Friday, April 23, 2010

Stay at Home Dad?

I'm finding that there is this stigma attached to fathers, this perception that we're not at the same level as mothers. In fact, it's not so much that we're not at the same level as it is that we're not EXPECTED to be at the same level. Why is that? Why is not more expected out of the paternal side of our homes. Last night Gina had a class to teach, so I was home from work at 4:30 and she was out the door by 5. I'm finally getting the cold that everyone else in our house has suffered through the past month, but I still got the girls through belly time, sitting time and saucers. I prepped dinner, I fed the girls their solid food dinner (I even finished off the spinach processing - or as Gina calls it 'making a spinach margarita' - so the girls could have it right then), changed in to jammies, administered vitamins and prepped bottles so that right when Gina walked in we put the girls down, and the moment they were in bed I finished cooking dinner for us (chicken and shrimp Alfredo with Rosemarie garlic bread) so that Gina and I could sit and enjoy a bottle of wine before "the Office" started. I don't need an award, I don't need a pat on the back, I don't even need a thank you. Gina does this job 20 hours of the day, I only have to do it for 4 - but I keep finding people who are surprised to hear something like this. Surprised that I am left alone with my daughters, surprised that I can cook, surprised that I WILL cook. It's as if they never, in their wildest imaginations, expected a husband/father to do anything aside from go to work and change the oil every 3,000 miles. There's something wrong with this train of thought. It bothers me. It bothers me immensely. When I married Gina I entered into a partnership with her. When we decided to have kids, WE decided to have kids. When we found out we were having twins I told her WE would make it work. That's a lot of "we's" on the table for me to assume that I just have to sit at a desk for 8 hours, come home and be catered to. After all, Gina's job is 24/7. She doesn't get a lunch break or a nap break - she really doesn't even get break at night to sleep. That means I don't either. All those promises and agreements mean when I'm not at work, my dress shirt better have it's sleeves rolled up cause it's time to get dirty and when I am at work I better be grateful for the breather that it is, because when it's over I better get back in the game cause the ball is now in my court. And I'm OK with that. I like that. I agree with that. And I'm pretty perturbed that it's not what's expected. The way I see it "Mother" and "Father" are only different by two letters. That's 66.66% exactly the same. If I'm at work for 8 hours, that's 1/3 of my day. So the other 2/3's I better be working exactly as hard as Gina, because that's what my title demands of me, and that's what I demand of me as well.

1 comment:

  1. Um, you win. Seriously. I know you don't want a pat on the back, but you are getting one from me anyways. And you totally made me crave italian food and wine after reading this, so we went and got some, thanks to you!! You rock, Daddy of the century!