oh crap, it’s mother’s day…

May 7, 2005

this is how i usually feel. mother’s day is a complete toss up, it can either be the best day ever or one that takes months to recover from. the first few are tricky regardless, the anticipation is high and father’s are usually clueless, unless they have been properly trained.

i’ll be the first to admit that my marriage was more traditional in our roles. quite honestly, this was how i sold myself upfront, before we even got married. i didn’t really know how i would feel until i got here, with small children. and then i wanted a big ole’ switcheroo.

jorge’s job also lead towards me handling more things in our home, he worked VERY hard, long hours and NEVER complained.
this tripped me up, i was definitely carrying a big burden myself but felt selfish to complain or ask for help. i was drowning in my role of our family. i truly enjoyed mothering and taking care of our house but i needed a self and some help, it was all too much. jorge had always been a good father, but wasn’t even aware of everything i did (care wise).

jack came and i could no longer do everything. as a result jorge and jack bonded quickly and things slowly started to change. i realized i wanted a partnership, or maybe it was just i didn’t want to feel so overwhelmed. i wanted someone to just know what it was like to be the mother. but really, can anyone else ever know (except other mothers of course)?

the only way men can get close to knowing is to do be thrown into the day to day fire. some mother’s fear this because they don’t want that white shirt they just bought to be pink from a novice launderer. they just can’t bear the thought of children in mismatched clothes and their husbands doing their daughter’s hair.
while my husband always did these sorts of jobs to begin with he wasn’t exactly an expert on taking care of the kids for more than like say 4-5 hours. when i would leave for my part-time job on sunday mornings, it was just a bachelor extravaganza. cold pizza for breakfast, lots of cartoons and the occasional wrestling match during commercials.
i beg, whined, nagged, pleaded for more but it seemed to fall on deaf ears. my husband was a good dad, he connected with the boys (the best player ever) and did the minimal to get by with me. he would do anything i asked but i was bitter i had to ask at all.
so mother’s day would role around and boy was it loaded, i felt entitled to be highly appreciated due to some of our imbalances. at the same time i felt guilty knowing i had created this dynamic in the first place.
and then i can’t explain how or why, but things started changing. it was right around jack’s first birthday. i would come home from work and the guys had cleaned the house while i was gone, they had gone out for breakfast and played at the park. their oufits were horribly mismatched but it looked like their teeth had been brushed and their hair combed (at some point). my husband started thanking me for random and mundane things. he showered me with the compliments when i proudly announced the kitchen floor had been mopped. i begin to see how hard his job really is and tried to show my appreciation. i felt my heart becoming more sensitive and giving towards him.
this is just how he has always been, just when i couldn’t be anymore exasperated and give up, the man changes over night. like this is how life has always been, to the point where he can’t remember it was ever any other way. while this can drive a girl mildly crazy i have learned to receive the change joyfully and not obsess over the past.
the feminist in me knows it is closer to what it always should have been, the old traditionalist is singing the praises of a husband that cleans and does the laundry while reading books to the children. i’m sure the true me is somewhere in the middle.
so mother’s day was sort of strange. i didn’t feel nearly as needy, it felt like the gift to me was the partnership i wanted from my husband. the kind that shares burdens whatever they might be. i realized it wasn’t so much about who does what but more about being in it together. as flawed as our marriage still is, i gotta give it to jorge- he keeps trying, changing, growing…which makes me want to do the same. so this mother’s day was more of a marriage day of sorts, reflecting on all the things it takes to be family together- not just one person. (while secretly knowing that for centuries mother’s have lead the way in showing the world how to love and care for one another… )

One Response to “oh crap, it’s mother’s day…”

  1. jen lemen Says:

    this post helps me get to know you better, pache!

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