Bringing home the bacon and frying it up in a pan...

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Bringing home the bacon and frying it up in a pan...

My ongoing saga is that of being a new mom while also trying to keep it together as a wife.  Someone posted a question sometime back asking if it was harder to be a mom or a wife?  I think it's a day-to-day process.  Yesterday the woman who watches my son was sick.  So the question was who takes the day off of work?  Simple question, but not so simple of an answer.  I feel like the default answer all too often is that the wife/mom will take the hit and take the day off.  And that's fine if it's an equitable process and the next time it switches.  My worry is that it won't; that taking care of the kid will follow the same process that other chores in my house do and that means that someone is the point person. 

So for example, if I do the laundry regularly it becomes my job.  My husband stops even thinking about doing his part.  Hell he can hardly manage to get his clothes off the floor and into a hamper!  But, likewise, if my husband takes out the trash, it doesn't even cross my radar to do it. I don't take the trash from my office to the main can, I let him get it when he collects it all on trash day.   

What this really gets down to is a bigger question about how to you create an equitable space in your marriage-- where you feel respected for the things you do, while also feeling that it's "fair"?  I never thought I was someone who measured fairness before, but I do.  And the longer I'm at this new mom thing, the more I keep score.  Some days I feel like I do 98% of everything and that's not a good day for my husband.  But the truth is, I do it.  I'm the one who says I'll do it instead of asking for help or telling him to do it. 

And the truth is that he would help if I asked him. 

So I did.  Yesterday my hubby took the day off and I worked.  He managed the little guy, until he needed a break and I pitched in to help.  Next time, it's my turn to take one for the team.  When I ask him to help I get a glimpse of the man I married who is generous and kind, and willing to do whatever he can to make my life a little easier.  It's really good to have opportunities to look back and remember because all of this parenting stuff has taken over our lives.  I feel like we are now defined in terms of the little man.  Much as we promised ourselves that we wouldn't lose our identities as husband and wife, I do think we're more mommy and daddy than we ever thought possible.  And don't get me wrong, I love being a mom.  Sometimes I just miss that woman I was before...

So back to the question of what's harder being a mom or mother?  Who the hell knows, it's all hard!  :-) 

But worth every second!

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Melanie Gorman

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