Responsible parenting and leadership are a start. In between reaching for the sky (Toy Story rocks).

Screw the darkness. I prefer the lightness of Pop.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The things we do for love (and the things we don’t)

This morning I slept in until 6:30. Whoopee. Anytime I get up early, which is every time, I have grand designs of doing a gazillion personal and/or work tasks before Mama and Bea wake up.

At 6:40 this morning, Mama called out from upstairs:

"Sweetie."

That is my calling card. Grand designs set aside, I traipse upstairs to see my family.

Mama says, "Can you take her?"

That means Mama needs more time in bed and Bea is awake, kicking her legs and staring wide-eyed into the darkness of the room. I comply and carry my little bundle of joy downstairs.

After reading her 10 Little Ladybugs, Beatrice was content sitting in my lap, so I pick up our latest copy of Parenting and read a very interesting article titled Mad at Dad. The article is all about how dad isn't playing ball when it comes to equal parenting and taking care of baby or kid (or multiples thereof).

Not a shocker to many mothers and wives out there. I just didn't realize that it was still so prevalent. I forget that I'm not like most fathers. That doesn't mean I that Mama doesn't do most the baby care right now, because she does and told me so when we discussed this article. But I'm still very involved and help elsewhere around the house, without incident (usually).

Quick to self – when things are not going right and Mama needs to have a meltdown, don't ask her if she broke the cabinet she just slammed. Not the kind of support she's looking for.

According the Parenting article:

Life for women may be better in many ways than it's ever been, but we're far from whistling show tunes. According to Parenting's nationally representative survey of more than 1,000 mothers on MomConnection, an online panel of moms, the majority of us confess to feeling anger at surprising levels.

46% of moms get irate with their husbands once a week or more. Those with kids younger than 1 are even more likely to be mad that often (54 percent). About half of the moms describe their anger as intense but passing; 1 in 10 say it's "deep and long-lasting."

Wow. Here's why:

  • Many moms -- 44 percent -- are peeved that dads often don't notice what needs to be done around the house or with the kids.
  • Lots of moms -- 40 percent -- are also angry that their husbands seem clueless about the best way to take care of kids.
  • 40% of moms are mad that Dad can't multitask.
  • 31% of moms say their husbands don't help with the chores -- in fact, they generate more.
  • 33% of moms say their husbands aren't shouldering equal responsibility and are less concerned than they are about their children's basic needs, like nutrition and clothing.
  • 50% of moms tell us their husbands get more time for themselves.
  • 60% of moms don't tell their friends what they're going through, or they make light of it.

That last one surprised me, because research that I was familiar with always revealed that women are better at talking straight with their friends and maintaining a larger, and deeper, network of friends.

So daddies, we're killing our mommies (unless they kill us first). Anger is deadly. It breeds resentment and depression and according to the article:

When you're mad, your body floods with adrenaline. If you're often angry, you might lose your ability to produce a hormone that blunts adrenaline's worst effects. You can also weaken your heart, harden your arteries, raise your cholesterol, damage your kidneys and liver, and put yourself at risk for depression or anxiety. It's no wonder that some scientists consider chronic anger more likely to kill you prematurely than smoking or obesity.

Anger and resentment road leads to nowheresville, daddy-o. Been down there a time or two myself. Mommies and Daddies alike – work with each other and own the moment when it comes to your relationships and your families.

Later this morning I went on a run, and at the end of it Amy surprised me pushing Bea along the water, and then we walked back to the car together. The last song on my run was The Things We Do For Love by 10CC, one of our favorites.

How apropos.

A compromise would surely help the situation

Agree to disagree, but disagree to part

Well after all it's just a compromise

For the things we do for love

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