I bring a lot of strengths to the table as a parent. I’m organized, I read all the books on the importance of sleep and behavioral changes and implement its teachings in our house. I register baseball and swim lessons and other things on time (mostly). I put things in the calendar and am usually good for the 1.5-2 hours I see my son a day (during the week at least).
I am not the primary parent. Even the most equitable of households typically have a primary parent. The parent that spends a bit more time with the kid, is generally a more patient person and isn’t overwhelmed at the thought of a day alone with an almost five year old. You’d think I’d have five years to that, and yet, here we are.
To be honest, The Hubs and I spend fairly equal amounts of time with our kid. He takes the mornings while I work out and leave for work (usually by 7:30). He drops him off at school by 8:30. He picks him up too, but when I get home, it’s my time to shine and he’s my responsibility until bedtime, while The Hubs either works out or naps (sometimes simultaneously!). Weekends are more of the same where we switch off Saturday/Sunday mornings for our designated activities, and the rest is family time. He’s usually good with us individually, and sweet as hell to me when it’s just the two of us. But when we’re all together, it’s no secret who he views as the primary parent. And this doesn’t bother me – usually – because he is the fun one.
The Hubs doesn’t blink an eye at a weekend alone with our kid. I’ve gone on a few girls trips, marched for women’s equality, and it’s literally no sweat. My husband left today for a wedding and comes back on Monday night. My usual reinforcements are unavailable (people either traveling or with lives that don’t revolve around my inability to entertain my child for 12 straight hours).
I don’t usually complain about not having enough time together. I’m adamant that quality time is more important than quantity time. Of course I welcome this opportunity for a good weekend together. In April, I’m taking a full week off work to hang out with him over spring break, which is something I haven’t done since I was on maternity leave. Even that isn’t completely accurate, since my husband was home with me for 85% of my maternity leave, so I was like REALLY spoiled. I am freaking out about this because… WHAT THE FUCK AM I GOING TO DO WITH HIM FOR A WHOLE WEEK.
We have a 50-50 partnership that sometimes skews a bit in one direction or the other depending on the week. I love that The Hubs is such a natural parent. 99% of the time I do not harbor any insecurities or regret over the fact that I’m the type to take my kid to a movie, rather than create some sort of magical activity at home.
All this to say, there are many different kinds of parents and many different kinds of families. Oh, and if you want to hang out with me the week of April 10 or have any tips/ideas, I will do it. I will do it so hard.