ask. There’s a reason for why there is a mom in the house – she knows these things. She knows where everything is located and makes sure that the laundry is done so I don’t have to worry about running out of clean things to wear. That’s the cool thing about a hamper. You put your clothes in it and they magically reappear in your closet. And actually, you don’t even always need to use a hamper. Even if you leave your socks in the middle of the floor, they will still appear clean in your dresser!
Mother’s handle things
When it’s my turn to “have to” take the kids to the park or with me to the store, I get myself ready. I jump in the shower, get myself dressed, and get in the car to wait for the kids. Kind of pointless to even begin thinking about what the kids might need to have with – I know the mother takes care of these kinds of things. Sure, I could try, but that might be in vain. I mean what could kids possibly need to have with them for a couple hour outing? And two-year old’s can dress themselves, right?
I could do something special, perhaps prepare dinner. But that would of course mean that I don’t need to worry about the dishes or cleaning up afterwards. Seriously, I just prepared some amazing meat on the barbecue for my family. Someone else can clear up afterwards!
Were it to be so that my day as a father happened to fall on a day close after the birth of a child, oh the bliss! All that hard work holding baby mama’s hand as she went through labor, must be rewarded by a boy’s night out and celebration. It’s a tough job bringing a child to this world!
Were there to be an infant in the house, I would enjoy my well-deserved sleep through the night. Preferably in another room so I wouldn’t be awoken by the screams of a starving baby. It’s not as if I provide the milk! And besides, mothers are such light sleepers anyway, and they have hormones that make sure they’re not tired. Hormones support moms. But as a father! Was I to be awoken several times a night, how could I possibly pull off my work well? Or try to get by on a couple hours of sleep!? No, not for me, I need my sleep.
I would also genuinely enjoy my day of not having to constantly worry about things. No need to remember things, to coordinate multiple factors. I would love the pat on the back, “wow, you have three kids, that’s quite a handful!” And I would agree, but add, that “it’s not that bad, they’re pretty self-sufficient”. I wouldn’t worry about missing work because my kids fell sick, after all, moms like to take care of sick kids. It’s a part of their nurturing nature. Upcoming PTA meeting wouldn’t really concern me, moms are better at discussing educational matters with teachers anyhow. There wouldn’t be a need to worry about missing out on a fun event in the evening. I mean, mom is around anyways, she won’t mind spending the evening at home. Seriously, she never goes out! Claims she appreciates the silence of a night in. Relaxing and unwinding. Just being by herself. Or that she’s too tired to go out.
I would enjoy experiencing unconditional love without having to make a major effort. I might even teach a toddler a swear word, because it sounds so funny! Oh, and I would definitely ask for a raise at work. With so many kids and all, baby momma needs a family wagon. And I need my two-seater sports car. You know, to feel like I’m alive.
Would it be that great?
On second thought, my day might not be all that great though. I would be subject to a lot of unnecessary whining and nagging from my wife. Ongoing rants about how exhausted she is and how much she has to juggle. Complaining how little I help out. I mean let’s be real for a moment. What father is not entitled to escape all that hostility and go out for a couple of drinks with the guys? I am after all the father and I work hard, and all she does is stay at home with the kids all day. Or she might go to work, but with shorter hours so she can pick up the kids from daycare and tend to their hobbies. Or she might be doing full hours, but as a mother she wants to spend all her spare time with the kids, so I let her. Who wouldn’t want such an easy life? Mother’s can be so controversial and selfish!
I realize several of my statements are exaggerated and far from the full truth, but this is how it feels sometimes. That we’re not understood, that it’s just not fair. At the same time, it hurts to know how much fathers miss out on! The bond between a child and a mother is so special and there is nothing that compares to it! We pay a high price to become mothers, all from sacrificing our bodies (and sanity) to our free time. What we get in return however. There are no words to express the fulfillment, joy and pride motherhood brings us. And that is something I seriously would never change.
In hopes of a beautiful day full of love and appreciation, I want to wish every single mother a fantastic Mother’s Day! This day is for us ladies, let’s make the most of it by embracing how fortunate we are to be mothers through thick and thin! It’s not an easy job, and all too often receives much thanks. Mother’s Day might not be perfect, but you can make it worthwhile for yourself. Appreciate yourself. Pamper yourself. Make Mother’s Day special for yourself!