I know. I know! I can already feel your piercing gaze with your raised eye brows questioning my sanity. After all what kind of a woman I am who does not want her husband to be an equal participant in our kids’ upbringing. Uhhh! Let me make a confession. I’d love for my husband to be an equal parenting partner. The kind who can make adjustments to his work schedule and spend as much time with the kids as I do. Or the kind that would allow me to be able to commit to a job or atleast spend some me time. But I never see it panning out that way! But I am not complaining. Why?
That’s because, I know how genuinely busy my husband is. He works 14 hours a day. No he doesn’t have to work that much to make the ends meet. Yet who doesn’t like more money? Ahh! Just joking. My husband travels atleast 100- 150 km everyday for work and that surely takes up a lot of time. It makes it impossible for him to be on time for dinner before the boys go off to bed. They really miss him and sometimes my heart aches for my kids who hardly spend any time with their father on a daily basis. Doesn’t hurt much though! Why? Because we have come to an arrangement and as a couple, as parents we are trying to meet the equal parenting goals in our own unique way. Here’s how we are doing it –
Morning Time is Daddy Time
My husband starts work a little late. That’s because he realised that howsoever early he started, he would always end up at the same time at night. So we try and wake up the kids a little early and they can spend that hour with their dad. This time involves the Daddy getting the kids ready for school. Momma has only to play the supportive role of putting the uniform together and packing tiffin.
Weekends too are for Daddy Dear
Once we realised that equal parenting is not going to be our thing, we threw the 50-50 thing out of our window. The kids have a two day weekend off and both the mornings are booked with Daddy to take them to the park and have some outdoor play time. Sometimes Sunday evenings too are meant for kids to go out with both of us.
Technology Comes To Rescue
Even if he can’t be with the kids during the day, my husband makes sure to call atleast once during the day and check with our elder one (the younger can’t really hold useful conversations yet) on how his day at school went. And then there are other calls when my boy wants to wail out to his father on how I am being a torture for him, and they both conspire against me and plan to leave me out of their weekend plans. And a lot more happens over a call J
And we get ‘We Time’ too
Because the kids are asleep by the time husband gets back home, dinner is usually a quiet affair and we adults are able to spend some peaceful moments in each other’s company without the constant pressure of entertaining our insatiable kids. It’s done us a lot good I’d say (winks)
Communication is the Key
There came a point in time, when I would take certain calls about the kids all by myself (such as what hobby classes will my son join; the clothes that he wears etc. etc.). “What’s the point in asking you? It’s going to be just me who has to bear the brunt of the physical responsibilities such as drop-n-pick.” But then I realised the folly in my logic. By keeping my husband out of even the tiniest of details, I was taking away a part of his parenting joy (and some responsibility) So I started raking the husband’s brain for everything related to kids. To my surprise, and against my judgment, he was always all ears and patient enough to listen to me and provide his two bits of wisdom. In retrospect, I must confess that those two bits are really helpful and help me keep my blood pressure levels under control.
To all the mothers out there who feel that their husbands don’t contribute enough; and to all the husbands who feel that they are losing out on their kids growing years. Please understand that not all of us are blessed with similar work conditions where the idealistic concept of Equal Parenting may be possible. The key to happiness is to not fret over it, instead find another path that suits you and enables your kids to spend quality time with you both. An easy and joyful life is a by-product. And very desirably so!