Good morning! What a great day to look at your kids and say, "What a blessing you are to me!" and give them big kisses.
#1. ~Life should be fair~
If you have kids in elementary school, you probably hear, "thats not fair" 100Xs a day. But life doesn't have to be fair to be good.
It starts with being pregnant. You deal with all the joys of pregnancy, the father, assuming he was man enough to stick around and be a dad, deals with you and all your lovely hormones. Not fair. You have the baby, thrilling, horrible, wonderful experience. Then you get to hang out with the little cookie-faced baby while your man goes back to work. Which isn't fair to him. You have to try and recover. Which isn't fair for you. What I am saying is obvious and redundant. Except that its so hard to see sometimes, when you are right there in the middle of it.
I read a book on pregnancy and motherhood by a leading feminist author. To my surprise, one of the chapters speaks of the differences between men and women, and some of the ways that parenting changes the "equality in everything" mentality. Wow, insight from an unlikely source. If you want to have a healthy family life you are going to need to accept that Dad's role and Mom's role are not the same. Neither one is always fair. The heart of the "Fairness" issue is this. Choose to serve. It might not feel great to be up at midnight. And three. And five. But choose to serve. Take time in the middle of your sleepless nights to pray over your children, your man, your other mother friends. And take a nap. Instead of being frustrated that you can sweep the kitchen floor eight times but its dirty when your husband walks in the door, have a good laugh. You don't have anything to prove. As a couple, choose not to have "who has it worse" or "who deserves to sleep in more" competitions. Bless each other, serve each other. Learn to live as people who aren't trying to survive, but to thrive. Give your time, love and hard work to your family, not because you have to, but because every new day, you choose to. See it as an investment. You are bringing up tiny little individuals, and you serve them because you love them. And because God loves them. And in this way, you can not only deepen your character, you can understand love in a whole perspective. God's love.
#2. ~Dad doesn't get it.~
Remember full house?
The dad is dorky, sincere, and hardworking. He gives the girls his very best. The girls sometimes rebel, get mad, throw a fit, but at the end of the show, dad is usually right. But not in an annoying, "I told you so," kind of way. He is a wise, loving father. Fast forward to "Finding Nemo." At the end of the movie the kid is right, and the humble, slightly dumb dad is found apologizing. Now I am not saying if you are wrong you shouldn't apologize, by all means, "say what you need to say." But take a minute and think of pop-culture's current opinion of dad. He is dumb and unqualified. Sitting on the couch drinking multiple beers watching tv, and yelling at the dog. Really?
Dad is not your kid. He is your leader, your partner. If you have something to tell him, tell him in a way that wouldn't embarrass you if it was overheard. If you don't like his methods of parenting, talk about it with him, not in front of the kids. Don't freak out about stupid stuff, God gave kids dads to keep life light hearted. Chill out, and let him enjoy fatherhood. Reevaluate the things that you get up in arms about, and why they bother you. (A candy bar before dinner, telling your kid to use a good kitchen towel to clean up a mess they made, etc.) Dad isn't stupid, he is just made totally different that you are. Together, you will keep your children (somewhat) balanced. Speak to him, and of him with respect because those little ears hear more than your grown-up mouth may realize. What you give someone (respect, contempt, impatience) is often what they become, (respectable, contemptuous, annoying). So Speak in faith.
And remember all the fun crazy things that guy did that made you fall in love with him. He is still that fun crazy guy. Stay in love with him.
Please don't buy into the pop-culture idea of what a dad is. Your kids and your "babymama" need you. Be strong, be wise, be involved.
To the single mama,
All of this applies to you, but in much different ways. You still get to choose to serve because you love, and to not portray men as being stupid and irresponsible, but it will just look different. You are amazing! Keep on doing what you do. And let it be full of joy.
Labels: baby, Dads, fair, Feminism, motherhood, single mom