October 16, 2008

And What About Daddy?

Apart from story time at the library, PK's first Thanksgiving unfortunately turned out to be a complete and utter disaster of epic proportions. I won't go into details except to say that one of the things that came out of it is that the hubby admitted to me that he had been feeling the strain of trying to balance work with being a good husband and father. I would've never known except for the fact that the weekend's drama finally flung this out into the open.

So it got me thinking. Our husbands/partners are constantly told in various parenting classes that they're supposed to support the mom and baby. No complaints there. The hubby's support over the past 10 weeks has been phenomenal, and I don't know what I would do without him. I can't even imagine a time when dads were a lot more hands-off than they are now. At the same time, while they're supporting us, who's supporting them? Sure, as moms during mat-leave (or even stay-at-home moms), we find ourselves spending our days running around caring for a child. Sounds simple enough, but it's a LOT of work. Dads, on the other hand, are expected to care for mom and baby, AND work to support mom and baby. (Please note that I am generalizing here in order to simplify things.) That too is a LOT of work.

As a new mom, I have a great support network of new moms that I met through my pre-natal fitness classes. We meet up once a week to shoot the breeze, talk baby stuff, and just decompress. It lets me have a life and quite frankly is probably what keeps me away from post-partum depression. I'd probably go bonkers if I had to spend my days at home alone taking care of PK. Having family around to help out is also good. Knowing that my mom and my mother-in-law are a phone call away makes my days that much easier to deal with.

But what about daddy?

Dad is expected to do a lot of stuff too (different stuff), but it's almost as if he's expected to do all these things and not complain, which of course is completely unfair. On my end, now that I know that the hubby feels overwhelmed, I can at least begin to help him. I've put him in touch with some dads that I know, so that he to can have his outlet to vent his frustrations and/or share his experiences about being a dad.

I'm not at all offended by the fact that he wants to talk to someone else about these sorts of things. After all, it's great to get some tips and different perspectives from other dads. That's something that I could never help him with because I'm a mom, not a dad. It's an entirely different experience. I'm just glad that now he'll finally have his outlet.

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