Spacefem (spacefem) wrote,
Spacefem
spacefem

parenthood

So I'm planning a float trip and was trying to convince this one girl in our department to come on it. She's another engineer and we hung out quite a bit when I first came to Wichita, before she (dun-dun-DUN) had a baby. Anyway, now the baby is two, so when she was like, "We just can't go, there's no one to leave our daughter with" I was like, "what's this we crap? I haven't invited your husband, just you! And I'd hope that by now, he'd be capable of staying home with the kid without killing her."

"Sure he is, but cell phones don't work out there where you guys camp out, and I need to be reachable in case something happens."

like what?

she looks at me like I'm nuts. "Like, if she falls down the stairs and winds up in the hospital or something!"

"How exactly would calling you on a cell phone have any effect on that? I'm sure if she needs stitches, she'll get them, and you can find out on Monday when you get back. It's not like you're going to drive home to sew her up yourself."

It didn't work, I couldn't convince her. She just got frustrated and finally blew me off with the ever painful, "You'll understand when you're a mom" send-off.

I was about to say, "Okay fine, call me back in EIGHTEEN YEARS when you'd like a life again" but realized that'd be kind of harsh, so I just smiled and was like, okay, you don't need an excuse, if you can't go we'll understand and we'll think about you.

Am I crazy? I've noticed a pretty good work-sharing balance between spouses where I work... a kid gets sick, dad takes off or mom takes off, they share. The dads I know have a lot of concern for their kids. You don't read about it in newsweek... when it comes to balancing work and family, you only read about women struggling, not men. I see plenty of evidence that everybody struggles with the balance.

But the extracurricular activities, in particular the camping thing, are different... on our group trips, we have guys leave their kids and wives at home to go out and play all the time, but I can't get any of the wives to do it. Maybe they didn't really like camping to start with, but it seems like they're all really excited to throw their old, fun, social lives away forever to just mom it up full time. I know two-year-olds are cute, but don't we all need a weekend away?

I think she may be wrong... I'm not going to understand this when I'm a mother. I sure don't understand it now.
Tags: babies
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