01 Jun Parenting… it’s not a competition
So it seems my previous blog post (Newsflash – Fatherhood Causes Amnesia – May 18 2015) has created some drama. A small number of people feel I am throwing fathers under the bus, and particularly my husband; and one even said it perpetuates the opinion that men are not equally capable in their role as a parent. Here’s the thing – it’s not a competition. Men and women, fathers and mothers all have their strengths and weaknesses. Just because women dominate in Gymnastics and Figure Skating over their male counterparts, doesn’t mean women are better at all sports… Right?!? Just like women being generally better at multitasking and keeping the home tidier with the kids in their care, doesn’t make them better parents.
For those that didn’t read the blog, it was in regards to how my husband and numerous of my friends husbands all struggle to mind the children and keep the house from looking like a category 5 hurricane has ripped through it. The primary focus was on how men aren’t as strong at multi-tasking as women are, and here’s something I didn’t mention, purely because I didn’t think it was necessary – The inability to keep the house tidy while watching the children does not take away from what kind of parent you are. It doesn’t mean fathers are less capable at parenting then mothers. I know a few fathers who are the ‘cleaners’ in their household, and can be complete DIC…tators about the cleanliness of the home, thus making them not so popular in my books. Like anything in life, moderation is key.
Sometimes when dad’s have the kids and the house is a complete disaster, it may be because dad is busy being awesome, having a tea party, or are making tiaras out of cereal boxes, or playing hide and seek in the back yard. Clearly tidying the house is about prioritizing what you want to get done around the home and when. In our house, my husband would much rather be doing fun stuff with the kids and leave the dishes, clothes and toys all over the place to be cleaned up later, once the kids are in bed, and yes, most likely by me, but probably because I always do it. If I didn’t do it, I’d say most of it would probably get done eventually, however my husband, and most of my friends husbands are quite capable and content living in mess, or in a cave even, without all the basic utilities. You may think I am being funny, I’m not. My husband and some of his friends lived (or still live) in the rain forest with no power or running water. Christ, the windows didn’t have screens and the entire back wall was open… as in missing…. I believe this kind of living shifts your priorities, even once you are out of that lifestyle.
Anyways, the point is it’s not a competition. No one is trying to say someone is better at parenting then someone else. Having a clean house doesn’t make you a better parent or a better person. And for the record, my husband is better than me at SO many other things. He is far more creative and successful in the kitchen then I am, most of the time anyway (I’m going to brag here and mention that I won our lasagna competition last weekend, but that is another blog in itself, and probably a one off win for me). He is far more thrifty, and can make something out of nothing in a heartbeat, and can fix just about anything, and bring things that you’d never think would be used again back to life. He is basically an Australian version of MacGyver. A messy Australian version of MacGyver. He also doesn’t faint or feel nauseous at the sight of blood, like I do, so bonus points for him.
All that to say, with the rise of the internet and blogging and social media, women’s roles and women’s rights and are evolving faster than ever. Women are speaking out in public arenas and writing about their experiences as mothers, sharing their trials and tribulations and the ups and downs, allowing others to know they aren’t alone. These parenting blogs written by women should be embraced and celebrated, as they are shedding light on women’s strengths as a gender, which for so many centuries were hidden and kept secret. I truly believe parenting blogs, many of them anyway, are giving strength, guidance and courage to the next generation.
Thank you to those who support this blog space and women’s blogging in general. And an even bigger thank you to those who have a sense of humor and realize that a little tongue and cheek isn’t always putting someone or something down. A little lightheartedness can go a long way.
(Post by: Heather Starr)