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    Entries in homemaking (1)


    ay papi(s)

    I belong to a few discussion circles and online groups that are either parenthood-focused or in which the conversation often turns to parenting and family life. Every once in awhile, the topic of labor division comes up, and I'm always surprised at the abundance of mothers who face the same problem: how to do all the housework, tend to the kid(s), and find an iota of personal fulfillment while not resenting the spouse that insists he's off the hook for the whole shebang because he brings home a paycheck. They all hedge their complaints with admissions that "he is tired when he gets home" or "that's just how he was raised." 

    If this is you, and you like doing all the chores while you also do all the childrearing, then cool, but over and over again I hear about feeling dismissed, unappreciated, like a maid (respectable job, but -- ahem -- traditionally a for pay position), and always exhausted. Falling short. Because, you know why? These things add up to more than one full-time job. 

    I was lucky enough to find a partner who believes in the importance of present parenting, who values happy kids over a clean house, who understands the exhaustion that comes with the "always on" state of nurturing small children. Someone who gets that, after cooking, loading plates, clearing plates, cleaning tables, wiping faces, stripping off dirty clothes and putting on clean ones several times a day, I don't want to do dishes or laundry at night. Someone who crams in every minute of quality time he can from the moment he walks in the door after work until bedtime, and double on the weekends. 

    I'm grateful that there are so many papas in my life that hold it down on the fatherhood front. I love that my partner can serve as an example for those tired, stressed mamas that not every dad is unwilling to pitch in and, in fact, some defy their upbringing to show the mothers of their children they know exactly how valuable an investment in their family can be.

    Happy Fathers' Day to the guy that does the wash, changes the litter, takes out the garbage, slings the babies to sleep, plays soccer, plays the guitar, cleans up the barf, tends to night cries, starts the morning coffee and so much more, without suggesting that any of it is a favor. Go forth and multiply. The women of the internet need you.