Lots of people asked about what it’s like to be a “working mom” over this past year (and in the question box last week). In my post a few days ago, I alluded to the fact that we’re a working family and I’m not just a working mom. Does everything get shared exactly 50/50 every single day/week/month? No way. That doesn’t ever happen, but it can at least come close.
We both took 6 weeks of “bonding time” to be with Baby M. (Thanks to the wonderful family leave act we have here in CA that really works!)
Mr. M has morning duty. He wakes up Baby M (usually with a rousing song like the theme song from “The A Team”), changes her, dresses her, feeds her, reads and plays with her, gets all of her food ready for daycare, and then takes her with him when he’s headed off to work. On the weekends, he does the same, except daycare is just the living room.
I, in turn, always have bedtime duties. I change her, give her a bath, switch her into pajamas, read, feed her a nighttime bottle, and put her down to sleep.
Everything else is up in the air. Baby laundry, diaper dumping, morning/afternoon/evening playtime, puke clean-up, naptime, snot sucking, supply run, washing bottles, making food, settling temper tantrums, meal time, etc. We do what needs to get done by whomever can do it.
Chores around the house are a bit more delineated (and I suck majorly at anything involving cleaning.. really really suck), so my slack usually gets picked up by Mr. M. I usually cook dinner and do the grocery shopping, but it’s not any sort of exclusive job for either of us.
A recent study with lots of buzz seems to tell this tale: equally shared parenting isn’t easy. No matter if one person works and the other doesn’t or if all parents are out in the workplace. It can create extra conflict, as any power-sharing relationship often does, but you also get to share in all of the great things together instead of experiencing them second-hand.
I’m not going to lie… it hurts when Baby M starts crying if I steal her from her dad’s arms at the wrong moment, like my motherly soul just was crushed that she’d want someone other than me. And about a minute later (yes… I pout), I smile. Our daughter loves her Dad because of all the time they spend together, and I’ll take the maternal punch in the gut for that.